A “pilot” is the first episode of a TV series, the one that determines whether it will get the green light to be picked up as a whole season/series by the distributor. If a “pilot” gets good ratings during the first episode, then that producer/publisher/distributor (which was originally “the WB” in this case, Warner Bros., which turned into “The CW”) will order more episodes, typically the rest of the season which will make up “Season One” of the show. Order = pay for/fund. So episode one of Gilmore Girls is essentially a nameless episode, simply called the Gilmore Pilot.
What seperates this Pilot from a lot of other shows is the absolutely astounding pacing. The pacing just feels perfect, you’re never overwhelmed with new characters, and everyone gets just the right amount of screentime to allow the viewer to grow an attachment to that character. You really feel sucked into this little world of Stars Hollow and the Gilmore town from the get-go. The mood of two smalltown girls, a focus on the mother-daughter relationship, smart lingo and endless back-and-forth between characters is also well established in the introductory episode.
Additionally, this episode, in it’s running time of 44 minutes and 10 seconds, does a fabulous amount of character development already. You not only get attached to Lorili (the mother) and Rori (the daughter), the two main, principle characters, but also to the grandparents (Emily and Richard), Lorili’s friends and assistants at her hotel job (Frenchman “Michel” and Cook “Sookie”), Rory’s first potential love-interest (Dean), Rory’s best friend “Lane” and the gruff, Coffee Shop owner “Luke” (my favorite character), among other towns folk. All of whom are excellently introduced.
This episode also establishes the quick pace and bevy of crazy references that Gilmore Girls is known for, along with its laugh-out-loud trademark humor and sharp wit that fills every rapid-fire line; all this is done extremely well in this first episode.
This introductory episode is also really memorable because it’s filled with funny, touching, heartwarming and interesting moments.
Ranging from some of Michel’s first lines “What is your offspring doing?” (haha, I love it), Sookie’s crazy, scatterbrained means of cooking (with all the cooks doing everything they can to keep her from burning down the kitchen), Rory’s introduction to the fact that she got into Chilton college at the age of 16 (showing us her brilliance), Sookie’s funny moment where she can’t hold back (literally) her enthusiasm and blurts out to Rory “You’re going to Chilton!”, Rory’s first encounter with Dean, the opening coffee house moment at Luke’s and the interactions between Luke and Loreli (the “coffee junkie”) and the way in which Loreli interacts with a guy trying to hit on both her AND THEN her sixteen year old daughter;
Also scenes like Rory’s first nervous encounter with a boy who is interested in her (I love her reactions, she plays the nervous role extremely well. Love the moment where Dean is explaining her concentration and enrapturing in a book and not noticing a guy getting hit in the face with a ball “blood everywhere, and you didn’t even look up. I thought, I have to meet that girl”), and Loreli’s first tension-filled moments with her parents… something we’ll see a lot of as the show progresses.
You also get introduced to minor characters like Lane’s Korean mom “Kim”, who owns their family antique store, which is so full of stacks of furniture that they have to walk through a maze and play “marco polo” to get through the house and into the kitchen or figure out where everyone is located. It’s this type of scene that is well-done and interesting; it’s unique, and helps to keep the viewer interested and chuckling as you bound on through the episode.
This episode is full of great lines as already mentioned (Luke: “Red meat can kill ya… enjoy”) and it makes this episode infinitely rewatchable. The episode ends on a high note as well, including our first look at a fight between Loreli and Rory. Loreli playing “the mom card” is classic too, as it follows a little diatribe about how they always had a “democracy” in the house, until now.
The episode ends with Loreli and Rory’s first meeting with the grandparents, who Loreli gets indebted to after Rory gets in to the Chilton college (her stepping stone to Harvard) and she can’t afford the enrollment fee. She is forced to go to her rich parents to ask them to pay for it… she almost gets exactly what she wants (to get the money and get out) but right before she’s about to leave Emily (her mom) has her make a deal… she only gets the money if she agrees to having dinner once-a-week in addition to calls and visits so that the grandparents can keep up with what is going on in their lives.
Naturally this doesn’t sit well with Loreli, and our first scene at the grandparents near the end of the episode ends up being a giant debacle (as one expects).
The “dinner with the grandparents” is made worse since Loreli and Rory are fighting over the fact that Rory is having second thoughts about going to Chilton after meeting Dean, a revelation that comes to Loreli through Ms. Patty, a sexually charged teacher who spills the beans to Loreli in front of Rory as they are walking home from Luke’s Coffee. Forcing Loreli to play the “mom card”, ordering Rory to go to Chilton whether she likes it or not.
So tensions between the two (Loreli and Rory) are already higher than usual, and this causes a rift between not only Loreli and Rory, but between Loreli and the grandparents due to the fact that Loreli does not want to be there.
She throws out snappy one-liners the whole time and makes jokes (Emily: “Nothing is more important than a young girl’s education.” Loreli “And PIE. Everyone loves pie.”) and everything goes south when Richard (the g-pa) brings up Rory’s father Christopher. It ends with a fight and shouting-match between Emily and Loreli wherein Rory hear’s that her grandparents actually were the ones who paid for Chilton… which helps to smooth things over between them after they leave… and feel like they just exited a warzone.
As the episode closes, Lorelil and Rory end up back at the Coffee House known as Luke’s and we get more interaction between Luke and the girls, who comments on Rory’s “refined palette” of food (A giant cup of coffee and chile fries), Luke tries to tell her to put the cup down becuase it’s so unhealthy, commenting “You do not want to end up like your mother” which leads Rory to comment, “Too late. I already am”. The camera pans out as Loreli urges Rory to “tell me about the guy”.
It’s a fitting and touching little ending, and as always the music is done excellent and really puts that finishing touch on the episode and during the closing out scenes where music plays.
Overall this is a fantastic episode, and I think it’s damn near perfect!
More Gilmore Girls Reviews
4. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 4 – The Deer Hunters
3. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 3 – Kill Me Now
2. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 2 – The Lorelais’ First Day At Chilton Review
1. Gilmore Girls Season One Episode 1 – Pilot Review
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* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 0 Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast Part 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Zero Podcast. RE0 Intro (Part 1)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Finale (Part 7)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Parts 5 and 6
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil: Code Veronica Podcast Part 1
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Finale (Part 5)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Part 4
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Parts 2 And 3
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 3 Podcast Part 1
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 2 Podcast Final Master Run (Claire Redfield)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil 2 Podcast (Leon Scenario A On Normal)
* ListenToMePlay Resident Evil Remake Real Survival Mode Chris
* ListenToMePlay Super Metroid Podcast
* ListenToMePlay Super Metroid Podcast Part 2
* ListenToMePlay Oblivion “Through A Virgin’s Eyes” Podcast Part 1 – Guest Mr. Z
* ListenToMePlay Oblivion Podcast Part 2
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* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 6 – Granny Robbin For Blast Mask And Kamaro Dance
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 5 – The Thief And the Curiosity Shop Dealer
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 4 – Bomb Bag, Bremen Mask, Scarecrow’s Song
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 3 – Bomber’s Notebook
* WatchMePlay Zelda: Majora’s Mask Part 2 – Repeating Yesterday
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