Column: Time for turkey, football and ‘Gilmore Girls’

11/23/2016 5:55 AM |

Gilmore Girls

I’ve always looked forward to Thanksgiving weekend. In high school, it signaled the start of basketball season. In my early 20s, I’d get together with friends every Black Friday to attend a concert in the city. As a reporter, I’ve covered the Long Island Championships in football nearly every year, which is the pinnacle of high school sports in Suffolk County.

And, of course, who doesn’t love an extended weekend filled with gluttonous amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes and pie?

The start of the holiday season has no shortage of traditions. Consider television marathons as an example. You’ve probably seen plenty of promotions over the years: “24 straight hours of NCIS!” or “All 600 Simpsons episodes!” (Airing every episode of The Simpsons, as FXX will do beginning Thursday, actually takes just under two weeks.)

For all the excitement Thanksgiving weekend generates, I’m admittedly approaching the upcoming break with a bit of trepidation. You see, the great folks at Netflix have decided to release every episode of the revival show “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” in the wee hours of Friday morning. While it’s only four episodes, each one runs 90 minutes. So that’s six hours of breakneck dialogue between the central characters, Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory.

In most years, I would have gone about my weekend blissfully unaware of the show. But I am now married and my wife happens to think “Gilmore Girls” is cinematic perfection. She can watch “Gilmore Girls” with the same frequency a toddler can watch “Frozen.” Our house may soon have a television dedicated to endless loops of “Gilmore Girls” episodes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, here’s a brief synopsis. The comedy-drama, which aired from 2000 to 2007, was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. It stars Lauren Graham as Lorelai and Alexis Bledel as Rory. Set in a fictional small town in Connecticut, the show explores the relationship between a single mother and her daughter/best friend, who’s 15 when the show begins and eventually attends Yale University. Melissa McCarthy, who’s had prominent roles in such movies as “Bridesmaids,” “Spy” and “Ghostbusters,” plays one of Lorelai’s close friends.

Lorelai comes from a wealthy family, but eschews high society to instead work at a local inn while living modest life with her daughter.

The show was well received, won an Emmy in 2004 and has attracted a bit of a cult following in the years since it ended.

In advance of the big revival, the TV station UP has been airing every single episode of the original “Gilmore Girls” — all 153 hours. Every opportunity my wife has, she flips the remote to “Gilmore Girls.”

She’s watched the show so often in the past year, since discovering it in syndication on UP, that I think I’ve now seen every episode, although not in any particular logical order. I admit, it’s not terrible. I get a laugh out of it. The characters are likeable.

But I’m starting to feel a bit consumed by it. It’s gotten to the point where “Gilmore Girls” was played more on our TV Sunday than football. (In fairness, I did watch the Knicks game in its entirety and my football team, the Jets, was on a bye.)

Part of what drives me nuts about my wife constantly watching the show is that, for some reason, it displays in standard definition on UP. Last February, I bought a 55-inch 4K TV that’s still only about half paid for. Instead of watching a show that takes advantage of the incredible picture quality, we’re sitting there staring at a screen that’s only 75 percent filled because of a black border. It’s like buying an iPhone and only using it to make phone calls. We could stream an episode on Netflix in HD to solve the problem, but we never do. We suffer through the poor picture quality, which doesn’t seem to faze my wife.

As Friday approaches, the Mrs. has informed me that she needs to watch all six hours of the revival show as soon as possible. She’s considering staying up all night, although I have no faith she’ll manage to stay awake.

Watching the episodes over more time is no option, she said, for fear of having any parts spoiled by social media. This is the kind of logic I use to justify why I need to watch sports live.

Part of me hopes this weekend’s binge marathon will mark the end of this vicious cycle. But that’s probably wishful thinking.

Top photo credit: Facebook @GilmoreGirls

WerkmeisterThe author is the editor of The Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News-Review. He can be reached at 631-354-8049 or [email protected].

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