The presenting of the uniform. Gotta love Lorelai's face in this one.
Season 1, Episode 1
Original airing: October 5, 2000
My Rating: 72
This is a show about relationships and this first episode did a wonderful job of introducing the audience to quite a few of them. The episode showed us strong families, estranged families, best friends, and even romantic potential. And none of it felt rushed. Lorelai and Rory are a stand out mother-daughter combo with their distinct, but overlapping personalities. I thought having a fight in the first episode was a great way to show us that Rory is NOT Lorelai, but she’s pretty close. Lorelai’s relationship with Emily and Richard looks like it will be very intriguing to explore further and I even got a little stomach flutter to see young love blossoming between Rory and Dean. In all of this, Sookie and Lane are obvious supports to our leading ladies and even Michel carved out a niche of uniqueness in a cast-heavy show. Each character is well defined and important to the whole and that’s pretty impressive on a pilot episode.
Alexis Bledel is a very young actress and she comes across very stony through most of the episode. Her scenes with Dean were the strongest and perhaps it came from acting with someone her own age. That all being said, I really appreciate the show hiring young actors of high school age to play the characters in high school. This type of drama could have pulled the stunt of hiring 20 year olds and I think that would have drastically changed the dynamic of the show and relationships.
Overall, I felt this was a very strong episode and I don’t have anything particularly bad to mention about it!
The show got its first teary eyes from me when Lorelai presents Rory with her Chilton uniform. Even on the first episode, they do an amazing job of showing me how important this moment is for both mother and daughter.
The Bottom Line:
This was a pilot, which the show doesn’t try to hide. But it’s also possibly one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen. Twelve recurring characters are introduced and I came away from each with a good basic idea of who each of those people are and why they matter on this show. That’s a tall order. I also felt like the story did an excellent job taking us from happy-go-lucky intro through Rory and Lorelai’s first fight and the bond that brings them back together. A lot of ground was covered in these 45 minutes and done very well.