It may not be set in the South, but it sure does feels like it could be.
We feel Gilmore Girls mania. And while we might be miles from Stars Hollow, there are a lot of similarities between that famous charming town and some of our own own small towns. Faithful viewers from Texas to Virginia watch Rory and Lorelai’s junk-food-fueled antics in Stars Hollow and think, “Hey, wait, this is just like my hometown.”
The hour-long lines spilling from Southern coffee shops redecorated as Luke’s Diner proves it: Gilmore Girls connects with Southern hearts. And here’s why:
1. Miss Patty is the ultimate Southern gossip queen
Miss Patty, in her vibrant scarves and garish jewelry, knows everything about everyone in Stars Hollow – and spreads the gossip without abandon (like that time when she runs into Rory and Christopher strolling through Stars Hollow, and then immediately gets on her phone to tell the town about it). In the South, we have that town gossip too. And Patty’s right-hand-woman, Babette, is important too – every Southern gossip needs a sidekick.
2. Emily and Richard Gilmore are a lot like us
Things we can relate to: Emily’s lavish parties, Richard’s pre-dinner drinks, their prim-and-proper style, and, of course, their insistence on those Friday-night dinners. Traditions that matter.
3. Luke Danes and his whole scruffy ensemble
Admit it, it’s not at all hard to picture Scott Patterson driving a pickup truck down a dirt road in Southern Georgia. We love that flannel shirt and backwards baseball cap look. Plus, he runs a diner that serves comfort food – yum.
4. Stars Hollow throws our kinds of festivals
To name a few: the Founder’ Firelight Festival, the End of Summer Madness, Bid-a-Basket, Spring Fling, the Revolutionary War Reenactment, Movie Night in the Square (where The Yearling is played every single year), and the Dance Marathons. We love celebrations that involve hometown pride, food, drink, community spirit–and movies too.
5. The big emphasis on small-town values
As the self-declared most powerful man in Stars Hollow, Taylor Doose plays a huge role in shaping the small town's values. We relate. Flashback to Season 2, Episode 12, when Taylor hangs up his infamous “Rory Curtain” in Stars Hollow Video to protect young patrons from watching what he considers inappropriate videos. He’s also passionate about property ownership, town beautification, and keeping motorcycles off the streets.
6. The comfort-cooking power-couple, Sookie and Jackson
Sookie is the brilliant chef, who is always preparing too much food. Jackson is a farmer who cares about his produce so much that he, in one episode, sleeps next to a zucchini to ensure its ripeness. They love fresh, locally-grown food. Sound familiar?
7. Rory and Lorelai talk fast, often, and with plenty of wit
When you put two Southern women together – especially two Southern family members together – there will never (ever) be an awkward silence. Rory and Lorelai remind us of our own mother-daughter bonds because of their quick wit and their ability to talk to anyone.
8. Family always comes first
The Gilmore girls are not without their fair share of family drama: Lorelai and Rory spent 5 months, 3 weeks, and 16 days without speaking to each other, and that’s not even to mention Lorelai and Emily’s turbulent relationship. However, despite the plot-driving drama, the show makes one thing clear: your family = your best friends. And that’s one thing that Southerners will always understand.
Perhaps the series’ writer, Amy Sherman-Palladino, instilled in the show a few traits she learned from her mother, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. Or maybe she had no idea that her show would connect with such a wide variety of viewers. Because of her relatable characters, people flocked to pop-up Luke’s Diners across the South and the entire county. And to that, we say, “Oy with the poodles, already!”