For months now, I have been carrying around a huge secret, a guilty pleasure that has been weighing on my soul, causing me to spend late nights in darkened rooms, sprawled out on my couch with a plate of microwaved, store-bought chocolate chip cookies in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
Ladies, I know I’m not alone. I think it’s time for all of us to shake off the shame, turn on the lights, and profess our adoration, loud and proud. Say it with me: I love Gilmore Girls.
I have been diligently binge-watching all seven seasons of this magical show in anticipation of the November 25th reboot premiere and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love Lorelai and her witty one-liners, Rory and her awkward rambling, Luke and his politically-incorrect charm, Patty and her juicy gossip, and Kirk and his endless career choices. I swoon over moody Jess, I adore Lane’s quirky personality, and I even enjoy the meddling, but well-meaning grandparents, Emily and Richard. My happy place has become a window seat at Luke’s Diner in Stars Hollow.
So why did I keep my passion for all things Gilmore a secret? Well, I don’t know if it’s a Vermont thing or a more widely-spread phenomenon, but I have recently become acutely aware of a new form of judgmentally making people feel bad about themselves: TV-shaming. In my extensive research on the topic, I’ve identified three types of TV-shaming folks and I have a special message for each one of them.
Dear Completely Anti-TV, Doesn’t Even Own a Television, TV-Shamer…
I respect you. In fact, I dare say I envy you. The liberating idea of getting rid of my television has crossed my mind more than once. But just as I’m adding novels to my reading list and reconfiguring my living room layout, I get cold feet. For one, my husband is a big sports fan. No TV in the house means he will be going out to catch the big games, which leaves me home with both of my girls… with no TV. And, yes, I let my girls watch TV while I make dinner. Please don’t shame me for keeping my television. If it makes you feel better, I did get rid of my cable, which led to the purchase of a Roku, which led to a Netflix subscription, which led me to Gilmore Girls.
Dear When-I-Was-a-Kid, Meme-Spreading, TV-Shamer…
You’re not fooling anybody. I turned 40 this year, along with many people on my Facebook newsfeed. That post you were all sharing about how you spent your childhood riding bikes and playing outside until it got dark is only half the truth. Yes, there was outdoor play, but it was the 80s, people. You know as well as I do that you spent all of Saturday morning watching cartoons. Don’t tell me you didn’t run home from your bus stop to catch He-Man and ThunderCats after school. Stop pretending that the phrase TGIF doesn’t instantly make you start humming the theme song to Full House. Also, maybe you did spend all your time outside as a kid, but let’s not overlook the fact that, as an adult, you seem to spend a lot of time on Facebook sharing TV-shaming rhetoric.
Dear TV Snob, My-Show-Is-Better-Than-Your-Show, TV-Shamer…
You are the worst kind of TV-shamer and I’m embarrassed to say that I have been guilty of this TV-shaming practice in the past. It wasn’t that long ago that I thought less of my friends who DVRed Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Jersey Shore, while I prided myself on choosing intelligent programming like LOST. First off, if you were one of the few people who watched LOST through the series finale, I’m pretty sure you weren’t feeling so smart at the end. Second, whether you’re watching an award-winning classic like The Sopranos or a less-acclaimed but equally entertaining show like Teen Mom, I can assure you that you will have been just as unproductive for the 30-60 minutes you spent sitting on your couch.