Two guys watching 'Gilmore Girls' teach us all how to watch TV without shame.
These men adore a TV show that basically screams "teenage girl in 2003." And we are all better for it.
Guilty-pleasure TV. You already know what it is. And you, yes you, probably watch some.
It's OK. Don't be afraid to admit it. You know those shows we don't tell other people that we actually really enjoy watching? Or when we do, we say it in that fake ironic way so they know we know how uncool it is, all the while screaming on the inside "OMG, I love that show in a completely unironic way."
What makes us feel guilty about guilty-pleasure TV?
Sure, sometimes it's because the show has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the world and we really don't want to be caught eating popcorn and getting emotionally invested in whether Kim K finds her earring, all while the very fabric of society rips into a million pieces.
Oops. There I go being all judgy again.
But seriously, not all guilty-pleasure television is bad. If nothing else, it's clearly entertaining. And isn't that what entertainment is for? So what's the deal?
Well, let's just call a spade a spade:
People feel guilty about guilty-pleasure TV because of [insert dun dun duuuuuuun sound] stereotypes.
Stereotypes about the type of shows certain people are supposed to watch: "Only geeks/old people/silly teenagers/women watch that!" Or stereotypes about the types of shows certain groups of people are never supposed to watch: "Smart people/black people/socially aware people/guys don't watch that!" Even if no one ever says those words out loud, it's definitely implied. But go ahead, take a sec and say them out loud right now.
Seems silly, right?
Kevin Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe could not agree more.
These two guys love "Gilmore Girls."
Yes, "Gilmore Girls." The early 2000s love letter to white teenage girls and the moms who love them. A show about Lorelai Gilmore, the quick-witted, independent single mother who is the daughter of rich upper-crust parents, Rory, her wise-beyond-her-years, studious daughter who is also kind of her best friend, and their quirky little make-believe New England town. It's a show that launched a thousand (still thriving) chat rooms, fan fiction sites, quotes, catchphrases, and 10-year-long debates over which guy should have gotten the girl.
There are a lot of "Gilmore Girls" fans out there. And rightfully so. The show was a critical fave for its sharp dialogue, progressive depiction of gender and family norms, and all around lovable (if prickly) characters.
But it's not a show that anyone would expect two men to fanboy out over. Simply put, it's always been considered kind of ... well ... a teenage girl thing. Until the "Gilmore Guys."
Kevin and Demi love the show so much that they created a podcast just to talk about it.
In this video, they explain how the podcast came to be and how amazing the response to it has been:
They are determined to forever kill the joke "A guy watches what??" There's no punchline or schtick here. Only love. And that experience has taught them so much — not just about "Gilmore Girls" (which they dutifully discuss, episode by episode) but about identity, gender norms, and, yes, stereotypes.
"We're just operating from our perspective as two heterosexual males. It can be an earnest and sincere examination or appreciation of this or that and we don't have to get locked into these ideas of like 'Well if it's got girls in the title, I'm out! No "Gossip Girl" for me, no "Golden Girls," no "New Girl."'"
Having an audience that's mostly women has also taught them a thing or two about feminism.
"When we say we're feminists, we very much acknowledge that we're learning feminists. I think having a listenership that's mostly female is very helpful in people going like, 'Oh, hey, you got this wrong' or 'Hey, it's pretty offensive when you say something like that' or 'Oh hey you should know this.' And we go, 'OK, that's very good to know. Thank you, thank you!'"
Not only have they upped their feminism game, but they've given countless hours of enjoyment to "Gilmore Girls" fans.
Their podcast is a great reminder that it's OK to like what you like, even if it's not what's expected of you.
In the process, you might even end up inspiring others and learning a thing or two that could make you a better human.
So thank you, "Gilmore Girls," for giving us the "Gilmore Guys." You have inspired me to confess to the world that I, an adult black woman, also binge-watched "Gilmore Girls" this year. I did so after completing the full "Dawson's Creek" series and — this is a hard one to admit — re-watching the pre-divorce seasons of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." And I would do it all again.