Gilmore Girls was known mostly for the banter between mother Lorelei (Lauren Graham) and daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel), but when I recently re-watched a classic episode I was reminded that the fun was also spread amongst the supporting cast. "Raincoats and Recipes" was the last episode of the fourth season and was the culmination of the Luke/Lorelei connection that had been brewing since the show's very first episode.
There is a school of thought that subscribes to the belief that once a show's central relationship is realized and the sexual tension is lost that the show has jumped the proverbial shark. I disagree with that notion for a couple of reasons. First, it is often just as difficult to find reasons to keep two characters apart as it is to successfully write them together. Second, if the showrunners and writers are talented, then the relationship can be just as fun to watch as the build up to the inevitable get together.
Graham and Scott Patterson did a fantastic and unfortunately mostly underrated job of making Lorelei and Luke a perfect match. In "Raincoats" they both bubble with the excitement of finally admitting their feelings for one another.
And yet, despite that major storyline and Rory and Dean's relationship going to the next level, there are great things happening with all the characters. The ensemble cast provides a lot of the comic relief in the episode and demonstrated that the show struck a good balance between the main characters and the supporting cast. One of the best lines was from Babette who says to Luke, "I think Kirk wants you to go upstairs and make love to him." This followed Kirk making obvious gestures that he and Lulu were heading to bed because Luke was tasked with coming to the rescue if Kirk had a night terror. Goofy perhaps, but still fun.
Gilmore Girls ran for seven seasons and, with the exception of parts of seasons six and seven, excellently balanced the family drama with the goings on of the eccentric townspeople. I miss having a show on air that prompts such a genuine smile.
An ancillary benefit of re-watching some episodes is that I am getting my money's worth on these boxed sets that I purchased at full price but are now frequently on sale for fifteen bucks.