By now, pretty much any Gilmore Girls fan knows about the show’s four-part revival, which hit Netflix on November 25th. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life takes us back to the series created by show runner Amy Sherman-Palladino. On Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20, Los-Angeles fans got a taste of the Hollow, when Netflix transformed UCLA’s Dickson’s Hall into this charming town.
I arrived on Sunday with a VIP pass, as a consolation prize for getting turned away at the Gilmore Girls premiere on Friday night. My best friend from 6th grade had flown in specifically for the premiere, but she wasn’t able to join me at the Netflix event. I went alone, knowing I’d be in good company, surrounded by other fanatics.
My VIP pass led me to the front of the line, bypassing hundreds of guests waiting to enter. Stepping foot in the makeshift town was like walking onto hollowed ground, no pun intended. The court was set up with different Gilmore Girls landmarks, and guests waited in line to get their picture taken by friendly staff who were just like I’d imagine Star Hollowers to be. At the first station, I made friends with Diana. She too was alone, and had waited in standby for over three hours. We quickly decided to peruse the town together.
The magic of the show was everywhere I turned. Even though none of the cast was at the Sunday event and we got uncharacteristically deluged by rain, the downpour hardly dampened anyone’s spirits. The weather seemed to add to the charm, making us feel like we really were in Connecticut. Guests walked through the area with “In Omnia Paratus” umbrellas—a lovely gesture by Netflix that was just one of many. While the umbrellas had to remain on site, a “Luke’s” station offered free coffee. Buttons were provided at “Kirk’s Buttons,” and Taylor’s Soda Shoppe gave out free candy. Even a Stars Hollow post office got into the giving spirit, allowing people to mail two free postcards.
Diana and I both noticed the joviality inside “Stars Hollow,” which was unsurprising since Gilmore Girls was built on the premise of female empowerment and the special relationship between women. This was so evident as women (and the few men) ambled through the town with perpetual smiles on their faces. Some people went to even greater lengths to show their devotion. One guest showed up as Rory and became an instant hit, with other guests, including myself, asking her to be in a picture. A man and at least one woman dressed up as Luke. One woman dressed up as Sookie, complete with a bandana and two pigtails. Too many women to count wore shirts with Gilmore Girls words and phrases, and we were a gratifyingly diverse crowd.
I left as “That’s Where the Colors Don’t Go” played over the loudspeakers, as part of a rotation of Gilmore Girls songs. My legs were killing me after three hours strolling around, but the experience was worth it. For an afternoon, I was a Gilmore Girl.
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Guest post by Shannon Luders-Maunel. Shannon is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Essence.com, The Establishment, and For Harriet, among others.
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Did you go to Stars Hollow in November? What TV show would you most like to step into? Please share your thoughts in the comments.