Can We Please Give It Up for Amy Sherman-Palladino?
When a reporter of the Jewish Journal of Greater L.A. asked Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator and executive producer of WB’s acclaimed series Gilmore Girls, whether she’d be introducing more Jewish characters into her TV show, Amy replied: “By year seven, everyone on the show will be Jewish,” she says. “Believe me, it’s going to be the Chabad telethon.”
I guess the line is funnier if you know Gilmore Girls—a show about a single mom raising her teen daughter—is set in a fictional WASPy Connecticut town.
It’s this kind of fast shtick and patter that has made the Gilmore Girls so beloved among its cult-like following for the past six years. It was announced recently that Amy, who wrote or had her hands in writing every single of episode of the series, is leaving the show over a dispute with the network. (No, not over money, but about being denied more staff to help ease the insane schedule of her and co-executive producer Dan Palladino.)
I just wanted to give props to 30-something Amy, who brought us some of the most fabulously funny and emotionally rich females—wait, make that all characters—on TV. I watched as young mother Lorelei navigated the ups and downs of raising a daughter who was also her best buddy; as daughter Rory handled the emotional tug-of-war that came from going off to college, her life’s dream, while leaving her mom to cope; and the often volatile relationship between Lorelei and her parents, filled with passive-aggressive jokes, hurt feelings, and surprising moments of sweetness.
Yes, Gilmore Girls will go on next year under a new head writer, but it can’t possibly be the same. Amy, wherever you are, thank you for fighting to make the show follow your original vision in a world known for formulaic gunk, staying true to character development (even when fans wanted fairy tales), and showing us that a project with meaningful substance and humor is possible. You are my Jewish inspiration.