Written by Journalism Staff Reporter Mia Rooney
A couple of years ago, I started watching the Netflix series Gilmore Girls. I genuinely loved all the characters, but I connected mostly with Rory Gilmore. She had all the qualities I adored: dorky, studious, coffee addict, and sweet. She was that good girl character younger teenage girls could compare themselves to. But shortly after season three, I started to like Rory less and less. She’d gone from a sweet and loving girl, to a completely unlikeable one.
In the beginning of the show, Rory is a child prodigy, she’s super smart and bubbly. Her only goal is to go to Harvard; a dream she and her mother share. However, this goal seems to be completely overthrown as the seasons progress. She changes completely, the once adoring character I loved had now become a cheater, a liar, selfish, and a thief. She’d body shame and hate on other women and refused to recognize her privilege in life. She was unappreciative of her mother and the sacrifices she made for Rory. The changes in her character completely ruined my compassion and fondness for her.
Throughout the TV series, Rory was held on a pedestal by everyone. In her mother's eyes, Rory was perfect; in her grandparents' eyes, she was perfect; even the townsfolk thought Rory was perfect. Rory did no wrong. Obviously, that’s going to give Rory an ego, she deserves whatever she wants and should receive no consequences for taking it. She was willing to cheat on Dean because Jess suited her interests more. Then when she and Jess broke up, she was more than happy to have an affair with Dean, who was married. After being caught cheating with Dean, she had no obligation to take accountability or apologize, instead saying, “he’s my Dean!” Then, once again, cheating on another boyfriend in Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life (mind you, she’s in her 30s). Where was the growth? Where was the taking accountability and making better choices? There was no growth because no one ever held her accountable. That’s where my deep-rooted dislike for Rory is; she had no character growth, she continued to make the same mistakes and received absolutely no character development with it.
But was that really her fault? Rory never really received real consequences for mistakes she made. While you could pass off actions she made when she was a teenage girl (Lord knows we were all crazy as teenagers), college year, Rory really fell off. She’d break down when she received ANY criticism, eventually even dropping out of Yale and stealing a yacht. Once again, after both events, she received no real punishment. In fact, her grandparents gave her their private outdoor house to live in AND made her head of some club her grandmother was in.
When watching TV shows, we viewers enjoy watching the development of characters. Of course, no one is perfect, but when they do make mistakes, they learn and grow from them. And that’s what I hate most about Rory. She’s free to make as many mistakes as possible based on what she wants, but she never learns from them. So, instead of being flawed, she’s just a bad person. Is her character a warning about spoiling children, or just bad writing? Who knows? What I do know, however, is that Rory is the worst character in the Gilmore Girls series, and I'm disappointed to see what she became.
Spotlight image created in Canva by Mia Rooney