When asked about my favourite tv show, the answer is unequivocally the same every time: Gilmore Girls. A Saturday night staple during my high school years, my mum, sister and I would settle down at 7.30 and have ‘girl time’. Feet tucked under us on the couch, dessert in hand (I mean, I challenge you, I really do, to watch this show without eating!), ready to laugh at Lorelai and Rory’s antics and wax lyrical about how Luke was “a bit of all right”.
Now I am not saying this ritual lasted forever. Eventually Mum got tired of watching it, then the Australian networks took it off air and I had to resort to waiting to get my hands on the DVDs. But 15 years after the show first began, I am still going back to it. It is the first show to be recommended to friends, and it is an endless source of references. And I have grown with it. I remember wishing when I was 13 that I liked coffee because Rory and Lorelai did. I remember wishing I could be Rory because she was so geek-chic. Now I am older and can’t get through my day without a coffee, I find myself wanting to be Lorelai.
Years later, Gilmore Girls became a daily morning tea conversation with my fellow bloggers when we all worked together in an office in Melbourne’s CBD. Emma had started watching it for the first time. And it created a monster. I’m talking interrogations over coffee every morning about what she had seen the night before, to which Melpo and I would make significant facial expressions at each other, knowing what was looming in the upcoming storylines, trying not to give away too many spoilers, and me doing my best Michel impersonations. Sarah has been the latest to jump on the wagon, and with, what can only be described as herculean effort, managed to watch all seven seasons in a matter of weeks in preparation for us all attending Oz Comic Con.
So, with all that in mind, you can imagine how excited we all were to get to Oz Comic Con and meet Scott Patterson, aka Luke Danes, in the flesh. There was preparation involved. Flannel shirts had to be acquired, for it is the uniform, is it not? Sarah had to pull an all-nighter to see the series finale to avoid any spoilers at the panel. There was a customary diner-style breakfast of pancakes to be consumed beforehand. But get there, we did, in all our flannel-shirted glory.
Scott Patterson was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actor who is so supportive of their fan base. Having watched the Gilmore Girls reunion panel at the ATX Festival (you can watch here), I knew Patterson supported fans in their wishes for a movie. But to see him, sitting on a stage only metres away and exclaim, “Let’s cut the bullshit and give fans what they want!” to rapturous applause was something else.
What I found interesting, is hearing at the ATX panel that the cast didn’t know the finale was actually going to be a finale. Yet that episode wraps up so many elements of the show, it really feels like saying goodbye in the most bittersweet of ways. So I asked, was there any sense while filming that episode, that this was the end? It was almost gratifying to hear him say that he wasn’t surprised at all. When creator and Executive Producer, Amy Sherman-Palladino wasn’t offered a two-year contract with the studio, after six seasons, she “took it very personally and decided to walk”. He went on to say that without Amy, “There didn’t seem to be willingness…to come back..and do that again. If Amy had come back I think maybe it might’ve been a different story. But yeah…I wasn’t surprised when I got the call. Not surprised at all.”
Disappointingly, as the show aired so many years ago, the cast don’t remember a great deal about the episodes. This was evident both at this panel, and at ATX. But our trusty Melpo was able to weasel out one memory from Patterson. A classic moment, that drew laughter from the audience: Luke pushing Jess into the lake. We can, exclusively (?) reveal that it only took one take to get that right, and it really was Milo Ventimiglia falling into the lake. Not a stunt double in sight.
Aside from the obvious joy of being able to share questions with Patterson and the fans in the audience, it was refreshing to hear from someone as down-to-earth as he was. It’s easy to get star struck and hard to remember these stars are normal people. That moment of clarity came when hearing Patterson talk of his time after he gave up professional baseball. He took some time off wandering around Europe, trying to decide what he was going to do with his life now (and ended up stumbling on acting through a friend). If that isn’t a rite of passage for many 20-somethings, I don’t know what is!
Of course, I promptly forgot all this and started to freak out when it came to photo time. But Patterson was great. He was rapt with our wardrobe choice and referred to us as the “flannel brigade” and thanked us for our great outfits when we left. A better captain of the fans you could not find! Here’s hoping he can help us finally get that Gilmore Girls movie we have all been waiting for!
Are you a Gilmore Girls fan? Tell us about your favourite scene below!
Have you read Melpo’s recap of our day at Oz Comic Con? Click here to read more.