teenage grant

Amandla Stenberg to star in Black Lives Matter-inspired film

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg is returning to the silver screen to star in the forthcoming Black Lives Matter-inspired film The Hate U Give, based on a young adult novel of the same name. The novel was inspired by the 2009 murder of unarmed black teenager Oscar Grant, according to the Variety.

The novel, The Hate U Give, tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who attends a suburban prep school after being raised in a neighborhood in poverty. Her conflicting worlds erupt when she witnesses a traumatizing violent act.

The Lorelai Factor: A (Short) Analysis of Teenagers in Gilmore Girls

Does anyone think that the reason Emily and Richard are so critical of what Rory and Jess and Dean and other teenagers do is because of Lorelai?

Because I saw a Jess-centric gifset on my dash, and one of the gifs was his “Oh yeah, I want to be buried there” response to Emily’s comments about Wal-Mart, and it occurred to me that Emily and Richard are incredibly critical of the jobs and ambitions teenagers have. Granted, they are critical of both Dean and Jess because they’re dating their granddaughter, but they don’t treat their present, teen choices as the temporary things they are. They aren’t understanding of Dean’s not knowing what he’s going to study in college because he’s sixteen and hey, some people don’t figure that out until they’re in college; or of Jess working at Wal-Mart because teens have jobs and they’re usually all temporary. Some of this is natural bias, as Rory knows what she’s doing and where she’s going. Richard knew as a child what he wanted to be as an adult. But I wonder if this attitude goes beyond that–if it stems from Lorelai.

Because everything that Lorelai did as a teen was permanent. She had a baby. She left home. She got a job at an inn. All of these things are still true sixteen years later, when she’s an adult, and I think that’s skewed the way Emily and Richard see the teenage years. Rory they don’t have to worry about because she has her future decided (although they are still petrified of her getting pregnant and abandoning that future), but these boys she brings around? These boys that don’t? Well, they think, if they don’t know now they never will. They’ll always work at Wal-Mart. They will never grow beyond it. And Wal-Mart just isn’t good enough.

I think one reason why both Emily and Richard were so understanding and accepting of Rory’s taking time off of Yale, is because she was twenty. She was already in college, and was now just “doing what college students do”. Strangely, college was more a time of impermanence to them than high school, and I think a great deal of that had to do with them having no Lorelai-shaped frame of reference. Also, Rory had made it out of the “danger zone” of her teen years. They didn’t have to worry about her getting pregnant at sixteen. They didn’t have  to worry about her foregoing college. Because she was there. She’d enrolled. And if she took time off, so what? Figuring yourself out is what college is for. Also, she was with Logan now, who was still enrolled. Logan, from a “good” family. Logan, who had probably never stepped foot in a Wal-Mart in his life, and had his entire future planned by his parents. Those things–that pedigree–were acceptable, even though his high school years were (I’d argue) more tumultuous than Jess’. Logan met their standards, and spoke their language, and they didn’t have to worry about what Rory’s future would look like. Even though there was the threat of her not getting a degree herself. Even if she never had a career.

Obviously, Emily and Richard didn’t want Rory to drop out of Yale (Richard especially), but they are much more calm and understanding than Lorelai. Their reaction also stands in direct contrast to how critical they were of Jess and Dean, and of Rory during the few times she messed up (see: “Rory’s Dance”). It’s really fascinating to think that, had they recognised that not all teenagers make such permanent decisions as Lorelai, they might have reacted to Rory’s leaving Yale differently. They might have viewed her stealing a yacht in a different light. There would also have been an entirely different dynamic between them and Rory’s boyfriends, which I think would have changed the show in a lot of ways.

Conversely, what if Lorelai didn’t work at an inn when the show started? What if one of her teenage decisions hadn’t stuck? Would their attitudes have changed, if their daughter’s life at thirty-two didn’t so resemble her life at seventeen?

In light of this, I really hope the revival gives us a scene between Emily and Jess. I’d love to see how she reacts to him, and his life, now that he’s an adult. I’d hope that she’d reflect on where he was when they first met, and maybe recognise (to herself, or to Rory, or Lorelai, because I doubt she’d say anything to him) that she was too swift to pass judgement on a teenager’s job. It’s almost a shame that this revival didn’t happen sooner, when April could still be in high school, and we could see if Emily treats April’s actions (and boyfriends/girlfriends) like she did Rory’s. Or if, having seen how much Rory’s life differs from her mother’s, she takes a different road.