one of the saddest moments for me in the revival was the moment that lorelai revealed that when she was thirteen, she was called “weird” and “loud” and essentially told that there was no way she was actually a gilmore because of this.
she was so different, so not what a girl, especially a girl of her circumstance, was supposed to be. so here’s this vivacious, witty, quirky little girl with bright blue eyes who probably makes jokes and says the wrong thing and has a thirst for a life outside of what she knows that even the kids, with their trickled down opinions from their parents, bully her.
and it crushed her. the thought of not being a gilmore, of not belonging, crushed her.
yes, her mother and her never saw eye to eye, and lorelai probably sensed she never quite fit in - believing that she’d fill that void in the form a boy - and then her whole school all but admitted as much to her, that she was never going to fit in. ever.
the life she had was suffocating her, because for as many doors as money opens, it closes so many other options that lorelai found much more appealing.
and then she found stars hollow. this weird, eccentric, quirky little town where she actually fit in. she wasn’t the weirdest person there - she was simply one of many.
she fit in. she belonged.
and with this acceptance came a guy who found it endearing that she was “weird” and “loud”…he even loved her for it.
for lorelai, it was never about not wanting to be a gilmore, if anything, it was about her never feeling like she was. and ultimately the altering of the definition of what being a gilmore really was. not money, not perfection.
i had this friend. loud, vivacious, and brimming with energy and colour. her sun-bright smile drew others to her like moths to flame; and yet she could always pick me out from the crowd effortlessly. i wondered how she did that, why she’d pick me over many.
she was the kind of person you could never look away from for long, but i saw her better from my peripherals. when she lifted her chin, her face would become awash with glowing light; and then she’d laugh about her pale skin, and the ruddy cheeks and dark freckles would appear again, as if they’d momentarily blanked out. when she grew protective, her blue eyes would spark dangerously and burn white; and then she’d blink, and the glint of her glasses would stand in with explanation.
but i saw her best from the back. when she’d run, her fire-bright curls would flare out behind her like wings.
as flighty as she was, she always came back to me. i wondered why.
she told me, once.
one day, before class had started, when i was in the middle of falling asleep in the sunbeam warming my desk, she turned around in her seat to talk to me. she spoke with her whole body, from her waving hands to her bouncing shoulders.
then she petered off, and settled into stillness. watchfulness. despite all the eyes on her, she only saw me.
“hey,” she said. “could you look at me for a sec?”
and when i lifted my head to look at her straight on, she smiled as if she’d found the answer.
“look at that,” she murmured. “your eyes have halos in them too.”
victor fell in love with a vivacious, warm and charismatic drunk yuuri who convinced a room full of ice skaters to throw down on a stripper pole at a banquet, then had to watch him walk away from without a single word as if he hadn’t stolen his heart.
“Layton’s assistant is a bright and vivacious girl who loves taking pictures and keeps her trusty camera with her at all times. Emmy also boasts excellent martial-arts skills and can topple a man several times her size, making her a valuable ally”
Black Mirror's San Junipero or how to dismantle the Bury Your Gays trope [Heavy spoilers]
I’ve written a little about the BYG trope before and if you
follow media critics at all, you’ll know the death toll of women in
relationships with women on TV shows in particular is seemingly ever rising.
Black Mirror is a speculative fiction anthology series known
for its grim and dark themes. Originally broadcast on Channel 4, the British
series only ran two seasons of three episodes each and one Christmas special,
but was subsequently recommissioned by Netflix. “San Junipero” is the
fourth episode of the Netflix season.
San Junipero focuses on the romance between two women: a
young shy white glasses-wearing lesbian named Yorkie and a vivacious joyful
passionate fun-loving black bisexual young woman named Kelly. In any normal
Black Mirror, you’d expect a grim ending. And with the prevalence of the BYG
trope on TV, this is an even greater possibility. But San Junipero is not a
normal Black Mirror episode.
Charlie Brooker, creator and writer of Black Mirror, is
obviously aware of the BYG trope. And he has endeavoured to shatter it to
pieces. San Junipero is a story about love between two women. But it’s also a
story about dying. And both the main characters are dying. This is clearly a
conscious decision. Everything about the episode not only alludes to BYG, but
calls for it. All the narrative justifications are there for it to happen. But
Charlie Brooker decides to show that there is no such thing as “it had to
When we first meet Yorkie and Kelly, they are two young
women meeting in a nightclub of the party town of San Junipero in the 80s. But
in true Black Mirror fashion, appearances are deceptive. San Junipero is not a
real place. San Junipero is one of the many settings in a virtual reality
program. Elderly patients in nursing homes can choose to upload their
consciousness to the program after death. And before that they can spend up to
five hours a week in it as a test-run. Yorkie and Kelly met during their
Yorkie is a quadriplegic 60+ year old woman. She has spent
her entire life in a hospital bed and
now she is nearing the end of her life, she has chosen to upload herself to San
Junipero. Kelly, also in her sixties, has been diagnosed with cancer and has been
given a few months to live. This is the first part of the BYG subversion by the
episode. The girls are dying, but they’re old women who have lived long lives. This isn’t a case of a young
woman getting hit by a stray bullet. Their deaths do not feel premature. And
they aren’t certain either. Yorkie has chosen the time of her “death”
willingly and it is not a death per se, just a passing into the virtual world
of San Junipero. As to Kelly, she has outlived every dire prognoses she has been
given thus far.
However, Kelly, who is bisexual, is still grieving her
husband’s death and when Yorkie asks her to upload to San Junipero with her,
she flat out refuses. Her husband did not go into the virtual reality program
after his death and she feels like she cannot go when he did not. This decision
leads to a fight with Yorkie, after which Kelly gets in her car and speed
drives away before crashing and lying unmoving on the road. But this is San
Junipero. This is a virtual world. Nobody dies here. Not ever. In San Junipero,
women who love women are immortal and invincible and Kelly just gets back up.
Kelly finally comes to the realisation that it is okay for
her to move on and thats he isn’t betraying her husband for doing so. The girls
go on to live together, in a literal happily ever after - and all too rarely
seen - in San Junipero.
Seeing a same sex couple both live through the entire story and
end up together would be groundbreaking enough, but seeing this in a narrative
that seemed to demand death, in a TV show that has never had a happy ending
before (one hopeful ending in episode 1 of season 3) is not just a great decision
to see, it’s an indictment of every other show who has killed their lesbian and
bisexual female characters and a way to raise the bar for all future show.
It’s worth noting that the episode also made a lot of
efforts to put forward the validity of the characters’ sexuality and diversify the
usual representation of wlw characters:
- wlw characters often tend to be white but Kelly is a black
- wlw characters are often young. The episode played with
that perception by making the characters’ youth turn out to be an illusion and
both women are actually over sixty, which also shows that same sex attraction
is not a phase. It’s a lifelong thing. Yorkie and Kelly loved girls at 20 and
they love them still at 60.
- bisexual women are just waiting for the right person to
decide their orientation: Kelly’s relationship with her husband and her budding
romance with Yorkie are given equal weight. Nobody ever assumes that maybe
Kelly was into girls all along and she was just still in the closet when she
was with her husband. There is an absolutely magnificent monologue from Kelly
towards the end in which she explains to Yorkie just how much her husband and
the forty years they spent together meant to her.
- bisexual women are promiscuous: again, the episode plays
with the perception. When we first meet Kelly, she is adamant that she is not
going to have a relationship, that she only wants harmless fun. But we then
find out that she is just finding it difficult to move on from her husband’s
death and wishes to be faithful to his memory. Her speech about him also makes
it clear that although she has always known she was also into women, she has
never even been tempted to have a relationship with a woman because she loved
her husband and was faithful to him for the entirety of their marriage.
EDIT: upon rewatching, I noticed clues indicating Yorkie and Kelly are actually in their seventies, and not their sixties as I had previously estimated.
Edit 2: Scratch that, somebody pointed out Yorkie is indeed in her sixties, while Kelly is 73. Also added a gif because it made me smile.