Social Media and Digital Business invades Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival series on Netflix and plan on watching STOP READING!!!

As a large Gilmore Girls fan, I was excited as ever to watch the revival series which came out on November 25th, 2016! Perfectly planned so after staying up all night Black Friday shopping, Netflix has the entire revival lined up in the queue.

imgres-1

While watching the first season “Winter” (for the first time) I could not get over how often they tried to bring in new and one could say hip technology into the show. Excited that I needed to blog for class this week I decided to bring each of those to center stage and share my commentary on them. The producers use each social media site and digital business rather humorously. Shall we begin…

  1. Smart Watch: “watching Zoolander 2 on his watch” – Lorelai is proving a point by hypothetically suggesting Rory has a smart watch owning dog. images-1.jpgIt surprised me because when would Stars Hallow ever know about Smart Watches in the past?!?!
  2. 3 Cell Phones: Personal phone, work phone, and a phone that gets reception in Stars Hallow – most likely included to mock the way we are attached to our phones these days like leashes. Rory ends up standing on the shelves at the grocery store to get reception!
  3. Fitbit: While Rory is running around trying to find reception, she calls to her Mom inviting her to run alongside her where Lorelai responds with “I already got my steps in today!” What a sly way to suggest Lorelai is keeping up her steps on her Fitbit (or other fitness tool).
  4. Uber: Kirk invited Lorelai to become his first client on his new ride share business called “ÖÖÖ-ber” where they call his mother who finds him who picks them up – no app necessary!Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 10.53.45 PM.pngHe highly encourages that peolpe call his mom with ratings post-ride.
  5. Magazine Subscriptions: What a blast from the past! Luke is telling Rory that he subscribes to her magazine and actually receives it in the mail. Reading theSkimm in my bed or articles on my newsfeed are the closest things I get to a magazine these days.imgres.jpg
  6. Sound systems: Lorelai uses her phone to turn on an annoying song on the surround sound system and leave the room to playfully punish Luke. Can’t say that’s something I haven’t done to my roommates before!
    1. This is where I noticed how much they seem to use their smart phones – probably a reflection of our society today and how much is on that little screen. I spend that much time during the day, if not more with my face glued to my iPhone
  7. Paul so lovingly brings Lorelai virus protection software on a flash drive. First off I cannot remember the last time I used a flash drive and second I do not know why Rory is dating this guy or what attraction she has to him! PS he weirdly remembered the stickers that Lorelai has on her laptop case.
  8. Luke gets mad at Lorelai for filling up the DVR with stupid movies – I agree with him and Netflix is much better than recording TV, no commercials! Also, According to the Huffington Post, Netflix is crushing cable.
    1. At this point I am becoming disappointed with the writers because Gilmore Girls used to be so funny without the occasional drop of current technologies, let’s get back to that witty humor! – However, the writers back then probably incorporated new technologies and gadgets that were relevant to the times. Maybe I am just used to Gilmore Girls being a classic and a show from the past that I am struggling to adjust to a more current adaptation.
  9. The need to document everything: Rory hides Lorelai’s phone so she cannot take a video of her late night tap dancing. Smart girl because parents LOVE to document embarrassing things their kids do. tumblr_mfjyywoFIC1rrx8xeo4_250.gif
  10. What’s the Wifi Password? At Luke’s Diner he keeps giving out the wrong Wifi password to the customers and is asked every time he engages with a customer. Pretty funny considering anywhere you go people are always searching for the magical password. (later Taylor calls him out for it and explains to everyone that he is doing that so they interact face to face more saying “this isn’t your office, it’s a diner – go home!”)images-2.jpg
  11. Twitter: Lorelai makes fun of a pop up chef in their restaurnt becasue he tweets, clearly she does not understand how twitter works becasue the type of tweeting she is mocking actually works! The chef being popular on Twitter is what defines him “cool” to Lorelai.
  12. Phone on Vibrate: small thing to notice, but Lorelai’s phone does not even ring with a song, but you can hear the vibrate tone. That is very common currently
  13. Yelp: Paris tells Lorelai and Luke to check her fertility clinic’s yelp approval rating. Very odd, very Paris, very aggressive. Check out business ratings on Yelp at https://biz.yelp.com/.

Now as I have moved onto (and not finished) the “Spring” season, Logan starts off the episode with his conveinently palced Windows tablet that he conveinently angles that you can see the Windows logo on the back in the entire screen. Most of the other plugs seem natural and generic, yet this one seems very staged. I would be surprised if Windows did not pay for that plug.logan-gilmore-girls-revival_jwxodm.pngCoincidence that Gilmore Girls is exclusively streamed in 4K on edge on Windows 10 devices? I think not…

Overall, besides the Windows tablet that Logan was using which was clearly a promotion, the producers use technology to strengthen the point of passing time.

Note: Timely things like; Lorelai explaining how Taylor wishes to change the town from Septic tank over to full sewer, Lorelai organizing her magazines by Kardashians, and the mention of body shaming and trigger warnings were humorous, were not included due to the lack of digital business. All are very relevant to the progression of time and development of the characters.

I believe the integration of modern social media and technology was mildly overdone and exaggerated which ended up appearing very forced. For the efforts of showing the passage of time through the updated technology, I would give Stars Hallow and the Gilmore Girls producers a 7/1o  for the good strategy, but poor execution.

10 comments

  1. kdphilippi18 · ·

    Creative post! I really liked how you noticed all of the social media and digital business elements in the new Gilmore Girls. I haven’t watched it yet, but I don’t think I would have picked up on all of your points. It’s a really interesting opportunity to compare the two shows and see how technology has impacted the development of characters. I wonder if you feel like it was exaggerated and mildly overdone because you are used to the older version and the new technology seemed like a stark difference. Would you feel the same way if we compared more recent shows that came out in the past few years that also had technology incorporated in a similar way? Great job – really interesting post!

  2. Nice post. My daughter (6th grade) is just getting into Gilmore girls now. The technological differences are pretty interesting. Nice work.!

  3. I started watching the new season over the weekend as well and was overwhelmed by how much technology was used

    1. especially for this show. When I watched Gilmore Girls when I was younger they hardly used technology at all. Occasionally you’d see a flip phone. I assumed that they would incorporate iPhones and new tech (FitBits, etc.) into the new season, but was surprised by how much we saw. Its certainly an accurate reflection of how often you see and hear about technology and digital businesses (Uber, etc.) in real life, but it definitely changed this show. They had a teaser trailer for the show that had Rory Googling something on her iPhone and bringing the conversation to a halt, certainly different than the older seasons! Nice post.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post. I have not yet watched the Gilmore Girls revival- but liked your comments and feedback on how social media and digital business is starting to insert itself in tv/movies/etc. I think this is becoming more and more popular- as I have noticed interesting product placements during different tv shows recently. I believe that this is a way for television to stay relevant. It is also interesting to note how the technology posed in this show is applicable (ie: OOOber, Yelp, tablets, etc) and common to the age group of those who used to watch Gilmore Girls when they were growing up (most likely millennials). I believe that this is a way that the producers can relate to the target audience. Overall interesting post- I liked your analysis of the show!

  5. Thoughtful post! It’s weird to see this new technology scattered throughout the show since there is such a significant time difference between the old episodes and new episodes. Rather than making a more realistic transition, they basically had to throw in the “hip” technology all at once. I’ve started to see this more and more in shows like Law & Order: SVU where they constantly refer to Uber and iPads. I’m not sure how necessary it really is to keep up with the time but it’ll be interesting to watch these episodes in 20 years and see how much the technology has changed again!

  6. gabcandelieri · ·

    Awesome post! I love how you picked up on the technological details within the show and ultimately compared them to what the show meant for you in the past. Most people probably disregarded these details as our society is so accustomed to just accepting them as aspects of our new digital way of life. I agree with you that plot lines focused on technological reliance may alienate avid watchers who used GIlmore Girls’ as an escape from this exhausting digital reality. It seems like dedicated viewers were initially drawn to the show’s small town, rustic appeal based in meaningful human connections, which reminds me of Turkle’s TED talk, ‘Connected But Alone.’ The constant need to be connected to the Internet or record everything seems to take away from authentically living in the moment, taking in our surroundings and experiencing them fully.

  7. Loved your post! I too was a fan growing up over the years so when they stated it was coming out with something new like a reunion series of episodes. As I watched this over Thanksgiving I too noticed all the technology and social media references. I remember growing up how the show lacked these things so to see the characters almost grow with us is remarkable. I feel like this show really touches close to home. I do agree that the real lure of Gilmore Girls to me was always their love for eachother without technology it was almost breathtaking. But I do feel that as we grow with social media and tech they had to as well.

  8. Loved your post!! I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan and watching the revival on Netflix was something I was really looking forward to! One of the first things that stuck out to me was the integration of modern technologies into the show itself. Honestly, in the original Gilmore Girls there were times I really did not understand the references going on. However, I knew every modern tech reference. It was crazy to see Gilmore Girls brought into my modern world. I was shocked to see an iPhone in Rory’s hands, Luke fighting with customers over the wifi password, and died laughing at Kirk’s Ooo-ber idea. Although on a audience based level I was a little let down by the revival of the Gilmore Girls, I was defiantly an experience to get to see the Gilmore Girls in a modern world. Great idea for a post and I really liked how you structured it! Great job!

  9. olearycal · ·

    I was really glad they included all the technology references because I think to ignore them would have been a denial of the times we are in. It’s funny when you watch the fourth season and one episode depends on the use of a pager and then you look at today and I don’t even understand how a pager works. Technology has become so integrated into our lives and we don’t even realize it all the time. I think the contrast in the shows allows us to see how much has really changed but also that our relationships don’t have to change with technology.

%d bloggers like this: