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TV's First Java Teen, 11.26.01 ...


"Gilmore Girls" loyalists take their sassy comedy with cream and sugar.

On paper, at least, the WB's "Gilmore" tells the story of 32-year-old (going on 16) single-mom Lorelai Gilmore and Rory, her16-going-on-32 daughter.

But the show's third star is really "Mr. Coffee."

For an hour each Tuesday night, Lorelai (played by Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) drink coffee, talk about coffee and conspire how they'll get their next cup.

Young Rory Gilmore appears to be TV's first java-swilling teen, says Marc Berman, TV analyst for Mediaweek magazine.

"There's never been a show where coffee is this relevant to the story line," says Berman.

Lorelai and Rory's on-screen love affair with the steamy, caffeinated beverage is a running gag acknowledged by loyal "Gilmore" viewers.

One fan web site carries a "You know you watch too much Gilmore girls when . . . " list that has at No. 16: "You drink coffee all day hoping it'll make you a Gilmore."

That's followed at No. 19 by: "You go to a coffee shop every day at 4:12."

As "Gilmore" writers put a couple of cups of java into Rory's eager hand every week, they're also highlighting coffee's growing real-life popularity with younger consumers.

Not suprisingly, it's a success that most industry insiders are reluctant to talk about, said Mike Ferguson, communications director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Coffee trade groups avoid statistical studies of teen coffee drinking because they fear a parental backlash, according to Ferguson, who's not ashamed of his industry's teen appeal.

"The coffee house is the [modern] soda shop," Ferguson said.

It is forever hard to tell who followed whom - did teens get the idea it was okay to drink coffee from the TV show? Or was it the other way around?

No matter. as mother and daughter deal with poignant heartbreak each week, coffee proves to be their ultimate comfort food. "The premise of the show is that they're really friends more than a typical parent-child relationship," Berman said. "You'd think that a [typical] parent isn't going to bring coffee to a teenage daughter."

Sometimes, coffee is there to enhance other storylines.

A consistent character quirk in "Gilmore" is Rory's obsession with Harvard. So when mother and daughter finally tour the campus, they celebrate the opportunity just to drink guess-what on sacred ground

"I'm ordering coffee at Harvard!" says a giddy Rory.

The lure of coffee has also driven mother and daughter to conive and lie.

After an argument between the mother are her sometimes-love interest and main caffeine supplier, diner-owner Luke, Lorelai convinces her daughter to secretly buy her a second cup of coffee from Luke.

Of course, Luke quickly figures out the sham and sells Rory just one cup of coffee.

A disappointed and desperate Lorelai: "Did you do the blinky thing? You always do the blinky thing when you're lying."

Rory: "I didn't have to do the blinky thing. He knows you well enough to know that you're not gonna go a whole day with no coffee."

Lorelai: "Ugh!"

Rory: "Why don't you go in there now and just make up?"

Lorelai: "Why don't you give me half your Danish and some coffee?"

Rory: "I'll give you the Danish but I'm keeping the coffee."

Lorelai: "What is a Danish without coffee? . . . There's no point in even eating a Danish without coffee."

Rory: "I'm going to school."

Lorelai, holding up her Danish: "Sad Danish, lonely Danish, step-Danish."

Lorelai must stand on sidewalk, where she comically offers money to kids passing by to go into the diner and buy her a coffee fix.
Credit: NY Post


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