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The WB's Golden Girls, 01.22.01 ...

In all the media hubbub over the Thursday-night face-off between NBCís perennial (but lately straining-for-laughs) smash Friends and CBSís megahyped phenom Survivor, letís not forget WBís charming little sleeper that quietly airs in the same contentious time period (8 pm/ET) and has become our favorite underdog.

Gilmore Girls, one of the very few creative triumphs of a lackluster season, deserves a much higher profile than occupying a death slot on an upstart network, but the good news is that WB (whose parent studio produces the show) is unlikely to give it a premature send-off.

The even better news is the consistently high entertainment value of this heartfelt and often hilarious comedy-drama about two adorably wry Gilmore girls named Lorelai: a single mom who got pregnant at 16, fled her blue-blood upbringing and now runs an inn, and her sweet-16 daughter, nicknamed Rory, whom Lorelai considers "a great, cool kid and the best friend a girl could have."

As a duo known for junk-food binges while watching Willy Wonka on video, Lauren Graham (Lorelai) and Alexis Bledel (Rory) enjoy an unforced chemistry while engaging in banter thatís warm, witty and full of life.

But much to the horror of the glib and often flighty Lorelai (Rory describes her as "90 percent water and 10 percent caffeine"), the studious and sensible Rory is being lured into the world of privilege that Lorelai rejected: She attends a pricey private school and harbors ambitions of Harvard while bonding with her stuffy yet sympathetic grandparents (brittle Kelly Bishop and droll Edward Herrmann, both absolutely marvelous).

The complacency of Lorelai and Roryís cozily bohemian existence in the eccentric hamlet of Stars Hollow, Connecticut (which rivals Edís Stuckeyville for benign quirkiness), is tested by Roryís growing pains ó including romance with a dreamboat who actually appreciates Dorothy Parker ó and the increased interference of the grandparents.

Everyone in Stars Hollow, from Sally Struthers as a daffy neighbor to Liz Torres as a flamboyant dance teacher, seems to take an active interest in the happiness of these Gilmore girls. Little wonder. Theyíre both keepers.
Credit: TV Guide

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