A cantankerous uncle and his disobedient nephew live in a room on top of a diner. It's a sentence that could warrant its own show, but, in reality, just describes the weird relationship between Luke Danes and Jess Mariano, two of Gilmore Girls' leading men. Though Jess' tenure was significantly shorter than Luke's, it doesn't take an advanced Gilmore Girl binge-watcher to see that aside from sharing basic DNA via Luke's sister, Luke and Jess have a LOT in common. In fact, they're basically the same person.
OK, maybe that's a gross exaggeration. I don't think Luke shares Jess' love of punk rock, and I can't imagine Jess wearing a backwards cap. (Well, except for that time where he put one on with a flannel in order to mock his uncle's uniform). Their backstories, from their relationships with their fathers to the area in which they were raised, are definitely eons apart. HOWEVER, once Jess enters the picture, there are a notable number of story arc comparisons between he and Luke. And those comparisons are particularly strong when they get involved with a certain dark-haired, blue-eyed mother-daughter duo.
It may sound ridiculous, but I think I have sufficient proof. Here are seven commonalities between our favorite two Gilmore guys.
1. They're Both Remarkably Bad at Emoting
Their constant mood is, at best, "generalized chip-on-the-shoulder." Otherwise, you go through a whole guessing game wondering what they're feeling.
2. They're Really Big On Grand gestures
Their lack of emotiveness makes up for the fact that, when they come through for someone, they really go big. And not in an ostentatious way either. Instead, they come through in sweeter, more behind-the-scenes ways, like when Jess delivered a Luke's Diner care package to Rory under the guise that it was from Luke. Or how about when Luke orchestrated Rory's secret bon voyage party, putting together a last minute tarp so they could celebrate in the rain? I swoon.
3. They Both Fall in Love With a Gilmore Girl
This is the most obvious and glaring comparison, but it needs to be said. Luke and Lorelai are considered by many Gilmore Girls fans to be the show's OTP, their daily banter and unfaltering sexual tension fueling the show. And if you HAVE to pick a Rory suitor, most fans tend to go with Jess, ultimately seeing him as the most compatible match. So Luke and Jess really keep it all in the family.
Ew. Scratch that. You know what I mean.
4. They Both Lose Those Girls To Their High School/Rich High Society Boyfriends
Luke actually had a doubleheader in Christopher, both Lorelai's high school boyfriend AND he's rich. As for Jess, he had to go up against Rory's first boyfriend, the sweet-but-dimwitted Dean. Later on, Jess had a (somewhat polite) dinner altercation with Logan, the preppiest of Yale jerks. Despite a random kiss in Philly, Rory stuck it out with Logan, much to the pain of Jess and Rory fans.
5. They Both Worked Against Disapproving Mothers
Despite Lorelai's constant "cool mom" status, it's fair to say that she did NOT find Jess the best match for Rory — especially post car crash. As for Emily, well, to be fair, she doesn't really approve of anything Lorelai does.
6. They're Not Above Getting Into Fights
Remember when Luke wailed on Christopher in the Stars Hollow town square? Or when Jess and Dean flew fists at a party? It's irrelevant who started it. The point is that these men are willing to go to blows, and leave a trail of destruction in their wake.
7. They Unintentionally Worked to Bring Out the Best In Each Other
Luke tried his hardest to straighten out Jess, and Jess' blatant teenage rebellion overcame Luke's efforts. Retroactively, though, I think Luke's influence rubbed off on Jess, and helped him turn into the slightly more responsible young man we see in Season 6. Likewise it was Jess' disregard for authority that really made Luke step up as a father figure, something that Jess seriously lacked. The important thing is that they tried.
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