While technically the bond between the Gilmore girls was born out of Lorelai's entire rejection of her mother, I have to admit that Emily was, in fact, my favorite Gilmore girl. Yes she was bitter, condescending, and laced with a sense of upper-class propriety. But underneath all that, I can respect her as a perfectionist who only wanted the best for her daughter and grandchild, all the while maintaining a biting wit that everyone takes for granted. So with all these fond memories in mind, I have to wonder: where is Kelly Bishop, the lovely lady behind Emily Gilmore, today?
Well, most recently Bishop reunited with Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino for the short-lived series Bunheads. Bishop starred as Fanny Flowers, a character that would make Emily clutch her pearls. Like the wayward Lorelai, Fanny left home at age 16, but only to pursue a career in ballet. Eventually her promising career was cut short when her husband abandoned her and their child, leaving her a single mother forced to take care of her son. Her main role on the show has her as the owner and instructor of the Paradise Dance Academy.
While Fanny was decidedly more eccentric than Emily, she DID share a strong sense of disapproval for the show's main protagonist, new daughter-in-law Michelle. So at the end of the day, Fanny was still was a bit Emily-esque.
Sadly Bunheads was cancelled after only one season, but Bishop's added a few other lines on her resume. She had a small part in 2011's Friends With Children and a brief recurring role on two episodes of Law and Order: SVU. And there are other things on the horizon: she's slated to play the titular role in Saint Janet , a film about a woman who thinks God has given her the power to heal.
But at the end of the day, to me she will always be that one lady with the flower crown from a 1990 episode of The Baby-Sitters Club... oh, and Emily Gilmore. A brave woman who never deserved the ill-treatment of her descendants (I mean, Lorelai's constant avoidance of her is simultaneously rude, childish, and hurtful), and the sassy TV grandma to end all sassy TV grandmas. It's because of Bishop's character that I one day also hope to be a sassy, elitist, TV grandma, and it's my hope that she'll forever live on through the magic of Netflix.