What If 'Gilmore Girls' Took Place Somewhere Else? Stars Hollow In Alaska Would Be A Trip
I got hooked on Gilmore Girls while in college, so when I went on one of my first grown-up job interviews in small-town Connecticut, I couldn't help but tell the folks I interviewed with that the town reminded me so much of Stars Hollow. Sadly, they had no idea what I was talking about, and I wound up not getting the job. But, the Gilmore Girls town has such a distinct New England charm that real-life Connecticut does have, that it made me wonder what Stars Hollow would be like if it were located in different regions of the United States. Like, what if Gilmore Girls took place in Alaska or Texas? Each region of this great country has its own charm and a move to a new locale would definitely have changed the Girls as we knew them.
In the show, Stars Hollow is located close to Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, making it easy for Rory to return home from Yale during her college years. But, sadly, the town isn't real and was filmed on a studio lot in Burbank, California. In 2002, Gilmore Girls creator and executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino told The Hartford Courant that Stars Hollow is loosely based on the Connecticut towns Kent, Washington, Salisbury, Cornwall, Canaan, and Litchfield. "I borrowed from a lot of towns but the location is a bit more Litchfield," Sherman-Palladino told the newspaper. "Hey, literally, this place does not exist. It's a total imagination.''
So, let's go on an imaginary journey in which I pick up Stars Hollow and move it to several different regions and see how it affects our favorite Gilmore Girls characters.
I worked in Tennessee for three years, so I know that the Southern United States does have some big cities and a lot of rural towns. I'd imagine Stars Hollow would become one of the latter. Rory would still be the star student at her not-so-great public high school and get accepted into a big city private school. Her friend Lane would be the daughter of two farmers struggling to keep their business afloat. Lorelai would manage the general store and eventually run her own store. Diners aren't as common in the South, so Luke would run the local barbecue spot, which would naturally serve the best ribs and pulled pork in town.
In the Midwestern Stars Hollow, Rory would be dying to enroll at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism or the University of Chicago. Lane would be obsessed with improv comedy, secretly taking classes at the Second City in Chicago, and eventually performing on the main stage (a huge honor). I can see Luke running a restaurant that tourists go to for the deep-dish pizza, but stay for the awesome coffee (ahem, Lorelai).
The West Coast
I can see the West Coast version of Stars Hollow being very much like Santa Barbara or Ojai. Rory would aspire to attend Stanford and UC Berkeley. Lane would totally be a surfer chick. Lorelai may run a yoga studio, which would let her still interact with many quirky characters. I'd imagine Sookie would be an organic vegan chef who makes the best salads, rice bowls, and kale smoothies that the beach has ever seen.
So, this isn't too far from New England, but it's a different kind of charm. Luke would definitely still run a diner. Lorelai works at, and later runs, the local airport hotel. Rory would still have aspirations to attend Harvard and Yale. I could see Lane working down at the Jersey shore during the summers. Emily and Richard would live in a New York City penthouse.
Aloha! In paradise, Lorelai still runs a cute and successful Hawaiian Inn. Rory aspires to attend college on the mainland, which worries Lorelai. Sookie runs luau barbecues for tourists. Luke runs an authentic Hawaiian restaurant ignored by tourists, but fully embraced by locals.
Brr, it's cold! I could see Lorelai running an adventure business that supplies tourists and locals with kayaks, rafts, skis, and more for a town seeing an oil boom. Luke would be into ice fishing. Emily and Richard would be involved in oil somehow.
But no matter where Stars Hollow is located is this fictional exercise, we'd love these characters all the same.