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TV audiences love a bad boy with a heart of gold. From Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eric in True Blood, to Sawyer in Lost, audiences love to watch a gruff and tough male character expose his sensitive side and get the girl. Gilmore Girls is no exception, as Milo Ventimiglia's Jess Mariano stole the hearts of the audience and Rory alike during his tenure on the series. Jess is by far the most popular of Rory's boyfriends, despite his fragile masculinity often getting in the way of their relationship. The Heroes actor has gotten crap from people about his character's actions for over a decade, and now he's finally defending Jess' choices.
The cast of NBC's This is Us (to which Milo Ventimiglia is a series regular) recently did a series of interviews with the folks over at TV Guide. Ventimiglia was eventually confronted about Jess' misadventures and mistreatment of Rory, where he said the following about Jess' questionable life choices:
But what was questionable about what he did? I think Jess gave Rory every opportunity to be with him, even broke up with a girl because he said she wanted to be with him. He even bought the basket!... I'm never going to live it down.
That's right, Milo Ventimiglia is standing by Jess' choices. So take that, Logan and Dean fans.
Jess and Rory's relationship is one of the most complex ones in Gilmore Girls history. Jess' arrival in Stars Hollow wasn't well received by any of the residents of the Connecticut town, the glaring exception being Lorelai's daughter Rory. The two's chemistry was palpable from the start, despite Rory's relationship with Dean at the time. This attraction causes the majority of Rory's High School incidents, including her car crash and missing Lorelai's graduation from business school. But through it all, Jess was trying to get closer to Rory and make his feelings known. He totally dumped that clown Shane in High School and also attempted to convince Rory to run away with him during her freshman year at Yale.
Of course, there was the matter of him skipping town. Twice. That seems to be Jess' fatal flaw, and one of his plots that fans most remember.
However, Jess and Rory's relationship only continued to change and grow into adulthood. He eventually visits her while she was living with Emily and Richard, presenting Rory with the novel she helped inspire him to write. Unfortunately, their reunion was quickly ruined by Logan being a total d- bag, but their visit has significant. He was one of the last people to remind Rory that she was making a mistake quitting Yale and not speaking to Lorelai, so he's actually a little responsible for their reunion.
Rory eventually visited Jess in Philly later in the series, once again complicating things between them. In an attempt to get even with Logan, she kisses Jess. They eventually have an honest dialogue about that mistake, and he ends up being the only one of Rory's boyfriends that she's on good terms with when Season 7 ended.
If you're doing the math, it actually looks like Rory and Jess' mistakes are pretty even. They look pretty chummy in the first trailer for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, so we'll just have to wait and see the status of their relationship when the series finally returns.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be released in its entirety November 25th, 2016.