Fandoms are a funny thing. Whether it be TV or movies, projects can accrue diehard fans that want to experience their favorite franchise over and over again. One of these types of phenomenons is the classic WB/CW comedy Gilmore Girls, which was cancelled back in 2007. After its abrupt cancellation, the Gilmore fans only continued to devour the series, through DVD box sets, its constant run on syndication, and eventually Netflix. This type of response is what prompted the streaming service to revive the series, which became one of the biggest pop culture moments of 2016. But it turns out that the original series also helped a group of Marines get through their time serving in Iraq.
CBS recently did a profile on four Marines who would watch old DVDs of Gilmore Girls during their deployment in Iraq during 2005. After happening upon Season 2 at base, the men would quickly become enthralled in the series, and Stars Hollow. One of the marines, coincidently named Luke, elaborated on why Lorelai and Rory's story resonated during such a dangerous time, saying:
Part of the attraction is a simple case of contrasts. I live in a strict, macho, sometimes violent world that very often does not make sense. Stars Hollow, a town where Gilmore Girls takes place is pretty, it's warm, friendly. And then there's the simple human stories. Relationship[s] between parents and children, brothers and sisters, loves lost and found, and friends who are always there. In the end, much of the entertainment is escapism. And for me and a few friends over here in Iraq, there's no place we'd rather escape to. It reminds us of all the best parts of home.
It seems that Gilmore Girls provided the marines with a sense of home and safety, something the group sorely needed during their service. While four marines might seem like an unlikely choice for Gilmore fans, they found appeal in the series the way we all do: the pure joy of the show.
In a time where the best TV is usually extremely depressing and violent (I'm looking at you Walking Dead and Game of Thrones), Gilmore Girls, as well as the new series A Year in the Life were something inherently positive. The characters of Stars Hollow all really love each other, and the show is one of those rare series that honestly make you feel good.
Additionally, Stars Hollow is such a strong community that the marines were able to feel like they were home. Once you dive into Gilmore Girls, you learn the names and personalities of everyone in the town. So while the group of marines were far away from home, they had a surrogate town of loved ones that they could contact with the push of a button.