Dec 21 2014 2:00pm

Shipping Sunday: Gilmore Girls’s Luke and Lorelai

Recently, we had author AJ Pine (aka Amy Pine) on the site talking about her everlasting love of all things Gilmore Girls. There is a lot to love, like the books, Stars Hollow, and, of course, the men! Today, we'll be talking about that last one. While there's a lot of contension over Rory's best boyfriend—Pine thought the title belonged to Jess, while my roommate solidly sided with Logan—there's less contension over who Lorelai should end up with, because the obvious answer is Luke Dane. I watched Gilmore Girls live, but never watched every episode. Thanks to Netflix, this fall I spent many a day (okay, it was like a week and maybe a weekend in which I did nothing else) catching up on the series and it affirmed for me that while the show does have flaws, Luke and Lorelai are not one of them.

First, it started with coffee...

Coffee was theire gateway to chatting, and chatting was the gateway to getting to know one another, and getting to know one another leads to LOVE!


And then it developed into long, important conversations over the countertop:


Lorelai began to rely on Luke—who did she turn to when her father had what appeared to be a heart attack? Who did she turn to when she needed to vent? Who built her an ARBOR for her wedding (to another man!)?

^^^^Can we say foreshadowing?

There were ups and downs to their relationship (**Cough**Max**Cough**Megan**Cough**Christopher**Cough**Luke's Daughter**Cough**). But when that first kiss happened, it was LEGENDARY. And perfect, and sweet, and wonderful.


They're happily ever after was one to watch, and informed many of my future ships. It has all of my favorite tropes—friends-to-lovers, grumpy man changed by spunky woman, small-town romance—and will be a relationship to last a lifetime.

Do you love this couple? Did it inform any of your future reading or watching choices?

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1. Bells
Absolutely one of my favorite shows and couples. So glad you put a picture from their waltz. That scene is so lovely and Lauren Graham's acting in it is perfect.
2. LaLaDee
I don't always get the whole Lorelai/Luke phenomenom. I love Gilmore Girls (violently and obsessively) but I just don't know about Luke. I disagree that he was a grumpy man changed by a woman. I think he stayed just as damn grumpy after they were together. His immature fights with Taylor, his weird daddy issues, how he hates the town (which Lorelai loves). I can't really understand why Luke treated Lorelai so badly during the whole April nightmare - unforgiveable. The whole postponement of the wedding broke Lorelai's heart. I know that he and Lorelai were meant to fight and banter and that was their thing but mostly he was just awkward and weird. The episode when Luke and Lorelai join Rory and Logan at Martha's vineyard pretty much destroyed Luke for me, first of all, he was acting weird eating protein bars because he was too awkward to go to the kitchen, he was rude to Logan, he complained about everything, the cold, the waves, the house, the food, the plumbing, the raccoon. Luke didn't bring Lorelai anything for Valentines day, but accepted Logan's ridiculously expensive gift intended for Rory. I know they're meant to be opposites - sparkly Lorelai and grumpy Luke but I don't see it. Plus, a grown man wearing a baseball cap every day. And he insists on living above his diner (even though it appears that he could afford an actual home). This is apparently a dream man? Obviously we're meant to ship Luke, but I think the reason people do is that there are no other viable men for Lorelai. Seriously, Christopher (immature, poor father to Rory), Max (no chemistry) and Jason (tries to destroy her father's business). Let's not forget with Lorelai went to Luke for an elopement at the end of season 5, basically saying, it's now or never, Luke didn't man up. I don't understand why everyone thinks Luke is reliable and that Lorelai can count on him. All I see is a man closed off to fun, adventure, travel and life. He is like a dictionary definition of "hater" - but about everything! Lorelai is light and fun and I just think she should be with someone less crotchety!
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
@Bells, I love that scene too! It was so perfect and romantic and wonderful. It took this goofy moment in the middle of Luke's sister's wedding and truly made it magical.

@LaLaDee, I have my own bones to pick about the show too, but the one thing I was always certain about was that Luke and Lorelai were perfect together and for each other. I admit that weekend at Martha's Vineyard was very weird, but I felt okay with it because I felt it was true to Luke (minus the Valentine's Day gift...I feel like he'd have to be an idiot not to realize he needed something). Anyway, I feel like Luke grounded Lorelai in a way that none of the other men did--Christopher, Max, and Jason, I felt always wanted to change Lorelai, take her away from Stars Hollow or make her into the thing she ran away from most.

I see what you're saying about Lorelai needing someone more fun, but I think that's what great about their relationship. Luke was grumpy and Lorelai taught him to be more fun, but then we also saw that he was deeply flawed too (your example of him not manning up to elope with her), and that's what made them work.
Terri Rose
4. Terri L
I agree with LaLaDee. I always felt like Lorelai deserved better but because Luke was the best of a string of disappointing men she was stuck with him. It also didn't help that I didn't see the chemistry between them. It felt more like a friendship to me. They had some funny exchanges that I did enjoy though. In my opinion, when they did get together it felt more awkward than romantic. I get a lot of people shipped them though.
Terri Rose
5. Terri L
@JenniferProffitt- By the way I just wanted to say I love the shipping Sunday posts! It has helped me find so many new shows!!
Isa Arconada
6. Isacat
Gilmore Girl's it's my favorite tv show. I've all the seasons in DVD and have watched it many times.
I always loved Luke and Lorelai together. It's true that he made a lot of mistakes when he learned about April. He may not be perfect but for me he was perfect for Lorelai.
Jennifer Proffitt
7. JenniferProffitt
@TerriL, we love to do them! Whenever we have one of the team come in to start talking about their newest ship we say "ok, when's our next shipping Sunday!"

@isacat, that's a great way to put it!
He may not be perfect but for me he was perfect for Lorelei.
Laura Bracken
8. Night -owl
I love the Gilmore Girls! I've ruined most of my GG DVDs from watching them so much. Seasons 1-5 are the best; I think the magic of the series is gone by season 6&7(so depressing, and don't get me started on the April story line & Rory getting arrested).

Luke & Lorelei would have to be one of my favourite tv couples ever. They are just so damn cute together.
Jennifer Proffitt
9. JenniferProffitt
@Night-owl. Agreed about the Rory and April storylines. That's where I lost it--especially with Rory! The beauty of loving a ship now is that Gilmore Girls is on Netflix so you can still watch it even though your DVDs are burned out ;)
10. JavaJunkie
They are my favorite tv couple of all time. They just understand each other, and respect one another's lifestyles, points of view and faults as well as virtues. Many people say that Christopher understood her better, but I always go back to something the character of Lorelai said to Christopher in season one: "We don't even know each other as adults." And that is the Lorelai that Luke knows, through and through. Their mutual respect, along with a shared sense of humor, inspired a deep friendship which, with a likewise mutual attraction and forging of an even deeper connection through daily chats, led to love on both sides.

Lorelai doesn't love him because of convenience. If anything, it is incredibly inconvenient to be with him, because a huge part of her life would have to change, both if it did (as in life-long commitment) and if it did not (as in loss of friend and important aspect of daily life in the diner) work out between them.

Most commenters cite Luke's erratic season six behavior as a reason to completely disregard the other five seasons in which he proves to be incredibly dedicated to Lorelai, even after they got together (i.e. cooking her dinner(s), seeing her parents, offering countless doses of advice/emotional support, building her a shelf in his bathroom, buying her a tv for when she sleeps over, being intuitive enough to know she wanted to live in her house, making her an ice rink just because she's sad, etc.).

I explain away season six as crappy, out-of-character writing, rather than an illumination of Luke's character faults. They destroyed him, turned him into a caricature of the three-dimensional character formerly known as Luke. And all due to a poor excuse for a season arc--more like horrendously soap opera-esque plot device--that he had a daughter he'd never known about. Which, I think we can all agree, was pretty much the ruination of the show. Not to mention season 7, which I don't even count as part of the canon because that was truly an empty shell of Gilmore Girls.

Lorelai herself explained, in Partings, why Luke was so appealing to her: "He was a real man, sold and strong. He could protect me, but he got me."

I went overboard on this comment. Whoops. Haha
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