Gilmore girls (and guys), we are in unprecedented territory. The original WB show Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 until 2007, which means you probably did not binge the episodes on a streaming service. It was a simpler time in America, when people were still waiting a week to see what happened on their favorite TV series.
But just after midnight Thursday, Netflix will bestow upon Gilmore fans six hours of brand new content, written and directed by show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel, who both left before the show's final season.
Gilmore's cult fan base has grown dramatically since the series became available to binge on Netflix in 2014. And with the anticipation surrounding these new episodes — broken up into four, 90-minute installments called "Winter," "Spring," "Summer" and "Fall" — bingers need a plan this holiday weekend. This is not just something you can have on in the background while Uncle Jerry yammers on about how he would have preferred cornbread stuffing.
Watching the new episodes requires focus, dedication and probably lots of coffee. There are a couple of ways you can go about it.
As soon as humanly possible: Thursday at midnight
The Gilmore Girls themselves may approve most of this option, for they too are impatient and would not idly sit by when there is new culture to consume.
To do this right, you need to time your Thanksgiving just so, and you need an understanding set of family and friends. If you're dining at a home that is not your own, make plans to get the heck out of there and be back at your place, in front of the TV, a solid 30 minutes before midnight. If you're hosting people at your place, make sure the evening is wrapped up by 10 p.m., so you can clean up and take deep, calming breaths before the bingeing begins. You may even want to build in extra time for a turkey coma (or nap).
It is very important that you get some caffeine into your system. Do not rely solely on endorphins to carry you through the night. Lorelai would insist on a cup of plain black coffee, preferably in a cup the size of Luke's baseball cap. You will be up until 6 a.m., minimum.
Now, press play on Episode 1, "Winter." Prepare to sob over scenes including the funeral of Richard Gilmore, the patriarch played by Edward Herrmann, who died in late 2014. Ready your brain to not understand at least half of the dialogue Lorelai spews. Try not to be alarmed by how old everyone looks.
As Episode 4, "Fall," comes to an end, and day begins to break, start to emerge from the you-sized hole in your couch. Your brain will be overwhelmed with pop culture references; your eyes full of bittersweet tears over Amy Sherman-Palladino's final four words. Take a shower, grab some more coffee, and prepare to participate in another activity the girls would take pride in: Black Friday shopping.
Like a person with slightly more chill: Friday
The real formal Family Time has passed, but on Friday you're probably still with loved ones if you or they have traveled. Should you interrupt this second day of togetherness with a dose of the Gilmore family?
It depends. Maybe your family has gone Black Friday shopping, and you, having more chill (or need for sleep), have not, thus providing you the perfect alone time to watch an ep or two.
Maybe your sister or your cousin or your brother's girlfriend's brother are Gilmore Girls fans just like you. Or, even better, maybe your mom is. After all, what could be a more perfect arrangement for watching Rory and Lorelai than bonding with your own mom? The folks behind the show even seem to encourage it, releasing a series of #datenightwithmom GIFs featuring the show's mother-daughter teams at giphy.com/datenightwithmom. We don't know your mom, but we doubt ours are down for a midnight-release date night.
So gather your Gilmores on Friday and, in the name of spending quality time with your relatives, make a binge watching marathon your new Black Friday tradition. And hey, maybe cousin Sarah will explain the references you don't get.
Leisurely, so your family won't hate you: Saturday or Sunday
You've done your duty and sat through Friday night, er, Thursday night dinner and Black Friday and all that follows. You've recuperated a bit after successfully enduring your crazy Aunt Doreen. Now you just want to kick back with your turkey-free junk food and chill with the Girls for six hours before you have to go back to reality on Monday.
With this option, you have more flexibility. You can watch all of the episodes in a row or lazily string them out over two days. You can also be more picky about who you choose to watch them with. Don't settle for a relative who's only seen half the original series. Or anyone who is Team Dean or Team Christopher. Gather the most reliable Gilmore fans you know, the ones that know Kirk was originally called Mick and have read all the crazy revival theories (like ours about new Tristan, which you can read at tbtim.es/18ng).
Serve a motley assortment of Thanksgiving leftovers, Chinese takeout and Pop-Tarts for prime Lorelai style. If you're more like Emily Gilmore, and want to assemble a proper Gilmore feast, check out recipes for Homemade Boozy Pastries, Cheeseburger Sliders, Pizza Pockets and more at tbtim.es/gilmorefood.