An Ode to Taylor Doose by Lauren Thurman
If, like me, you spent the majority of your Friday curled up on the couch next to your mother plowing through the Gilmore Girls reboot, then you probably got hit in the feels by all the citizens of Stars Hollow. Kirk, Babette, Jackson, Lane’s band of brothers — everyone showed up to jog our memories and make us awww in fits of nostalgia.
But there was one townsperson in particular I was glad to see, one cardigan-clad politician who does not get nearly enough love. That’s right, I’m talking about Taylor Doose. He is, uh, not very popular — in Stars Hollow and the real world alike. But I have a deep and abiding affection for the soda-peddling Town Selectman, and I’m here to tell you why you, too, should jump on Team Doose.
Taylor’s effective role in the show is to keep other people from living their lives. He makes business owners jump through dozens of bureaucratic hoops, and imposes seemingly arbitrary rules in the name of preserving small-town charm. But Taylor’s annoying traits arise simply from a devotion to Stars Hollow, and a great respect for rules. As an island, Taylor is a hardworking administrator. In relation to the rest of the town, though, he’s a headache. This is a testament to the show creators’ incredible skill in characterization.
When we discuss the element character in literature classes, Hamlet and Othello are often given as examples of solid character creation. What would happen if you made Hamlet the main character of Othello, and vice-versa? Well, you’d have entirely different plays. Othello would murder his uncle so hard in Act One, and Hamlet would just feel conflicted about Desdemona until it was time for everyone to go home. If you made this swap, neither of these plays would even be tragedies anymore. That’s some A-plus characterization.
Likewise, if we plucked Taylor Doose out of Stars Hollow and put him into a big city, or even into a slightly larger town, we would probably see his approval ratings go way up. “Wow, look at this tireless, rule-abiding, be-sweatered gentleman who knows the town’s constitution front to back,” the residents of this city would say. “He’s a keeper!”
But Taylor lives in Stars Hollow, where his hard work is at best ignored, at worst resented. In the reboot, Taylor campaigns to upgrade the town’s plumbing. “Switch to Sewer!” read dozens of signs he’s placed across Stars Hollow. People are annoyed by this. They wish he would just take his infrastructure reform somewhere else. The tragedy of Taylor Doose is that his skills probably would be wanted, even needed, in a lot of other places. But it’s only ever been Stars Hollow for this bearded grocer. He loves the town, even if the feeling isn’t mutual, and he serves the town in the only way he knows how.
Guys, all Taylor wants is modern sewage, consistent tourism revenue, and an ice cream truck. Can’t we just let him live his truth?