- Unlike Rory Gilmore, Lane Kim never got the full story arc she deserved on “Gilmore Girls.”
- Lane is written into young motherhood as Rory carelessly flits between romances.
- All of the character’s dreams were left to die by the end of the show, while Rory wasted hers.
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As a young aspiring journalist graduating from college in the 2000s, I was quickly hooked on The WB’s “Gilmore Girls” â€” mostly because I saw a lot of my own ups and downs mirrored by Rory Gilmore.
But after several rewatches over the years, I’ve come to realise that the youngest Gilmore girl isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.
Instead, it’s Lane Kim, the often overlooked childhood bestie, who deserves all of our praises.
Much like Rory, Lane was full of ambition from the very start, but she never made it out of Stars Hollow, and she deserved so much better than that.
Rory had a string of doting boyfriends, but Lane couldn’t seem to catch a break in her romantic life
In high school, Dean pursues Rory before she’s lured away by brooding Jess. Then at college, Logan does everything in his power to win her over with his charms.
Lane, on the other hand, kicks off her romantic life struggling to make it work with Henry Cho, her first crush, and lusting over Todd, who doesn’t show interest.
She finally catches a break when Dave Rygalski comes along â€” even Mrs. Kim approves of him. But actor Adam Brody left to play Seth Cohen on “The O.C.,” so Dave was written off the show, taking Lane’s hopes and dreams with him.
After staying single for a bit, she develops a new crush on her man-child bandmate Zack Van Gerbig who doesn’t tick nearly as many boxes as Dave in terms of mutual attraction and maturity.
He’s also slow to earn the approval of both Rory and Mrs. Kim, which only makes Lane’s life harder.
To her benefit, Zack and Mrs. Kim become civil with each other. But Rory never seems to fully accept Lane’s relationship.
In the lead up to their rock ‘n’ roll-themed wedding, the future Mr. and Mrs. Van Gerbig seem like they will actually find success in both their marriage and their band.
Which makes Lane getting pregnant after her very first time having sex on her “fiasco” honeymoon in Mexico even more of a cruel and unusual form of story-arc punishment.
The writers had Lane wait until she was married to have sex with Zack, and afterward, she’s utterly convinced that her mother was right about how “horrible” it really is.
For such a strong, passionate woman, this doesn’t seem like a fair plotline.
Lane never gets to experience individual freedom, even after fighting for acceptance from her mother
For the majority of her life, Rory took Lorelai’s endless support â€” even in trying times â€” for granted. But her best friend wasn’t as lucky.
Before making it out from under Mrs. Kim’s watchful eyes, Lane was met with spells of guilt after any chance she got to rebel. Like when she dyed her hair purple and immediately went back to black because it would “kill” Mrs. Kim.
After years of jumping through hoops, hiding CDs in the floorboards, changing her clothes at school, and coming up with elaborate schemes to hide her secret second life, Lane is still seeking approval from her controlling mother as an adult.
In comparison, when the Gilmores didn’t see eye to eye, Rory would become defiant and stubborn in her ways, convinced she is right and her mother is wrong.
By the time Lane does experience a little freedom from her “double life,” her storyline suddenly shifts away from all the hopes and dreams she talked about the first few seasons, and she’s written into stress-inducing young motherhood.
Lane fights and provides for herself while her best friend continually receives handouts
Though Rory often scoffs at the entitlement exhibited by her classmates and even by her own grandparents, she herself is wildly privileged.
Lane watches as Rory leaves Stars Hollow High to attend Chilton Academy and continue to Yale on her family’s dime while she gets left behind to attend Seventh-Day Adventist College.
Unlike Rory, who got to choose between several prestigious universities, Lane was simply handed brochures for the strict school, and her mother had no intention of letting her daughter explore other options.
As she struggles to juggle her home life with her emerging rock band, Lane admits that she has no desire to continue attending Seventh-Day Adventist College and instead says she wants to register at a local community college.
Mrs. Kim refuses to compromise and tells her daughter to move out, forcing Lane to support herself.
Meanwhile, after Rory gets arrested for stealing a yacht, she drops out of Yale.
Though Lorelai doesn’t support this decision and doesn’t let her come home, her grandparents offer her their comfortable pool house and she pretty much wants for nothing.
Rory wastes her career opportunities while Lane’s dreams are ripped away from her
Aside from a brief stint working at the dining hall as a card swiper, Rory’s handed many of her work opportunities.
Logan’s father gives her an internship at his paper and her grandmother offers her a position with the D.A.R. during her period away from Yale, to name a few.
Living in her hometown didn’t offer young-adult Lane much on the career front, though she does hold down a steady job at Luke’s Diner to support herself.
While working and going to school, Lane is also endlessly dedicated to her band and risks “eternal damnation” for her rock ‘n’ roll career.
Hep Alien does a short-lived church tour, but outside of that, the band doesn’t amount to much. Lane’s dreams of becoming a true rock star were pretty much ripped away from her when her storyline shifted to motherhood.
Rory, however, is so used to the people in her life fawning over her that the disappointment is all the more crushing when Logan’s father tells her she isn’t good enough to be a real journalist.
But instead of taking his maligned criticism in stride and sticking with the newspaper gig that she always wanted, Rory writes off journalism and goes on the rebellious streak that eventually ends with her dropping out of Yale.
The show’s revival finally gives fans a glimpse of Lane’s happily ever after
The only glimmer of hope for Lane fans is that on the 2016 revival, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” she seems genuinely happy with her husband and sons, and she’s still passionately playing the drums for Hep Alien.
At the same time, Rory’s love life is a mess and her career lacks purpose.
After seeing all of Lane’s dreams disappear, it’s nice to see her happy, but I can’t help but wonder what kind of woman she would have become if she’d been given more of an opportunity to shine.