When I first watched the Gilmore Girls I didn't get it, so I didn't watch most of the early episodes. It wasn't until I started watching the third season that I got into it. So I then watched the First season when it was on Arena in 2004. This episodes had a different Luke's dinner and parts were re-shot on the current WB lot that is the town of Stars Hollow. Some of the lead characters were recast also. Most of the pilot episode is centered around the 4 lead stars of Lorelai, Rory, Emily and Richard. It did a good job of introducing them and the town, including Luke, Sookie, Michel, Lane, Mrs Kim, Miss Patty and Dean. You can tell that the cast were new together but the acting was a very good from all.
Even from this first episode you could see the possibility of something happening between Luke and Lorelai. And even the first exchange between them is still one of the most memorable of the series. This first scene also shows how Lorelai can effortlessly change from casual dressing to business.
Luke is true to form with the pilot and it is shown that the girls spend most meals there.
Sookie is shown as a disaster in the kitchen, knocking things over and setting things on fire but she is still a great cook. In later episodes this is played down and not even a feature in most episodes. This is good as it would have made he character to one sided if this is all she was known for.
Seeds are planted for the future with Lorelai revealing a plan for them to open their own Inn one day, which gives the show direction and something to aim for in the future.
Lane's house with the antiques is great and shows her living environment, along with her comments it is clear that while Lane and Rory are best friends they have very different family lives.
You can see how much Lorelai doesn't want to ask her parents for financial help but it's her only chance to get Rory into the school they have been working for. It's unclear who wants the school more Lorelai or Rory. Lorelai goes to the grand parents and in exchange we get the Friday night family dinners, FND. This is one of the core elements of the show and is and ongoing source of humor and drama for the series.
The music plays a very important part in the show and the choices are good, opening people up to artist that people may have not listened to before.
Some notes about changes between the pilot and next episode apart from most of the being shot in Canada with different out door sets. Lorelai's house has a step into the kitchen and door to the entry area, plus in later episodes there a second arch way to the entry area. Lorelai's Jeep is a different model with a hard top and square headlights, I have no idea why they changed thing, the Jeep could have just been a case that it was the only model they had at the time. The teacher at Stars Hollow high played by (Jill Brennan) later plays the more memorable Carrie Duncan, friend of Luke's sister.
Over all the pilot has lots going for it and even without knowing what is going to happen and where the store is going looking back there are so many threads for future stories.
LORELAI: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
LUKE: How many cups have you had this morning?
LORELAI: Five, but yours is better.
LUKE: You have a problem.
LORELAI: Yes, I do.
[Luke fills her cup]
LORELAI: Angel. You've got wings, baby.