My mom and I watch a lot of television together. Binge-watching shows is one of our bonding experiences, and it isn't just about lying on the couch and watch seven straight hours of TV. We'll watch everything from "Game of Thrones"to "Parks and Recreation" together, and then we'll take the time to discuss our favorite characters, our conspiracy theories, our opinions on any moral and psychological complexities the show may have. It's a fun way to spend time with my mom, while also giving me the opportunity to watch some quality TV. The first show that we ever watched together in this way was "Gilmore Girls," and it definitely affected both of our lives for the better.



Way back when I was in seventh grade, my mom and I decided to rent the DVDs for the first season of "Gilmore Girls"from the library. (Wow, it's been only seven years and that's already a pretty dated sentence.) We instantly clicked with Lorelai and Rory: my mom is a working single mother, and I was definitely an ambitious and precocious child.



While Rory was slightly older than I was, I was inspired by her dedication to academics and her knowledge of classic literature. I was already preoccupied with doing well in school, but I wanted to be just like Rory, so I started reading many of the books that she mentioned in the show. My love for "Gilmore Girls"kick-started my years-long binge of fine literature. I read everything from "Les Miserables"to "The Count of Monte Cristo," from "Candide"to "Vanity Fair," from "Anna Karenina"to "Jane Eyre." (Of course, I was around 13 when I read all these books, so it's entirely possible that many of the themes went over my head.)



But not only did the Gilmore girls inspire me to be better, they helped my mom and I have a stronger relationship. Whenever Rory or Lorelai did something stupid, which was rather often, my mom and I would analyze their onscreen actions and then discuss what we would do instead. "Gilmore Girls"encouraged us to be more honest with each other, and also more trusting. It's hard to be a single mom or an only daughter, and "Gilmore Girls" reflected our struggles and our fun times. It made us think about our successes and the ways in which we could still improve. I've talked to other girls who watched the show with their moms, and even if they weren't in the same single parent situation, all of them have said that "Gilmore Girls"really helped to improve and strengthen their relationships with their mothers.



While I think that "Gilmore Girls"had a sharp decline in quality in its later seasons, the messages of the earlier episodes were very important to me, to my mom, and to both of us as a unit. Whenever people ask me what media changed my life, I always have a shortlist of answers, and "Gilmore Girls"is definitely at the top.



Many family TV shows have attempted to follow its lead, but to be honest, nothing can follow "Gilmore Girls."



Grace Segers is a student at Tufts University and a contributor to Moviefone's Campus Beat. Are you a current college student with a love for all things movies and TV? Contribute to Campus Beat!