Gilmore Girls cast and crew met up on Saturday evening, June 6, for a star-studded 15th anniversary reunion of the popular CW Network show and Jared Padalecki, who recently withdrew from his summertime Supernatural commitments due to suffering with exhaustion and depression, was in attendance. The reunion, which took place at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, brought together 18 of the original cast members, including Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Matt Czurchry, as well as the show’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.
Cast and fans were excited to discuss their memories of the hit show, along with suggestions that the show is destined for a comeback. Addressing rumors that Gilmore Girls may make its way to the big screen, or spawn a spin-off show for on-demand television provider Netflix, Sherman-Palladino agreed that the devoted fans were definitely due a little more Lorelai and Rory time, but that as yet, there was “nothing in the works.” Wishing to alleviate any concerns the 1200 strong audience may have had, she added, “If it ever happened, I promise you we’d do it correctly.”
Most notably, Hollywood comedy super starlet Melissa McCarthy was not present at the Gilmore Girls reunion. McCarthy, who played loveable Sookie St. James on the CW show, has recently experienced huge movie success with her roles in Identity Thief and Spy. Although not confirmed, McCarthy’s absence is likely due to other work commitments.
The Gilmore Girls show first aired in October 2000 and quickly developed a cult following as viewers tuned in religiously to see how thirtysomething single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Graham) struggled to raise her teenage daughter (Bledel) in small town Connecticut. Amidst the laughs and tears of life, the two young women shared story-lines ranging from first loves and heartbreak to family dynamics and the importance of education. Gilmore Girls, known for its fast paced dialogue and quick-witted humor, finished in an emotional series finale in 2007. Padalecki played Dean, Rory’s boyfriend, in five seasons of the comedy drama. His appearance at the Gilmore Girls reunion suggests great promise for the mental health of depression sufferer Padalecki.
Texan Padalecki, 32, valiantly spoke out in March 2015 about his ongoing battle against depression. In a revelation that surprised some Supernatural fans, Padalecki revealed that it was during season 3 of the hit monster hunting show that he had an emotional breakdown and was consequently diagnosed with clinical depression, “‘A doctor came to set and talked to me for about 45 minutes and said I think you’re clinically depressed,” Padalecki told reporters, “It kind of hit me like a sack of bricks.” The Gilmore Girls star has since worked tirelessly with suicide charity To Write Love On Her Arms to help raise awareness of mental health issues, suicidal tendencies and self harm.
Padalecki’s appearance at the Gilmore Girls reunion does not, however, mean that the actor is better. Depression is a serious mental health illness that causes the sufferer to lapse into bouts of self-deprecation, hopelessness and general disinterest in life. It can take many years to recuperate from, if ever. Despite the availability of medication and therapy to aid the battle against depression, statistics show that suicide is in the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. 41,149 people took their own lives last year, with over 77 percent of those being men. Padalecki’s t-shirt campaign, in collaboration with the To Write Love On Her Arms organisation and Represent merchandising company, is intended to raise awareness of this fact and encourage sufferers to reach out for help. Padalecki’s t-shirt features an image of himself with the words “Always Keep Fighting”.
The Gilmore Girls 15th anniversary reunion was a star-studded event that encapsulated the fun and family atmosphere that the show was popular for during its run in the early 2000s. Despite the absence of popular cast members McCarthy and Edward Hermann, who died aged 77 in December 2014, attendees at the ATX Television Festival seemed thrilled by the Gilmore Girls reunion, in no small part due to the appearance of bearded depression sufferer Padalecki. Fans and former co-workers surely hope that it is a sign of good things to come for the popular veteran actor.
By Alison Klippenstein
Variety: ‘Supernatural’ Star Jared Padalecki Talks Depression and Why You Should ‘Always Keep Fighting’
American Foundation For Suicide Prevention: Facts and Figures
Hollywood Reporter: ‘Gilmore Girls’ Reunion: Movie Update, a Touching Tribute to Ed Herrmann and 21 More Highlights
E Online: Gilmore Girls Cast Stages the Most Epic Reunion—But Is a Movie Really in the Works?!
Photo Courtesy of Vagueonthehows’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
In Line Photo Courtesy of Roxie Rampage’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License