Actress Lauren Graham has gained fame on TV for portraying single mothers. There was Sarah Braverman on the critically-acclaimed NBC drama series “Parenthood”; however, Lauren Graham will forever be associated with the role of Lorelei Gilmore on “Gilmore Girls”, which had a healthy seven-year run on the WB, and most recently, to even more acclaim and viewers, on a four-episode reboot on Netflix.
Besides giving a whole new perspective on what it’s like to raise children as a young single mother (issues, trials and tribulations, and all), Graham has approached both challenging roles with a great deal of bravery, humour and plenty of rapid-paced, stream-of-consciousness dialogue delivery that has become her trademark.
And recently, Graham has proven she can write snappy prose just as well as she can orally deliver those words. Her first foray into the written word, the novel Someday, Someday, Maybe received favourable reviews and became a New York Times best seller. And now she has gone the nonfiction route with her latest book Talking As Fast As I Can.
The book is actually a collection of autobiographical essays that deal with different aspects of her life and career, whether it be her first substantial role as an actress (which was the lead in her high school production of “Hello Dolly!”); her list of previous jobs that she held before “Gilmore Girls” (which included as a counter girl at a restaurant where she sold nothing but cinnamon buns, an usher at an Off-Broadway theatre, and an SAT prep tutor); why the late Carrie Fisher was her hero as a writer and Betty White is her hero as an actress; her on-again, off-again relationship with “Parenthood” co-star Peter Krause; her turn as a judge on “Project Runway” (where she coined the term “t-shirty”); and giving life advice as her alter ego Old Lady Jackson (which could be a book in itself).
However, fans of “Gilmore Girls” will not be disappointed with this book, as Graham offers two substantial chapters about the show, which take the form of behind-the-scenes diaries of her experiences with the original series and the recent reboot. The first set of “Gilmore Girls” diaries has Graham commenting not just on some of her favorite episodes, but also how her hair, clothing and make-up differed from season to season, as well as how technology and trends were so different back then (my favorite passage comes from her entry about season five, in which she states that “Anthrax was terrifying at the time, but it seems like a relatively mellow threat given what we face now … Also, at a Friday night dinner gone wrong, Lorelai asks one of Emily’s maids for a phone book so she and Rory can order a pizza.”). And her diary about the Netflix reboot is basically a chronicle of an emotionally-charged return to Stars Hollow, especially the “Fall” episode that paid tribute to actor Edward Herrmann, who portrayed her father, and who passed away last year before production begun on the reboot.
All in all, the book is quite enjoyable to read, as Graham delivers this collection of essays in a very self-deprecating manner that is more realistic and genuine in approach. And as you read each essay, you can actually hear Graham recite each line of prose in her trademark breathless, rapid-fire patter that she is known for and has made famous through her Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman characters.
Lauren Graham has firmly established herself as television’s favorite single mom. But with books like Talking As Fast As I Can, she has proven she can write snappy words of wisdom as well as deliver them. And while “Gilmore Girls” fans eagerly await production on the recently-announced second series of new episodes for Netflix, she can turn this book into a solo stage show, so that we can get our fix of that delightfully breathless Lauren Graham rapid patter.