I wait until late in the semester to tell my students that I was a loyal viewer of The Gilmore Girls. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I like this show about the strong relationship between a single mother and her self-sufficient, smart, determined daughter. My feelings about The Gilmore Girls may be partly based on its genre. The program was a serialized melodrama detailing the characters’ personal lives. The Gilmore Girls, in many ways, epitomizes the often-denigrated women’s program. My relationship with the show is actually more complex, however. It questions my self-image as a media literate scholar by pulling me into its ideological messages about motherhood. The bond between Lorelei and Rory Gilmore is what drew me, the mother of a young daughter, to the program. The Gilmore Girls didn’t show the child rearing years that I was experiencing. We didn’t see Rory as a moody preschooler. Nor did we see Lorelei as a tired working mother. (In fact, very few television shows actually feature preschool children in anything other than cute, comedic roles.) Rather, The Gilmore Girls began when Rory was 16 years old. It showed the rosy results of a casual upbringing that required nothing more than love, friendship and trust. The Gilmore Girls told me that being a good mother is something that I can figure out along the way. In time I too can raise a self-sufficient, smart, determined girl who likes me. Watching The Gilmore Girls, I get pulled into the ideological trickery of television. I am presented with an idealized mother-daughter bond that doesn’t exist but I still want very much to believe that it might. In the end, am I simply a cultural dupe because I want my mother-daughter relationship to be as ideal as those of (some) TV families?