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Moving from its Thursday-night slot to a more ratings-friendly Tuesday berth, the WB drama series Gilmore Girls began its second season with Lorelai Gilmore, single mother and manager of Independence Inn in the Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, accepting a proposal of marriage from Max Medina (Scott Cohen) -- who happened to be one of the teachers at Chilton Prep School, where Lorelai's 16-year-old daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), was currently enrolled. Within a few episodes, however, Lorelai had gotten cold feet and called off the wedding. Though her wealthy mother, Emily (Kelly Bishop), accused Lorelai (who'd had Rory out of wedlock) of being unable to make a lasting commitment to any man, the fact was that Lorelai was currently weighing the options between Rory's father, Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), a former restless spirit who was now showing signs of developing a sense of responsibility and permanence, and Luke Danes (Scott Patterson), the diamond-in-the-rough owner of the local diner. Of the large supporting cast, two recurring characters were elevated to "regular" status: Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki), erstwhile boyfriend of Rory Gilmore, and Paris Geller (Liza Weil), snooty editor of the Chilton student newspaper and Rory's principal campus nemesis (at least until they became friends during a crucial school election). Also added to the regular cast was Milo Ventimiglia as Jess Mariano, the troublesome 17-year-old nephew of Luke Danes. By the end of season two, it appeared as though Rory was emulating the romantic travails of her mom, Lorelai, torn between the affections of Dean and Jess.
In another amorous development, Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy), Indepence Inn's ditzy chef, became engaged to local produce vendor Jackon Melville (Jackson Douglas), a relationship culminating in a wedding at season's end. Additionally, Rory's friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) began aggressively pursuing not only boys but also a career as a rock musician, much to the dismay of her staunchly traditional Korean parents. This was also the season in which Lorelai's father, Richard (Edward Herrmann), forced out of his high-paying job, established his own insurance consulting firm in Stars Hollow. In a similar vein, Lorelai began feeling professionally confined as the manager of an inn and began laying plans to purchase her own business, with (hopefully) Sookie as her partner. And finally, Christopher Hayden apparently took himself out of the running as Lorelai's beau when he took upon himself a young fiancée named Sherrie Tinsdale (Mädchen Amick). Even so, season two drew to a close with Sherrie dumping Christopher, who in turn ended up in bed with Lorelai -- but the future of this relationship was endangered by a startling phone call from Sherrie. As for Rory, she found herself in a passionate embrace with the redoubtable Jess not long after the two of them had been involved in a controversial car accident -- setting up a cliffhanger situation that would have to wait until the beginning of season three for resolution. While Gilmore Girls had still not cracked the Top 30 as far as ratings were concerned, the numbers the series posted were quite respectable by WB network standards. ~ Rovi