With the revival of the comedy drama Gilmore Girls sending its many fans into an emotional, nostalgic frenzy, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the show’s star Lauren Graham has chosen to capitalize on the renewed interest in the beloved ‘00s drama and publish a memoir that focuses in part on the series that made her famous. The actress reflects on her past and “(almost) present” in her autobiographical book, Talking as Fast as I Can, a collection of witty personal essays which find the big and small screen star talking about her life and work from her childhood to her current success.
Born in Hawaii, then whisked away to Japan at the age of three weeks, a young Graham eventually found herself living on a houseboat in the Virgin Islands with her father a few years later after her parents split up when she was a child. The actress discusses her somewhat unconventional upbringing, then writes about her decision to major in English from Barnard College, and ultimately pursuing a career in show business.
She shares tales from the time when she was an aspiring actress, auditioning for various parts and working odd jobs in order to chase her acting dream. That dream, of course, led to Gilmore Girls, the family drama that ran from 2000 to 2007, then made a comeback last year in the form of a four-part Netflix mini-series, and is, in fact, the reason for the existence of this book. The chance to reprise her most popular role led her to reminisce about the past and the ways in which her life has changed in between the first and second incarnations, which led to the writing of Talking as Fast as I Can.
In the chapter ‘What It Was Like, Part One’, she relays her thoughts about the original run of Gilmore Girls, how she landed the role, and the experience of working on The WB tent-pole. Graham binge-watched the seven seasons of the dramedy in order to discuss them in the book, including her take on what was going on behind the scenes, the dated references in the show, the hair and outfit choices, what she loved, and how she felt about each season finale. She returns to the topic towards the end of the book in the chapter ‘What It Was Like, Part Two’, in which she discusses the reboot, and shares excerpts from the diary entries she wrote while working on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
The performer also touches upon a few other projects, like the terrific experience of working on the NBC drama Parenthood and the not-so-terrific experience of being a guest judge on Project Runway. She also talks about authoring her novel Someday, Someday, Maybe, and how to be a more efficient writer. Other topics that come up in her essays include the “eleventy million” diets she has tried (and basically how none of them really work), ageism in Hollywood, being chronically single to the point where even strangers were worried about her, and eventually getting into a relationship with her Parenthood co-star Peter Krause.
Lauren Graham’s vivacious personality shines through in her lively prose. The actress is consistently witty and charming in her essays, which are fun to read, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that there isn’t much substance or depth to her stories. The writer clearly values her privacy, and while it is refreshing that she hasn’t overshared crude details from her life, it is also a letdown that most of her discussions remain surface level as she doesn’t delve deep, or, for the most part, reveal any significant information. If you have any questions about her choices and decisions or even her acting work beyond a few select projects, then chances are your queries will remain unanswered. Writing a memoir when you don’t intend to reveal anything may still be lucrative for the writer but it isn’t really fair to the readers, especially if they can find out just as much about the subject from reading an online bio or magazine article.
Still, while it may not be very revelatory, Talking as Fast as I Can is actually quite well written. The 50-year-old actress has put together a charming femoir that makes for a quick, enjoyable read. Lauren Graham comes off as sincere but guarded in the book, and while she isn’t willing to offer any intimate stories from her life on- or off-screen, she does seem very friendly and personable. If you’re looking for a light, amusing summer read, then Talking as Fast as I Can certainly fits the bill, and fans of Gilmore Girls in particular will enjoy this book, especially her diary entries and recollections about the show.