August 11, 2014 5:50 PM EDT

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel must have had personal trainers who had them lift tiny weights with their tongues. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s chatter-rich scripts brilliantly took single mom Lorelai and teen daughter Rory and made them the stars of a Tracy-Hepburn love story. (Sample: Rory teases her mom about dating a much younger man. Lorelai: He’s in his twenties! Rory: He must have been a very good boy to deserve such a happy day. I bet they let him ride a pony.) But what sold the show was Graham and Bledel, as a mother-daughter duo who could never say I love you—however indirectly and snarkily—often enough, or in too many words.

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