I only saw the first episode but I thought it was on the east coast, Paradise a sleepy coastal town. I live in NorCal and only a 20 minute drive “up the hill” as it’s called to a very small small town called Paradise, definitely not SoCal.
Sorry to not have responded sooner. I could very much be wrong about the part of California - I have been to California but am hardly a California expert - but it’s clear from later episodes that it’s in California, though it seems like it’s not the actual place Paradise, CA. I can see how that wouldn’t be obvious from the pilot though.
I mean, either way, my point was that Gilmore Girls was set on the east coast, and the most important non-Gilmore character was a woman of colour.