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12.02.2016

Why I Both Loved and Hated "Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life"

WARNING: This post contains major plot spoilers! If you don't want to know all the details of the new revival, stop reading now!

So, if you haven't watched the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix yet, then I declare you are not a true Gilmore Girls fan and this post is totally not meant for you. (Sorry, but it's true) If you did watch, let's talk about it for a second because I need to process all the feels.
I LOVED it!  But I also, really HATED it too.

Well, maybe "hated" is too strong a word - more like surprised, perplexed, and maybe just hint of disappointed?

Let's break it down to what worked and didn't work for me, shall we?

The Settings
LOVED - Stars Hollow, Luke's, Lorelai's house, The Dragonfly Inn, Emily Gilmore's, and Chilton. It all looked exactly the same and was so fun to see again after all this time - like coming home.

HATED - All the parts in London, Nantucket, the Pacific Crest Trail. The Gilmores don't work outside their little world and every time they weren't in it, it felt strange. I'll maybe give them London, but it seemed a little far fetched considering Rory didn't even have steady work there (more on that later).

Supporting Characters
LOVED - Everybody was back! All my old favorites made an appearance. I'm actually racking my brain to think of anyone they missed.

HATED - Everybody was back and then some. They crammed in so many guest appearances it was almost too much. I mean, was anyone really dying to see Francie from Chilton again? In addition, they introduced a ton of new characters. Uh-uh, no, I didn't want anybody new. Anybody who had a speaking part and wasn't part of the original cast felt like a waste of very precious Gilmore Girls time.

Sookie St. James
LOVED - Melissa McCarthy reprising her roll as Sookie! It was all so perfectly Sookie, and it made me really happy that she took the time to come back and do this even though she's bonafide movie star now. She did it for the fans, and that makes me like her even more.

HATED - It was so short! Sookie and Lorelai only had one little scene together in the last episode, and that was it. It wasn't nearly enough.
Emily Gilmore
LOVED - Emily coming to terms with Richard's death and her future without him was both really sad, surprisingly funny, and overall touching to watch. Wonderful performance by Kelly Bishop!

HATED - Emily's decision to sell the house, move to Nantucket, and start working as a tour guide at a whaling museum. I understand that she felt her old life wasn't her anymore without Richard, but the life she choose for herself instead seemed so out of character. Also, throughout the original show they had the great running gag of Emily's constant revolving house maids. It was pretty funny when her latest maid (and later her entire family) bombarded the Gilmore house. I kept waiting for Emily to come to her senses and kick them all out when she finally came to terms with everything, but instead she sort of...embraced them all? What? Are they are like living in her house with her now? I thought it was weird.

Rory's "Boyfriends"
LOVED - That despite all moving on to other successful television shows; Logan (Matt Czuchry), Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), and even Dean (Jared Padalecki) made appearances. Rory got to tell Dean how much he meant to her and what a great first boyfriend/love he was. I loved that Jess helped to nudge Rory in the most obvious of career path too, and that he totally still has a thing for her. Team Jess all the way!

HATED - The "Tristan" sighting at Chilton (which wasn't Chad Michael Murray by the way) and how it threw the confident and successful Paris into a dizzy. The only thing I could think of was that it gave us a chance to see the old crazy, paranoid Paris which was funny, but you know, I was fine if she had evolved past that aspect of her personality seeing as she's now in her 30's. Or at the very least, they could have highlighted that personality quick in an another area of her life and not over some boy she obsessed about for a nanosecond back in high school.

I also wasn't a fan of Rory having an affair with an engaged Logan. Yes, she had an affair with the married Dean back in the day, but I had thought that was a momentary lapse in judgement, not the beginning of what was to be an ongoing pattern in her dating habits. Sleeping with and pining for a man unavailable to you is not the sign of a confident, strong, and independent woman which I always thought Rory to be.
Lorelai
LOVED - All the classic Lorelai. Again, she works best in Stars Hollow surrounded by her strange little small town family. I love her fast talking, snappy dressing, coffee drinking ways.

HATED - Lorelai's strange journey to get her somewhere it seemed she already was. Her story line was haphazard. Was she mourning her dad? Was she suddenly so unsure of her relationship with Luke after 9 years of cohabitation bliss? Are her issues with her mother so deep that they still haven't figured out how to have any sort of relationship at all? She goes from wanting to have a baby via surrogate with Luke to abandoning him to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Also, I always loved to see Lorelai being a mom to Rory. They were best friends, but she could instantly switch to mom mode when needed. There wasn't a whole lot of that going on. When they were together, which was surprisingly rarely, they were just sort of hanging out. And if there was ever a time to go into Lorelai Mom-Mode, this was it as Rory was in serious desperate need of some tough love (more on that later).
Luke and Lorelai Get Married
LOVED - Luke and Lorelai getting married. What's not to love? I was actually surprised they weren't married already, so it was great to witness as a viewer. Luke's impassioned speech to Lorelai when she came home from her "journey" to the Pacific Crest Trail was one of my favorite scenes of the entire revival.

HATED - That with the wedding all planned, they decided to get married the night before just them. What? Also, I get Rory was there, but why Michele? If anybody would have been at their little secret ceremony it would have been Sookie, right? Anyway, I really wanted to see a big Stars Hollow wedding with the entire town and Emily as well. At least they finally did it though, so you know, beggars can't be choosers.
Rory
LOVED: Um, I'm racking my brain here, I guess, she saved the Stars Hallow Gazette from shutting down, maybe?

HATED: Almost everything. Rory was the anchor of the Gilmore family. She was the one thing both Lorelai and her parents agreed was more important than all their past issues. She was worth rallying around. She was given everything, and the entire series was about her not repeating past mistakes of the family and helping her to succeed above everything else. She was always an overachiever with grand life plans for herself. She was focused. She had a dream and a plan and nothing was going to deter her...especially not a man. Remember, the original series ended with her turning down Logan's marriage proposal to go cover Barack Obama's campaign for presidency. She was off and running!

Flash forward 10 years, and it turns out, Rory's just a privileged little Millennial complete with unearned feelings of entitlement. She's falling asleep on the job, burning bridges when things don't go her way, and pinning all her dreams on finding her "lucky outfit". Seriously, who goes into a job interview for a journalist position with no story pitches? She's complains about being poor, when she's obviously not poor at all; as evidenced by the fact that she continuously jets back and forth to London for pretty much the sole reason of continuing an affair with Logan who is engaged to another woman.

She finally decides to write a book, which I admit made total sense; but when Lorelai asked her not to write about their life, and then she goes ahead and does it anyway - well, instead of feeling like a triumph the move comes off as quite selfish (although Lorelai does finally give her blessing).

Which brings us to...
Those Last Four Words
Rory: "Mom?"
Lorelai: "Yeah?"
Rory: "I'm pregnant."

LOVED: That it was definitely a surprise. Honestly though, the only reason I could possibly love this as an ending was if it wasn't an ending. There better be more Gilmore Girls coming after this bombshell. Also, I loved the realization of the true meaning of her conversation with her dad in episode 4. She was basically asking him whether Lorelai made the right decision raising her on her own as looks like she'll be raising this baby on her own as well.

HATED: What it means if it is the "true" ending of the series. Because, if it is, it means Rory learned nothing from her mother's entire life experience and all the sacrifices she made for Rory. She just literally repeated her mother's past (albeit at 32 instead of 16 years old) - right down to having the father of her child not be part of the equation (I hope it's Logan and not the one-night stand with the Wookie - although the Wookie would probably be better in the long run then dealing with Logan the rest of her life) Mind you, I don't think it's a bad thing if Rory is pregnant, it just seemed an odd choice considering her character arc over the entire series. Perhaps, like her mother, a baby will be the catalyst for her to finally get her life back on track.

So, those are some of my long and rambling thoughts on the revival as a whole. I still totally loved it. It's one of my favorite TV shows of all times, so there was no way, even with some questionable story decisions, that I wasn't completely overjoyed to see all these characters again. What did you think? Do you think that's it, or will they do more? What about those last four words? I could go on about it some more, especially when you think about how that was how Amy Sherman-Palladino originally wanted to end the series before she left (was fired?) prior to Season 7. Could you imagine a 22 year old Rory dropping that bombshell? What a different revival it would have been.

All photos from here.

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