So, I finally watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I agreed to wait until my friend got back from NYC to watch the revival together (why am I such a good friend?!), only to find out he’d be leaving the next day and we could only squeeze two of the four episodes in. Because I couldn’t cry/scream/lament over the final episodes with someone, I decided I had to share my thoughts here in fear that I might literally, EXPLODE.
If you have not watched the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls – or are still watching the original series – or have never watched any of it, STOP RIGHT HERE. I cannot and will not ruin such a glorious, wonderful piece of happiness in your lives. Also, nothing will make sense.
I haven’t read much out there yet – I have to harness my own thoughts and feelings before reading others’. But let me begin by first saying, though I had my doubts, I thought by and large the four episodes were amazing, and it ended perfectly (I’m also in the How I Met Your Mother camp of those who thought that series couldn’t have ended any other way as well- I know, I’m in the minority).
This is going to be a long, sequential, stream of consciousness type of “review”, so if you’re expecting The New York Times, you’re in the wrong place. Now, let’s embark.
WINTER: The show opened to black and us hearing those famous one liners we all love and remember fondly. Kudos, Amy for the perfect opening nod to the show that built my excitement up even more (how that was possible, I don’t know). Things kind of slowed down from there. Stars Hollow looked different (better production quality), and it took a while for Rory and Lorelai to warm up together. Oh no, I was having flashbacks to Rory’s beginnings as a very, very green actress (did you know Gilmore Girls was her first ever AUDITION?!), and I was not happy that she had lost any acting progress she had made over the original seven seasons. Their chemistry wasn’t quite there, some of the scenes seemed too long or slow or I don’t know what it was, but it was DIFFERENT. I was wary, but still excited. It’s OK, it was leading us back into the show and their world. It would take a little time.
Why was Paul a character? The second we meet him I was like WHO IS THIS GUY? No way would Rory be with him and for two years no less? It was sad that they made this nice guy a punch line to a mean joke, and why was Rory such a monster?
Kirk. Ooober and being at Friday night dinner. Enough said.
Richard’s presence was so sorely missed, but they handled his death in the most perfect (I’m going to be saying this a lot) way. So very sad – and the fight scene with Lorelai and Emily in the kitchen – it was a different rhythm than the original show but so full of meat. I silently screamed in my head, “YES. This is the good stuff I’ve been waiting for.” Emily has many, many flaws, but I love how multidimensional, hilarious, and human she is. Emily can be the most biting, yet saddest character on the whole show.
Luke and Lorelai. I have been and always will be Team Luke. I never remotely jumped on the Christopher train. So now, ten years later, after their initial break up and getting back together, how are they still not communicating? Yes, that’s Luke’s style. But they would’ve learned some things from their initial relationship and over the past TEN YEARS, like asking one another, “Should we have kids or not?” Especially because in the original series, Lorelai expressed that she would love to have more children. And Luke expressed that he wanted children with her.
Paris was just as amazing as ever. At first, it seemed not to make sense that she ran a fertility clinic. But then I realized, of COURSE Paris would want to responsible for “creating life”. Her didactic, unemotional response and attitude towards the whole process was exactly her. Her hair cut and power outfits – yes.
When we first see Rory in a swanky apartment talking to someone, I cried that it looked like it would be Logan’s apartment but was so sad that it “wasn’t”. AND THEN LOGAN COMES OUT. *Disclaimer, I’m Team Logan. I know I am in the small, small minority, but #sorrynotsorry.
Anyway, I could hardly contain my excitement. And dang was that boy looking goooood.
Honorable mention – the start of the cameos. The town troubadour! We even saw Jason! Already impressed with them bringing back literally EVERY CHARACTER.
SPRING: The therapy sessions didn’t accomplish anything, but I did love the little nod to the “Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting” episode in season 6 (which is one of my favorite episodes). The town hall meeting about the gay pride parade – hilarious. I could have done without the British author story line (wow, was she obnoxious), but Kirk’s second film was everything I never knew I needed. These types of things gave the show its original charm and made this revival find its footing.
The best part of this episode was HANDS DOWN Paris’ freak out in the Chilton bathroom. It was everything we love about her and the cameo by Francine was amazing (still wishing we had gotten a real cameo from Tristan, and to be honest I thought maybe Max Medina would pop up somewhere). It was typical Paris fashion, and I loved it.
*The Doyle break-up is sad, but I am 1) glad we got to see him and 2) thinking maybe this is another one of Paris’s psychotic “break-ups” with Doyle. If it’s not, well, though perfect for each other, their relationship was always a bit crazy. And the “stairs” in her home – LOL.
Rory + Lorelai + Amber. Thank you, God. ❤ (You will only understand if you watched Parenthood).
The worst part of this episode was Rory returning to her New York hotel room to her mom. What kind of person has Rory become that she will blow off her mom – who is there SOLELY to visit her – to run off with strangers and HAVE SEX with a random guy in a Wookie costume? This is all while being in a two year relationship AND sleeping with Logan. Why wasn’t Lorelai upset by any of this? WHAT IS GOING ON.
This was my least favorite episode, so I’ll just leave it at that.
*Honorable mention goes to Lane’s “Oh, there’s my dad.” and getting one little wave from our first and only sighting of Mr. Kim. I LAUGHED SO HARD.
SUMMER: They did this a a couple times in the original series, but I cannot get over the body shaming at the pool. When I heard it in the original series, I was flabbergasted, not because characters cannot be this way, but because Rory and Lorelai – with their independent, female power attitudes and general decency – wouldn’t have done it. It was unnecessary, and I didn’t like it. I did think the Khalessi thing was hilarious (though a little weird they were having these children be their servants, but…typical Gilmore fashion). “Khaleesi is speaking”. HAHAHA.
Seeing grown up April was very sweet. I wasn’t a fan of that whole story line in the original – just because I didn’t need to see her and Luke’s relationship without Lorelai (because what was the point?), but it was fun to see her grown up, yet exactly the same.
Criiiinged at Logan’s fiance moving in and this just being something he never mentioned. I was so confused by this dynamic. He obviously loves her, and their chemistry is off the charts. But, why was Rory cheating on her boyfriend with someone who was engaged? Why was neither one of them fighting for one another? If after ten years they still can’t quit each other, what’s the deal? Is this just supposed to mirror Lorelai and Christopher? Did Rory not want him to leave his fiancé? Would Logan have done it if she asked? I like to think he would.
The Secret Bar is everything that makes Stars Hollow perfect. ❤
And the musical…no words. Why did we sit through 20 minutes of that?! Was it just for a Sutton appearance? They wasted precious, precious time that could have been given to seeing more of the other characters.
I love seeing Rory really care about her grandmother’s well being – checking in on her and encouraging her to live her life. Rory has her flaws, but her heart is in the right place.
We finally see Jess, and though I’ve always been Team Logan, I completely believed she would end up with Jess. And I could even be on board with it because even though he could be pretty awful as a teen, he was a kid who came from a broken home and had a hard life. Some growing up would do him good because he was smart and so compatible with Rory. Leave it to Jess to talk sense into Rory – like he did in the original show after meeting Logan. Why doesn’t Rory appreciate him like she should? Why doesn’t Rory give Jess the credit for the book idea?! She’s the most selfish of all of them.
The cemetery scene. Again we see Lorelai being immature and selfish, but characters aren’t perfect and can’t change who they inherently are, and I love that about this show. We needed to see some conflict between Lorelai and Rory.
FALL: This episode was literally WRITTEN FOR ME. It was everything. So I’m just going to sound off everything I loved.
The Wild Girls. HILARIOUS. I loved all of it (but of course knew Lorelai would never actually go on the hike). By the way, I’m “the book”, but I did watch the movie when it came out.
The Life and Death Brigade took me by surprise, but it was so fun. YES LOGAN RETURNS. But the final scene between him and Rory broke my heart into a million pieces. The last kiss? The hat and the “picture” to remember her by? I DIED. But I wish they had developed this whole situation better. I know Rory ended things to be on her own – but was it just because of the affair? Did she not want to be with him even if he committed?
The Park Rangers Parenthood cameos? YES PLEASE. Made my heart so very, very, very happy. And Lorelai’s phone call with her mom from the “trail”? Crying all over the place.
Luke cooking the steak for Paul Anke and his love rant to Lorelai in the kitchen is every reason why I love Luke. LUKE FOREVER.
Rory walking through the Gilmore home, seeing the flashback to the Friday night dinner, and writing her book in Richard’s office gave me every good feeling imaginable. Ugh, Amy, you know how to pull at our heartstrings.
Rory’s peace offering of all the pop tarts and Red Vines and ice cream and coffee when she gives Lorelai the first three chapters and you see “THE GILMORE GIRLS” on the manuscript. Died again.
Emily not giving AF and her constant BS remarks at the DAR interview was the best thing to ever happen in Gilmore Girls world (how many acronyms can I use?).
If you guys know anything about me, you know that Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland in 24) is my favorite fictional character of all time. And for them to reference him as Luke’s only friend KILLED ME WITH HAPPINESS. The only thing that would have made it more perfect was if we had the cameo, but I could die happy with just the mere mention of him. Seriously Amy, do we share the same soul?!
Christopher. Finally Rory asks the questions I’ve always wanted to ask him. He’s always seemed like a good guy, but he was just absent for no apparent reason, and why did no one care?!
Dean and Rory in Dosey’s Market. So, so sweet and wonderful and the best closure.
SOOKIE. She was nothing less of what I expected her to be – perfect. I am only sad that she was only in this one scene. WHY UNIVERSE, WHY?! Because it also doesn’t make sense that she would abandon her best friend and her dream inn they started together to go test soil and not even cook?! She wasn’t at Lorelai’s wedding for crying out loud!
I cannot get over how perfect Emily’s story was. That she sold her house and got a job (FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE) and grew and reinvented herself. It was surprising but not forced in the least bit and made me SO HAPPY.
Lorelai and Luke’s “Wonderland” wedding. Again Amy, WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. I told you this episode was written for me or by me or God had His hand in it. WHAT IS LIFE.
And the last four words. The long awaited last four words that I am sure are sparking so much excitement and rage and every emotion under the sun among the show’s fans. But, how was it not obvious?! They were perfect.
If you are part of the naysayers, remember this. Amy, the CREATOR of the show, always intended it to end this way. Which means it has to be perfect.
Rory is Lorelai’s daugher. They have this unbreakable bond, and though we see Rory with her brains and achievements, she is without a doubt her mother’s daughter. She even claims at her Chilton graduation that all she ever wanted to be was her mother. She has to be more like Lorelai than we think. And yes, it’s disheartening to see all her drive and Yale degree and everything else seemingly fly out the window, but really, it couldn’t have ended any other way. BECAUSE THIS IS REAL LIFE. You can do everything right and still, life happens. This is not out of character for Rory – we’ve seen her give up at the first sign of “failure” before. When Mitch Huntzberger told her she “didn’t have it”, she stole a yacht, went to jail, and dropped out of Yale. Rory works hard but when she doesn’t get the outcome she expects, she gives up. It’s in her insecure nature (she has never been as confident as Lorelai), so it makes sense that even at 32 years old, the age Lorelai was in the first season of Gilmore Girls, she would be unsure of herself and find herself pregnant. We could’ve seen her journalism aspirations not come to fruition a little better, but we are missing 10 years. It’s all too perfect.
We can only hope that though things didn’t go as planned, Rory will still be successful – just like her mother. She can still have a good life – just like her mother. She will still write (books now, instead of news articles, which to me is more fitting because journalism never seemed right to me), she will live in Stars Hollow (where her heart belongs), and she will continue her close relationship with her mom but now (presumably) with a daughter of her own. I hope that she will not take what Christopher said and leave Logan out of the child’s life (because I’m not so secretly happy he is still part of Rory’s story). But, I also think Jess (Rory’s Luke) will always be around for her. I wish they had given him more screen time because we didn’t get to really feel any lingering feelings between them (except Jess’ one glance through the window at Rory).
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you made it through all of that, I applaud you. Talking about television is my favorite thing in existence, and if I don’t share who I truly am in this space, I’d be lying.
This revival was so different, yet the exact same as the original Gilmore Girls we all know and love. I was so worried they’d ruin it, but I loved it so much more than I ever thought I would. The 90 minute “movie” episodes slowed the pace down, but I liked it. It felt more true to life than the original series, and that was GOOD, y’all. And they paid tribute to the original series in all the best ways – with all the inside jokes and cameos that never felt forced or cheesy or out of place. I seriously cannot applaud the writers enough for their work.
I know people will be screaming for a continuance of the series. I pray to God they leave it alone. This was how the series was always meant to end, and it was perfect. Any more would dishonor the Gilmore name. And we got our closure y’all. We got it.
P.S. If you don’t think I’m crazy yet, and are jonesing for even MORE Gilmore Girls, I once ranked Lauren Graham’s love interests here.
*Promotional images from Netflix. And yes, I realize how awkward they are.