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The One About Gilmore Girls

12-01-2016

So that Gilmore Girls revival……………………………………..

Settle in friends because this fan has A LOT to say about it. Plus y’all asked for it, so here it is.

Watching A Year in the Life was like hoping for the Queen version of Bohemian Rhapsody but getting the Panic! at the Disco version. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted. It was like coming back home for the first time after you’ve moved away and everything is different but some parts do feel the same(ish). There were things I liked and things I didn’t like. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I felt warm, and I felt sick. I had a lot of feelings watching all 4 of these seasons, and I’m here to share them all with ya.

I should start with a few disclaimers : Gilmore Girls was a huge part of my life growing up and still is to this day. It was one of the reasons I originally wanted to work in television. It was the first show where I actually researched all. the. things. because I couldn’t get enough of it. I remember googling where it was filmed and was disappointed to learn it was in Burbank. It was then I learned a lot about “movie magic” and became fascinated that a crew of random people could make an ordinary back-lot in California look so warm and real and inviting and magical. I had more than a few GG marathons with my friends in middle/high school, complete with all the junk food and declaring boyfriend “teams” before it was a thing. I remember sitting on my pink bean bag chair and crying when Rory gave her graduation speech to her mom at Chilton. I still thank/blame Gilmore Girls for my eating habits and am convinced it’s the reason I talk so fast. I was so in awe of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing, her mind and her ability to create the world of Stars Hollow. It was the world I always wanted to live in but never quite knew how to describe until it first blessed my tv screen. I very seriously thought about opening and managing an Inn when I grew up, and it’s still something I think about regularly. I randomly found a record of Carole King singing “Where You Lead” and it has become one of my most prized-like I would grab it first in a fire prized-possessions. And every time I move into a new place I break out my Gilmore Girls DVDs and start the series all over again. I tell people it’s because it usually takes awhile for the internet to kick in, but really it’s because watching Gilmore Girls is like coming home.

Yeah… I am very aware that I’m too invested in this show.

Another disclaimer : My grandfather passed away earlier this summer. Now, while my relationship with my mom and grandmother is NOTHING like Rory/Lorelai/Emily’s relationship, Edward Herrmann/Richard Gilmore’s death still hit a little close to home for me. Recently I spent a weekend with my mother and grandmother and it was marvelous. I remember thinking “this is kinda like Gilmore Girls just without all the fighting!”. True story. I also saw a lot of my relationship with my grandfather in the relationship between Rory and Richard and it always warmed my heart. Soooo I knew going into the revival I was going to have a different perspective on it than I would had my own grandfather and/or Edward Herrmann not recently passed.

Final disclaimer : All of this is just my opinion. I love Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and will literally never be able to appropriately thank her for having a huge impact on my life. And after I finished the revival I turned on the live Facebook Gilmore Girls panel and my heart skipped several beats when I saw Lauren Graham. So clearly I STILL LOVE THIS SHOW. That hasn’t changed. I just have some thoughts on the revival and wanted to share them since more than a few people have asked me to do so. So Amy or anyone affiliated with the Gilmore world- if you see this, I don’t hate you. I love you a lot actually. Probably more than is appropriate for a stranger. And I would still invite you to my fictional dinner party of people I am obsessed with look up to & admire immensely.

Also in case you were unaware… there will be spoilers in this post. Haven’t watched the revival yet? Stop right here. I truly want you to experience the revival on your own and have your OWN opinion. We can totally discuss after you’ve finished 🙂

OK. So here we go. Let’s start with the pros, shall we?

  • Every secondary character was exactly where I thought they would be 9 years later. (Except Sookie, but I’ll get into that later)
  • Stars Hollow looks and feels the same.
  • So. Many. Cameos. But it makes me really happy/proud that so many people LOVED this show so much that they just had to be in the reboot.
  • So many Richard feelings. But I loved how his death/the funeral was handled (minus the Emily/Lorelai stuff obviously).
  • Paris killed it. She wins.
  • I also really love that Paris and Rory are still good friends. Makes my heart real happy.
  • Kelly Bishop is incredible. Always.
  • The bit about the wifi password at Lukes? Loved. It. Glad to see some things will never change.
  • Also glad to see Rory is still an awkward hugger.
  • Thanks for only giving us one scene with April, and one scene with Christopher.
  • Town troubadour I love you.
  • Ceasar’s hair.
  • Babette, thank you for being you. You never fail me and I love you for it.
  • Glad to see Emily finally settled on a maid (though I want more on that story/still think someone should do a case study on ALL of the maids Em has had over the years).
  • Luke is still proud of Rory and putting her New Yorker piece on the menu? Adorable.
  • The ooooober thing is TOTALLY something Kirk would do.
  • Also Kirk has always been a cat pig guy, he’s just never had a cat pig.
  • Kirk at friday night dinner. LOL.
  • Kirk may be graying but I still love him.
  • Glad to see Paul Anka is still alive and well (both the dog and the actual person).
  • Doyle being a screenwriter is hilarious and perfect. Maybe it’s because I live in LA but I loved it.
  • Real real happy that Hep Alien is still rocking.
  • Emily in jeans killed me!
  • MR. KIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. That could’ve been an entire hour and a half episode in and of itself and I totally would’ve watched it.
  • Glad the town is still doing random festivals.
  • Real talk: When I grow up I want to be one of the old random people that sits next to Taylor at town meetings.
  • Kirk’s short film was better than the entire Stars Hollow musical.
  • Oh hey Rachael Ray…… Super weird seeing my old boss in a scene with Lorelai. But it means I’m one degree separation from a Gilmore right? So that’s pretty cool.
  • Richard leaving Luke money to franchise was really really sweet.
  • Watching Rory and Paris go back to Chilton totally felt like I was going back to high school too.
  • That bathroom scene? Everything.
  • Whoever that guy playing Tristan was did his homework because he nailed that CMM stance to a T.
  • Seeing Headmaster Charleston was weirdly comforting.
  • MAE WHITMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve missed seeing you on the small screen girl. Stalking your Instagram and pretending we are real life friends is not enough.
  • Am I the only one interested in this “people in lines” piece? Sure it’s no Pulitzer, but honey ’03 Rory would’ve knocked it out of the park, and it’s something I would have definitely read.
  • SINCE WHEN DOES STARS HOLLOW HAVE A POOL?!
  • Was anybody else hoping to see the rest of the sisterhood (of the traveling plants) in the 30-something gang??
  • Of course you should take over the Stars Hollow Gazette Rory! I could’ve told you that as soon as Taylor said it was ending. In fact I did. I yelled it at the screen… But I’m glad you finally warmed around to the idea way too many minutes later.
  • How in the world has Stars Hollow not done a musical about itself before? But hey, Sutton Foster is welcome on my screen anytime.
  • Babette & Miss Patty back together again. It only took an entire winter and spring, but thank God it happened.
  • Luke cooking in Sookie’s kitchen at the Inn brought back so. many. memories. And it’s sad how happy it made me.
  • Lorelai and Rory running around Stars Hollow not knowing which way was East/West made me feel a lot better about my direction skills.
  • Oh heyyyy Kim’s Antiques! I’ve missed you. And now that I’m in my mid20s I really want to shop in you.
  • Emily’s reaction to the DAR. LOL!
  • YOU’RE STILL A CONTENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Also muscles. I miss scrawny Jess but muscles Jess ain’t bad either 😉
  • Of course Jess has a brilliant idea and basically saves Rory in one 3 minute interaction. Because that’s what post-teen-punk Jess does. He ALWAYS helps Rory and brings her out of her darkness and pushes her to be her best self. So no surprise there, but it was still my favorite scene in Summer. And was better than the entire Spring episode.
  • Luke and Jess are the cutest. Always and forever.
  • Totally cried watching Lorelai cry watching Sutton Foster. She good.
  • Thanks for ending on Fall. It’s the best season in the real world and in the Stars Hollow world.
  • Mark!!! The one Sarah Braverman was supposed to marry in Parenthood!!! Anyone else feel like they finally go closure?
  • I repeat, Jess and Luke are the cutest.
  • When I re-watch the revival I might just watch all the Luke & Jess scenes. And skip over everything else.
  • Don’t hate me but I weirdly liked the Life & Death Brigade acid trip through The Beatles/Stars Hollow.
  • I didn’t say I loved it… I said I liked it.
  • C’mon I can’t be the only one who was jealous they got to hit golf balls from the building tops of Stars Hollow?!?!?!
  • Cried real ugly tears at my desk at work when Lorelai called her mom from that random mountain telling a story about her dad. Did it start off random and forced? Totally. But my goodness Lauren Graham is good. And like I mentioned earlier, it hit real close to home.
  • Luke feeding Paul Anka. Yes.
  • Finally Luke and Lorelai are reunited and everything’s totally fine and I have zero questions or concerns!!!!
  • Just kidding. I have lots of questions and concerns. But I’m SO GLAD to see them finally happy!!!!!!!!! Although I don’t think an “I love you” would’ve killed anyone………
  • Emily in Nantucket makes perfect sense to me.
  • Rory writing in Richard’s office also makes perfect sense to me.
  • Hey Michel, if you don’t want anyone to replace you at the Inn, maybe don’t leave?
  • The nuns. LOL.
  • I would watch an entire series about the Stars Hollow nuns.
  • Glad there were so many scenes in Lorelai’s kitchen. I’ve missed that place.
  • MISS CELINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You almost made me forget that I had to sit through an entire musical, a weird Wild segue, and a lot of no-idea-how-Rory-can-afford-these trips to London to get to you, but I’m so glad you’re here!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Loved Lorelai asking Emily for Richard’s money for Luke for an expansion at the Inn. Lorelai was right it would totally honor Richard’s memory! And I’m really happy that Emily wants Luke to join in on the new friday night dinner arrangement. YAY FAMILY!!!
  • Dean looks good.
  • Like I might start watching Supernatural good.
  • Loved that their scene was in Doose’s. Classic. Cornstarch.
  • Also real happy he’s got so many kids. I bet he crushes it in the dad department.
  • His casual look back? Woof. I might make that my screensaver.
  • SOOKIE ST. JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • There you are friend!!!!!!!!!
  • Of course you killed it in the whole scene.
  • Still best friends? Cried so much I had to run to the bathroom so people wouldn’t look at me funny.
  • Michel, Sookie and Lor?! Gangs all here. Just like old times.
  • Sookie smelling/knowing which famous chefs were in her kitchen made me cry laugh.
  • Seeing Emily in her new job at the whale museum made me really really really really really really happy.
  • Seeing Luke, Lorelai, Rory and Jess all in Lorelai’s house is super satisfying. Would’ve been even more satisfying if it had been in Winter and not in the final 10 minutes of the entire revival but whatever.
  • OH HEY Luke and Lorelai eating pizza and talking in the kitchen!!! That’s what I’ve been missing/wishing I had been watching for the past 6 hours!!!!! Good to know y’all are still cute and happy and together after however many years of being in love and each others person! Cool! Thanks for squeezing that in!
  • Lorelai/Rory/Luke in the truck. I literally could’ve watched them drive around the town square for the entire Spring episode and I would’ve been happy.
  • Wedding scene. Thanks for including Rory this time!
  • Kirk never ruins things, he only adds wonderfulness to everything he touches.
  • Shout out to those ballerinas for practicing their routine in the middle of the night. #winnersneversleep
  • The intercuts of Emily at the end? Again made me really really really happy. Don’t know what you were doing so far away from Stars Hollow the night before your daughters wedding Emily… But you look really happy and that makes me really happy.
  • The final four words. Glad I finally heard ’em.

Okkkkk. Thanks for stickin’ with me! After reading all that I bet you’re kinda like, “yeah, it wasn’t so bad now that I think about it!” right? Here’s the thing…

ALL OF THAT COULD HAVE FIT INTO ONE EPISODE. Maybe 2 if they had made these into hour long episodes (like they should have been). All that good stuff could’ve filled up enough to make an episode or two that would have completely satisfied me. Instead I’m left with questions. Lots and lots of questions.

There was so much that we didn’t need AND that didn’t add anything to the story line. And the things that did add to the story line? Felt uncharacteristic for the characters or forced. Which really really surprised me. I absolutely LOVE the way ASP tells stories, normally. But I had to keep reminding myself this was Netflix Original Gilmore Girls not the Gilmore Girls from TV.

  • For starters, the situations, attitudes and choices Lorelai and Rory made through out the entire revival only made sense to me if NO TIME HAD PASSED. If this had been how the show ended 9 years ago, if this was the actual 7th season, or if this had aired maybe a year or two after it ended? Then I totally would be on board. It’s sad to me to see that in 9 years Lorelai has not grown at all and what Rory has grown into is terribleness. I mean in 9 years Lorelai is still unsure about her relationship with Luke? Come on. And Rory is making decisions like a 25 year old instead of as someone in her 30s?! Admittedly I am not 32 (Rory’s age) nor have I ever been 48 (Lorelai’s age). So I don’t actually know what life looks like in a 32 year old or 48 year old’s shoes. But I had hoped that after 9 freaking years, both of the Gilmore girls would have grown and evolved in some way.
  • Rory. What in the heck happened. No but I’m actually asking… what in the heck happened between you being on the Obama campaign and your apparent ONE article in The New Yorker? Because I never caught what it is that actually consumed those past 9 years. Other than the fact that you’re dating some shmuck named Paul (……) But other than that? Nada. So what have you done.  What have you done that made you too proud to take a job at a start up news (albeit gossipy news) site? What were you doing for 9 years that suddenly made you become homeless/professional couch surfer? Other than your work at the Yale Daily News and your one friggin article in The New Yorker? TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED TO MAKE YOU THIS WAY!!! Oh wait. You’ve never had to work for anything. Other than working studying hard in school to make good grades. I mean the one and only time someone told you you weren’t good at something you freaked out, stole a yacht, dropped out of Yale, moved out and started living with your grandparents, stopped talking to your mother/best friend, WENT TO JAIL, and then came back to Yale/your normal life with relatively no difficulty and get handed the editorship of the Yale Daily News. But whatever. I thought you would have at least grown in 9 years. I thought your second fall off the entitlement ladder would’ve happened after college, not a decade later. You’re telling me you didn’t have any hardship in your twenties? And this is the first “what am I going to do with my life/what is happening?” freak out you’ve had since 2006? Ok cool. That would’ve been real nice knowing going in. Because the Rory I saw in the revival I could relate to a bit (career wise) as someone in my mid-twenties. But if I haven’t done anything of worth in my field in 9 years, you better believe I would at least consider taking a job at Chilton. And also when in the world did you take music appreciation or whatever you babbled on about? Because Chilton Rory was my favorite Rory and I think I would have remembered a class that “expanded your mind the most”. I probably also would remember THE MUSIC YOU COMPOSED………… Yeah, nice try. Look I just wish we understood what happened over the past 9 years to you. Because the stories we did get just left me with more questions. And don’t even get me started on your love life.
  • Rory’s love life. Nope nope nope nope. So you’re telling me you’re cheating on your boyfriend of two years you forgot you were seeing with a guy whose proposal you turned down and is now engaged to some chick who lives in France and also has no idea she’s being cheated on? And you don’t see anything wrong with this?! As messed up as Lorelai’s love life was, it was NEVER that bad. Nor did she EVER give you an example like that. Remember when you slept with Dean? Totally married Dean? Yeah Lorelai brought the HAMMER (and one of my favorite Lorelai moments of the entire series). She taught you that being the other woman is NOT OKAY. No matter who it is. He was not “your” Dean, Rory. And he is not “your” Logan either. Sure, the occasional thing I get. But this has been going on for two years? What? Also good for you Dean for getting remarried/on with your life and having 4 kids. Glad to see someone grew up.
  • And Jess. The clear best. I will not deny that he was a TOTAL punk early on. But the guy had a lot to be angry about, and he has clearly worked through them. He now has a stable job he loves, cares about the fact that his mom/TJ accidentally joined a vegetable cult (LOL) and shows up to save them, has compassion and appreciation for Luke and he’s basically got his life together. He’s still grumpy sarcastic but like a lovable grumpy sarcastic. Oh yeah! And in one small conversation he turned Rory’s entire messed up life around.  Sound like anyone we know???
  • So Jess is Luke and Logan is Christopher. And Rory is her mother. Okkkkkkkkkk. Like I said earlier, if this had been the original season 7 I might have been able to get on board. But now? It felt so forced. Like this was the story ASP wanted to tell all along but never got the chance to do. But now? It makes me mad! It makes me mad to see that Rory, head strong, normal, decent, 9 years later Rory who had the world at her feet, was destined to do nothing other than become her mother. I get it, it came full circle. And yeah, I can see how when creating a show it would seem like a really really cool and perfect way to end it!! But I think there was so much more there for Rory. And that’s what kills me. Like if they were to do another revival would it just be Jess pining away over Rory from behind the printing press for a few years while he basically raised Logan’s daughter with Rory, but like as a friend, while Rory chased after Logan for a little while and worked hard (finally) to get her life together and become the editor-in-chief of the Stars Hollow Gazette/write books? Sounds like a great concept for a show! Too bad I already watched it from 2000-2007 on the WB. It would have been really cool to see Rory be her own person and Lorelai be her own person and see how THAT played out over the next 9 years. Give me that show and I will watch it so much I’ll probably break Netflix.
  • Speaking of Lorelai… what happened in your past 9 years? Specifically with Luke. Did the topic of marriage never come up? And the topic of kids came up only once? And only kinda? I’m just confused. If you really didn’t ever talk about that stuff, ok! That’s fine, but then why all of a sudden is it an issue? Again, I am not in my late 40s, nor have I been in love with a guy for over a decade. So I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying I’m confused and want more of an explanation there. But honestly and selfishly, I just wanted to see more of Luke & Lorelai happy. Together. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
  • That stuff with Lorelai at her father’s funeral? Yeah I’m not really going to get into that. Personally I felt it was what season 5 maybe season 6 Lorelai would have done. But not my 9 years down the road, more mature Lorelai! And same with the Wild business. It felt out of character and dragged on way. too. long. Although it did allow for some solid cameos! I also missed Lorelai knocking some sense into Rory. Remember how she took any job she could (as a maid at a random Inn) and then worked her way up? Remember how it was not okay for Rory to sleep with married Dean? Remember how if you’re gonna throw your life away he better have a motorcycle?? Where was the mom advice?! I get that Rory is now a grown adult and she may not want to hear it. But mom is mom, and her mom advice shouldn’t stop/not even be out there for Rory to eventually realize is right. Side note to my mom-if you are reading this, I really appreciate all the advice you have ever given me. Even if I haven’t always taken it (or waited way way too long to realize you were right) I always loved that you shared it-in a loving way- and I really really really don’t want you to stop giving me advice when I get to be 32. K?
  • But what really bummed me out, more than anything with Lorelai, was seeing what happened to the relationship between her and Sookie. Look, I get it. People get older, priorities change, people grow apart. It happens! I also get that Melissa McCarthy was only available for like 1 scene. It happens all the time. I. get. it. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Or that it wasn’t noticeably different not having Sookie, and by extension Jackson, at all the things going on in town. Or that when Lorelai was struggling and decided to go all Wild Sookie wasn’t there (even though she totally could have gone to Sookie’s random cabin in the woods and probably had the same, and a more realistic/characteristic, experience), or when her father died Sookie wasn’t there, or when she was upset that Rory was writing that book Sookie wasn’t there, OR WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED?! But good thing Lane was there, that made all the sense in the world… It also bums me out because I wanted better for Sookie. I should probably also mention that I am Sookie. 100%. Not in culinary skills (because is anyone really?) but in personality, 100% all the way ’til the end of time. I am Sookie. I really saw her in that Inn forever. I saw her working with her best friend forever. I just saw it. I would have been ok if she had just “been on vacation” or if everytime she came up in conversation she was on maternity leave having another baby (#9in9). I would have been on board with ANY idea that justified she was away but coming back soon. It hurt me seeing it hurt Lorelai (and clearly hurting Sookie as she mentioned in her 1 scene). Their relationship was one of my favorite relationships on the show. It just bummed me out hard. Even though I had about a year to get on board with her being in 1 scene, doesn’t mean I didn’t wish it had worked out differently!!
  • The musical. Ohhhhh the musical. Real talk, Stars Hollow needs a musical about it. I would pay good money to see that. But it didn’t need to be that long. And I agree with Lorelai, some of it was ROUGH. But 1 maybe 2 songs would’ve done the trick for me. And where was Miss Patty?! In what world is there a musical about Stars Hollow and Miss Patty is not involved………
  • Personally I would have been ALL OVER a Max Medina cameo vs a Digger cameo.

Soooo yeah. There’s that. But here’s the thing. While I, clearly, have a lot of questions, I’m mainly really happy. Not about the actual revival… but about the fact that it brought me back to this world. I was brought back to this world through conversations with friends both old and new, in the months and year leading up to this revival. I was brought back to this world when my best friend decided to have an all day all night Gilmore marathon in preparation for the revival. In decorating her entire apartment to look and feel Gilmore-y and Stars Hollow-y. In the 14 page document we spent an entire lunch going through trying to narrow down and decide which episodes were “the best of the best” and worthy of a 12 hour marathon (it’s harder than it sounds people). In seeing random coffee shops turn into Lukes for a day. In my mom watching the whole series for the first time from start to finish and being able to discuss it with her. In remembering the memories I had in high school gathering around the upstairs TV and swooning hardcore during the great Dean vs Jess debates. In seeing my middle school Gilmore Girls binder cover collage that still hangs on my friends refrigerator in their apartment. In discovering new friends love the show as much as I do and immediately bonding/taking our relationship to a whole new level. Because that’s the thing, Gilmore Girls has always been about relationships to me. At it’s core, that’s really what it’s all about. It’s the relationships, the ones between family, friends and some cooky neighbors. It’s community. Both for those in Stars Hollow and for those wishing we could live in Stars Hollow. Gilmore Girls gives us community. A community of friends and family that watches the show or discusses the show or writes ridiculously long blog posts about the show, together. AND a community of characters in a small town in Burbank Connecticut that feels like family, friends and neighbors to us. And no matter how mad, sad and smad the revival made me, it still can’t change that or take it away.

The revival did bring us back to that community and town. It did seat us down in town meetings and serve us coffee at Lukes. We did walk through the Dragonfly and wish we could stay there. We did go back to Chilton and remember the adorableness that was Max Medina and the uncomfortableness that was Francie and Paris in a girls bathroom. We did go to Doose’s and see something we made a mental note to get at the grocery store later (lettuce). We did pull up a chair at friday night dinner and all look down the table missing Richard. We did all secretly hope Lorelai was buying the old nuns house to remodel for us to move into as soon as possible. No? Just me?

Sure, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about the revival. But hey, that happens. With literally every single TV revival that has ever been done that happens. But at least this one brought me back to relationships and community I love. Both outside the world of Stars Hollow (which I guess some would call the real world?) and inside the world of Stars Hollow. At least this revival brought me home. Even if only for a little while. Even if only to make me read the nutrition facts of pop-tarts instead of paying attention during the musical scenes. Even if only to hear the familiar la-la-la-las and convince myself I too am smelling snow. Thank you for bringing me back to a world I’ve missed and people I love.

And thank you for letting us know Mr. Kim exists.

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