If you haven’t watched the Gilmore Girls revival A Year in the Life, stop reading now, bookmark and come back after you watch it because this entire blog post is one big SPOILER!
I am a Gilmore Girls newbie. I never watched GG when it originally aired between 2000-2007. In fact, I did not start watching it until last year when I heard there was going to be a revial on Netflix (as a result of the fans and after a Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX Festival in 2015), so I wanted to check out what all the hoopla was about. I instantly fell in love with Gilmore Girls. This show is SO inspiring, especially for women (everyone who has a daughter in her preteens and teens should encourage her to watch it). There is romantic love involved, but it is more about the love and relationships between mother and daughter and the freedom to do what you want and the justification that is alright to do so. Gimore Girls is just SO fantastic with its fast talking popculture, literary and historical references. It has inspired me to read the classics, just not the biographies and memoirs I usually read.
I binge watched the entire series (all seven seasons) then immediately started watching it again. In the past year, I have watched the complete Gilmore Girls series 10 times. I also bought the series on dvd, so I could have the extras (something I think Netflix and Amazon should include by the way). Gilmore Girls is now my third favorite television show after Happy Days and Beverly Hills 90210, which will never drop from their spots. Saying I was excited for the Gilmore Girls revival A Year in the Life was an understatment. I timed my 10th GG series to coincide with the revival, plus the UP channel was running the entire series for a week leading up to the Netflix revival. I had my day after Thanksgiving planned for months. I was going to relax on my futon with my dogs watching all four ninety-minute episodes – and that is exactly what I did. I started on Friday at 9:15am and by 4pm had watched all four episodes, then immediately watched them again finishing a second time at 10:15pm – so 13 hours of Gilmore Girls. It was a pretty great day! Then I had it on again as I went to sleep that night.
Of the four 90-minute episodes “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall,” “Winter” is by far my favorite. “Fall,” with the exception of the big broadway-like music number, is tied with “Spring” for my second favorite. “Summer” is my least favorite because of the musical, which was entirely too long and had absolutely no place in any storyline. Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote both the “Winter” and “Fall” episodes while her husband Dan Palladino wrote “Spring” and “Summer.” I am pretty sure the episodes were named and appeard in that particular order from the lyrics taken from the Carole King song “You’ve Got a Friend.” Carole sang the theme song to Gilmore Girls and had a small part on the show – and the revival. Overall I am very pleased with the Gilmore Girls revival (although I could have heard an “Oy with the Poodles Already” and a “Copper Boom!”), and it was definitely worth the wait. The only thing I did not like about A Year in the Life were the musical numbers. Not sure when Gilmore Girls became a musical, but I did not like it at all!
The revival touched on many plot points from the series and referenced many scenes. I loved that Lorelai and Luke finally get married, Emily gained her independence and ends up on good terms with Lorelai and Rory remained single – although I would have liked her to end up with Jess. There could have been more Jess in the revival. Logan appeared on all four episodes, while Jess appeared in two episodes and Dean just in one scene. I am not sure if this was a result of availability on the part of the actors or story driven. Also, there could have been more Paris. She was only in the first two episodes but was fantastic as always. Everyone from Stars Hollow returned except for Liz and TJ, who were talked to on the phone. Even three of Lauren Graham’s costars from Parenthood had cameos. Tributes to Richard (played by Ed Herrmann who passed at the end of 2014) were woven throughout all four episodes.
“Winter,” the first episode, is my favorite because it was most like the series. There were many fast talking, pop culture referencing scenes between Lorelai and Rory, ‘arguing / ranting’ scenes between Lorelai and Luke and real arguing / dysfunctional family scenes between Lorelai and Emily. Richard’s funeral was particularly brutal (heart wrenching), but so fantastically done. The wall sized painting of Richard was fantastic, and they used it a lot putting in many shots behind the characters so it was as if Richard was in the scene. Emily in jeans and t shirt was brilliant! Never in seven season did we see Emily in jeans and a t shirt. We finally get confirmation Michel is gay. I always assumed he was, but they never said anything either way about it. We find out Michel is married and his husband wants to have a baby. Being someone who does not want children, I thought one of the funniest lines was Michel’s saying, “He keeps shoving children in my arms. Hold this! What do you feel? Now there is spit all over my suit, so I feel rage!” The cutest thing I saw was Paul Anka (the dog Paul Anka) dressed as Luke complete with rolled up flannel shirt and order pad.
“Spring” was a great episode as we see Lorelai and Emily in therapy together. We also see Mr. Kim for the very first time. Not sure how I feel about this though. In the first season, we heard about Lane’s parents but then it was just always Mrs. Kim. So not sure why they brought Mr. Kim back for the revival, but it was a neat little tidbit. After we find out Michel is gay in the first episode, it is insinuated Taylor is gay in this second episode. Rachel Ray has a cameo as a chef who Lorelai fires because she thinks no one can cook as good as Sookie, who has left on sabbatical. My favorite scene of the “Spring” episode is the bathroom scene at Chilton, where Rory and Paris go back to give lectures to the students. Paris is freaking out because she saw Tristan (who was not Chad Micheal Murray by the way) and Rory is trying to talk her down. The funniest part was when Paris high kicks the bathroom door closed. Then Francie (from the Puffs) walks in and Paris yells at her, so Francie responds, “Sorry did I accidentally step into 2003?” (and 2003 was the year she was on Gilmore Girls). Little things like that make me happy! Mae Whitman, who played Lauren Graham’s daughter in Parenthood appeared on the streets of NYC in line for donuts with Lorelai and Rory.
I really did not like the “Summer” episode that much because of the big, long musical. Ugh! I really don’t understand the need for a ‘Stars Hollow Musical,’ maybe just a snippet but not that long. It was terrible and had nothing to do with the plot of any of the characters, and therefore took away time from our favorite characters. It was interesting however to see Sutton Foster (who stars in Younger and apparently Bunheads another show by Amy Sherman-Palladino which also stars Emily) play the lead in the play – she has a great voice. The only good part of the “Summer” episode was that we finally get to see Jess! Rory and Jess talk about how she is floundering and has no idea what to do, so Jess suggests Rory write a book about her and her mom and their life together. Of course any scene with Emily is always great, so that was another good part of the “Summer” episode. Oh and I did enjoy the pool scenes – they were pretty funny. Who knew Stars Hollow had a pool? Could this place be any more perfect?! Did I mention I want to live in Stars Hollow, but I digress.
I did not love the first half hour or so of the “Fall” episode, but the rest was fantastic. The first half hour had Lorelai by herself (well away from Stars Hollow anyway) in the woods, so that was not fun. Although it was cool to see two of her costars from Parenthood Jason Ritter and Peter Krause (who is also Lauren Graham’s real life boyfriend). The first half hour also included this big Broadway-type musical number with Rory, Logan and the Life and Death Brigade guys. I did not like this waste of time at all. On the other hand, what was great about the “Fall” episode was it tied up a lot of things and left everyone in Stars Hollow happy – well mostly everyone.
In the “Fall,” Lorelai and Luke finally marry! Lorelai expands the Dragonfly Inn by using the money her dad left to Luke to expand his business because he didn’t want to expand his business. In making this deal with her mom, Lorelai also agrees to visit her mother (who has moved to Nantucket) a few times a year – much like the Friday night dinners in exchange for Chilton tuition. This move by Lorelai ensures Michel and Sookie stay at the Dragonfly. (We only see Sookie in one scene out of all four episodes because Melissa McCarthy is apparently too important now.) This move by Lorelai also puts her on great terms with her mother, who has finally gained independence and is doing exactly what she really wants to do. Emily quits the DAR after shouting “BULLSHIT” a few times while explaining its hypocrisy. Emily sells her house in Hartford and buys a house in Nantucket – for the first time has a house completely in her name. Emily also gets a job at the Whaling Museum and prefers to live alone rather than with a man – she couldn’t get that prospective boyfriend out of there fast enough. And maybe even more shocking was that Emily did not fire her maid and actually liked her maid (who was played by Gypsy by the way).
One of my favorite scenes of the entire four episodes was when Rory goes back to her grandparents’ house to write and she reminisces and walks into her grandfather’s study and we see Richard sitting at his desk. Then Rory sits down at his desk and begins to write. She writes a book about her and her mom and their life together and titles it “The Gilmore Girls,” but Lorelai tells her to leave off the ‘The’ and just call it “Gilmore Girls” because it’s cleaner. Jess’ last scene is him looking through the window longingly at Rory after she thanked him for giving her the idea to write her book. It is obvious Jess is still in love with Rory. It is also obvious Jess is Rory’s Luke while Logan is Rory’s Christopher. Jess supports Rory giving her good career and life advice like a real lifelong ride or die friend who you eventually realize you are meant to be with. Rory always turns to Logan when she is upset and thinks she needs saving and comfort. Throughout all four episodes, Rory and Logan have an ongoing affair even though he is engaged and she is ‘dating’ someone else, sort of (poor Paul). The long anticipated last four words (which I think bring everything full circle) of Gilmore Girls that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino had in mind 16 years ago when the series first began are:
Rory – “Mom”
Lorelia – “Yeah”
Rory – “I’m pregnant.”