Gilmore Girls Revival: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

HERE’S YOUR SPOILER ALERT! Get out now unless you want to have the plot ruined.

As an longtime fan of the drama/comedy of two funny, fast-talking ladies, I was pretty disappointed by the Gilmore Girls revival, “A Year in the Life.” While most fans are remaining loyal to the show and defending Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing, very few viewers are Tom Cruise-jumping up-and-down on Oprah’s couch about the revival.

So what did the long-awaited revival get right and what did they get wrong?

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The Good.

Life has progressed for the Gilmore Girls and we are no longer stuck in the early 2000’s. Sherman-Palladino did not try to create some bubble where everyone is living abnormally happy lives in Stars Hollow. Instead, the revival had a somewhat somber tone, especially in the first episode of the revival, “Winter.”

The death of Richard Gilmore was very heartfelt and well-done. You could tell the cast saw Edward Herrmann as part of their family and not just an actor.

In each of the four episodes, Emily, as well as Lorelai and Rory, continue to acknowledge the impact Richard had on the family. The revival really showed that you never move on from a loved one’s passing, you just learn to cope with the loss and continue living.

In the fourth installment of the revival, Lorelai calls her mother while having an eye-opening revelation about herself and her relationship with her father. She shares a sweet moment she had with her father, something that had been kept secret from Emily until now. It’s a beautiful scene which helps build a stronger bond between Lorelai and Emily and in turn, allows Emily to let her hair down and become the person she’s always wanted to be: a straight-up savage.

Well, really just someone who finally tells off those snotty Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) woman and becomes a historian in Nantucket who speaks nature’s brutal truths to young tour groups…so yeah, a savage.

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Long reign Emily Gilmore!

A small detail that helped drive the importance of Richard was cocktail hour. Instead of the Gilmore Girls drinking gin martinis at Friday Night Dinners, they now drink scotch neat. Lorelai loves her martinis, Richard loved his scotch. By switching signature drinks, we see how Richard is staying in the Gilmore’s lives, even if it’s a subtle way.

The Bad

Rory’s future: Yes, she’s still Rory Gilmore. The name’s the same but the girl is different. Sherman-Palladino had said she was annoyed fans were asking “Who does Rory end up with?” rather than, “Does she have a Pulitizer yet?”

Well, unfortunately, Rory’s love life and career seem to have taken a nosedive.

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Rory is on both ends of the cheater spectrum: she’s sleeping with an engaged man, Logan, while she herself is dating poor, forgetful Paul. While it is implied that Logan’s marriage to Odette, a mysterious off-screen French heiress, is purely political and something devised by his parents, it’s still cheating and should be beneath both Logan and Rory.

Yes, Logan was notorious for his casual hookups when he was first introduced to the show and Rory acted as the “other woman” to Dean’s infidelity, but these were both obstacles the characters overcame by the end of season 5. In the first episode of the revival we’re already seeing our beloved characters retreat back to the lowest point of their romantic lives.

The Ugly

Rory’s career isn’t what we expected it to be, especially since she left season 7 as a correspondent for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Yes, I’m considering Rory’s current career “ugly” because it’s painful to watch someone with so much potential be misguided by her ego. Rory’s imploding career is almost as difficult to watch as the Stars Hollow musical (just why?!).

She’s right when she says to Jess, “I coulda been a contender!”

In the first episode of the revival, everyone fawns over Rory and her recent “Talk of the Towns” piece being published in the New Yorker. But where does she go from there? She struggles to get her future pieces published but still carries a strong big head on frail shoulders, which ultimately costs her a job at Sandee Says. 

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#MakeRoryGreatAgain

So, she moves on to become Editor-in-Chief at the Stars Hollow Gazette, which is an unpaid position but hey, that’s nothing new for a journalist seeking experience. Unfortunately, Rory struggles to find a common ground between what’s considered newsworthy and what the townsfolk consider newsworthy.

However, the revival ends on a higher note as Rory is writing a book based on her unique mother-daughter relationship with Lorelai. She’s drafted the first ten chapters of the book and in the final scene exchanges the last four words with her mother.

She’s pregnant and the audience isn’t sure how Lorelai or Rory feels about the news, but yet that cliffhanger has a calming effect. We’ve come full circle: Lorelai had a child outside of wedlock and now that child is doing the same. Lorelai was broke and unsure of what she was going to do with her life and Rory appears to be in a similar situation.

There are talks for another revival to tie up Rory’s storyline, but do we need another revival? Lorelai and Luke are finally married and seem to be perfectly content. There already wasn’t a ton of material for Lorelai’s character to explore in this revival as many of her conflicts felt as if they had been resolved in the original series.

Will Lorelai turn into the disapproving Emily served as for her? Will Rory be the fun but flighty single mother with a bright child? Will Jess become her Luke? Based on Lorelai’s response to the last four words, it seems a second revival would take the show in that direction. Most fans seem to only want a revival to discover who is the father of Rory’s unborn child, although the show seems to imply Logan is the only likely candidate.

Some other grievances I need to air about the revival: 

-The humor and dialog seemed a bit off for our beloved characters. Lorelai’s zingers and quips just weren’t what they to be

-Bootsy, a background character for earlier seasons, had more lines than Paris or Lane

-Melissa McCarthy only had one scene

 

-THE MUSICAL, which was just twenty minutes of filler and 

-Rory’s New Yorker piece and a picture of her both fit on the back of Luke’s menu?!

-Lane Kim deserves more than just performing gigs around Stars Hollow. At least allow to take over music store or work as a music teacher. 

-Everything about Rory Gilmore

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