Review: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Whether you were sitting in front of your TV every Tuesday night anticipating the new episode, caught the show on reruns on cable channels, or binge watched on Netflix, Gilmore Girls is infamous for uniting sarcasm, quirky characters, drama and coffee - lots of coffee - into every hour long episode. When Netflix announced the four episode revival of the show, following ten years of hiatus, every vicarious Stars Hollow citizen whipped out their favorite replica mug from Luke’s and prepared. November 25th marks the day that fans were finally reunited with the town troubadour, and everything was right in the world again. Well, not everything.
**Mild spoilers ahead.**
To get it out of the way, the last four words did not follow through with what everyone was expecting - and that, is closure. Amy Sherman Palladino, in endless interviews, has discussed the fact that if she had written and directed the seventh and final season of the show, over Warner Brothers, that she knew what last four words she would end the show with. She claimed they brought great closure and satisfaction to the lives of Lorelai and Rory and the rest of Stars Hollow, but also had just a bit of open endedness. Sike. It was full of open endedness. Like, the amount of questions those last four words have sprung are running off the page. It’s a problem, and fans are working on getting answers.
The spirit of Rory was also unsatisfying in the sense that she just is no longer the town’s favorite and most prized possession. She isn’t as successful as everyone had been assuming, and although the idea of perfect Rory Gilmore having no clue what is going on in her life is reassuring for the rest of us who are mutually just as lost in our own lives, her motives also changed. She’s become incredibly cocky in her writing hemisphere, and for some reason believes that she should be put on a pedestal at companies that aren’t particularly prestigious, even when she has blatantly shown no enthusiasm for the position. Every problem she runs into seems to be the only thing that the world should revolve around, and she’s left behind the idea that other people in her life could be going through struggles as well. It’s okay to be overwhelmed when your life is evidently a huge mess, but don’t just assume everyone will drop their own responsibilities to help you clean up. Welcome to the real world, Rory. It doesn’t work that way.
Those unsettling aspects were indeed paired with endless honorable notes, even if the suffering of the 15 minute musical had to be experienced to get to them. ASP would never try to strip Stars Hollow of its quirkiness, because God knows every “Babette wears oatmeal!” t-shirt owner would be running at her.
As the world of modernization and technology has taken a fast and spiraling advancement since Rory’s expedition off to follow the Obama campaign (good news, 2007 Rory: he wins the presidential election), Gilmore enthusiasts worried that the quaint town setting of the show would suddenly be plastered with jumbotron billboards and social media galore, but ASP kept the authenticity of the town by keeping it clean. The characters stayed in the present day, using smart phones and laptops, however, they did not dare to show their flashy screens when sitting down at Luke’s. His no cell phone policy has been upgraded and updated, covering phone calls, selfies, and loud headphones (if he can hear your music through your headphones, why are you wearing headphones?).
Pushing aside Rory’s 32 year old crisis personality change, the townspeople proved that they have remained true to their roots, even if some only showed up for a scene or two. Babette and Patty are still the biggest gossips in town, and still have not learned that the key to gossiping is not to scream while doing so. Gypsy holds onto her dry humor, riling Taylor up at yet another town meeting. Taylor continues to propose his great ideas of pop up tourist information booths and musicals starring mediocre performers (she was not Kinky Boots, she was in Kinky Boots.) Luke’s baseball hat still fits him perfectly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott Patterson held onto the same flannel for ten years, anticipating the day he’d need it again. Contrary to Rory, both Paris and Lane have their lives together, and are pursuing lifestyles that fit them perfectly. You just can’t take the Stars Hollow out of a person.
Ten years is a long time. It’s two and a half presidential terms. It’s 250 days of Christmas movies on repeat. It’s ten procrastinated annual check up appointments. Maybe Stars Hollow had been out of reach for just a little too long, making some of the details seem out of place. Despite the unexpected, the opening camera scan of the gazebo felt just as much like home as it did beforehand. It’s not just a show. It’s a religion. It’s a lifestyle.