Attention: this blog is spoilerific and won’t make much sense for those not in the know, so get in the know – there are only 153 episode and four films – you can do it!
Ah November, for Gilmore fans like myself it is a special month as it occupies the epitome of fall, and therefore the very best of Gilmore Girls. This November also happens to mark the one year anniversary of two very special events on the Gilmore calendar, in the world of the fans and the world of Stars Hollow. November 25 marks one year since the revival A Year in the Life was released on Netflix and November 5 marks Luke and Lorelai’s one year (wedding) anniversary (though technically it’s November 4 and it will probably always be June 3 in my mind).
So a year on from these two highly anticipated events, that both came with their overwhelming and underwhelming moments after such a long period (NINE COLD YEARS) of anticipation, I recently re-binged from season one to revival’s Fall. After a year of frantically reading Gilmore Girls Confessions I think my processing time is over and that it’s time to offer some thoughts I have on the revival that I didn’t share at the time.
Where Rory is at
A lot of the criticism I’ve seen about the revival is that “it doesn’t seem realistic for Rory to have so little of her life together”. If you take the best part of the decade out of the mix and imagine the revival follows on directly from Season 7 (not ASP, I know) it makes a lot of sense. I’m still living the immediate aftermath of graduation and find Rory’s storyline super realistic. Add in the decade and while it’s perhaps a bigger stretch, I still think it works. It also happens that my path is (career-wise) following Rory’s and I’m already learning the fluctuations of freelance life. Rory’s rootless existence is actually very appealing to me. Of course it has its lows, but I think Rory is young and intelligent enough to ride them out for the highs – I hope I am too!
Stars Hollow – The Musical
I hated it the first time around. It was past midnight as our small Gilmore party hit Summer and I was gasping for action to keep me awake, not the most random and perverse musical ever. I immediately joined forces with those saying “ASP is trying to revive Bunheads and GG at the same time – it’s an outrage!” I’m over that now. A) ASP’s husband wrote Summer so let’s not hate her for it, B) musical theatre is incredibly present throughout all seven series. From Miss Patty and her dance recitals and one woman shows to Kirk’s performance art, from Hep Alien to the most emotional school production of Fidler on the Roof ever produced, Gilmore loves music, dance and drama. So the addition of the musical isn’t that random. The content of it is ironic and funny in true Gilmore fashion, it just runs on way too long if you ask me. However, Sutton Foster singing ‘Unbreakable‘ is one of the most tear-jerking moments of the revival, which would obviously make no sense without the musical, so I might even go as far as to say I like the musical now… sort of.
Emily, Emily, Emily
I have only one qualm with Emily’s plot in the revival. I loved her ending but I just wish it could have somehow still happened while Emily was at the first wedding. After all the weddings of Lorelai’s that Emily has planned for or been disappointed by, it felt kind of wrong that she wasn’t there. When it comes to Nantucket and leaving the DAR though, I am all aboard. Throughout the whole series Emily worried about whether she would have a life without Richard and I’m glad we got to see her make one.
I should probably make the disclaimer that I am and have always been team Jess. In my recent re-binge of the series Logan grew on me more than he normally does, but he is still an entitled piece of… Ahem anyway. I know it wasn’t necessarily ASP’s intentions, but I can’t help but feel in the revival Logan’s dynastic marriage plan is a result of his poor little ego having been so hurt by Rory saying no to his Season 7 proposal. He is scared she’ll say no again, so won’t let her move out of the mistress zone. Don’t get me started on him giving her a key to his spare home. Actually, let’s go into it. Professing that it’s for her to write her novel when Lorelai, if she ever found out, would agree with me that it’s like he’s trying to keep his mistress in a separate space now their London agreement has been busted. Eugh.
Nine years is a long time to maintain a casual relationship as Logan and Rory have apparently done and I find that a little hard to believe. I struggle to grasp what Rory’s motivation would be to stay in such a ‘relationship’ for so long, but we all do stupid shit, and if the only other option is Paul then we cannot blame the woman.
Speaking of Paul…
Contrary to popular opinion, I love the addition (and omission) of Paul. I don’t think it’s nearly as unrealistic as people seem to think it is, it’s the kind of thing that can and does happen in my own family… whoops.
My Top Three Revival Moments
Carole King singing I feel the Earth Move was a highlight but not in the top three. Though while we’re on music the soundtrack was perfect, I love the Dolly Parton choice for the end of Winter and of course the Sam Phillip’s ‘Reflecting Light’ playing at the wedding was a dream for all us die-hard GG fans.
- Paris! I think my favourite revived character was Paris. I think Liza Weil did such an amazing job in showing Paris’ growth but keeping her spirit. From her crushing on Tristan to her career that incorporated her indecision over law or med school, the revival made me love Paris even more than I did before. I’m just gutted that they sort of just dropped the Paris/Doyle plot line half way through the revival, they opened something up but it didn’t really seem totally closed – less musical and more P/D reconciliation perhaps?
- Lorelai’s memory of Richard. I didn’t want to put a sad one in my top three but Lauren Graham acts her ass off so much in that phone scene in Fall that you can’t not love it. It let’s us have a little bit of Richard via a lot of Lorelai.
- Life and Death Brigade. I always want to hate Colin and Finn because they come with Logan, but I can’t, I love them. I really in enjoy the ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ scene.
I also really loved every single Luke-Jess interaction. Scott Patterson and Milo Ventimiglia are brilliant on-screen together and always have been.
When Rory ‘sees’ Richard in his office… oof, that hits you right in the feels, doesn’t it? Richard was always such a huge, loveable and infuriating part of the show, it’s great that his presence is still so huge after Edward Hermman’s death – I think they did him proud in how they ran the grief storyline.
Who’s the daddy?
As much as I wish it was the Wookie (how brilliant is that scene!), Rory would be much more pregnant than she is by Fall for that to be the case. I hope there was a secret rendez-vous with Jess that we don’t know about, after all his look through the window was a lil’ impregnating.
But if we go with the full circle theory and the impromptu chat with Christopher then I guess it’s Logan. That’s a shame, but if Gilmores can’t make a triumph out of a disaster then who can?
ASP also gave an interview after the revival where she said “by the way, Rory doesn’t have to keep the baby. There are choices here that she can make. It’s just the left turn. It’s that curveball that life throws you.” When the outrage at the final four words began I was wondering why no one was talking about the option of abortion – I do think it is something that Rory would really consider and I’d be interested to see what the fandom’s reaction would be to that plot development if there was ever a revival revival.
I like to tell myself that Jess is the father because we’re never going to know what actually happens next, after all the final four words were always supposed to be, well, final. I read the end of Lauren Graham’s book Talking as Fast as I can and read reports that ASP is in talks with Netflix to continue reviving and I’m not sure how I feel. I think, mostly, I agree that it doesn’t really feel like an ending, but that it is.