On Friday, I burned through all four Gilmore Girls mini-movies. I also joined Anne Marie over at Universe Box for a live podcast about all of our feelings about the Netflix revival. Which you can check out at the end of the post, or at Universe Box. Thank them for hosting this discussion!
My scattered thoughts about each movie are below and they contain MASSIVE SPOILERS. If you want to avoid being spoiled – and believe me, you do! – turn around now and come back later.
[Feeling a need, still, to talk about the show? Please enjoy this as an open thread.]
17 Things I Think About a Year in the Life
- These four episodes really addressed question that I’ve always had about Lorelei and Luke: did they “settle” for each other? And a sub-question: so if they did, does it really matter?
- Would Liza Weil be fielding offers for a spinoff or new show entirely if she wasn’t busy with How to Get Away with Murder?
- So Rory’s boyfriends…never impressive, so it was a plus that she didn’t end up without any of them. But I have a soft spot for Jesse.
- I give myself bonus points for not letting my goodwill toward Cary Agos ruin my haterade for all things Logan.
- Emily was FIRE in all four episodes, but her resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution was epic.
- I wouldn’t have loved the Stars Hollow musical as much had I not adored the Palladino’s show for ABC Family, Bunheads, which starred Sutton Foster as the suddenly widowed ex-showgirl who wound up teaching dance with her extremely demanding mother-in-law (Kelly Bishop again, killing it.)
- They probably could’ve skipped the entire musical and just left the lovely song It’s Never, or Now.
- Did we need all the crap about not understanding the language of the housekeeper and her family? I did not.
- The conceit of Lorelei going off to California for a Wild trek probably should not have worked as well as it did. However, they pulled it off, mainly because Lauren Graham nailed her scenes so hard. Having Lorelei stumble upon her revelation without setting foot on the actual trail was so very Gilmore. But it would not have been impactful if Graham didn’t hit all of the emotional beats in that telephone conversation. Who didn’t tear up over the story she told about Richard soothing her first broken heart? That moment was 17 years in the making, and fully earned.
- As for Luke, I loved that he was SO PROUD of Rory that he put her Talk of the Town on the Menu. I loved his “you can’t leave me” speech to Lorelei, and I will always be here for screwing around the “Laptops” by denying them the real wi-fi password.
- Were you happy with Sookie‘s return or not? It worked, but was hard for me not to think of all the drama regarding Melissa McCarthy and whether she would show up.
- The only true miss of the series probably involved Rory, but it’s not the ending that was necessarily the problem for me. Winter begins with Rory at age 32 – the same age as Lorelei when the series ended. This Rory is completely adrift on the seas of life. One can be lost at any age (it happens so often that in my house we call it the quarter-life crisis), but they don’t really explain why Rory is so unmoored at age 32. There was roughly a decade between the time she left with the Obama campaign and her turning up in Stars Hollow with three cell phones and a single New Yorker credit. Was she living the freelancing life, in Brooklyn, with a drippy but nice boyfriend named Paul for that entire time? Was she just playing mistress for Logan during that lost decade? I really doubt it.
- Most people have a bit of a rethink about life around the time they turn 30. But the show could have used a flashback or three to fill in what Rory was doing for all that time. Otherwise, we’re left to assume that the character pretty much got stuck in a vortex for a decade, waiting for the series to resume.
- Which brings me to that ending, and those 3-4 words. Amy Sherman-Palladino stuck with her original plan for ending the series by having Rory announce she is pregnant. I didn’t hate the ending like many fans did. But I am a fan of the ambiguous ending! (I loved The Sopranos‘ infamous fade to black) and I don’t like the trend of series tying everything up in a neat little bow. So I understand it if you hated it, especially since viewers are dying to know what happens next!?!
- What’s most interesting about the choice to end with a shock pregnancy is how differently I see a 32-year old pregnant Rory from a 22-year old pregnant Rory. Right? Wouldn’t Lorelei perceive her daughter quite a bit differently if she drops out of Yale at age 22, pregnant by Logan? What do you think about this?
16. So we end with the characters coming full circle: the issues between Emily and Lorelei are as resolved as they ever will be, but new complications have been introduced between Rory and Lorelei. And I think the Logan factor is going to be the thing that vexes Lorelei the most.
17. I love, love, love that Edward Hermann‘s death was not just acknowledged, but used as the through line for the series. As I said on the podcast, grief is not a straight line. The Stages of Grief have been debunked. Watching three women go through it in different ways, ebbing and flowing and reassembling their lives, was a pleasing departure from shows involving magic, explosions and crime. I will miss it.
What did you think? Were you disappointed, satisfied, thrilled or somewhere in between? Should Netflix revisit the series again in a few years? Let me know in the comments.