Some Thoughts on 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
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Some Thoughts on 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'

Beware: spoilers ahead

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Some Thoughts on 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Credit Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Like many, I grew up on Gilmore Girls. Every weekday at five o’clock on ABC Family (now Freeform), I’d watch Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s caffeinated quips on pop culture as they walked the streets of Stars Hollow – their quaint, quirky Connecticut town. Gilmore Girls was the first TV show that I ever binge-watched. It was the first TV show that I saw featuring two strong and complex female leads. It was, truly, the first TV show that I ever fell in love with. So, one can imagine that my expectations for the revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, were fairly high.

Short answer: my expectations were met. Kind of.

Although it was unbelievably satisfying to re-enter the world of Stars Hollow and its eccentric residents (like Kirk, Babette and Miss Patty) I will admit that there were some moments that felt unauthentic, like Rory’s first encounter with Lane at Doose’s Market or Mae Whitman’s cameo on the streets of New York City. However, the occasional insincerity was overshadowed by moments that felt undeniably genuine and Gilmore-Girls-esque – most notably those that dealt with Richard’s death, which served as the driving undercurrent of Emily’s, Lorelai’s and Rory’s narratives.

The first of the four 90-minute installments is “Winter.” It’s a nice reintroduction to the characters in the wake of Richard’s death, but some of the interactions turned stale. The second episode – “Spring” – shows Rory in full career meltdown, which is both frustrating and relatable. Meanwhile, Lorelai and Luke’s relationship becomes strained as they harbor secrets from one another, an upsetting but realistic twist. “Summer” is excruciating, because it’s like reliving the terrible Lorelai-Rory estrangement of season 6 as they quarrel over Rory’s new book idea. Sitting through ten whole minutes of Stars Hollow: The Musical didn’t exactly help either.

“Fall,” however, is most definitely the best of the four. Admittedly, I cried on three separate occasions in just this one episode: once when Lorelai delivers a heartbreaking monologue about Richard over the phone to Emily, again when Rory returns to Richard’s desk to write the first three chapters of her book about the Gilmore family, and once more when Lorelai is finally content and decides to marry Luke.

As the final episode drew to a close, I truly felt like all of the characters’ arcs were imperfect, realistic and entirely satisfying. Paris as a corporate tyrant still incessantly sparring with Doyle, Michel as sassy as ever but inevitably bored, Lane and Zack continuing with Hep Alien even in parenthood, Emily’s newfound peace in solitude, Jess still pining for Rory after all these years, Dean married with kids in upstate New York, Logan a mildly subdued businessman who can’t quite make Rory fit into his equation, Lorelai married to Luke, Rory staying home to write a book chronicling the Gilmores’ lives. Although mostly unresolved, it all felt right.

And then came those ominous final four words:

“Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Once the initial shock and anger subsided, I turned to reason. And with reason came peace of mind.

I then understood that it was all meant to be cyclical. Lorelai asking Emily for money, just as in the first episode of the original show. Jess pining for Rory, just as Luke did for Lorelai. Logan impregnating Rory, just as Christopher did Lorelai. Rory seemingly deciding to raise the baby on her own, just as Lorelai did.

After having this realization, I felt much better about the ending. It was a nasty cliff-hanger, yes, but I found it oddly satisfying. Maybe creator Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to leave it open so that she can make more episodes. Or maybe she won’t. Either way, she gave the little girl that used to tune into ABC Family every weeknight at five o’clock something to hold onto: the idea that the Gilmores will continue to exist in the fictional oasis of Stars Hollow, even if she’s unable to see it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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