Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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Ten years after it ended, Gilmore Girls was revived this past week with 6 fabulous hours of brand new episodes. As Jeremy, a GG fan, said, “This is what anyone could ever want, it’s just like one never-ending episode of Gilmore Girls.” I knew that once I started, I wouldn’t want to stop and so I watched all 4 new episodes on Friday.

We have known about this revival for months now, during which I felt mostly excitement. But the one word to describe how I felt watching these episodes is nostalgic. Or as Elaina described via text, “there was just this wash of pure content and nostalgia and warm fuzzies over me.” Yes, that sums it up perfectly. I was in high school when I first watched Gilmore Girls. After I saw it for the first time, I went out and bought every single DVD set and watched those over and over (this was pre-Netflix of course). When I was home, I would watch episodes when they came on ABC Family at 11 AM every day. Once Gilmore Girls was on Netflix, and we knew of the show’s return, I watched every single season to prepare, as if I needed any reminders of plot lines. At this point, I don’t think I could give a number for how many times I’ve watched this show from beginning to end, at least not a number that wouldn’t embarrass me. P.S. It’s definitely at least 10.

I’m sure most everyone can think of that one show from high school that you would love to see return. This was definitely mine. It felt like it ended too soon. The characters felt so real and we were all so invested in their stories.

A Year in the Life was meant to be a way for the creators of the show to finally tell their ending. Amy Sherman-Palladino was ousted from the final season because of contract issues and never had the chance to finish the show. It follows the Gilmore girls through a year in their life, with each episode named after a season. They start in winter, with Lorelai and Rory meeting each other in the gazebo, hugging and Lorelai saying “I’ve missed ya, kid. How long has it been?” To which Rory replies, “Feels like years.” That was the first time I started to tear up. You could tell that was the first scene that Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham had filmed.

Almost every character came back for the revival. Everyone fell right back into place (giving more weight to the feeling that these characters are actually real people). Also, some of the actors appear as if they haven’t aged a day in the past 10 years. Everyone except, of course, Richard returned. Edward Herrmann, who played Richard, died in 2014. A large part of the story in A Year in the Life centers around Richard’s death and how that affects Lorelai and her mother, Emily’s, relationship.

Speaking of Emily, she was always one of my favorite characters on the show, however she is spectacular in these new episodes. She is just as Emily-like as she was originally, but with a little more sass and a new vocabulary. The best scene from these new episodes will forever be when she used the words “bullshit” and “tits” in a DAR meeting. Paris is probably my favorite comeback in the revival; she is just as feisty as ever, bossing everyone around, except in this case she is actually the boss (she is an MD and owns a fertility clinic). Every character has their own special thing that makes it so wonderful. Kirk and Lulu were given a pig so that they wouldn’t try to have a baby, Michel finally came out as gay, Taylor creates a Stars Hollow musical, all of Rory’s old boyfriends make an appearance (sometimes in frustrating ways). It is full of its usual pop-culture references and fast-talking witty banter, with a more serious side revealing how much the characters have grown in 10 years.

Which leads to the infamous ending to this show and the final four words. Spoiler: do not read on if you haven’t watched. The last four words of the show reveal that Rory is pregnant, which is what she tells her mother, whose mouth drops and eyes open wide before the screen turns to black. Right before she says it, I knew it was how they would end it. They even foreshadowed it when in the last episode, Rory visits her father and asks if he thinks it was the best thing for her mother to raise her alone. These are the last four words that the creator had in mind for the end of the show when it would have aired 10 years ago. That being said, the show ended in a frustratingly open-ended way. I felt a little cheated and unsatisfied, considering how long I waited for the show to return. I know some people will see it as coming full circle, as it is a parallel to Lorelai’s story. And in some ways that gives the show closure, but I do feel as if they left a lot of questions unanswered, hopefully leaving the door open for more.

Overall, watching the new episodes was such a nice, welcome return to my adolescence. And for just a few hours I felt as if I was back in high school (not something I often wish for). Despite some of the more serious story lines, I just felt happy watching it. It was exactly how Elaina described it, like pure content and warm fuzzies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Very appropriately, Lorelei loves Gilmore Girls too, especially the music. I can’t wait to watch this show with her someday when she’s older.

If you haven’t watched it, I suggest you do but definitely start with the original show. And yes, even some men enjoy it, despite how fast they talk.

And…I’m sure only superfans like me will appreciate these, but here are links to some interesting/fun/random articles on GG!

Actual critics’ reviews of the show, much more eloquently written

A list of all the pop-culture references in the revival

Mr. Kim made an appearance!

The decades-long friendshipย of Liz and Sally, or Miss Patty and Babette

Finally, if you want to see more Gilmore Girls, sign the petition!

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