Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: A Review

I know it’s been a while, but here’s another blog from me – apologies for the hiatus! Almost a year after what was essentially a dreadful dragging-through-the-mud of one of my favourite TV shows of all time, I’m returning my thoughts to the 2016 revival of Gilmore Girls.

Entitled ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’, the Netflix resuscitation rivalled the fourth season of Arrested Development for its hideousness and ultimate pointlessness. Yet another phenomenal show ruined by video-on-demand. Why was it so terrible, you ask? Well, where to start…

We rediscover Rory and Lorelai Gilmore back where we left them in beloved Stars Hollow. Lorelai is with Luke Danes (yay!) and Rory has this boyfriend called Paul who she keeps forgetting about and who doesn't make it past the first episode (WTF). Lorelai has seemingly been happy with Luke for around ten years, which is frankly astounding, but she soon gets itchy feet when they discuss not having had any children together - has this only just come up? Meanwhile Rory, despite graduating from Yale and having numerous positive work experiences including being a part of the Obama election trail back in 2007, has had no success and basically doesn’t seem to have evolved at all from the last time we saw her. Cue every bloody cameo they could fit into four HOUR AND A HALF episodes from Headmaster Charleston to Jason Stiles and Francie Jarvis. And for the first time ever, Lane Kim’s dad - a hilarious moment which I think creators hadn't actually intended to be hilarious.

But back to main characters, the revival not only does a massive disservice to its two female leads, it also ruins several other characters with pointless narratives and bizarre vignettes. WTF was Stars Hollow the Musical? WTF was Lorelai’s bullshit Eat Pray Love hike about? Why is Paris Gellar still in love with Tristan DuGrey? And why is Lane now working in her mother’s antique shop and allowing Brian Fuller to live with her and her family? Why hasn’t Jess Mariano written more books?

And I’m not the only one who thought that the Gilmore Girls revival sucked:

They tear up and throw out just about everything good about the show that the fandom relished, in service of a thoughtless artistic vision ripped from crappy early-aughts movie musicals. It’s hard to even believe how bad they are. - The Verge

It’s been well publicised that Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino wasn’t involved in season seven. While this Washington Post article highlighted its flaws, I personally felt it was a great final series. This revival, however, feels like Sherman-Palladino’s attempt to rewrite what she saw as a crappy ending - that's why nothing has changed in the characters’ lives. So, as a Gilmore Girls superfan, I’ve come up with some ideas as to how the revival should have gone. (I’m painting with broad brushstrokes here, so don’t expect a series outline).

Luke and Lorelai are married with kids

In fact, it doesn’t even matter if they're married, but they definitely have children! Two: a boy and a girl. In series three, episode one of Gilmore Girls, Lorelai has that dream with all the alarm clocks and then she goes downstairs and Luke talks to her pregnant stomach, remember? In episode seven of the same season, they talk about having children in the future and both agree to something along the lines of: ‘sure, I’d be open to having kids with the right person.’ Ergo, it seems ridiculous that they wouldn't have children. In the first episode of ‘A Year in the life’ Lorelai and Luke are living together but their lives are depressingly empty and vacuous. If they had children it would be so much better: the passing of time would be more obvious and there would be more characters to play with! Think The Fosters meets Gilmore Girls.

Rory is with one of her three guys

The three being Dean, Jess and Logan. We can rule out Dean straight away for obvious reasons, which leaves Jess and Logan. I have to say I didn't hate what they did with Logan in the revival. It makes sense that he has moved on and is marrying Dutch nobility. I don't even think I would have included him at all - maybe Rory could have received a letter or a Facebook message from him. She definitely wouldn't be sleeping with him on the sly! This leaves Jess, who is still in love with Rory based on that look in the third episode. I think this is a great choice because we know they loved each other, all Jess needed to do was some growing up, which he has. I would have kept it secret for the first episode though, and had Rory keep referring to a partner as “him” and right at the end she would say “he’s on his way” and Jess would come up behind her and hug her. Cue applause!

Emily Gilmore becomes a Golden Girl

Instead of allowing the maid to move in, Emily moves to Miami with friends and gets her own spin-off show. Well… maybe not. But she does move somewhere smaller and not so far away from Rory and Lorelai. I mean, could she really stay in that big house all alone and not be constantly reminded of her late husband Richard? This would happen way earlier than it actually did in the revival.

Rory is famous food blogger

Think about it. It’s too obvious to make her a political reporter for the New York Times. And she certainly isn’t going to be wasting her potential at the Stars Hollow Gazette or throwing tantrums at … No, my Rory is a famous food blogger. A pioneer of fast fusion food and all-round comfort-food tsar. Think Deliciously Ella meets Nigella. Maybe she’s had a bestselling book? Maybe at the start of the series she’s working on another? She’s definitely on top of her game and the tragic trajectory of her journalism career would not be the main arc for her character. Just think, Jess and Rory ruling the best-sellers lists. They’d like the Fitzgerald’s! No, wait… the Woolfs! No, wait… Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes? Erm.

Rory is pregnant

Spoiler: I know she’s pregnant at the end of the revival, it’s the one thing they did right! But in my version Rory announces she’s pregnant in the second episode with Jess’s baby. Joy is all around and Rory returns to Stars Hollow where she can write and see out her pregnancy with the help of her family. Maybe Jess does a Chandler Bing and runs off for a bit but Luke can go get him and tell him how being a dad is great. He could even go and stay with half-sister April Nardini who tells him that running away from his child is terrible because she didn't know her dad growing up or some shit like that. God, how did they screw this up so much?

Sure, I may be sentimental in challenging many of the incidents in ‘A Year in the Life’ that actually produce the drama, but that’s mainly because they’re ludicrous. All I know is this: Netflix, please leave Friends alone. It doesn’t need a revival! Please let it be.

Sam ClealComment