Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life Review

Warning – May contain some spoilers!

I have been feeling the effects of this Winter season and seem to have continual viruses so have been catching up on some programmes that I hadn’t had the time to watch previously. One of these was Gilmore Girls.

I was excited when I had learnt that Netflix was producing four feature length episodes of Gilmore Girls as I had watched most of the original series and had enjoyed it. For those of you that haven’t seen it, Gilmore Girls is a feel-good drama set in the fictional New England small town of Stars Hollow. It centres on the lives of the titular characters Lorelai, whom we follow from age thirty-one onwards and her daughter Rory whom she had when she was sixteen. Lorelai is at first partially estranged from her rich parents but this changes when Rory wants to go to a private school to ensure that she can attend an Ivy League college. This means getting in touch with her parents in order to finance this ambition. The series begins there and we follow the characters through seven years watching Rory grow up. Lauren Graham who plays Lorelai has recently released a book about her life and her time on Gilmore Girls called Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between

The new episodes are each about a season in the lives of Lorelai and Rory. By separating the episodes seasonally this gives us a chance to see the gorgeous set of Stars Hollow bedecked in various seasonal accoutrements!

It is fun to revisit Stars Hollow and catch up on the various characters and see how they have changed (or not) in the previous nine years in which Gilmore Girls has been off air. The first episode is Winter and we see that Lorelai is still at The Dragonfly Inn and is happy with Luke who lives with her. Lorelai’s best friend (and Chef at the Dragonfly) Sukie, (Melissa McCarthy) has gone away but returns briefly for the final episode. The cast also adjust to their lives after the real-life death of actor Edward Hermann who played Rory’s beloved Grandfather.

Rory is struggling since leaving Yale to achieve her journalistic ambitions though she did have an article in The New Yorker which is referred to several times. Her love life however, is messy. Rory had three main boyfriends during the years of the original run of the show. There was Dean her first boyfriend and high school sweetheart. Jess, was the bad boy but was also on her intellectual wavelength then along came Logan at Yale. Logan seems to have been the most unpopular of Rory’s boyfriends amongst fans and I agree! His father is moneyed and obnoxious to Rory and Logan himself just seems bland and slightly patronising to Rory at times (always calling her “Ace” which stems from her time as a reporter on Yale’s student newspaper). It was therefore a shame to see Rory back with Logan especially as it was on his terms as he is engaged to another woman so sees Rory on the side. Jess is the most popular choice of partner for Rory amongst fans as he has mellowed in older age and does appear to really understand her. I feel that by putting Rory back with Logan and on his say-so did not feel correct for the evolution of her character. Rory, despite her fallacies seemed to be too strong a character to put up with this so it didn’t ring true.

One of the best story arcs over this revival is the story of Emily Gilmore (Lorelai’s mother). We see her emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon as she goes from the unhappy grieving widow at the beginning to creating a new more carefree and simpler life for herself by the last episode. This evolution of character was dealt with extremely well and felt right.

Lorelai though she is still at the Dragonfly goes through her own soul-searching journey inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found Her personal life takes a turn for the worst as her relationships between Luke and Rory turn sour (you’ll have to watch it to find out why!).

My favourite moments from this revival include the hilarious musical in the Summer episode and revisiting the fast talking conversations between Rory and Lorelai. One of my favourite scenes is a gorgeous moment at night in the final episode towards the end set in the town square (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the revival). I also like how Rory finds her real vocation in the end which was a lovely meta-touch for the story of the show.

Of course, you may already know this but the whole revival does end on a hell of a cliff-hanger too which makes me think that also due to the popularity of the revival we may well see a new series of Gilmore Girls on Netflix in the future. I truly hope we do, so watch this space!