Gilmore Girls initial set up is the tale between a mother and daughter, more like friends than family. Lorelei and Rory are unit onto themselves, facing the world together.
Throughout the series, the main obstacle in their way was -more often than not- Emily and Richard Gilmore, the high society parents of Lorelei Gilmore whom she rebelled against when she became a teenage mom.
Richard and Emily were a team, often obnoxious and always in love, the Gilmores were always a vital part of the story. However due to the untimely passing of Edward Herrmann Team Gilmore was a member short for the revival.
Emily’s story in Year in the Life, shows a woman existing for the first time without a pattern. Although Emily didn’t get married until her early twenties we know very little about her life except for as a Gilmore, we don’t see her parents or her family, we don’t know her maiden name.
So seeing Emily Gilmore, a wife without her husband was the most heartbreaking moment of Gilmore Girls. Although the show rarely delves into the complexities of grief Kelly Bishop elegantly plays a woman still dealing with grief. A woman who has never been the best at vocalising her feelings now rattles around her overly large house in old jeans and lets her maids kids play soccer in her backyard.
Emily Gilmore, daughter of the American Revolution and Olympic level shopper spends most of Year in the Life letting people into her home in an attempt not to be alone. Emily Gilmore’s story starts out tragically and ebbs and flows through the series, she faces problems head on by going to therapy (admirable character develop)
Lorelei and Emily finally going to therapy together is a long time coming for both characters. As they both finally face up to the problems that had been bothering them for the longest time. Although it doesn’t exactly resolve everything, Emily quits therapy without much explanation.
She then moves to spending her day in bed and eating dinner on a tray. Although Rory and Lorelei take passing interests into the Gilmore Matriarch’s mental state, but the two are rather busy with their own problems to really look at it. Emily Gilmore is definitely on her own.
It’s the real portrait of grief from a character that does have mildly spotty characterisation throughout the series being greeted with a grown-up and non-linear idea of what constitutes the mourning process. Emily Gilmore deals with loosing the other half of herself while growing into the person that can face the world by herself.
This includes Jack, Richard’s old school friend, although we don’t now anything about the relationship, everyone can feel something. And it’s less about love, more that Emily’s looking for something, it’s the same reason she is constantly changing Edward’s headstone. She needs something to make her feels good in her life.
And as we saw throughout the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, this used to be the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her high society hobby of buying fancy chairs that may or may not have belonged to historical figures.
But does the new Emily like this world?
No she thinks it’s bullshit.
Now fans have been speculating that the show would have profanity when it moved to Netflix. There’s something about the Palladino writing style that lends itself really well too swearing, but this was a show that had relatively ‘family-friendly’ tones throughout it’s original run so moving too more adult themes needed a gap bridge.
So when Emily Gilmore, high society wife calls out the pretension of a fake interview of an old friend’s trophy wife we’re witnessing something absolutely amazing. Emily Gilmore takes back her autonomy from the fields she used use to define herself. She finally finds something fun without the restraints of what she used to need. Emily Gilmore is following her bliss and we could all do with taking a leaf out of her book…