Gilmore Girls has always been a show with a strange mythology around it. A relatively modern show in most respects that manages to feel like a snapshot into a timeless era. Complex writing that went unrewarded and nuanced female characters wrapped up in tumultuous relationships.
The tale of Rory and Lorelei Gilmore in their tiny Connecticut town of Stars Hollow holds a lot of sentimental value for those that grew up with Rory and those that found it later on in Netflix.
So when Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was announced a lot of people had a lot of opinions.
A Year in the Life picks up nine years after season seven finished with Rory going on the campaign trail with Barack Obama as a reporter for an online magazine and Lorelei is in Stars Hollow going to make a real go of things with Luke.
Season seven was underwhelming for a lot of fans as Amy Sherman Palladino had left the production meaning the witty dialogue and fast pace no longer felt authentic.
“I smell snow…”
So the first few minutes of Gilmore Girls revival the two verbal ping-ponging underneath the gazebo, it feels like home. The cast of Stars Hollow townies unfurl back into the frame with relative ease as they go through the town, Kirk has a new business, Taylor has a new scheme and WE FINALLY SEE MR. KIM.
And this is what ASP and Gilmore Girls does really well, the kookiness of Stars Hollow is what makes this show elevated from bog-standard soap to something for the ages. And where else was a Year in the Life going to start but in Winter, the postcard town of Stars Hollow looking perfect in Netflix HD. You almost forget that Stars Hollow is just the film lot on WB.
Of course things are far from perfect, although we all wish that a fluff fan fic would play out over six hours, things are never going to feel like that.
However things are going swimmingly for Luke and Lorelei, they live together, Luke still owns the diner and manages to fend off Wifi stealing interlopers and they’ve been together relatively without incident for nine years. They two face issues of possibly having more children, it’s dealt with like two grown-ups dealing with issues as opposed to the miscommunications and acting out that marked a lot of their relationship in the last two seasons.
Rory on the other hand, is not doing so hot. Former Stars Hollow golden child was given a gilded ending to her story. Rejecting Logan’s proposal, striking out on her own and forging a career in the thing she worked so hard on, Rory had the whole world at her feet at the end of season seven and now she’s stalling.
No fixed address and a boyfriend she forgets about (Paul deserved better tbh) Rory’s life seems to be a mess. Including regularly sleeping with a currently engaged Logan Rory is a world away from the bookish sixteen year old we started with.
Rory’s storyline is the most disappointing of the three of them, although there are flashes of Rory’s story that feel natural and I appreciate that there was nothing that could have happened to Rory that would have felt satisfying. A lot of Rory’s story was all about her untapped potential, an incredibly smart and nice kid who had the world at her feet, it wouldn’t have been compelling TV to have her as the editor of the New Yorker, married and happy. But as she shrugs off a job with a website she thinks she’s too good for and regularly cheats on her boyfriend with Logan Rory is now barreling through life.
Although a show with a smattering of problems the show handles the passing of Richard with grace and the signature sense of humour. Emily is feeling lost without her partner (don’t think too much of Richard’s heart attack in the early seasons and Emily demanding that she’s the one that goes first) she rattles around the house and keeps her maid for more than 24 hours. Richard’s presence is still felt in the form of the world’s biggest portrait and there’s still a divide between Emily and Lorelei after an incident at Richard’s funeral.
The episode ends with the two in therapy, something which is long overdue and the show teases a healthy fix to the relationship which made the show what it is today…