Can the Gilmore Girls comeback surpass the Veronica Mars movie?

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I finished watching Veronica Mars recently, leaving a suitable gap of respect between watching the final episode and the movie. And it was brilliant.

I’ve mentioned before my belief that the Veronica Mars movie was a contributing factor for the Gilmore Girls revival.  And it did a lot of things that the Gilmore Girls revival episodes would be wise to learn from.

For the uninitiated, Veronica Mars was a witty, smart-funny high-school detective show that rightly made a household name of sloth-lovin’ Kristen Bell. The show aired for three seasons then cancelled dramatically after a final episode that kicked off a bunch of new storylines. Flash to eight years later and the cast and crew revived the show in a triumphant 90-minute movie fan-funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter project.

veronica sandwich

From left to right that’s Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) and Charlie Stone (our Logan Huntzberger, Matt Czuchry).  It’s a Logan-Veronica-Logan sandwich!

Here’s what the Veronica Mars movie did well:

It allowed for the passing of time
They pick up the story eight years later and the cliffhanger storylines are left noticeably unanswered – not even referred to. Which is actually great because time has passed and sure, those things resolved but now it’s eight years later and who remembers that stuff anyway. Yet it still allows for relationships to pick up exactly where they left off even though most of the cast have aged. It’s wonderfully done.

It respected the fans
Kickstarter meant the movie was funded by the fans and so an amount of fan service was to be expected. However – with the possible exception of Logan’s outfit – it’s so effortless, each reference feels like a warm hug from an old friend. Veronica Mars-creator Rob Thomas understood his fans and chose to tell a story that pushed the buttons he knew would make the fans tingle. Will Amy Sherman-Palladino know what we want? Heck, do we even know?

It respected the source material
The actors showed up. The old props came out of the old props chest (Burt the Toolbox, I’m looking at you). Everyone was on their A-game, visibly happy to be reunited and everyone pulling for the team. They didn’t over-do stuff just because they could – although personally I can always do with a little bit more Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars’ dad, Keith Mars). Will there be a noticeable Sookie-shaped hole?

It was more than an episode
Most of us know from experience that you can play regular 45-minute Gilmore Girls episodes back-to-back for hours – however the 90-minute revival episodes give the opportunity of something more, of exploring a little deeper. During its run there were two-part episodes of Veronica Mars but a 90-minute movie is a different beast. Although some of the action in the third act was a little weak, it plays and escalates like a movie should. Will each of the four Gilmore Girls revival episodes have its own dramatic arc? Or play out like two back-to-back episodes?

It doesn’t end properly
To his credit, Veronica Mars-creator Rob Thomas does not tie up all the loose ends. There is no beautifully crafted farewell. Conversely, you still feel like it hasn’t ended properly but it’s a far far better ending than the previous one because it’s like all the characters are still out there, getting on with their stuff and maybe they’ll bump into each other again in another eight years.

The Veronica Mars not only ticked all the boxes, it did so extraordinarily well. We should only be so lucky.

Who’d win in a fight, Veronica or Rory? Veronica or Lorelai? Logan or Logan?
Is this even a fair comparison, Veronica Mars vs Gilmore Girls?
Did you watch Veronica Mars? What do you feel the movie did well – or not so well?
How many Gilmore cameos can you name in Veronica Mars? I’ve got… four.
Do you think the Gilmore Girls revival episodes should end the story properly?  Like a happy ever after?


Pic c/o TheCW 

p.s. hello there I know I haven’t posted for a while but Arieanna’s been doing such a smashing job, I’ve been taking the chance to catch up on a little TV, like Veronica Mars… Downton Abbey, Rick and Morty, a season of Friends that I missed, The Fall and others… also I know this sounds nuts but I’m trying to avoid spoilers for the Gilmore Girls revival episodes.  I’ll post about my inner turmoil another time.

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Rich

Rich originally began contributing to GIlmore News as 'Dairyman' in 2013, a reference to the character Dairyman Dick in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, (call me Rich). Here in the UK we were late to the Gilmore party and I don't remember what made me watch my first episode - the one where Lorelai picks Rory up from the police station after she and Logan steal a yacht - but I remember watching it again immediately. And then again. Thankfully, the next show was on the next day and I watched that one three times too. And then the boat one again. I couldn't believe the dialogue was so quick and so funny and I pretended to myself that I was only watching it so I could figure out who I was more keen on - the mom or the daughter. I swore that Aaron Sorkin must have been involved but I couldn't find his name attached anywhere, even on the internet. So I watched and loved and laughed and cried and the day after the series finale, they ran the entire show from the beginning again and Rory turned into a baby so then I was all about Lorelai. Lauren Graham is astonishing ("Mother: Breathtaking") and the show was - and is - lightning in a bottle. It's a treasure for those who watch and get swept up in it, like I did and like the readers of Gilmore News. It's heartbreak and chicken soup, family dysfunction and blind optimism, lighthearted romanticism and balls-out brilliant. Thanks to Arieanna and gilmorenews.com for letting me squat and allowing my inner Gilmore Geek out for air. I worry how it would otherwise manifest.

13 thoughts on “Can the Gilmore Girls comeback surpass the Veronica Mars movie?

  • March 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm
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    Thanks Rich! I am definitely all over the Spoilers, but we appreciate your commentary! Indeed, if I had more time, there are a million “list posts” I’d also love to create. There’s never enough time!

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  • March 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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    I liked the VM movie too. I have some differences of opinion to you – I liked the ending but I didn’t like all the relationships (eight or nine years and you still haven’t met the parents?!) and felt that particular one had been locked down in stasis between series and movie.

    I think Gilmore Girls has an issue that VM doesn’t – practically every fan on VM was Team Logan (as far as I can tell). Whichever way Gilmore Girls goes with Rory (TeamDean, TeamJess, TeamLogan, TeamNewGuy or TeamNo-one) there will be a non-zero number of people in the other teams that will be disappointed about that bit. But I actually feel that’s part of Gilmore Girls – that Amy always told her story, not necessarily what was popular.

    As for the ending of Gilmore Girls, I don’t know about tying up all the loose ends, but I’d definitely like it to not leave any particularly burning questions.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm
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    Veronica and Piz weren’t dating the whole 9 years…they just met up in the past year, per the movie. So not having met parents is realistic. Plus it would have been ridiculous for Veronica to leave her 9 year relationship after spending a few days with her old HS/college boyfriend.

    I agree about VM shippers versus Gilmore shippers. Rob Thomas said it himself that it will always be Veronica and Logan. With Gilmore, it’s unclear and fans will be disappointed either way. I think that’s part of the fun though. It’s not predictable. The suspense is painful and awesome at the same time. With that said, Team Jess for me!

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  • March 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm
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    Never saw the VM movie so can’t really comment on quality , however with 4 times as much time to play with and one suspects a more generous budget for the Gilmore revival not sure the question is particularly fair. The Gilmore revival should be better. If not, opps????

    Logan v Logan fight would be a poor reinactment of Clint v Bill Smith in “Any which way you can” with same result, both guys get clocked pretty badly. Rory v Rony would not be fun to watch. Lor v Rony would be interesting as long arm of the law could keep Rony far, far away until she gets tired and walks away.

    Gilmore cameos in VM included Matt as a sleezy rag reporter trying to get into the uber rich world to expose it. After her turn as Lucy in Gilmore, Krysten Ritter appeared as Steve Guttenburg’s rich but kinda dumb daughter in VM. Never would have thought that turn would lead to her breakout supporting role in Breaking Bad. Don’t remember any other obvious ones so maybe a well disguised supporting actor like Rose Abdoo, John Polito, Devon Sorvari [Honor H], or Taylor Scout Compton [Clara].

    Ending properly of course is in the eye of the beholder. As long as the storyline is logical but fun and leaves the characters in sufficiently believable places that we might want to check in with them again somewhere down the road, that would work for me.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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    They left the movie ending open because Rob Thomas also wrote a couple books to follow it. Those books continue some of the story lines of the movie, as well as create some new ones.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm
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    Think I remember another cameo. The mom of the murder victim [who was VM’s best friend played by Amanda Seifried] in the first episode of the series might have been the actress who played Chris’s mom and Strode’s wife in Gilmore [Emily Rose?].

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  • March 1, 2016 at 11:53 pm
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    It’s Christine Rose who played Chris’s mom – she went on to be Peter’s (Milo V’s) mom in Heroes, but I don’t think was in VM.

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  • March 2, 2016 at 8:10 am
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    I thought the VM movie was cute and watchable but contained too much fan service and took very little risk. Also, it felt more like the pilot of a revival than a movie. Gg has quite a bit of a different dealing. First, they’ll have far more time to tell their story. Second, Gg is purely a character driven show.

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  • March 2, 2016 at 11:08 am
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    The actors who appeared in both GG and VM – Matt Czuchry, Krysten Ritter, Max Greenfield and Jane Lynch

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  • March 2, 2016 at 11:17 am
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    True to form, I’m on Team Leo – Veronica Mars’ Sheriff’s Deputy and forever Schmidt on New Girl. Although once upon a time he was another ‘Luke’ in Gilmore Girls, in attendance at Dean’s bachelor party! Logan’s fetching in his uniform but my he’s a lot of angst. My other cameos were Krysten Ritter’s Gia (Rory’s college chum Lucy), Duncan Kane (Rory’s moving out party buddy ‘Graham’), Deputy Leo and Matt Czuchry!

    Devon, I have the books on my Amazon wish list and I suspect they’re a better read than the Gilmore novelizations. Can’t wait, especially since they further the plots.

    mcityrk, I’d recommend the movie if you were at all into the show. John, I do wonder if they’ll make something more of their 360 minute narrative… although I’m going to watch it and love it regardless.

    … and thanks for the bedtime reading Tammi :O)

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  • March 11, 2016 at 3:38 am
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    I still have to watch it… Hopefully soon :) Both series are great, even though different… Yet, I think that the fan base of Gilmore Girls is larger, for it spans to all generations… and new fans come everyday… If all Gilmore Girls fans keep on the road, this could lead to more seasons, and even a movie, and movies sequels :)

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  • December 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    For the record, Veronica Mars’ comeback on Hulu is brilliant. I can understand die-hard fans not liking where the story goes… but the dialogue, characters, cast and plot are TIGHT and left me wanting more more more. Bring it onnnnn!

    Reply

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