Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – Spoiler-filled Review

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GilmoreNews has, and always will be, a community-driven site. I kept the community going during the dormant years of ‘Gilmore Girls’ because of you and so I love to share well-written content created by you. Here is a review of ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ by Amran. 

From that opening tribute, which was filled with the most iconic lines from the original series in ‘Winter’; to the last four words in ‘Fall’ – Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life transcended me on an emotional journey filled with laughter, happiness and sadness. I didn’t binge watch the show on the opening night. I wanted to, but I wanted the journey to last. So, I decided to watch one episode per night, starting from the night of the 25th. Oh, how I failed. I actually ended up watching all four episodes in two nights. And, I am not sorry that I did. In fact, it’s only been two weeks since the revival was released on Netflix and I’ve already watched it three times round. Each time, I found that I enjoyed and loved it more every time.

To break this review down, I will separate it into segments. Firstly, I want to talk about the overall feel of the revival. To me, it was evident that neither Amy Sherman-Palladino nor Dan Palladino missed a single beat. Watching that beautifully directed opening sequence which gave us a quick tour of the town square and eventually revealing Lorelai, perked up on the gazebo steps (with coffee, obviously), as she waited for Rory. To listening to their incredible back and forth banter, I was immediately in a state of joy. The quick-fire responses, pop-culture references and the two of them running around town was enough for me to realise that one of my favourite shows of all time was back, and it was better than ever. Throughout the four episodes, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at the witty dialogue which spewed out of everyone’s mouth. Every character felt like their usual selves and they all brought something special to the show for everyone to enjoy. The Friday night dinner, town meetings, town festivals, daily life at the Dragonfly Inn and Luke’s Diner all brought back amazing memories of the original series. Every quirky and eccentric character made their presence felt as we couldn’t help but think ‘Only in Stars Hollow, would this person actually be doing what they’re doing’. The average time of 90 minutes allowed the revival to have some breathing space, which the original series sometimes needed. It allowed for the creators to expand on the emotional storytelling they were about to embark on, by allowing segments of each episodes to be filled with laughter and joy and other moments to be filled with nostalgia and sadness; which in my opinion, is what Gilmore Girls is really about. 

GILMORE GIRLS
GILMORE GIRLS

For me, Lorelai and Luke’s storyline was the most satisfying and fulfilling. From their first scenes together in the original series, most fans yearned for the two amazing characters to fall in love, get together and eventually end up getting married. Fifteen years later, we all had our wishes granted. Their intimate scenes and conversations together in the revival, brought a big smile to my face as I have always thought of them as a perfect couple. That scene in the diner in “Winter”, where they sweetly worked together to clear the diner and discussed the notion of having children was beautifully acted and directed. When Luke looked at Lorelai so lovingly, and said that he has everything he ever wanted; nearly brought a tear to my eye, as it highlighted the raw emotion these two character share with each other. The ending scene in Summer broke my heart, as it realistically depicted the sad truth of even perfect couples having problems and needing some space from each other. I was never going to forgive Amy and Dan if they actually broke them up for good. Alas, all was fine and dandy as Luke and Lorelai had perhaps their most emotional scene in the kitchen in “Fall”, where they opened up to one another and decided that enough was enough and that they were going to get married. The chemistry between Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson is off the charts (I tip my fictional hat to the both of them). Finally, the wedding scene which presented the beautiful relationship between Lorelai, Luke and Rory was awe-inspiring. I was in tears from the moment “Reflecting Lights” began to play and they perused the amazing setup within the town square. Luke and Lorelai finally had their perfect wedding, and all was right with the world.

006_gilmoregirls_101_spr_04145rRory’s story for me was the most realistic. I understand that some people were a little perturbed by the shocking and ninety degree turn that her life had taken in the revival. But, I ask those people to take a moment and understand what is going on. Gilmore Girls is a realistic show about life and the relationships that surround it. It has always depicted life choices and the roadblocks faced by the characters with a sense of realism, where happiness is sometimes available to them in abundance but it is also the hard times that define who they are; which is also true about real life. In her youth Rory was a straight A student who always knew what she wanted and where she was going. But, as with everything else in life, seldom do things go exactly the way we want them to. Here, Rory has drifted through newspaper to newspaper as a freelance journalist, trying to prove her talents to the world, which she did, as Luke so affectionately put her New Yorker piece on the back of her menu (How awesome was Lorelai’s “Super Proud”?).  The only thing that went wrong for Rory was that she was never able to stick to one place and solidify her career. Maybe it was her own fault or maybe it was just the circumstances surrounding her. As a viewer, I was able to relate to that, as for a very long time all I wanted to be is a lawyer and even began studying at a University as a law student, but half-way through my course I decided that I wanted to become a screenwriter. As always, Rory’s relationship with other characters was fantastic. From Lorelai, to Emily, to Luke and even her ex-boyfriends; her character really shone for me as she is still that same sweet girl who was friendly and open to everyone who crossed paths with her. Well, everyone except Paul. I found his inclusion a little weird, but absolutely hilarious and thought that he was dealt with in perfect Gilmore style. Rory’s relationship with Logan was really surprising to me but something that made sense. Earlier in the year, Amy had revealed that she decided to undo one thing from season 7 (Which she wasn’t involved in) and I believe that it was Logan leaving his dad’s empire. In my opinion, I do believe as far as the revival stands, he did initially leave and even proposed, but upon realising that he doesn’t want to go off on his own in San Francisco, he decided to make amends with his father. I also think that upon arriving to London to work with Naomi Shropshire, (who was played hysterically by the amazing Alex Kingston) she perhaps connected with Logan again and the emotional connection they have towards each other led them to sort of create a pact, which involved a ‘No strings attached’ relationship. I was always torn between team Jess and team Logan, and I can honestly say that after the revival, I am wholly team Jess. Jess’ inclusion made me craving for more and honestly wish he had more scenes with Rory but also Lorelai. I always thought Lorelai and Jess are quite similar and have always wanted them to share a nice moment together. But, it was nice to see that he’s a part of the family now. And, it broke my heart when he was looking through the window at the woman he has loved for the last fourteen years. I also have to mention that amazing Life and Death Brigade scene which was one of the highlights of the entire show. The main take-away from Rory’s story however, came at the expense of the last four words which I will discuss at the end.

Emily’s story was in my opinion the most endearing one of them all. I may stand alone in this, but in the original series, I didn’t connect much with Emily and often found her to be very irritating as she was often bitter and interfering. But, this revival made me fall in love with her character as I was able to relate and understand her. The loss she and the rest of this show have suffered is astronomical; and during all of the scenes in which Richard was mentioned honestly made me really emotional which really drove her character. And I need to take a moment to mention how gracefully the late Ed Herrman’s character was dealt with. Emily’s fight with Lorelai in the flashbacks was one of both actors’ best works on the show and really hit home. The evolution of her character was something I felt that she needed and seeing her become a more caring and understanding woman was just fantastic. And, nobody can deny how funny those therapy sessions were as it highlighted the 48 year relationship between both mother and daughter. Kelly Bishop’s best moment as Emily came during the now famous ‘BULLSHIT!’ scene, where everything that Emily was, is thrown out and this new Emily; like a Phoenix, has risen from the ashes of her sorrow.

All in all, I absolutely loved the revival. I understand that a lot of people have been comparing and contrasting it with the original show, which in my opinion isn’t fair. The original show was told over 153 episodes and over a hundred hours. With the revival, an amazing and fulfilling story was told in just four episodes and six hours. And, in my opinion, the four episodes were much more progressive in their storytelling than some of the episodes in the original series. No, the revival wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t need to be, as the original run of the show wasn’t either. What it was, was everything we know and love about the Gilmore Girls universe, which is a realistic telling of life, love and relationships; which is never perfect. Now, those four last words. Man, when I heard them, my hand was covering my mouth, and I was gasping for air. Amy Sherman-Palladino, didn’t disappoint with those last words. They needed to be something that the whole world was talking about, and boy were we. I need to take a second to acknowledge the brilliance of Amy. That scene where Rory goes to visit her father looked like she was going to speak to him regarding her book “The Gilmore Girls” (sorry, “Gilmore Girls”, Because “it’s cleaner”). In fact, she wanted to converse with him to get perspective on her next move, as she is now pregnant. When the credits enveloped Rory’s gaze and Lorelai’s instant shocked face, my heart sank, because that couldn’t have been the end. No way, can they end this brilliant, caffeinated show end, with one of the biggest cliff-hangers. And, I really hope that it doesn’t. The response has been brilliant and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has stated that he is happy to green light a second season. The ball’s in Amy’s court and I sure hope that she understands the need of more Gilmore out there. Because again, this is a show about real-life, and there’s so much more to tell. To round this review up, I would award Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a 9.6 out of 10, because it was everything I wanted it to be and so much more.

Before ending this article,  I want to give a massive shout-out to a few of the brilliant actors who really shone and brought Stars Hollow back. Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Milo Ventimiglia, Matt Czuchry, Mellissa McCarthy, Yanic Truesdale, Michael Winters and Sean Gunn for their amazing revisiting of these brilliant characters. Right, now I need someone to call me an Öööber, I need to get home.

If you have an article you wish to write on GilmoreNews, whether it’s a discussion of a whole episode or a minute plot point, email the fully-written article to me here.

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6 thoughts on “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – Spoiler-filled Review

  • December 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm
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    I absolutely agree and I always enjoy reading positive things about the show so thank you. I too would like more episodes – fingers crossed! #TeamJess

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  • December 14, 2016 at 6:36 am
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    I love GG and watch the originals everyday before going to bed. But in NO WAY did these movies depict the characters at least until the third movie. Rory never did really show up at all. She seemed uncomfortable in the role the whole time.
    But let me say, even though ASP and DP tried to do something in such a short time did ok BUT NOT good. Not to their fault because maybe Netflix pushed it to fast. DP’s episodes were terrible at best. Having Emily’s maid to come in and take over her home and make her so weak just because her spouse died. Strong women just do not normally fall apart like that and for DP to just let the other two GGs except it!!??? NO WAY THAT IS THEIR INHERITANCE DOWN THE ROAD!!
    DP waisted WAY to much time trying to add new characters into the shows that we as HUGE FANS do not give a freakin frack about. We WANTED MORE about the originals which ASP tried to do but she only had so much time. ASP should have written ALL FOUR shows PERIOD!!
    Now before I get chastised here, let me say again, I watch the originals EVERY NIGHT!! I did somewhat enjoy the FOUR new some but they were NOT even close to how they were.
    AND BTW, when did Lorelei and Rory become selfish slave driven characters!!??? THAT WAS JUST WAY TO FAR FROM THE ORIGINAL CHARACTERS. DP screwed that way up. NOT CUTE NOR FUNNY.

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    • December 14, 2016 at 9:52 am
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      You are exactly on point. There is no comparison between these four episodes and the series as a whole.

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  • December 14, 2016 at 7:30 am
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    Beautiful review, I share a lot of your thoughts and loved it!

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  • December 14, 2016 at 11:43 am
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    Amazing review. Your thoughts absolutely mirror mine, as I truly enjoyed the revival too. Really hope they bring it back.

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  • December 20, 2016 at 7:11 am
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    I absolutely agree and I think it was one of the most poetic moments on television (if not the most). Amy and Dan brought it home with the whole full-circle thing and, come to think about it, it was right under our noses. The whole show (both the revival and the original) have been hinting at a circle of sorts because that’s what Gilmore Girls is: a mirror of life. And life has a funny way of repeating itself over and over again.

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