One of our childhood favourites came back to life, in modern ages and technologies, in a subtly re-vamped season of hour and a half episodic season changes from Fall, to Winter, Spring, and Summer. With Rory coming back to Stars Hollow, Lorelai living with Luke, and Emily losing Richard, we experienced a whirlwind of emotions throughout A Year in the Life, and I am here to help you unpack those feelings, and empathise with you.
This new season of Gilmore Girls started with a lot of questions, and ended with a lot of questions, and all in the middle there was some jokes and cadences. The whole season, however, seemed to revolve around one theme, and one theme only, this one thing was a ripple effect through each character's’ journey through A Year in the Life. This event was Richard Gilmore’s death. We see each character bring it up again and again, whether it’s Lorelai wanting to go cruising, Rory acting irresponsibly (we’ll get to that), or Emily altering her whole life, and her character as we know it. As we go through just a few of the big events and unanswered questions of this Winter commentary, keep in mind Richard Gilmore’s death, and how the actions of the Gilmore Girls are explained.
Rory’s inflated ego and entitlement and PAUL!
This is most definitely a subject I must touch on. I am going to admit it — I never liked Rory. I always thought she was coddled, self entitled, egotistic, and obnoxious and it’s because she was raised with everyone around her saying how amazing she is and how she could never do wrong. We now see Rory years later, cheating on her boyfriend of two years, Paul (who she can’t even remember when he goes to the bathroom at Luke’s diner), with Logan, an engaged man who uses Rory and buys her affection. Also, Rory supposedly doesn’t have enough money for underwear, but can fly back and forth between London and New York to see Logan (yuck)? Doubtful. We then have Rory thinking that she’s better than a company who really wants to recruit her, SandeeSays. Instead, she thinks her New Yorker piece, which is the talk of the town, will open hundreds of doors for her, however, she finds that she is not getting any job offerings, and has, in fact, peaked.
Lorelai and Michel’s Freaky Friday where Lorelai is the critical one of the chefs while Michel tries to be accommodating
I’m sorry, but Lorelai needs to get over herself. When Michel starts being more gracious and hospitable than Lorelai, you know there’s something really wrong. Yes, Sookie did leave Lorelai and the Dragonfly, which was their project, but if you have been in the red for a while, it’s time to grow up, and move on. Lorelai clinging to Sookie’s ghost is immature and selfish, especially when Michel is trying to also have a life, and adopt a child.
Lorelai’s terrible story about Richard
Okay Lorelai, you couldn’t think of anything better to say about your dead father except that he caught you having sex at 15 and that he was not home a lot because he was working when she was a child. Really? It always seemed that throughout Gilmore Girls, Lorelai always had a problem with Emily, not so much Richard. We can maybe see this as Lorelai being too drunk to come up with anything better, which I can say: she was able to twist herself around, recall exactly where Richard flew to when she was a kid, and not lisp at all? No way was she too inebriated to coherently think of one good thing about her father. I refuse to believe it. Then we can say, well, maybe she just really hates her mother, which may be true, but then why did she stay for so long afterwards with her, helping her mother and taking care of her during the funeral? I don’t know, but that was really not great to watch.
The Spinal Tap
Oh my God. The painting. Pure dark humour that was, and so well executed. When Lorelai and Rory first saw that massive painting of Richard propped up against the wall, I almost lost it. They were back to their witty banter, and just then, in that moment, it seemed like it they were back to their original Gilmore Girls selves. In my personal opinion, it took a while for Rory, in particular, to get back into the swing of things. The banter between her and Lorelai didn’t seem as loose or natural as it was in the original seasons. That was until the real hard-hitting monstrosity of a painting was the punchline for every joke of Lorelai and Rory’s, each hitting their mark on the nose. Lorelai and Rory, though still a little rusty, started to gain momentum from that point on, it seemed to me. The painting, though, was just golden.
Emily not being Emily
I actually really empathised with how the creators and directors depicted grief. It was an extremely accurate depiction of what people go through when they’re grieving. We try to do anything and everything to feel better. Things that seem totally irrational, are actually perfectly sensible when we are in that state. Emily even agrees to go to therapy, though it becomes a ploy to bring Lorelai to therapy as well, considering we all know there are many unresolved feelings there. Back at home, while Emily is Marie Kondo-ing (picking up every item of clothing and touching it to see if it brings her joy, then throwing it out if it doesn’t), we think she’s lost it, that she’s crazy, but in reality, grief is a desperate thing and we just want to do anything to make us feel better. What really struck me, and got to me the most was when Lorelai told her mother that nothing is going to make her happy now because Richard had just passed away. When Emily tells Lorelai that she has lost half of her life and half of herself, I just felt like bawling. The pain was so raw right then, and the viewer was really able to empathise with Emily’s emotions as a mourning widower. I can tell you, whoever wrote that scene, or any of Emily’s scenes, had experience and knew what they were doing when they wrote about grief.
Those are my remarks on the first episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Episode 1: Winter. Watch out for next week’s Spring commentary where I will introduce my thoughts on the Town Hall meeting, the therapy sessions, the introduction of Mr. Kim, Paris in mayhem, and Rory’s serious trainwreck of a career and life.
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