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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Recap

November 25th finally arrived! For those of you who can’t process your emotions, here’s a comprehensive review of my take on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, broken down by each episode.

Winter

Grade: B-

The very first episode opened up with a close-up shot of the Stars Hollow sign and a classic banter dialogue between Lorelai and Rory. Amy and Dan Sherman-Palladino, the creators of Gilmore Girls, couldn’t have introduced the revival series better. The nostalgic elements are all there–Stars Hollow’s charming aesthetics seemed to have been left untouched after ten years. And yet, there was something off. It just felt as if Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were reading off a script, and everything felt a bit too forced for anything to be natural.

And then we have Emily. If there was one good thing about this episode, it was watching the poise and grace in which she carried herself. Emily, one half of the perfect duo that everyone loved and hated. Emily, the incredibly strong woman who doesn’t let anything get to her is now dealing with the sudden death of Richard. I most definitely shed a few tears at the flashback scene of Richard’s funeral.

Our goody two-shoes Gilmore has been having a no-strings-attached relationship with none other than…an engaged Logan. My conflicted feelings about Logan always get in the way, and I had a bad taste in my mouth when he was the first of Rory’s boyfriend to grace our screens. Where’s Dean? More importantly, where’s Jess?!

Overall, this was an introduction episode: seeing where our beloved characters are since we last left them. It’s a solid B-. Some moments made me question if my love for the Gilmores would be strong enough to last me through the first episode, but indeed, it did.

Spring

Grade: B+

Someone has to let the people of Stars Hollow know they are living in a bubble community that miraculously changes season within a 24 hour period.

Other than this weird continuity error, what really made this episode for me was Paris Geller’s royal mess of a meltdown. It was hilarious and comforting. After seeing a glimpse of her high school crush, Tristan, at the Chilton alumni meeting, Paris comes spiraling down in the bathroom stalls. This is all she needs to relive her teen nightmare of insecurities. It was comforting to see that someone who looks so successful and put together can also be vulnerable and plagued by her past.

To add one more note, it was a bold narrative decision to have Lorelai and Emily attend weekly therapy sessions together. They don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to resolving their mother-daughter issues, so it was refreshing that they were able to admit they had problems and seek professional help.

I give this episode a solid B+, not because the plot in this episode is any better than the first episode’s (believe me, “Spring” was a bit of a drag), but because I started feeling more comfortable with all the characters that I used to love and identify with.  

Summer

Grade: A-

For me, this was the episode in which I truly felt I was back at Stars Hollow. It might just be because summer is my favorite season, but Lorelai and Rory really got their chemistry back. They definitely start to get in the rhythm of their pop-culture ridden, quippy dialogue. 

The fact that Rory faces career crisis does not surprise me. Deciding to move back home after having a disastrous job interview, she starts writing for the Stars Hollow Gazette. I get it, everyone deals with minor bumps in the road, everyone gets confused. But Rory should know better. As a 30 something Yale graduate, you would think she got her life together, and that she would be a bit smarter about the decisions she has made. But she seems to be stuck in that same exact rut she was in when she dropped out of Yale years ago.

If anyone should feel lost and confused, it should be Lorelai. And she is. In fact, she feels so restless about where her life is that she decides she needs some time to herself. It was inspiring to see Lorelai decide to follow the footsteps of a character she reads about in a novel called Wild (character goes on a hiking journey after losing her mother). It’ s classical Gilmore Girl fashion to include such a pop reference.

Oh, and we finally get to see Jess. Let us not forget that he was always there to help Rory. It was always Jess. And it’s also Jess that gives Rory the ingenious idea of writing a book about her and her mother. To be honest, I felt as if he was used as a plot device, mainly to get Rory back on her feet. We only saw a glimpse of him in this episode, and we deserved more of his beautiful face!

Fall

Grade: A

In the very last episode, we see Logan and Rory parting ways. I’ve never really liked Logan. But I could see that he really loved her when they said goodbye. I’ve never seen him shed a single tear until the moment he realized he might not be able to see her again, and I have to admit, I choked up.

Lorelai finally has her moment, the moment in which she has come to terms with her father’s death, and her re-evaluation of her relationship with Luke. And I personally thought it was beautifully executed. As she finds herself staring across a vast landscape on her attempted hike, she suddenly breaks down: she remembers that one special moment she shared with Richard–it’s emotional, it’s messy, and it will make you cry like a baby.

But my favorite scene has to be the last ten minutes. We see Lorelai and Luke sneak off to get married in the town gazebo the night before their wedding day. The town is amazingly decorated to a tee in their honor. The morning comes, and Lorelai and Rory are sitting together, looking out at their future. And then the last four words come out: Rory is pregnant. It leaves you with confusion at first, but it all starts to make sense. To me, those last four words means so much more than a possible narrative spin off. To me, it is a symbolic representation of how far the two have come. As Lorelai would put it, it’s a full freakin’ circle.

This episode, no doubt, earns an A in my book. I probably cried more than four times throughout the duration: twice because I couldn’t believe that the show was over after having grown comfortable late in the game, and the other two times due to the delivery of Graham’s acting. Her charm still ceases to amaze me to this day.

I have to say that the revival had its fair share of ups and downs. It wasn’t perfect, much like the characters, but it was interesting to see how one year can change a person. The thing that I really loved about this unconventional structure was how much it made me reflect on my life, and how much I really changed. These characters are not people I should look up to. They are messy, dramatic and a bit overwhelming. But they also mirror real people, and that’s also why Gilmore Girls holds a special place in my heart.

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Hannah Song is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt currently studying Media, Culture, and Communications. Ever since she was little, she has always been a movie buff. In the future, she hopes to become a successful casting director for major film and television companies.  She is also a self-declared Disney fanatic, and most likely seen singing her heart out to The Little Mermaid. 
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