Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – One Year Later

Yes, Gilmore Girls is my all time favorite show. Yes, I re-watch it alllll the time. Yes, I was standing outside a local coffee-shop at four am to get my special edition Luke’s Coffee cup two weeks before “A Year in the Life” was released on Netflix as part of Netflix’s’ promotional stunt. I am that girl.

Photo courtesy of Shinehah Bogar © 2017

The Gilmore Girls helped aid my coffee addiction, encouraged a love of turtlenecks and lip-gloss that changes with your mood, and most importantly, taught me that hamburgers are a perfectly fine weekly meal.

I was there for the boys who started it all (Dean), the biggest heartthrobs (Jess), the gorgeous heartbreakers (Logan), the ones who got away (Max Medina), the ones who fed our coffee addictions and made us believe in love (Luke) and even the ones we’ve all forgotten about by now (Jason Stiles).

Season seven ended with Rory's surprise graduation party before her departure to work on the Obama campaign, a promise between Lorelai and Emily to continue Friday Night Dinners, and a closing kiss between Luke and Lorelai to seal the deal. Many were upset with the ending, as it begged more questions than answers. Theories on the fates of our beloved characters surfaced over the internet in the years leading up to the revival and more exploded after. Is Kirk really Taylor's son? Were the coffee cups empty the whole time? Is Rory actually a surrogate for Luke and Lorelai? (Thanks, Paris!) Or was she knocked up by the Wookie? And, my personal favorite, is Ceaser who works in Luke's dinner actually a Chilton alumn? (The actor can be spotted in the background of the episode "Rory's Dance" - the one where Dean dreamily defends Rory against evil—but really hot—Tristan.) 

Despite the crazy conspiracies, one truth remains: our girls came back and caused quite a stir. 

One year after the “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” debut and my head is still trying to wrap itself around the contents of this long-awaited revival.

Here are some thoughtful opinions – a year in the making:

Lorelai: Bravo, girlfriend.

  • She was depressed – she was finally facing all of the hardships we’d seen her experience through the last 7 seasons. Her dad’s death brought to the surface the years of challenging tension between them, her relationship with Luke was at a standstill, and her relationship with Rory was changing. Rather than run off to Paris and sleep with Christopher, we finally got to see her work through these difficulties. 
  • The Wild hike seemed vastly out of her character’s norm—her exercise is running around us in circles with witty jokes and musical references.
  • Attending counseling with Emily was an enjoyable touch. We finally got to see them address their issues in a healthy way rather than through arguments during Friday night dinners.
  • In the end, she realizes she loves Luke, doesn't need another baby, and wants to get married. Ahhh, sigh of relief for her happy ending!

Rory: Ehhh… A Bag of Mixed Feelings

  • I get torn here because of course she couldn’t be perfect, but I thought after saying “no” to Logan’s proposal and jetting off to work on the Obama campaign in Season Seven, she was going to re-center her life and return to her driven self. Instead, she now jets between London and New York (or should we say Logan’s couch and her non-existent career) and asks Mitchum Huntzberger for help with a Condé Nast interview that she eventually bombs.
  • I’m not even going to tell you how much I hated the whole “Paul” skit…
  • If I’m totally honest, I wanted a return to the spoiled, but hard-working and determined Rory that existed during the Chilton days. She was my idol in a world filled with Madeline's and Louise's. 

Paris: Bonjour, Baby-Maker

  • I was very pleased to see that Paris was exactly as we had left her, though very confused with her new occupation. Since when did she care about bringing new life into the world that could eventually be rejected by the Puffs, turned down from Harvard and kicked out as editor in chief of the Yale Daily News?
  • Her divorce with Doyle was heartbreaking, but unsurprising—these two thrive off of passionate arguments. I like to think, however, that they will get back together soon. They are true soulmates.
  • All in all, no one can pull of Paris like Liza Weil can.

Logan: Still Breaking My Heart

  • Okay, Logan was my favorite of Rory’s boyfriends until about the 3rd time I re-watched the seasons. After a while, it's just impossible to ignore that he is in fact the annoying, selfish, and extremely immature bug on the windshield of Rory’s life. A bug that eventually causes her to swerve and seemingly lose control on the road.
  • His character in the revival was lacking just that: character. He was not the charming, handsome, infuriating result of a spoiled and pressure-filled childhood that we all fell in love with. He was just pathetic and cheating on Odette.

Jess: Marry Me

  • He is the saving grace of Rory’s life in the revival. He is more chiseled than ever and is the one to give Rory the idea for her book.
  • The look-back at the end of the season? My heart stopped beating for a minute.
  • We all agree that he and Rory will end up together in the long run, right?
  • We also all agree to sweep the fact that they are technically stepsiblings under the rug in the name of true love, right?

Luke: You Still Got Wings, Baby

  • Luke’s character was very watered down to me in this comeback. He had lost some of that fiery-temper that lit the grill and our hearts.
  • I do, however, love that he is still trying to limit the girl's sugar intake.
  • He will still forever be THE man: backwards baseball cap, flannel and all.

Emily: All Hail the Queen

  • Emily was the character you hated in season one and then realized by season 7 was actually your soul animal.
  • Her character was equally as lethal in the revival, but we finally got to see her sensitive side crack open a bit.
  • Hearing her look at a beautiful, jeweled, blue ball gown and say, “This does not give me joy” was one of the best moments in the revival.
  • Why did her moving to Nantucket to hang with Jack (her new friend?) and work in a whaling museum seem like the most perfect ending?

Richard: And Rest in Peace to the King

  • Rest in peace to one of the best characters the show ever saw. Edward Herrmann was an extremely talented actor and the show would simply not have been the same without him.

Sookie St. James: 2 Famous 4 U

  • Hello, Sookie! Ok bye, Sookie! It was great to see you for five minutes.

The musicals: Who Can I Talk to For An Hour of My Life Back?

  • “When will this be over,” was about all I could think while watching.
  • Rory’s sneak peak into the Life and Death Brigade was one of the best episodes during season five. The resurgence of the group for a final meeting brought happy nostalgia, but the entire time I felt sad. Why has no one grown up? 

And finally, the final four words:

 “Mom.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m pregnant.”

  • Was Rory’s announcement of her being pregnant disappointing to those who viewed Lorelai’s life as a tribute to better opportunities for Rory? (If the show had aired as it originally meant to, Rory’s character would have been 22 when she revealed this truth.)
  • Was it a satisfying full-circle ending that shows how reliable life’s patterns can be?
  • Is this the kind of wake-up call Rory needed to pull herself back together?
  • What did you think of the final four words?

All in all, I look back on it fondly. I like to think that Rory has a sweet baby girl (named Lorelai? Too much? Or maybe it's time for a Gilmore boy...) that she and Jess are raising (because she realizes that Logan will never be her perfect man) and Lorelai and Emily still fight over the way Lorelai insists on hand-sewing Madonna themed onsies. 

For me, I was left with even more questions than when I had begun, but the greatest of all is: will there be more to the story coming soon? According to The Daily Mail, in a new contract deal between Amy & Dan Palladino and Amazon Studios, the right to revisit the treasured Stars Hollow is a legal possibility, and Amy Sherman-Palladino says, "it's definitely possible."

Whatever happens, we’ll be prepared: coffee in one hand and, let’s be realistic, coffee in the other: we’re ready for whatever comes next!