This week the four part Gilmore Girls revival premiered on Netflix. I just finished binging the show, and here are my thoughts. Warning:
Stars Hollow is Back!
In the past couple of years, we have seen a few of our favorite shows come back as revivals: Boy Meets World, Full House, and now Gilmore Girls. It’s great to see our favorite characters return to tell a new story, but sometimes with revivals these characters return as only shells of their previous selves. I’m glad to say that this didn’t happen with the new Gilmore Girls revival.
Right from the beginning the viewer is transported to their favorite small town, Stars Hollow. The Gilmore Girls revival didn’t rely on referencing old episodes from their previous show, but instead created new stories and inside jokes. This is why these characters didn’t feel like shells, but instead older characters telling new stories.
Gilmore Girls is Nothing without its Supporting Characters
One reason why I love Gilmore Girls is because of the special attention to the show’s supporting characters. In the revival we saw the return of many fan favorite characters: Ms. Patty, Paris, Mrs. Kim, Kirk, and even Melissa McCarthy’s Sookie. The revival did a great job allowing the audience catch up with their favorite personalities of Stars Hollow, but there were some characters that I wished received a bit more screen time. (Mainly, Lane Kim!)
I could probably write a whole separate article about the value of Lane’s character in the original Gilmore Girls. She was an interesting character that deserved more screen time in the original show, and much more screen time in the revival.
The revival only gives audiences a glimpse of what Lane’s life looks like as a mother, wife, and all around rocker. I know the revival only had a limited amount of time to tell the story of our main ladies’ relationships, but I was hoping to see Mrs. Kim and Lane interact together more. Their relationship was one of my favorite aspects of the original show, and I feel like there is a lot more story to tell between these two characters.
Even though I wanted to see more from Lane’s own story, I was very happy to see a full fleshed out arc for Paris. As much as I love Kirk and other fan favorites, I always felt like Paris was an underdog fan favorite for the show. Paris has well deserved screen time where we learn about her successes as a professional woman, but also see her struggles as she tries to find self-worth in her personal life.
One of my favorite scenes in the whole revival is Paris and Rory running into the Chilton girls’ bathroom after Paris almost has a panic attack when seeing her long time crush, Tristen. She reveals that she carried a briefcase that whole day just to look important, which I think says a lot about Paris’ character. Liza Weil brings the character of Paris back to life, and is one of the shining stars in the revival!
Lorelai and Emily Have Great Character Arcs
Why do fans beg for revivals? After so many years of not having a show, why do fans still want more? It’s because we want to know where our favorite characters end up. We feel this way even when shows end perfectly because we know that these characters have more stories to tell. A chapter may have ended, but that doesn’t mean that these characters stop living.
When Lorelai and Emily return they have another chapter of stories to tell. Gilmore Girls: A Year in a Life tells a story of a family in mourning. How do you live life after a significant person in your life passes away? This is an important theme for a show that’s strength has always been about family relationships.
Both Emily and Lorelai do not know how to handle their grief after the passing of Richard Gilmore. Emily’s life has always been about supporting her husband while holding a perfect image for her rich friends. Emily’s journey in the revival is finding out who Emily Gilmore is without her husband and her high society image. Throughout the revival you never question Emily’s love for Richard, but in Emily’s own way, she must find what makes her happy in life. Who knew teaching families gruesome facts about whales would end up being Emily’s calling.
In the original Gilmore Girls series, Emily was always looking for acceptance from her daughter, Lorelai. Interestingly enough, by the end of the revival, Emily’s arc is not about having the perfect relationship with her daughter. Interestingly enough the revival takes a more individualistic approach to Emily and Lorelai’s character. They find happiness within self-worth.
Lorelai deals with the passing of her father differently than Emily. Emily can easily say what made Richard a special person, but it takes Lorelai some soul searching to figure out her relationship with her father.
What makes Lorelai an independent and strong character in this arc is her evaluation of relationships with the men in her life. Lorelai has always been used to depending on herself. This arc shows that Lorelai is allowed to rely on Luke as a partner in her life. Lorelai and Emily find their independence in different ways, but both stories go back to their relationship with Richard.
Is a Flawed Rory a Good Character?
During the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls Rory became a damaged character, which made her interesting. But sadly, Rory is a bit too flawed to be redeemable in the revival. It was hard to root for her character this season, and her story didn’t have as much pay off compared to Emily and Lorelai’s story.
Rory’s flaws didn’t just drag down her story but Logan’s as well. I know not everyone was a Logan fan from the original run of Gilmore Girls, but I liked how the character grew towards the end of the series. This season reverts the character to something lesser than he was from when we first met him at Yale. This is truly a disservice to his character and growth.
The Last Four Words
Rory: I’m Pregnant.
The last four words for the series have been hyped up for a very long time. Amy Palladino has stated in the past that she’s known the last four words since the beginning of the series. So…was the hype worth it? My answer: not really.
As I stated in my last section, Rory had a very rocky story arc this season, and the last four words is a total let down for Rory’s arc. If this was the ending during Rory’s high school years, the parallels would make more sense, but Rory is in her 30’s now. Her arc as a 30-year- old single mother is going to be very different from Lorelai’s arc of being a single mother as a teen.
The last four words are a disappointment because it’s predictable. Gilmore Girls ends on a cliffhanger just for the sake of ending on a cliffhanger. I personally think it would have been a stronger story if Rory couldn’t conceive. Gilmore Girls is a story about the bond between mother and daughter, family. What would a story about family look like if Rory couldn’t have a child of her own? What type of family would Rory create instead?
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