So. The revival. How excited for these episodes were we?! How much did we love Gilmore Girls?!
It was a long time coming and no matter what my feelings on it might be, I’ll always be glad that it gave me something happy to look forward to this November. I do think the hype did not quite work in its favor, though. Which is unfortunate. I remember the excitement for the Veronica Mars movie. My husband and I started the show so we could be ready for the movie. And we watched the seasons and the movie all in a row. And we thought the movie was terrible. But many fans loved it. So I was a little prepared to be disappointed by this one. But after waiting so long for some sort of closure and happy endings, I sort of figured I’d be in the same position VM fans were for the movie. Enough time had passed that any sort of revival, no matter how mediocre, would still be great! But I think I was wrong on that one.
I think almost too much time had passed and we’d all had plenty of chances to image where our favorite characters were and we could decided who ended up with whom and how and why and what the weddings were like, etc. I know I had ideas about where they would be and I’m pretty sure if you were a fan of the show, you had ideas too. So with all of that time between the show and the revival, it almost worked against everyone to even try to bring it back. There were so many chances for it not to live up to our expectations or to have the characters ending up with the wrong people or whatever it was you’d imagined for these characters. At the least, I’m pretty sure you imagined happy endings for them. Because I did, too. That’s what you do with characters you love.
Except, apparently, if you’re the writer/creator.
So here we come to one of the biggest disappointments of the revival for me. There was almost none of the closure/happy endings that I had been hoping for. Sure, Lorelai and Luke seem happy. And yes, Emily ended up in a very good and somewhat satisfied place. (Who ever thought I’d be happiest with Emily’s storyline?!?!?!?!) But Rory? Nope. Paris? She deserved better. Sookie?! What the hell was that?! And Kirk and Luly. They wanted babies so the town got together to get them a pig because the town thinks it knows better?!?! HUGE FROWNY FACE FOR THAT ONE. Ugh. Was this show always so judgmental? So many frustrating endings. Especially when it gets off exactly where it did. Which, of course, was on purpose. Were you just waiting all these years to make the fans angry?! Because we deserved better. We’ve kept the show and the characters and your words relevant. And then you shit all over us with privilege and whining and adults acting like children and no closure! As a fan, I’m not happy.
Before this revival, I didn’t think I’d ever say that new Gilmore Girls episodes would be a waste of time. But now? I cannot believe so much of the time we were given was wasted on stupid musical numbers or plays or other random time-wasting bits. Not to mention the entire thing was practically a waste because I think I’d rather remember the characters as they were in the original seasons instead of this. I almost wish I hadn’t watched them at all. Because sitting there in hour five with that stupid Stars Hollow Musical, I wished I’d never gotten myself into the entire mess of the revival. And then sitting there at the very end listening to Rory ruin her mother’s wedding day, I wanted to throw something at my TV.
That brings us to the absolute worst part of the entire revival. And where my anger at the shows lie.
Rory really sucked. The entire time, she was terrible! So bad that I even felt bad for Alexis because I can’t imagine waiting so long to come back to a character that is truly loved by so many fans and end up with that storyline! It was truly horrible. If she wasn’t cheating on Paul with Logan or random Chewbacca cosplayers, she was complaining about being poor (which she most obviously is not) and then working for free or turning her nose up at actual paying work that she thinks is below her even though no one else will actually pay her to write anything else at the moment, or she’s ignoring Lorelai’s feelings or using all of her friends and still somehow completely ignoring them or whining to her ex-boyfriend about his current fiancee moving in to his place or blah blah blah. Completely. Horrible. She seems to have no direction or even any passion for anything anymore. Except mooching off of everyone she knows, apparently. I completely understand people having moments of feeling lost in their lives and not knowing which direction to take but Rory is 32 now. She’s an actual full grown adult. And while I certainly don’t think everyone needs to “settle down” at some point, I do feel like she should have some direction of some sort. She does have a boyfriend. Albeit one she doesn’t like, won’t dump, doesn’t remember, and continually cheats on. But still. She has a boyfriend and a family and friends all offering her help and stability and support. But she just kind of ignores them all, goes from place to place and does nothing. This kind of thing is totally okay for a newly graduated 20-something trying to find their path in life. But for a 32 year old? It reeks of privilege and spoiled, special star syndrome. Now that she’s been out in the real world after being told she was amazing and special and got anything she wanted, she realizes she’s not all that different from the thousands of other talented, hard-working writers out there. And she doesn’t know how to cope except to write a story about her mom. And the whole entire thing just drove me crazy. In fact, throughout all four episodes, I’m not sure there’s one thing I enjoyed about her or her story. Except maybe the moment she had with the portrait of her grandfather and when she started writing in his office. But otherwise, I really think that might be it.
She should have listened to Paris.
And it’s horrible that that’s what we’re left with for Rory. She wasn’t perfect during the run of the show and had her fair share of mistakes but she had so many redeeming moments and she was young, so I was able to forgive a lot of those moments due to those things. That’s not the case anymore and even if this was exactly how the writer/creator wanted the show to end up all of those years ago, she should have realized that the age of the characters would have made their behavior different and how reactions to them different as well. Teenagers and young adults are suppose to learn from their mistakes, not repeat them in their 30’s. And no, Lorelai wasn’t perfect at 32 either. But she was self-sufficient, hard-working, passionate, and willing to do what needed to be done for her family and her friends. That’s not the Rory we have now. And it’s unfortunate. Plus, I will never forgive Rory for telling her mom on the morning of her wedding what she told her. Never.
Also, how have Luke and Lorelai been together for so long but still can’t talk to each other? They really haven’t talked about kids?! No offense, but if you’re mid-forties, you really need to have that talk because time really isn’t on your side. Having kids in your forties works for a lot of people but only really if you actually talk about it. Seriously. I love that Luke loves Lorelai so much but I kind of almost hate that he seems to have given up so much of himself just for her. And while I understand that that can work and he seems happy enough, isn’t that what their problems were earlier as well? That Lorelai wanted what Lorelai wanted and Luke gave it to her without speaking up until he just couldn’t take it anymore? I know they’ve both had a lot of things to figure out and maybe this sort of circle is realistic, but I don’t want realistic. What I want is happiness and witty replies and pop-culture references and silly Stars Hollow town meetings and swoony moments between Luke and Lorelai. But that’s not what I got.
Also, has the show always been so judgmental? It’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve watched a full series straight through but the revival was just one thing after another. If it wasn’t Rory looking her nose down at the website that wanted to hire her, she was turning her nose up at Hollywood writing jobs. And then she somehow thought she had a right to make fun of people her own age in her exact situation. And if not that, she was making fun of fat people for no reason. And c0splayers. Who she had sex with. And it just seemed to go on and on. And Lorelai had no problem jumping in as well. I know Emily was always looking down on people but that was part of her character. Rory and Lorelai just seemed to be making fun of people for no reason except to feel better about themselves. It felt more mean-spirited than I remember. So now I’m just wondering if I’m remembering the whole entire show differently than it actually was. Has time warped the show for me and put it on a pedestal it doesn’t deserve?! These are questions I’m left with after this thing we call the revival.
Now, because I feel bad leaving this at just a complete take-down of the show, here are a couple of things I actually liked about the revival.
For one, we go to visit Stars Hollow again! Just the moment of seeing the show opening again and the town and the people, it was fun. I wish the feeling had stuck around longer than it did, but even so it was nice revisiting the town and characters. Favorites from the revival? Kirk. Michel. Emily? And of course it was fun seeing Taylor and Miss Patty and Babette and all the rest of the town. It’s crazy to me that after so many years, they could still get so many people back for a few quick scenes. That was definitely fun.
And easily the best part about the revival was Richard’s funeral. Losing Edward Herrmann was tough and I think the show actually dealt with his absence extremely well. In fact, most of the scenes focus on the fact that patriarch of the family is gone and Emily is now forced to deal with being on her own and having to deal with everything on her own for the first time. While I would never call Richard a peacemaker, he was definitely a strong influence on Lorelai and Rory but also often the softer one in the later years. He was probably the only constant male influence in Rory’s life once the show started and provided security for Lorelai that she didn’t always appreciate. The fact that he was gone influenced the whole direction of the revival and I think they did a good job of honoring his role in the show and his absence.
But it did offer a strange disconnect with the feelings of the rest of the show. Since Richard was gone, it was obvious time had passed between the shows and the revival. But with almost everything else, it was almost as if no time had passed at all. Theoretically within that time, the characters should have grown up a bit and experienced more life and learned a few lessons along the way. But I didn’t see that in any of them. Without references to specific lengths of time or Richard’s passing, I would often forget that the characters should be acting older than when the show ended. Or at least more mature. And that irritated me a lot.
I really wish the creators had thought a little bit more about where the characters actually would be almost ten years after the show ended. Rather than reverting back to how the show “should have” ended with their four magic words, rhey should have realized that fans wanted more than their original vision. They should have realized that Rory ending up pregnant and alone at 32 after failing at journalism and being too stuck up to take any other job offered her is much too different from Lorelai ending up pregnant and alone at 16 and willing to work as a maid at an Inn to make it on her own. It isn’t the circle of life at that point. It’s terrible decision making and irresponsibility. Seriously, Rory, your privilege is showing and it’s annoying. And for a show with an entire premised based off of privilege, that’s saying something. So for this to be the ending we get after years of loyalty, is very upsetting.
Lastly, I really just need to say that if this show left me with one thing that confirmed my feelings from the original show, it’s that Jess is the actual best. I know we’re suppose to see parallels between Rory and Logan to Lorelai and Christopher and Rory and Jess to Rory and Luke but I’m ignoring all of that and putting Jess in his own category. Because he deserves it. He seems to be pretty much the only character that truly showed constant character growth from the first time he was on the show to later seasons to this new revival. And I loved all 32 seconds that we actually got to see him.
I think I’m feeling a little bit better now that I’ve gotten some of my feelings out in this post. So now tell me, what are your feelings and thoughts on the revival? What did you think about those “last four words”? Are you still on the same team as you were at the end of season 7? What was your favorite part? Your favorite character? Do you hate Rory now as much as I do? Or do you think my feelings are completely unfounded?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!