I loved Gilmore Girls. I loved almost everything about it – the banter, the family issues, the bond between Rory and Lorelai, Lorelai’s friendship with Sookie and Michel. I even loved Taylor Doose and the silly townspeople. Dean! Jess! Logan! All of it. So of course I was dying to see Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. It’s been a long time and I primed myself by watching the marathon on UPtv.
Then I watched the revival. I binged all 6 hours of it. And I couldn’t shake the queasy, something-isn’t-right feeling I had. Nearly everyone agrees that the last season was lacking but I thought it wrapped things up in a way I could live with. Rory goes off on the campaign trail for then-Senator Barack Obama, Lorelai and Luke get back together and Lorelai, Emily and Richard seem to find their way forward.
They really, really should have left it alone because it turned out my imagination was better than anything creator Amy Sherman-Palladino came up with. In my head, Lorelai and Luke got married. Rory ended up being a successful freelance journalist, perhaps with Logan but at least with someone smart and interesting and ambitious. Emily and Lorelai fixed their relationship. Lane and Zach had another kid and Paris and Doyle took over the world. But that was just a dream.
What I got was … nothing and nobody changed. Nine years later, Luke and Lorelai still aren’t on the same page in their relationship and are basically going backwards. Should they have a kid? Should they not? Did NO ONE notice that Lorelai is supposed to be 48 at this point? She is as selfish in the revival as she was during the entire 7 seasons. The dialog is still snappy and clever and it seems that is enough to mask the fact that Lorelai Gilmore is the most inconsiderate person on the planet. Rory was a smart, compassionate, honest and loyal kid … who grew into a selfish snob. The bit about the new, totally forgettable boyfriend Paul was funny but also sad. Because selfish.
I was team Logan. He was gorgeous and smart and he actually grew and changed during the first run of the series. In the revival, he’s back in London and engaged, but having a fling with Rory. What? Didn’t we do that already when Dean got married and Rory slept with him? I lost respect for Rory and Logan on the spot and that’s when I suspected that the revival was going to end up making me hate Stars Hollow and everyone in it.
Sookie’s story was butchered because Melissa McCarthy only had a limited window to film. Instead of using her time wisely, they gave her a ridiculous storyline. Paris was brilliantly humanized. Michel finally got the back story he deserved. Emily Gilmore’s story had the best raw material but it got kind of buried. There was so much they could have done with it but it mostly got ignored in favor of a Stars Hollow musical that made no sense whatsoever. Kirk’s story was tired and old in the original and they didn’t help it. Lane and Zach didn’t even really get a story. Christopher (Rory’s father) seemed to be squeezed in only to set up the last four words. Speaking of the last four words: not a surprise and completely predictable. For a six-hour mini-series, it seemed that not a lot of thought went into tying the last season into the new chapters and giving the story a real ending. It sure seemed like I was being set up for a revival of the revival.
Most people loved it. They got their ‘happy ending.’ But … I wanted more. I expected more. This is supposed to be a story about two strong, independent women and instead it is a story about two women who don’t know what they want, don’t know how to get it and make terrible decisions that other people have to pay for. In the end, Rory Gilmore turned out exactly like her mother – all flash and no substance.