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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

"Where you lead, we will follow"

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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Amber De Fere, Staff Writer

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*  *  *  SPOILER ALERT *  *  *

The Gilmore Girls are back and better than ever. With up-to-date references, but still enough old ones to make the original fans laugh, Emily, Lorelai, and Rory dazzle the home theater once again. Netflix blessed several generations of Gilmore fans by renewing the beloved series. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life came out on Netflix on November 25th, all four episodes, one for each season, ready to watch for each fan who had been waiting to see their favorite mother-daughter duo once again.

A year in the Gilmore girls’ life was exactly what everyone wants to see. It was witty and fun, heartfelt and heart crushing. But where writer Amy Sherman-Palladino leads, the fans will follow just as the theme song says. The Gilmore Girls revival was full of crazy Stars Hollow shenanigans, as always. With super proud Luke, tatertots and tacos, puppy pajamas, tap dancing, blanket apologies, pig genocide, customized fire hydrants, B list actors, secret bars, Rachael Ray, binge watching jail, musicals, the thirty-something gang, smelling failure, coffee, the diner of the dead, golfing on a rooftop, an open hot dog cart, Kiefer Sutherland, a milestone cake, spinal tapped paintings, corn starch and a big four word finale. To quote Rory Gilmore in the first instalment of A Year In The Life, “Wow, winded!”


As I sat down to watch the first episode I couldn’t help but be filled with an energetic anticipation of what this new story would hold. The screen was black, names faded in and out on the screen. And then I heard it. The sweet sound of the fast talking family that I love. Various quotes, both funny and serious, were compiled together to create a beautifully chaotic mess. And then it quieted. And you hear it. Those words that you just knew would be said at some point in the episode: “I smell snow”.

And then the world that every fan had missed so dearly was opened up once more. The wintery site of Stars Hollow. It is there that all the Gilmore fans of the world are reunited with Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), sitting at the gazebo to meet her bookishly charming daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), who had just gotten off of a plane to meet her.

“How long’s it been?”

“It feels like years.”

Why yes it does, and the fans couldn’t be happier. Lorelai gives Rory a tour, catching her up on their beloved town (They got parking meters, but no one would pay so they took them out, and Taylor wants to take out the phone booth – “But where will Superman change when he comes to save us from Ben Affleck?” – and Lorelai made the “same excellent point”). Finally, they go back home to meet “super proud” Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) and their dog, Paul Anka.

The first episode spends a great deal of time focusing on the dearly departed actor Edward Herrmann by giving a grand send off to his character Richard Gilmore. And they couldn’t have done a better job. The amazing actor’s passing was heartbreaking for Gilmore fans, and nothing could have honored him better than focusing so much on his character, and really letting the fans, actors, and characters alike say goodbye.

The first episode has just the right mix of mother and daughter, neither completely taking over the show or being shoved in a corner. But in the first episode of A Year In The Life it was most definitely Emily Gilmore, the posh and extravagant grandmother, who was the star of the show. Yes, Lorelai had her inn (unfortunately her bestie, Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) was not in attendance, but Michel (Yanic Truesdale) was as french and angry as ever) and Rory had her struggle to find a job, her lucky outfit, and underwear (a run in with Paris (Liza Weil) was featured as well as a visit to Lane’s (Keiko Agena) where her band, Hep Alien, played with a fierce passion).

And though all of their stories were fun to witness, Bishop’s portrayal of the elder Gilmore was so spectacular it practically stole the show. Ms. Gilmore’s struggle of losing her husband was the main focus of her character. Through taking out her anger on Lorelai, decluttering her house, wearing jeans (“Why are you wearing jeans, it’s terrifying?” – Lorelai), hiring a new maid (along with her whole family), and just being her quick witted, high class self, Emily Gilmore easily makes the audience laugh and cry, feeling true emotion that can only be felt for those who are closest to your heart. Kelly Bishop couldn’t have done a better job portraying her character, even after all these years.

Perhaps one of the most awaited reveals of the revival was the relationships. Everybody wants Rory with someone and hardly anyone can ever agree. Throughout the series Rory Gilmore has caught the eye of many worthy suitors. Her three main love interests, in order, are Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki), Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia), and Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), all of which make an appearance throughout the four episode revival. Unfortunately for some “shippers” only one of Rory’s boys were featured in the first episode. However some may not think it to be so unfortunate, as he is one of the fan favorite candidates. Yes ladies, it was none other than Logan Huntzberger, the blond haired, dreamy eyed, rich kid playboy that Rory had dated in the final few seasons of the original show.

Logan has been spending his time working in London, as he had done in the final season of Gilmore Girls for those who may not remember. As fate would have it, Rory is writing a book with Naomi Shropshire (Alex Kingston), the crazy brit who steals food and enforces feminism, so Rory and Logan get to spend some quality time together. But that isn’t all that is going on in Rory’s love life. Rory has a new boyfriend and well… he’s forgettable to say the least. (“He’s like a superhero but his power is you can’t remember him no matter how much time you spend with him.”) He’s so easy to forget, I nearly forgot to mention him in my review!

All in all the first episode of A Year In The Life was a smashing success. The beginning was lagging but informative, and it kept you laughing the whole time. Any bad thing that you could ever have to say about this episode (although that’s hard to do, trust me I tried) can easily be redeemed by the Gilmore-ish qualities that it possesses, saving the show.


The last episode ended with a laugh, Lorelai coming to the shocking realization that she is going to therapy with her mother. The second episode begins with the two of them sitting down for their first meeting. Neither talking. Both just… sitting there (which can be expected for the pair of them). As explained in the previous episode (which won’t be revealed here because nobody likes major spoilers) Emily is very, very angry with Lorelai. Then again, this is kind of their normal. Eventually the two of them just wait out the clock, and when the session finally ends Emily makes Lorelai aware that she will be expecting her to show up the following Tuesday for their next session. When Lorelai refuses, Emily asks her if she has something better to do (“Only my life, mom.”) than help her widowed, grieving mother through a tough time. The guilt trip works and they plan for the next week.

The Gilmore life is a bit confusing, due to Rory’s constant zipping back and forth from London, to the city, and back to Stars Hollow. This episode Rory finds herself in London again to interview Naomi Shropshire for the nearly insane woman’s biography. However it’s not a biography anymore, it’s a children’s book, and the characters are a whale and a rabbit (“It was a mouse” “No, it wasn’t”).

This episode contains a wonderful throwback to the first three seasons for those diehard Gilmore Girls fans when Rory and Paris attend an alumni event at Chilton high school. During this event the two friends spoke at different classes and even met up with some old friends and flames.

The second episode of A Year In The Life was even better than the first. This episode laid witness to one of Stars Hollow’s legendary town meetings. The plot thickens as several actors check in to stay at the Dragonfly Inn, and Michel might be close to leaving for good. Even better, some new information about Richard Gilmore’s will comes up that is just a bit shocking.


The third episode in the Gilmore Girls revival opens up to the scalding hot summer of Stars Hollow, the Gilmore duo sprawled out relaxingly on the lawn chairs of the small town’s public pool. And of course they are complaining in their witty, fast-talking Gilmore way– If people are going in the water to cool down “just stay home and take a bath”.

Spoiler Alert: Rory’s back (“I’m not back!”) in Stars Hollow. Back in her old room, just like the thirty-something gang… Ah yes, the perfect old school Gilmore Girls type plot we’ve been waiting for. I mean it couldn’t all be relationship drama, could it?

But surprise, surprise, Rory isn’t the only one back in town! Luke’s daughter April (Vanessa Marano) is visiting for dinner, talking about her plans for college, career, and life. So, knowing April, it is extremely boring and complex… I mean after all, the kid only watches german silent films (and Java Junkie (Luke and Lorelai) fans never really can forgive her for temporarily breaking up everyone’s favorite couple). But no matter, a familiar face is enough to make any nostalgic fan smile.

But there are more exciting things in this episode than Luke’s weird daughter and Rory’s living situation. As Rory starts her new job, she is visited by an old flame. Yes, shippers get ready to squeal, it is none other than Jess Marino, Luke’s witty and mischievous nephew. He and Rory share a sweet moment, catching up and just having a good time. I know, you Literati fans must be overjoyed… However it is then that Jess inspires Rory to take a big step in her career that may just put a divide between the iconic mother-daughter duo.

This episode is really where all the drama began to take place. Perhaps it is needless to say that it was even better than the first two episodes. The plot thickened and relationships (both romantic and platonic) we tested. What could be better than that?


And this is it, the fourth and final episode. All sorts of anxiety arise in this episode, for the fans I mean. Ever since it had been announced that the Gilmore girls are back, fans have speculated what the “final four words” would be. How will the show end? Will this truly be the last time we see the dynamic duo dazzle our screens? Well, this is the episode that answers all.

The last episode ended with Lorelai and Luke getting in a fight, and her telling him that she is going to go away for a few weeks and “do Wild” (the book, not the movie). When he had asked her why, she simply said “it’s now or never”. And so this is why the final episode of Gilmore Girls opens up to Lorelai in a motel, packing for a very long hiking trip.

Rory, however, remains in Stars Hollow, running the newspaper. But then there was a sign on the pig, and a talking bird, leaving her to wonder if it’s stress or something else entirely… but as die hard Gilmore fans know, she’s in omnia paratus (ready for anything). And “anything” happens to be a wild adventure of rooftop golf, late night shopping, watching a movie made by Kirk, and a crazy ride that leads to New Hampshire. All in all, Rory’s mini adventure concluded with the realization that she “never really needed rescuing”.

Meanwhile Lorelai has been having a realization of her own. This leads to her calling her mother, having a phone call that will bring the viewers to tears (but no spoilers, it’s too good to tell). Lorelai finds that she doesn’t need to hike to figure out her problems, and that just thinking about hiking can make you smell. And so she returns to her humble abode, where Luke and Paul Anka (not the real Paul Anka, the dog one) waits for her.

And so the show ends… no not like that, there is some great stuff that happens afterwards. It’s definitely worth watching. The only problem I have is that I cannot say anything without spoiling the best parts. But it was epic. It was an emotional journey for both the characters and the viewers. Loose ends were tied (particularly between two characters), beloved characters returned, and new questions were brought to light. Yes, that’s right, questions. In fact the show leaves you with the biggest cliffhanger in the history of all cliffhangers ever. Does that mean that the Gilmores will return to the screen for yet another season of Gilmore Girls? Or will we forever be left in the dark, wondering how things are going in Stars Hollow. But no matter what happens, whether that was truly the end or if the end will only come several years from now, I think fans will always hold a piece of Stars Hollow with them. I know I will. This is the show of generations. It was popular then, and it’s still popular now. The rival just confirms this. This is the show of families.

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