For many fans of Gilmore Girls, the countdown to the revival started in January of this year when rumors were confirmed that Netflix and Warner Bros struck a deal and the main cast was ready to dive in. What would three generations of Gilmore ladies and the quirky residents of Stars Hollow bring to the screen this time? It wouldn't matter. The nostalgia of the show was enough to provoke any fan to commit to watching.
After being off air for 9 years, Black Friday Christmas shopping was put on hold for a day of binge watching on Netflix. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life dives back in with the fast-talking, coffee devouring mother and daughter duo, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Series creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, who was absent from the 7th and final season due to contract negotiations falling through, had missed the opportunity to end the show on her terms (and the final words she planned to use). The new episodes, broken into 4 seasons, gave viewers the chance to watch movie-length episodes, each one running approximately 90 minutes in length.
After a year of an intense election cycle, and heading full-speed into the stressful holiday season, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life allows viewers to enter headlong into a snow globe paradise. All of the world's (and our own) problems are temporarily put on hold so we can delve straight into the lives of our favorite characters and see what they will do next.
Lorelai, ever the Taurus, continues to take things slowly and avoids change like the plague. Best friend and Dragonfly chef, Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) is said to have gone on a sabbatical to learn more about foraging and enriching dirt, only to have never returned to her post. Despite her absence, Lorelai continues to reserve Sookie's parking space, demands the kitchen (and her coffee pot) stay exactly as Sookie had it, and continuously fires pop-up chefs brought in by Michel (Yanic Truesdale), including the infamous Rachel Ray. And Luke? Well, you know Lorelai! She's not content, but doesn't want change. (Don't worry, eventually she figures it all out.)
Rory meanwhile has gone from a journalist covering Obama running for president when we last saw her in 2007, to a cross-continent freelance journalist without a steady job and no home to call her own.
"I have no job. I have no credit. I have no underwear."
Rory is struggling to find herself, what she wants and put down roots. Fans will be surprised to see that Logan (Matt Czuchy) and Rory are still together in an anything-goes arrangement, akin to the short-lived experiment they had early on in college. Rory has a long-distance boyfriend who she (and seemingly everyone) forgets about. Logan is engaged to a French heiress much to the delight of his family.
Dean (Jared Padalecki) makes a brief appearance in Doose's Market sharing that he is married with children. And Jess? Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), is still in the writing world, still shining that light for Rory to remind her of who she is and what she can accomplish, and leaving us at the end of the final episode suspecting he still is interested in her romantically, much to Rory's ignorance.
Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) was the quiet star of the series. While creator, Sherman-Palladino sought to create a new dynamic in the lives of these 3 women, it was Emily who saw the biggest and most inspiring makeover. With the loss of her husband Richard (Edward Herrmann), Emily is forced to find a new way to live life. We see her going from denial to grief to finding herself. The biggest revelation of the changes she undergoes is with her housekeeper, who rather than being fired for making food Emily doesn't understand or with a language barrier that even an outside translator can't figure out, she settles into the arrangement. Soon, the house is overrun with the housekeeper's husband, children belonging to other family members, as well as a house full of other relatives, who all seem to take care of and co-live with Emily. And when the housekeeper is sick? Emily sends her to bed saying she'll make soup for her. Somehow, through the pain of loosing her other half of 50 years, she finds contentment in life. She even makes the distinction between who she was as Richard Gilmore's wife, and who she is now - which is a softer, more relaxed version - one we have never seen or imagined.
By the end of the series, Lorelai has discovered what she was missing all along - a ring on her finger and promptly marries Luke. Emily sells her home to live in Nantucket with her employees and volunteer at a local whale museum. And Rory? She's just beginning life, discovering she is pregnant.
Whether Amy Sherman-Palladino plans on writing more chapters in the life of the Gilmore Girls or not, fans are left with the same inspiration Little Women gave us. The women all found their place in the world. We watched a series that was in retrospect, a memoir written by one of the characters. Everyone settles into another chapter in their lives. Leaving the future up to the imagination of fans, Sherman-Palladino was able to bring the story full circle, concluding it as she originally intended to.