Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gilmore Girls Revival--Let's Talk!


Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

I went to the fanfest, I made T-shirts and I even woke up at 3am on the morning of the 25th to watch the first episode... Of course I'm going to write a post about the Gilmore Girls revival.

Again, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead, so if you're not up to speed, turn back now. If you are still in the middle of the original series, don't read this. It will ruin your life.

For my fellow die-hard fans, Welcome.

Gilmore Girls. They did it. For me (and for most people I've talked to and reviews I've read) it lived up to the hype. And OH MY GOODNESS did things happen. Major things. Big things. Life things.

And oh boy, do I have some thoughts. So get yourself a cuppa, settle in and lets talk!

What I Loved

The tributes to both Richard Gilmore/Ed Herrman. They could not have handled the passing of Richard Gilmore better, and I felt that their tribute was as much about the actor Ed Herrmann as it was about Richard Gilmore. I loved all the discussion about Richard, the portraits, the somber and the hilarious moments mixed together. One of my all-time favorite moments of the entire revival was Lorelai's phone call to her mom about her dad during the Fall episode. If you didn't cry during that moment you need a heart transplant. RIP Richard Gilmore/Ed Herrmann.

The Cameos.
So many cameos! First, I sorta hate that so many of the old cast members were essentially given cameos in this revival--like the Hep Alien crew, Steve and Kwan, Christopher, Dean, Mrs. (and Mr!) Kim and of course Sookie. I wanted to see more from each of these long time GG mainstays. But I also know they had a lot of ground to cover and not a lot of time. And in certain cases--like with Christopher it made sense.

There was also a lot of Bunhead's peeps (GG creator Amy Sherman-Pallidino's other series that only ran for a season). And of course a few of Lauren Graham's friends (and real-life boyfriend) from her other hit show Parenthood. And I guess we did get to see Rachel Ray. Also, the podcasters the Gilmore Guys were in a Dragon Fly Inn scene--crazy! Complete list of cameos here.


Inside Jokes and Quirky Town Stuff:
We get a wave from Mr. Kim!
Francie shows up in the bathroom at Chilton!
Another dream sequence with the real Paul Anka!
Another original film by Kirk!
Town meetings and town events like the international food fest!
I'm probably leaving off many more winks and nods, but man I loved Amy Sherman-Palladino (writer and creator of GG) for all those air-kisses she sent us fans.

Kirk: Speaking of Kirk, Kirk does not disappoint: First with his Ooober bit (like Uber, but worse), his appearance at Friday night dinner, his cute little pet pig, and eventually decorating the town and gazebo for the wedding (tear drop), I'm glad we had a decent sized helping of Kirk in the revival.

Paris Geller: Heavens to betsy Paris could not have been more on point. A true original, I'm so glad to see that her Parisness not only survived, but thrived over the years and she is exactly who you'd expect her to be. My favorite Paris moment is either when we first meet her at the fertility clinic or when she's having a meltdown, Paris Geller style, in the bathroom at Chilton.

The Rise of Emily Gilmore: I have never loved Emily more. I also never imagined Emily reinventing herself, but it seems that with the death of her husband, also came the death of her life as she knew it. While I didn't see it coming, her arc didn't feel forced at all and I love where she ended up--literally (Nantucket) and metaphorically. Of course there was still plenty of typical crazy-old-Emily moments, but when I heard her spit out bull$*% three times in less than a minue... my gosh, I stood up right then and there and gave her a standing ovation. Metaphorically, not literally. Hats off to you Emily.

Sookie: I didn't realize that Ms. McCarthy's entire return would be a mere cameo, but hot dang she nailed it. One of the best moments of the revival for sure. In classic GG style, just when you think you're gonna cry, you laugh.

Love is in the details: So many little details that made this revival work on a sentimental level. Notably, the song played during the Wedding scene, Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips, was also the same song in season 4 when Luke and Lorelai share their first dance. Killed me! Also, I was really missing the opening credits and the song Where You Lead by Carol King, throughout the entire revival... but when they played it moments after the final four words and wrap up the whole show?  Perfect. Or how about when Rory chooses to write her book in her grandfather's office? Also, when Rory passes her first 3 chapters to Lorelai of "The Gilmore Girls" manuscript, I lose it. For us, as an audience watching Rory put to words the very story we all fell in love with? As Lorelai says, full freaking circle. It's all in the details. Well done guys.


What I didn't Love:

Paris and Doyle's divorce: I'm really sad that Paris and Doyle broke up. Obviously Paris is nightmare-on-marriage-street material, but they were one of my favorite GG couples ever. I do think it was clever that Doyle is now a big-time Hollywood screenwriter-- another wink-y and a nod-y moment as Danny Strong's real life fame as the creator of Empire--but still, I thought Paris + Doyle = forever.

The Star's Hollow Musical: This was, by far, my least favorite sequence in entire series. It was simply way too long (20 minutes?) and felt too forced. I would have liked to catch up on other GG peeps that we only caught a glimpse of rather than spend 20 minutes watching Sutton Foster sing and dance in Stars Hollow for no apparant reason.

Paul: I really hated this random relationship that was used as one extended punchline and only served to make Rory less likeable. It just didn't feel like something the old Rory would have done. That being said, it does give us another option besides Logan for the final four word shocker.

Gypsy as Berta: I LOVE Rose Abdoo and I love Gypsy, but I didn't love the double shot of Rose playing both Gypsy and Berta. It was just a little werid.
me and my computer in front of the fire Friday evening. 

Now for the good stuff:

OK enough with the periphery, lets get to the real meat of the show--including the final four words.

First Lorelai and Luke. Finally. This was everything us die-hard GG fans had been waiting for. If it felt like a bit of a stretch that they were together 9 years without being married, lets keep in mind that since the original creators Amy Sherman-Pallidino and Dan Palladino were basically kicked off the last season of GG, I'm sure they, more than anyone, would have loved to see this resolved oh say, 9 years ago. I think they did a brilliant job of bringing us seamlessly back into the world of Stars Hollow, creating that tension that still made us think, "will they or won't they?" and then capping it all off with a magical private wedding before the real wedding that was so fitting for Luke and Lorelai. I also couldn't help but think this wedding with it's Alice-in-Wonderland-esq feel was a nod to Amy S-P's style and taste.

Now about Rory and her men. I don't know... this one is complicated for me.

Rory was the golden child of Gilmore Girls, who definitely took her falls and removed her halo more than once during the original series, but she always managed to regain her golden child status. Sleeping with her married ex-boyfriend and dropping out of Yale come to mind, but she also staged a triumphant return--going back to Yale and becoming the editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. Although I never really liked the way the Dean saga was handled--break up his marriage, then peace-out the second you see another pretty boy you want to have relations with--I could overlook it as a youthful mistake.

So it was really disappointing to see her once again the "other woman", this time with her engaged ex-boyfriend Logan. It's one thing to struggle in your early 20's as she did when she dropped out of Yale, it was a bit of a downer to see her in a similar rut nearly 10 years later, and basically giving up on journalism. Also, it's been almost 10 years...has she really only had a handful of articles in the Atlantic and New Yorker under her belt? What else has she done in that time? I don't know... it was a bit of a downer to see ambitious and well educated Rory so underaccomplished.

BUT we have to keep in mind that this all leads up to those fateful, final four words.

"Mom?"

"Yeah."

"I'm pregnant."

Amy S-P has known from the beginning that those were the words she wanted the series to end on and naturally she intended for those words to be uttered by a 20-something Rory, not a 30-something Rory. And this journey was all about getting us to that point.

By Rory's own admission she's in a rut. Her life is a mess and it all starts with her unraveling career. Rory was always focused on her career and the great things she was going to accomplish, so when things don't work out as planned, she feels like a loser. And when you don't feel great about yourself well, you tend to make some bad choices. Like sleeping with your engaged ex-boyfriend.

I was initially super bummed to see that Logan got the most screen-time out of all her ex's, but here's the thing... Logan's prolonged presence only serves to really drive the point home that he is no good for Rory. This is who Logan is, and this is who Logan will always be. There were many yucky moments for me as he casually mentions Odette over and over again, even maintaining his intent to marry her, without the slightest hint of self-loathing or remorse. Gross. I felt the same disdain for Rory as well... she of all people should know better.

And while Amy S-P doesn't give us a nicely wrapped up love-life for Rory, it's clear that she closes the door as much as possible with Dean (married, 3 kids and 1 on the way) and Logan (even for Logan he's slime-bagging it up to the core and she finally has the strength to let go of easy affection...their good-bye was surprisingly tender) and points us in the possibility of the best option of all, Jess.

If there's one thing that irks me it's that Jess never gets the credit he deserves. He never got credit for giving Rory the verbal slap in the face she needed in season 5 ("What's going on with you? This isn't you! Living in the pool house? Why did you drop out of Yale?") that lit a fire under Rory and got her out of the pool house and back on track. When Jess came to give Rory a copy of his book, he tells her that he couldn't have done it without her. Rory owes him similar gratitude, but never cops to it--never tells Lorelai either. And wouldn't you know it, in the revival it's Jess who once again not only tells Rory that she should write a book, but tells her what she should write about. And once again it's exactly what she needs to hear. They give us the satisfaction of giving us Jess' longing look at Rory through the window, but I certainly wish we had gotten a little more affection from Rory in return.

I have no doubt that Logan loves Rory, but it's a selfish love. Regardless of their agreement, Logan can see that their relationship is hurting Rory--but he doesn't care. He still wants her and will use every weapon in his privileged arsenal to keep her close--like a key to his families vacation home where she can write--even when he ultimately won't give her his heart.

Jess loves Rory in a selfless way. In season 5 he gave her a piece of his mind without caring if it was going to hurt their friendship and in the revival he gave her the golden idea to write a book with no strings attached. Yes he hurt her in high school, but he was a broken kid from a broken home. Luke taught him--in more ways than one--how to love without conditions and Jess has been sharpening that skill ever since.

So now Rory is pregnant and while there is a strong implication that the baby is Logan's there is also the possibility that the baby is Paul's, the Wookies or even that she has agreed to be one of Paris' surrogates (although I highly doubt that last one.) Is it possible that Logan will dump his heiress to be with his unaccomplished, struggling baby mama? It's possible. But again, I think it's clear that all signs point to Jess.

I think it's hard to refute that we're to see Rory's life as a mirror of her mother's--especially as she now finds herself pregnant and with little resources and accomplishments under her belt. And if Logan is her Christopher, then Jess is her Luke. My only question: Is she worthy?

But perhaps just like Lorelai, this baby will turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to her.


OK--what did you think? Good, bad, in between? Any team Logan's switch to Team Jess? Or vice versa? What about the ending--was it a shocker for you? For the record I actually liked the ending! Probably because it felt more like a new beginning than an ending, and that made me less sad for the show to be over. Also, the pregnancy wasn't a surprise to me--my final four word guesses included Rory announcing a pregnancy (except I thought she'd say, "Mom, it's a girl.") And overall I loved the series mainly because much of it felt like just regular old Gilmore Girls filled with the same witty banter and terrible eating habits we've all come to love. Also, are you hoping for more GG? It seems unlikely as Amy S-P has said this is how she always envisioned the show ending, but anything is possible. Personally I'm torn... I'd always love to see more GG, but there's nothing worse than a show that drags on past it's time. Thoughts? Theories? Dish!


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16 comments:

  1. I HAVE BEEN WAITING for a recap from someone! (Hello, from @moosemanda on Insta, the one who's unintentionally spoiler-esque comment had to be deleted!) You've summed up most of how I feel, ESPECIALLY the play. That was such a huge waste of time. I feel like there were a lot of "down" moments where there was just nothing major going on (not even any dialogue) and I was going "come on, people, we have a limited amount of time here!"
    As I said on IG, I was stoked about what was going on with Logan - I was so confused about the first scene he was in, I didn't recognize him at first and was struggling to figure out who he was when we had just barely met forgettable-Paul. I could have understood the Logan situation much more if the show wasn't ~9 years in the future from where we last saw everyone (as someone around Rory's age, I could certainly understand what was going on from a point of view of a young 20-something, but not a 30-something) I wanted more face-time with Jess than Rory got, but thought the Dean scene summed that situation up very well.
    I thought that Lorelai going to therapy with Emily was a stretch, but can also see how she would keep going to prove a point to Emily.
    I disagree about Berta - I didn't even realize it was Rose until after I was done!
    About more: I WANT MORE! I don't like cliffhangers at all so when it ended, I walked around my house in a daze for a bit! I have to know more about Rory's baby and who is the father and ALL THE THINGS.

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    1. Haha...yes I remember you. Yes the play...not a fan at all. I was Ok with lots of "down" moments though as for me I liked the normal-ness of feeling like they were just regular old GG episodes...to be honest, I think I was anticipating every episde being jam-packed with exciting stuff after a 9 year haitus. Then I sorta settled and realized...oh, it's just regular ol' life with the Gilmores again.

      Yeah, they left with quite a bit cliffhanger. I can totally understand the desire for more.

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    2. And when I say "stoked" that should have said "not stoked" - whoops! :-p

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  2. I admit I wasn disappointed with almost all of it but most especially how Rory was portrayed.

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    1. You know, it took me a while to get a feel for it. It was filmed like a movie in a lot of ways, but still trying to deliver a TV show that we were all familiar with and loved. The rythem of the show felt off at times, but overall I think they pulled it off. But yes, I'm still torn and maybe even more dissapointed about Rory overall.

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  3. I strongly disliked the musical scene!! Why was it so long?! Little snippets of the funny lyrics would have been fine. When I watched the whole series on DVD/Netflix, I noticed the music scenes dragged on a lot longer than when they were originally on network TV. That always bugged me because yeah, the songs are alright, but it's not why I'm watching the show. I want to see character development!
    Emily moving to Nantucket and working in the museum made a lot of sense to me since she majored in History in college. I thought it was awesome she finally put that study to use, and found a way to move on after Richard's death.
    The wedding was sweet, but seemed a little forced with its magicalness. Yes, Luke does like to do gestures to show Lorelai he loves her, but the theme was more than I envision him carrying out without someone like Rory or Sookie being in on it. Was Rory not supposed to know about it or did you catch any implications she was part of the set up?
    Overall though, it was so nice to be back in Stars Hollow. I cried so much and laughed and loved all the Paris and Michel that was included.

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    1. I know--that musical is going to haunt them.

      I didn't catch any implications that Rory was involved with the wedding, but I thought it was funny that Kirk was involved and my take was that when he went "way overboard and ruined everything" that was actually what made it so over-the-top perfect.

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  4. Ahhhh, can I call you?? Just kidding...you have no idea who I am. I just feel like there is so much to discuss and my brain works faster than I can type. HA! For me, I am left more confused by the revival. I'm not a fan of leaving so many things open ended and I didn't feel like I got much closure, like I thought I would. Is the baby Logan's, Jess's, the wookie's? What was the significance of Rory's talk with her dad? Did she know the baby was Logan's and that he wouldn't be in the picture, like her dad wasn't for her? Did the guy Emily was with just leave? Will he come back to Nantucket to live with her? Will Lorelei open the new Inn and Michel and Sookie stay? What the hell was the point of the musicale? Will Luke and Lorelei have a baby? Will Lorelei and Rory be pregnant together? Paul?...everything about him confused me! I could go on and on. They need to have more episodes, please tell me this isn't it.

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    1. I'm totally with you! I wasn't a big fan of it

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    2. Seriously...I should set up a GG chat room so we can just all hash this out together!

      So I'm realizing that as I was writing about the show and the ending I think one of the main reasons I'm so OK with the ending is because out of everyone needing and getting the closure they wanted, I'm happiest with Amy Sherman-Palladino getting that closure most of all. I read quite a few interviews with her over the years and from what I remember, they were basically fired from the show for asking for a raise (after 6 years of really hard work. The cast talked a lot about the long hours that show took to film--8 days to film one episode and those days were anywhere from 14-18 hours...the longest once being 22.) So when Amy and Dan got let go it was--from what I remember--devestating. When asked in an interview if she liked the direction GG was going on season 7 onces, she said she couldn't even talk about it. "GG was personal." to her. So, I just can't imagine how amazing it felt for her to get to finally right this wrong (or write a wrong...haha) after all this time. I don't think they ever thought it was possible. And knowing that she always insisted that she had the last 4 words planned out from the beginning... I don't know, I just like that she got to do it her way. That being said, I still think she intentionally left certain areas a little more grey because *maybe* she knew GG might continue on.

      As for the significance of Rory's talk with her dad, I think that had everything to do with knowing she was pregnant. In fact, it was during that talk that it cemented my suspicious that she was prego. But yes, lots of other questions! I still don't mind it!

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    3. YESSS!! Please do! I could chat about this all day!

      I'm so glad you filled me in on the history. I knew about the lost season #7, but not the background of Amy getting let go. In that sense, yes...I'm glad she was able to finish it "her way" and I'm fine with her getting that closure. However, I wish that could have come in a more natural way as it was intended 9 years ago. I think I was probably one of the few that was nieve to the final 4 words. I wasn't expecting Rory's character to take the turn she did. I thought she would go on to make smart choices and be successful in her career. Not to say I'm disappointed in the way it ended up going (except for the whole cheating mess she got herself into), but it caught me a little off guard. Looking back at it now, it makes total sense and Amy's vision for the show was definiely well played. I literally threw a pillow at my TV when it ended because personally I needed more and want more. But, no matter if they end it now or continue on..I'll always want more GG! :)

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  5. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I love this post! Especially your essential question, is she worthy?

    the real tension between Logan vs. Jess isn't so much about either Logan vs. Jess, but whether Rory herself is worthy of whatever it is being laid out in front of her. I can be frustrated with Rory's career or her choices. But her career frustrations are her problems of her own (or maybe the world's) creation. They can be solved at some point. But because I love her, I want most of all, for her to become worthy of what someone gives her. Whether that's her mother's endless loyalty, her friends, who let themselves get pulled into her self involved world, or finally, her lovers, who sometimes don't get anything in return and don't seem to know it (or vice versa).

    I hate cliches about letting go. They're everywhere in our American culture in how we look at relationships, career choices, pretty much anything that seems to let us down. I see why you look at Logan vs. Jess through lens of selfishness. If that's the only metric, then it's an easy choice. All Rory has to do is see it through that lens too and she can walk away free and clear from Logan. But this lens is too simplistic for me. It's like an optical illusion where at some point, the blindspot is no longer a blindspot and you can move onto the next level of the game. But Logan is just Logan, who loves Rory and also quite probably, loves his fiancee. Making him out to be the easy one to throw away is just like another romantic cliche; go for the kinder, unselfish one, the one who will be your true friend.

    Not always. Sometimes the girl is not worthy.

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    1. You are totally right. It is WAY too simplistic.

      That being said, I still think Jess doesn't get the credit he deserves. Even if Rory wants to keep him solely as a friend, I think he's one of the few characters who actually changes. And for the better! By nature I'm always one to go for the underdog, and by nature I would say I'm a little more Lorelai in my view of Logan as a spoiled rich kid who thinks he's above the rules.... but I can definitely see the appeal. Logan is grand gestures, charming, smart, jumping off of scaffolding, private jets and excitment galore. There is certainly appeal, as well as history and just some damn good chemistry.

      BUT, I've also always thought of Jess and Rory as a pretty hot and heavy romance--she left her first love for him! She took a bus to New York! He came back to Stars Hollow to be with her--more than once! It always felt a little strange to me that there wasn't more of a re-kindling in their romance. But yes... I'm not sure Rory deserves whats being placed before her right now as far as relationships go.

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  6. In my head, she needs to be single mom Rory for a while - just like Lorelai - and then re-kindle things with Jess. I have a feeling he'd wait for her.... and help raise her baby in the meantime, just like Luke. ��

    Also, dear sweet baby Jesus - more episodes please!!!

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  7. I am so torn on my thoughts of the whole "season"! I know it wasn't a full season, but the whole thing just felt so disjointed to me. And was it just me or did they lose some of their ability to deliver the quick banter and one liners? I feel fulfilled with the ending being the show coming "full circle"..with Logan being Rory's Christopher (always going to love her but it never being enough) and that eventually her and Jess will end up together. I have a hard time with Rory being the other woman again, too! She felt so lost the whole season, and though I understand that was the point of it all, I had a hard time believing she was still in that place at 32. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed with it all! Maybe it's just me??

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  8. Also, talk about a disjointed thought process. Oh boy..sorry that's so hard to follow!!

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