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.
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.
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!