About a year ago, it was announced that Gilmore Girls would be making a revival on Netflix. This is finally what prompted to sign up for Netflix again. Waiting patiently through all the exciting casting news about who would return, the release of promo stills and the trailer, it was finally premiere day. I nearly spent all of Friday alternating between watching on a tablet on my bed and watching on the TV on my couch before I got through all the episodes. While this post is not meant to be a complete recap of the episodes, I will be going through some major plot points so be forewarned that there are spoilers ahead.
Carole King – Where You Lead (Full Version)
The episode starts off with Rory (Alexis Bledel) returning home and there’s no homecoming without the town tour. Right off the bat, I realize how much I missed the banter between Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory. Afterwards, the two head back home where Luke (Scott Patterson) is making dinner and it’s nice to see that these two are still together. Luke is making dinner but of course that’s not enough sustenance for the girls. With all the witty banter that they do, can you really blame them? Another part of me has always been jealous of their metabolism.
Rory is trying to unpack her boxes when Luke informs them that Paul, Rory’s current boyfriend, has come by. Who is Paul? He becomes a running joke in the revival for the fact that everyone seems to forget about him. Including yours truly. He’s seems like a nice guy except that he’s very forgettable.
Beyond this running gag, there’s also sad news to address here. As in the death of Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann). He may not have been in the revival but his spirit was certainly there.
Even if it was in the form of a ginormous painting that Emily (Kelly Bishop) had done in honor of him.
Despite Richard’s absence, it seems that the girls have continued in their tradition of Friday night dinners but this is the first that the three (and Kirk) have gotten together since Richard’s funeral where Lorelai had another big fight with her mother. All her mother asked was for a nice anecdote she could share but Lorelai had trouble thinking of one.
And so, dinner begins quite awkwardly. It doesn’t help that Kirk (Sean Gunn) is there because he had driven Lorelai there with his new business venture, the Ooo-ber taxi service. Nevermind the similarities with another taxi service. But in true Kirk form, the car breaks down and he’s stranded at Emily’s house.
Luke comes in to save the day and then he’s invited to join them for dinner. He tries to take the only empty seat in the room but Lorelai gives his audible signals that he’s not meant to sit there as it was Richard’s seat. So Luke awkwardly stands eating his dinner until Kirk asks to be excused so he can play with the maid’s kids outside.
Although a lot of things appear to have changed with the girls, there are also a lot of things that haven’t changed with the town. Whether it’s Lane’s (Keiko Agena) band, Hep Alien, or Mrs. Kim (Emily Kuroda), who is still tough as nails or Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) and the town hall meetings. All seems to be right with the world when you’re in Stars Hollow.
I love that Lane and Rory’s relationship hasn’t changed. They are in different places in life and they may not be able to keep up with each other the way they did when they were younger but their friendship is just as solid. In fact, that’s how some of my childhood friendships are. We may go several months without talking and when we’re together, it’s like a day hadn’t gone by.
Chilton hadn’t changed and Paris Geller (Liza Weil) was still Paris Geller, still making people cry. When Francie Jarvis came into the bathroom, it was like they were all back in high school again. There are some things you don’t want to ever change.
I was surprised and not so surprised that Doyle McMaster (Danny Strong) and Paris had decided to divorce each other. While the pair was mismatched from the start, there was something about their camaraderie that always made me smile and pity them at the same time.
Another thing I liked about the revival was the many, many cameos. From the celebrity chef cameos like Roy Choi and Rachael Ray to TVLine’s Michael Ausiello to the Parenthood cameos. At first, I squeed when I saw Alexis Bledel and Mae Whitman with their tv mother, Lauren Graham in the same shot. Then leave it Lauren Graham to still keep her motherly instincts alert with Mae Whitman. It was a magical moment.
Later, when I saw Jason Ritter as a park ranger, I had blink several times as I couldn’t tell it was him. I blame an awkward buffering moment with my tv as the screen had gotten a bit blurry and pixelated during this scene. However, my favorite Parenthood cameo was Peter Krause. I just love the fact that Peter Krause is dating Lauren Graham in real life. I imagine that their banter on the show is really how they banter in the real world. I’m just going to forget that they played brother and sister on Parenthood.
Back to Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow, the town was putting on a musical about the history of Stars Hollow. Starring in the musical is none other than Sutton Foster and Christian Borle. If you’ve ever seen these two in Throughly Modern Millie, you’d know why this couple was swoonworthy. They were the “It” Broadway couple until they divorced a few years ago. Stars Hollow: The Musical may not have been the magical performance that Lorelai expected but with a tweaks, it may be a performance that they’re actually able to put on without offending people or ripping off other popular musicals (e.g. Hamilton).
Just two things to note about the townspeople, Carole King has always been a figure on the show. After all, she wrote the show’s theme song. It’s a minuscule thing but I really missed not hearing “Where You Lead” at the beginning of each episode. I literally watched the opening credits for every single episode of the series because it prompted me to sing along to the song. Sure, they play it during the end credits of the last episode but it just wasn’t the same. The other thing was the incredible weight loss of Miss Patty (Liz Torrez). I mean, I literally said aloud, ‘That’s not Miss Patty,’ when I first saw her during the town tour but there she was.
As for Rory, she’s been busy trying to figure out the next step in her life. She’s been busy travelling here and there for one gig after another and has not found a place she belongs, career wise.
Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) gives her the idea that she could write a book about her and her mother. Excited, she tells her mother what she’s going to do who isn’t warm to the idea at all. It always made me feel anxious when the two weren’t in sync with each other. I know that they will always make up but the air always felt awkward when they disagreed with each other.
Lorelai herself has been feeling lost. She’s been trying to attempt going to therapy with her mother but they are both so strong-willed that even I didn’t believe that therapy would work for the two of them.
She’s also been with Luke for so long and they don’t seem to be heading anywhere. It was a big adventure to start her own inn but now the Dragonfly Inn seems small, especially for Michel (Yanic Truesdale). While Stars Hollow is small, quirky and welcoming, there is also an aspect to the town where it can feel stifling. And so
Lorelai goes on her own walkabout, the “Wild” version (the book, not the movie). In some scenes, I swear the shots reminded me a little of Twin Peaks or The X-Files, especially when they took place at the motel.
Lorelai never actually goes on the trail itself. She goes in search for some coffee and discovers a view of the valley and that’s all it takes for her to remember a precious moment she shared with her father, who often appeared cold and stoic to her. She calls Emily to relay the anecdote and I believe it’s because she is able to repair that relationship that Lorelai can repair the relationship with her own daughter, Rory, and Luke as well. And finally, Luke and Lorelai decide that they want to move forward and get married.
As for Rory’s romantic relationships, we get appearances from all the boyfriends, including Dean (Jared Padalecki), Jess and Logan (Matt Czuchry). I have to admit that I was surprised that out of all of the boyfriends, we got the most screen time with Logan.
I mean, I know that Matt Czuchry has some time now that he’s done with The Good Wife but I guess he’s really not going to be in The Good Fight? He and Rory have been carrying on a casual relationship, even though Logan is engaged to someone else. I’ve never really liked Logan but I can also see why Rory is attracted to him. In some ways, Logan (and his money) are like a knight in shining armor. In other ways, Logan resembles Rory’s birth father, Christopher (David Sutcliffe), and the superficiality that Lorelai ran away from.
Having said that, I did miss the Yale Life and Death Brigade. In the end, Rory decides to let Logan go. It’s hard to say what that means because she’s let him go several times in the past. And yet, here he is.
Back to Lorelai, the gang prepares for Luke and Lorelai’s upcoming nuptials. I have to admit that despite all the pink, I loved the decorations for the wedding. It was romantic, had an Alice in Wonderland teacup party flair to it and fitted the characters. Luke and Lorelai couldn’t wait for the actual day and decided to get together their closest friends to get wed the night before. That night was for the core gang while the next day was for everyone else.
The only person missing from the wedding was Sookie (Melissa McCarthy). Due to her busy schedule, Melissa McCarthy could only film for one day. The scene was super brief and it did feel a bit coerced but it would have been wrong to do this revival without her. Seeing her felt like putting that last piece in the Gilmore Girls puzzle.
And then, the show leaves us with one final bombshell. After the wedding ceremony, they are both happy but the concerned look on Rory’s face has Lorelai asking her what’s going on. Rory tells Lorelai that she’s pregnant. All signs point to Logan. Unless it was Wookie that Rory had sex with in the line episode, otherwise known as Spring. Either way, it seems like the show has come full circle but I’m still upset about it. If there was the promise that the series would continue, then I might be able to cope but Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote this as the ending she would have intended if she hadn’t left the show before the 7th season.
Despite that, all in all, I did enjoy the revival. I awwed at the appearance of each of the townspeople, even the town troubadour. I laughed at the witty banter. I was amused by the many pop culture references. There was a lot to love even though the revival felt a bit cramped and coerced with all the jam-packed with Easter eggs to discover. The revival just felt like getting together with an old friend and catching up with them over what happened in the last 10 years. If that feels a bit coerced like reserving dates on a calendar, rather than just getting together whenever, then I’m all for it as long as they are still by my side.