One fateful evening in 2012, kismet pulled Reina and Gauraa into a porch conversation about Bishop Allen. They realized, despite having grown up 8,657 miles apart, they had listened to the same records, subscribed to the same podcasts and shared the same pretensions. Separated by distance again, the two have decided to pull all the stops necessary to preserve their insular culture of staying in and overanalyzing music. You can read their first dinner discussion here. Tonight, Reina and Gauraa cancel their plans to discuss one of the
records TV shows that brought them together, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
Gauraa: Ever the couch potato girl, my plans tonight were to Netflix ALL THREE “A Star Is Born”s–Janet, Judy and Babs–à la Lorelai, but obviously, obviously, there’s nothing I’d rather do than talk Gilmore Girls with you. Plus, there’s no saying I can’t still Ooober over to the local cineplex to catch a midnight viewing of Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival.” What about you, Reina? Which grand plans did you cancel this evening to play couch potato girl with me?
Reina: The only plans I had tonight were to watch The Yearling preceded by a viewing of a film by Kirk in the square, but there seemed to be some technical difficulties, so instead I’m here ready to gush about one of our favorite shows on this balmy December night. Ok, we both know that’s not true, BUT the town I live in bears a striking resemblance to Stars Hollow. There’s a square and a small grocery store and everything! Anyway, Gauraa, tell me a little about how you came to enjoy the wonderful world of Gilmore Girls.
Gauraa: My dad always told me, “The best way to learn is by imitation.” When I turned eleven, I decided I wanted to be Lorelai Gilmore. Everything about Lorelai Gilmore was magic: the jangle in her voice, her monstrous caffeine addiction, the way she dressed, the way she subsisted on Pop Tarts and Sno Balls and remained skinny as a stick, the way she managed to be jacked up on pop culture while running an inn and mothering Rory, the way she handled herself in crises, the way she talked. All of it. She wasn’t slaying vampires or writing a provocative sex column in Manhattan, she just was. Her sheer existence was an event. And so, I walked around the next decade on Earth, wanting to be seen the way I saw her. I silently craved her approval, asking myself “What would Lorelai Gilmore do?” secretly hoping that whichever fictional dimension she was occupying, she was looking down, eavesdropping on my mile-a-minute conversations, and giving me her blessings.
When Netflix announced, in 2014, that they were going to stream all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, I felt vile. Angry. Betrayed. Mostly because I had been passing off some of Rory and Lorelai’s quick-witted repartees as my own and was dreading being found out, but also because I had developed a deep kinship with the characters and felt that they were…mine. My relationship with Gilmore Girls was so intimate that whenever I’d meet someone who felt similarly about the show (see: you, Reina), it created a deeper understanding between us (see: the night I, aged 17 (for age must be emphasized here), went out with you and came back covered in my own vomit, still drunk, yelling for the world to hear: “But he wasn’t a Logan; he was a Jess!”). I didn’t just watch Gilmore Girls; I noted and studied each reference made over the course of the series, read every book, every New Yorker fiction issue, watched and listened to each film and band mentioned on the show. I lived Gilmore Girls. And to bring the show to Netflix, that too in 2014, meant opening the floodgates to oversaturation, peppering the Internet with horseshit discussions and memes of dialogues and references it took me a decade to recall from memory. It felt as if my safe space, my little corner of the world, was being turned into an all-access amusement park. The woman I took relationship advice from, the woman who introduced me to Mazzy Star and Pamela Des Barres would soon be used as bait for “Netflix and Chill.” It felt wrong.
Well, it felt wrong until the Netflix effect took place: a reboot was commissioned. Days were marked down on the calendar; countdown timers were set. I may or may not have tried to change the time-zone on my computer to Samoa so I could reach midnight faster (to no avail). I wanted to feel as safe as I did when I was eleven, to sink in a cozy vacuum for the duration of four feature-length episodes, to be lifted out of my skin. And, obviously, to discuss it with you after.
The moment I heard those callbacks to the original series in the opening sequence of “Winter,” I was hit in the solar plexus of my tearfulness.
How do you feel about Gilmore Girls, Reina?
Reina: To be completely honest, I don’t remember how or where I first saw Gilmore Girls. My best guess is it was either at a sleepover or at my first friend from Kindergarten’s house. It was a TV show that was deemed appropriate by all of my friend’s parents, because the lovable young daughter in the show was the perfect role model for us growing up. I’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls from the beginning and realizing more and more how terrible some of the characters are. Every single time Dean walks on screen, I could not roll my eyes harder. He is the absolute worst. I’m picking up on Rory’s entitlement and Lorelai’s immaturity, and how a lot of the “problems” aren’t actually problems. But as I watched, I remembered. I remembered why I liked this show in the first place. It wasn’t necessarily the content. I mean yes, the dialogue is excellent, and Stars Hollow so quirky, and Jess, so beautiful. There’s a lot to love about the show, but at the end of the day, what I remember is watching it and talking about it with my friends. It was the show we’d always watch the night of and the morning after a sleepover. It was the show we would watch on a rainy day while eating pizza and ice cream. It was the show we talked about over chocolate milk, which became coffee, then beers over time. Like you, the moment I heard all of those past lines in the first 30 seconds of “Winter,” I couldn’t help but tear up, because it reminded me of childhood, and learning how to be an adult. For me, it’s less about the actual substance of the show, and more about the memories I associate with it, and the conversations I’ve had about it, and the friendships I’ve gained and maintained through talking about this show.
Major events: Rory can’t find her underwear and the “lucky” dress that makes her look like Diane Keaton. She also forgets that she has a boyfriend, Paul, whom she has been dating for two years. Kirk starts a door-to-door pick-up car service called Ooober. Lorelai and Emily get into an ugly fight after Richard’s funeral. Paris runs a fertility/surrogacy clinic called, ugh, Dynasty Makers. Rory flies out to London to meet with Naomi Shropshire, whose autobiography she is going to co-author. Emily discovers Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, ropes Lorelai into mother-daughter therapy sessions.
Best pop culture reference: Rory jokes with Lorelai, stating that if Stars Hollow were to lose its phone booth, Superman wouldn’t be able to “save us from Ben Affleck.”
Favorite townie comeback: Kirk. Obviously.
Gauraa: So, everything is the same. Except Chris Eigeman is old and Luke is wearing a toupée reminiscent of Ted Hanson’s in Cheers (except worse.) And there are fancier Luke’s Diner takeout cups. And Stars Hollow townies are taking selfies. And Rory is rootless. She is Jack Kerouac, specifically, “On The Roading it” which, in Gilmorespeak, apparently translates to dividing time between her mom’s, friend’s, and as-if-boyfriend’s place. Rory’s written a piece (singular) for The New Yorker and has a couple of irons in the fire with GQ and The Atlantic. I don’t know about you but I find Rory’s trajectory a little tragic? Disappointing? The constituency of Rory’s character, for me, has always been about wish-fulfillment. She got her grades up at Chilton, the most totalitarian prep school in the history of mankind, in spite of being a few months behind. She got into Harvard, Princeton and Yale. She caught the big whale, Annette Bening-style, and dated Logan Huntzberger exclusively. In fact, the last time we saw her, she turned him down when he proposed to follow Barack Obama on his 2007 campaign (also this teaser kind of hinted that she had actually taken a politico-journalistic route). How is it that that girl ends up an empty-handed freelancer living with mom at 32? I don’t know, wasn’t she supposed to Christiane Amanpour by now? I mean, I understand that Amy and Dan were trying to be realistic but, well, that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Rory, and the show at large, has been criticized in the past for its show of elitism and entitlement. I’ve always feel like that claim was overruled by the Gilmore Girls’ proclivity for hard work. The revival, however, eradicates them of any such tendency. Lorelai has become her mother, at least in terms of her treatment of the staff, Rory speaks with an opaque, offhand knowledge of the privileged. It’s all very off-putting and, as much as I hate to say it, idol worship-disqualifying.
Reina: I KNOW! She had such ambition and a really clear idea of what she wanted out of life! I mean, this is the girl who obsesses over getting into Harvard all through season 1 and 2. She puts off spending time with her boyfriend to do college app boosting extracurriculars! I mean there’s no way she grew up to be content with a sole New Yorker article and spoke with such excitement about being “rootless”. She was always such a homebody, wasn’t she? I just… think that this “grown up” Rory still has a lot of growing up to do.
Gauraa: Exactly! To give the Palladinos the benefit of the doubt here, this show was only one year in the life of the Gilmores, but, still, all that was alluded to was an apartment in the armpit of Brooklyn and Lena Dunham. What has Rory accomplished? Are we supposed to find her sloppiness endearing? Like, “cool, Rory Gilmore, too, can fuck up sometimes”? And I get it. I had a similar year: iffy book deals, thankless projects, being turned down for a job I thought beneath me, reminding myself and everyone else around me that “this is temporary.” But I didn’t tune in to watch a 32-year-old Rory Gilmore, i.e. one of the few female protagonists I grew up looking up to, flail just like me. I wanted to feel charged. I wanted to see her chase after a good story. I wanted to see her take control and feel inspired to do the same. I feel like a reboot, particularly a Gilmore Girls reboot, isn’t the time for vast plot developments or drastic character regression.
Reina: Oh same here. A show to remind me of the stigma surrounding a college graduate/functioning member of society living at home with parents is just what I needed.
Gauraa: Lo and behold, here we are, one hit wonders.
Reina: *Sigh* Also, one thing that never seems to be addressed is how Rory affords to travel so often? If she has ONE New Yorker article and few pieces here and there for the Atlantic and other publications, I can’t imagine she could be in that many places in the span of a few months without completely draining her bank account? Or maybe that’s the unspoken reason why she moves home?
Gauraa: I read this TVLine interview with Amy Sherman Palladino where she addresses Rory’s air travel: “A lot of it was points. When you travel that much you have points. She’s flying economy. She’s flying JetBlue on a deal. And she’s using her points. We didn’t really focus on money because, quite frankly, I don’t think anyone’s worried that Rory is going to starve. Between Emily Gilmore, Lorelai Gilmore… Logan… there were so many [well-off] people in her life that would’ve made sure she didn’t fall through the cracks.”
Reina: God, how did Rory become such a spoiled, entitled, and naive person as she grew up?
Gauraa: Especially since her mother left home at sixteen to resign from this life of privilege. I just always imagined that, after all these years, Rory would’ve been independent and self-sufficient. Traveling the world, yes, but not like this. I wanted her to be an international correspondent, reporting on the things that do matter.
Reina: I know! At 32 and she’s still depending on everyone in her life to help her get by. Ugh, let’s talk about something else, this is making me mad!
Gauraa: Another thing that needs addressing, in my opinion, is the format of the revival? Like, I’m fine with going all Sherlock Holmes with four feature-length episodes, but I found the musical aspect of it a little derivative. Take, for example, the scene where Lorelai stops Rory to tell her that she can “smell snow.” Rory just freezes in awkward Barbie doll manner, as if in a badly blocked stage play. There are instances of this stage play-ishness throughout the revival, and, I don’t know, I think if Lorelai and Rory were to see it, they’d make really spiffy one-liners about it and cringe.
Reina: Yeah WHAT in the world was going on with this show? After they spent so long making Stars Hollow feel like a real town that could exist somewhere and not just some studio lot full of whimsical small town charm, they went and tore it all down in a series of scenes in which they very obviously used the town as a set, if that makes sense?
Gauraa: THANK YOU! Everything about this revival waters down the sentiment of the original series. Take, for example, Rory’s friendship with Lane. I understand that Rory travels a lot and that Lane’s raising a family and pursuing her rock and roll (shout out to my man Sebastian Bach, for Gill will always be my favorite member of Hep Alien) but how did their friendship dissipate? There’s absolutely no chemistry between them. This era of Rory reminds of Season 6 Rory, of the time she stole a yacht and dropped out of Yale and moved in with her grandparents in Hartford. Except this isn’t exactly a phase, is it? This is Rory, 2.0. And I hate that Jess has been used as a catalyst to get her back on track during both meltdowns. Amy’s always said that the boys on the show were there to guide the girls and support them but with Jess and Logan here, it kind of feels like they’re “saving” her. She’s perpetually doe-eyed and helpless. I hate that. Like, you’re a 32-year-old writer. Did it really take Jess to remind you to write a book?
Reina: Oh my god, I know! The first scene in which you see Lane, she’s surprised to see Rory and had no idea she was going to be in town?! Their fizzled out best friendship made me want to promise myself never to let our best friendship fizzle out. Actually, come to think of it, Rory was not that great of a friend to Lane. Yes, she picked up records for her and snuck her stuff (and phone calls with boys) her mother would not approve of, but when push came to shove, she was always very selfish, wasn’t she? She got mad at Lane kind of irrationally too. Like the time she got mad that Lane didn’t tell her that Dean was her lab partner? And other incriminating stuff like that.
Gauraa: I was just thinking that! Has she always been this self-absorbed and narcissistic? Are we just noticing this now? And yes, let’s promise never to let bands and boys and Brooklyn careers tear us apart!
Reina: I feel like we’re ruining this show for ourselves. I’m almost afraid to go back and watch it in case I start to notice all the times Rory was being absolutely terrible to everyone around her.
Gauraa:Well, re-watching the show does bring to your attention all the aspects of it which the pre-#woke you breezed over, but it’s still as warm and endearing as it was before. But perhaps we should focus on something positive so as to not to put a complete dampener on the Gilmore Girls brand. Let’s talk about Emily Gilmore, the best thing about this revival. Emily is in jeans. Reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Reina: A year ago, I was also in jeans reading Marie Kondo’s book. Gonna be honest with you, I should have ditched it as quickly as Emily did, but I guess I just didn’t have a Lorelai to point me towards enlightenment.
Gauraa: Remember, in such moments, to always ask yourself: WWLGD?
Reina: I need that as a motivational poster over my bed, or maybe as a bumper sticker.
Gauraa: Or tattooed on the finger of your coffee-drinking hand.
Major events: Rory sleeps with a cosplaying Wookie and tells her mom about it. Emily and Lorelai’s mother-daughter therapy session appears to be less conducive to peace and serenity. Luke discovers that Richard has left him a sum of money to expand his “empire” by franchising Luke’s Diner. Mr. Kim finally makes an appearance. Star Hollow’s first gay pride parade is cancelled. Rory gets courted for a job she deems beneath her by the founding editor of a site called SandeeSays. Rory’s meeting with Conde Nast is pushed back. Her book deal with Naomi Shropshire falls through. Rory returns to Chilton with Paris to talk to students. They see the back of Tristan’s head.
Best pop culture reference: Paris says Lena Dunham is moderating a panel discussion with her at the 92nd Street Y. Paris also compares the version of herself around Tristan to “a friggin’ Blake Shelton song.”
Favorite townie comeback: I’d say Mr. Kim but since we’re seeing him for, like, the first time ever I guess he doesn’t count. So let’s roll with Babbette. And dog Paul Anka.
Favorite cameo: Paul fucking Anka. The Real Paul Anka.
Gauraa: “Remember the time Rory Gilmore slept with a wookie (in costume!) and told her mom about it?” is something I never dreamt of saying. This is arguably the worst Rory Gilmore existential crisis yet and I’m beginning to miss the “stoic” Rory from “The Break-up (Part 2)” in Season 1. Remember how she was unable to say “I love you” back to Dean and they broke up? She dealt with the situation by rearranging furniture and running errands at six in the morning on Saturday! She said, and I quote: “I don’t want to be the girl who falls apart just because she doesn’t have a boyfriend. I have Harvard to think about!” Where is that girl? I want her back!
Reina: I almost feel like her freakout over having a one night stand was a few steps back for sexual liberation and feminism. She’s so judgmental of herself for having a one night stand, like, “I can’t believe I’m that girl,” you know?
Gauraa: Mind you, this is the same girl who asked her mom, at age sixteen, if she did something slutty to get her admitted into prep school. And, also, didn’t her relationship with Logan start off on similar grounds? I found her sleeping on/around the job a little random and inconsistent.
Reina: Totally. Looking back, I feel like Rory was judgmental of other women being “slutty” and yet is willing to look past the fact that she a) kissed Jess while dating Dean, and b) slept with a married man! And again, slept with an engaged man in this series… Little Miss Rory has got to take a step back and reassess her slut-shaming tendencies.
Gauraa: It’s almost as if she’s above everyone else and the rules only apply to her. Somehow one night stands are immoral but her cheating on Paul to sleep with her engaged ex is fine? And, well, how do we feel about the Luke/Lorelai relationship? I kind of almost can’t picture them outside of a scripted scene, if that makes sense? Is he constantly admonishing Lorelai for her horrid eating habits? Is he constantly doting? What do they talk about when we’re not looking?
Reina: Yeah, that scene of him scrolling through the DVR while she gets ready for bed, and seeing them sleeping in the same bed like it ain’t no thing was a little bit uncomfortable almost? It was kind of weird to see them affectionate with each other. Also, is it just me or were Luke’s flannels in the reboot way too big for him? It looked like they dressed him in XXL flannels and it looked like a nightgown on him! And let’s not forget that there were THERAPY SESSIONS in this season! It’s a wonder that everyone in Stars Hollow isn’t in therapy, isn’t it?
Gauraa: I believe Jess once likened Stars Hollow to “one big outpatient mental institution.” And I couldn’t agree more. Emily and Lorelai’s joint therapy sessions remind me of the mother-daughter shock-therapy sessions once joked about in “That Damned Donna Reed.” And, hold up, their therapist smokes? And does show tunes? In Stars Hollow? Um?
Reina: Oh my god, that scene was like my worst nightmare. Seeing your therapist outside in the real world and realizing that a real person with a real life knows all of your insecurities and problems… Also, was their therapist weirdly peppy or what? But she was totally an incredible singer!
Gauraa: Also, wow, okay. I love that Amy-Sherman Palladino, after, like, six seasons, finally realized she hadn’t shown Lane’s father in the show. And there he is, very Asian looking, for the first time ever. What do you make of this? I feel like this is as “wish-fulfillment” as A Year in the Life gets.
Reina: Something only *true* fans would pick up on. Kind of like an Easter egg? But also I almost liked it better when we could imagine Mrs. Kim as a single mother, who runs the antique store and is hard on her daughter because she doesn’t want her to end up the same as her… or some kind of backstory like that. It would have made her strictness and sternness more understandable than her literally just being religious and Asian.
Gauraa: Mr. Kim, a true Easter egg of A Year in the Life. That’s a fantastic way to put it. I wholeheartedly agree, I loved the idea of Mr. Kim as an absentee parent, which kind of likened Mrs. Kim to Lorelai, and justified the way she acted towards Lane. A Year in the Life is kind of a perfect treasure hunt for fans in the sense that it’s rife with townie comebacks and cameos like Julia Goldani Telles’ as Sandee of Sandee Says. I also think it’s cool that she had the Gilmore Guys play a cameo. I mean, all revival complaints aside, Amy seems like the essence of cool. And I love that she carried a Lady and the Tramp clutch with her on the
red blue carpet series premiere. Do you think Amy would like me? Us?
Reina: I wonder how much pop culture you’d have to consume in a day to write dialogue like Amy Sherman Palladino? I think she’d like both of us. Maybe we can commission her to write our biopic?
Gauraa: I think we consume friendship-qualifying amounts of pop culture, daily. What would our biopic be called? “Friday Night Dinner”?
Major events: Stars Hollow: The Musical. Rory calls it quits with Logan. Logan’s Parisian fiancée moves in with him. Taylor announces the Stars Hollow Gazette is closing after almost 90 years in print. Rory steps up and says she’ll serve as editor. Rory forgets to break-up with Paul. Jess offers Rory some life advice. Suggests she write about her relationship with her mother. Emily has a new man-friend, Jack. Rory tells Lorelai about the book she is writing on her. Lorelai is not pleased: “No, I don’t want you to write that…I went through this effort for many, many years making sure people only knew what I wanted them to know. Now you’re going to lay it all out in a book?” The most meaningful conversation between Lane and Rory yet transpires when Rory breaks up with Logan: “This adult stuff is hard, isn’t it?” Lorelai decides she wants to do Wild.
Best pop culture reference: When April talks about Noam Chomsky walking the halls of MIT, Lorelai says “to Noam is to love him.”
Favorite townie comeback: Carole King as Sophie, singing “I Feel The Earth Move” only to be put down by Taylor Doose.
Gauraa: Am I the only one who finds the idea of Rory writing a book titled Gilmore Girls horrifyingly corny and predictable? During the entirety of Jess’ pep talk, I kept my fingers crossed hoping this wasn’t going to turn into one of those films where the character ends up writing a book that bears the same name as the film. It would be as cringeworthy as having titled The Wonder Boys after the book Tobey Maguire’s character was writing, The Love Parade. This was, for me, the moment the revival became a mockery of itself.
Reina: *Sigh* That too was a really irksome point about this revival. I could not believe that that was going to be the new big source of conflict AND resolution. And also, can we talk about how entitled Rory was being when her mother said “please only tell your side of the story”? She literally did not care that this was something her mom DID NOT want and thought it was unfair that her mom would not like the idea. And also WROTE the chapters and gave them to her mom to read despite the fact that she said no. Um, someone has got to teach Rory about consent and slut-shaming.
Gauraa: 100%. And as much as I love Amy and the fact that she loves to bring back every single person she’s ever worked with on the sets, why was Sutton Foster’s character necessary? Why was Stars Hollow: The Musical so long? Was it just to stretch the Hamilton reference into one long gag reel?
Reina: Oh my god. This whole musical side-story was so unnecessary and eye-roll worthy. It was like, basically just to showcase Sutton Foster. They really could have cut right to the song that makes Lorelai emotional, and it would have been just as effective. Because I almost lost my eyes rolling them too hard during the musical itself.
Gauraa: Okay, I know this is bold, but can we talk about Amy Sherman-Palladino’s nepotistic tendencies? Look, if there’s anybody who loves a cameo, it’s me. But what happens when the cameo impacts the storyline? She’s got everyone she’s ever worked with, from Sutton Foster to Julia Goldani Telles (Bunheads). She’s even got Jack Carpenter, who plays Paul, from Return of Jezebel James. In fact, I believe the role was written specifically for him. In an interview with Vulture, Carpenter claimed that he had worked with the Palladinos on Return of Jezebel James: “Unfortunately [the show] was canceled after a few episodes, pretty much right before my character appeared. So I thought it was very funny that Amy remembered me enough years later to bring me back to play this completely forgettable character. It’d been years since we worked together, but she reached out and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to come have you come on to do this part.’” I wonder how different the show would’ve turned out if they weren’t trying to make nice. The revival could’ve done without Paul. He was just so…unnecessary.
Reina: Oh my god, I know! I understand that the joke there is that Paul is unmemorable, but like, he seriously had zero presence. He wasn’t even cute! Would have been funnier if he were like ridiculously good looking and perfect and yet, Rory couldn’t ever remember him.
Gauraa: Or if he were a really homely looking pity-boyfriend. But there was no story. There was no explanation. How did a gal like Rory even get with him? How did a gal like Rory keep him around for two years (!!) if she wasn’t interested?
Reina: And also, how did they manage to date for two years if she wasn’t living at home until two years into the relationship? Is he from Stars Hollow? Has she actually been homeless for a lot longer than the show lets on? So many questions, so little time.
Gauraa: Well, he couldn’t have been from Stars Hollow because he mentioned he drove for an hour or so to get to Stars Hollow. And wasn’t Rory somewhat based in Brooklyn? So perhaps they met in Brooklyn? Who knows? Why was there no story? Why was nothing revealed?
Reina:I think I hate that this didn’t pick up where it left off. Instead, it emphasizes the gap and what could have happened during that time, and really leaves it open for viewers to interpret however they like.
Gauraa: Well, they couldn’t have picked up where they left off simply because everyone was older, which is understandable. But at the least, they could have tallied the histories and gifted the audience a consistency, you know? Rory flailing at 22 would’ve been fine and understandable but flailing at 32? I think, by trying to emphasize that their stories went on without us, they changed the arc altogether.
Reina: Well, you know what I meant by picking up where they left off. Obviously, they couldn’t have, but they also didn’t even try to fit it in in a lazy way, i.e. having a character recount what has happened in the past 10 years, or Rory runs into someone she hasn’t seen for 10 years and tells them what’s happened in their lives… or something! Gah!
Gauraa: Right. Like they did in Season 5 of One Tree Hill. With flashbacks and all to fill in the gaps of their college years. I know what you mean but I also think that trying to cover nine years on a show like Gilmore Girls would result in messy tactics and verbiage. That, too, would’ve been inconsistent. I feel like, despite the warm moments they’ve squeezed in, the little details like the puppy pajamas, the Carole King ditty, the jokes about Brexit, etc. the show feels a little forced, a little contrived. And for reasons I can’t exactly put a finger on, I feel like no matter what else they would’ve tried, I wouldn’t have felt differently. A re-lit cigarette never tastes the same.
Reina: I know exactly what you mean, sister. I like the little moments too. I think that they tried too hard to make the show relevant and fresh, you know? I think we all were expecting Gilmore Girls Season 8, but instead we got 4 mini movies about how the mother never really grew up, and the daughter should be grown up but hasn’t grown up enough… I mean, there are elements that make this show, like the rapid-fire, pop culture reference-heavy dialogue and the quirky townspeople, but it was almost too in your face with the jokes, it almost seemed to tread into Fuller House territory (which works for that show because it’s meant to be a FUNNY show).
Major events: The actual musical that is The Life and Death Brigade Visit Stars Hollow (set to a cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends”). Logan offers Rory a key to his family’s house in Maine, to use for writing her book. She (eventually) declines. Luke fears Lorelai is leaving him. Lorelai flies out to California to hike to PCT a la Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. Lorelai calls Emily with an anecdote, a fond childhood memory of Richard. Rory shows Lorelai the first three chapters of her book, The Gilmore Girls. Lorelai tells her she should get rid of “the ‘the’’ because “it’s cleaner” a la The Social Network. Rory runs into Dean at Doose’s. It is revealed that Dean is married. Emily moves to Nantucket. Luke and Lorelai get married. Final four words are revealed: “Mom?” “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant.”
Best pop culture reference: Katy Perry is considering buying the annex from the nuns.
Favorite townie comeback: Sookie, for, like, 2 minutes.
Gauraa: I know you’ll want to talk about the “final four words” but first things first: let’s address the Steely Dan ragging. And there’s so much of it. And the fact that Luke listens to Steely Dan. And the “Hey Nineteen” flashmob. I just…I just want to know who on this show has a personal vendetta against the Dan and how can I get in touch with them?
Reina: Was I the only one that thought it was a weird coincidence that they just happened to reference Steely Dan and “Karma Chameleon” in the same scene? Those are like two music things that have played major roles in our lives. It’s like Amy Sherman Palladino was actually observing us, and decided to incorporate those songs to freak me out.
Gauraa: I noticed that, too. It’s crazy. But back to Steely Dan: do you remember Drella from season 1? The harpist Michel loathes? Lorelai even went as far as to instruct her not to play Steely Dan at the inn. But why?
Reina: Ok enough Steely Dan talk. Lorelai doesn’t like them, and you know you would never hear the end of it from her (see: Christopher and The Offspring). Can we talk about that fucking weird musical number? They essentially copied that scene straight out of “Across the Universe,” complete with the rooftop golfing… did they not? And who knew there was a tango night club a hop and skip from Stars Hollow?? And just what? And why?
Gauraa: Thank you! I found that whole sequence so, so strange. When I saw the CGI crow perched on the branch of that tree, looking down at Rory, who, for some reason is walking back into the Gazette office at midnight, I was certain it was a dream. Then bing bang boom: The Life and Death Brigade explode into “A Little Help From My Friends.” I noticed the striking similarity between this and the scene from “Across the Universe,” which makes me question whether this was intended to be a clever reference? I’m unsure about the exact locale of the tango club but the song takes them to New Hampshire somehow. Because that’s what rich people do: appear in Stars Hollow with no notice, scream “I love money!” at the top of their lungs, and buy strip clubs and B&Bs in New Hampshire just because they don’t like the music they’re playing.
Reina: Also I feel like this entire sequence was meant to be some kind of… I don’t know, idealization of Rory once again? She’s this lovable girl running amok with this ragtag gang of rich, but lovable boys who all adore her. It’s like, every girl’s dream isn’t it? Before it was wholesome Rory that every girl wanted to be like, who boys would watch as she intently read her books. But now it’s the adventurous and rootless Rory, a real guy’s gal, that every girl wants to be like, I guess?
Gauraa: It feels like this segment was intended to be the To The Lighthouse “time passes” section of A Year in the Life, to signify the process of, I don’t know, rich people and their money saving Rory from “falling through the cracks”? Either way, as much as I love this song, and the depiction of it in “Across the Universe,” this was a no-go for me. If anything, this was the opposite of not falling through the cracks.
Reina: This was just an unnecessary way for them to bring back the gang and insert Logan into the story one last time, so we got a drawn out goodbye for good.
Gauraa: I really disliked it. I would’ve rather seen more of Jess, for a change. And how and what and why is Rory pregnant? Why must this show be so cyclic? Why must she go full-circle? Why is Rory so disappointing?! If this is not meant to be a cliffhanger, this is a shitty way to end one of the most beloved TV shows of all time.
Reina: You think that maybe they are setting it up so that IF anyone approaches them wanting to continue the series, they’ll have a whole new chapter of the Gilmore Girls’ lives to work with?
Gauraa: You’re right. That’s definitely it. But for a show about the privileged, this sure as hell is an economic way of approaching it. This might be an unpopular opinion but come to think of it, I would’ve rather imagined the possibilities and have left the original Gilmore Girls untarnished. The pregnancy trope is the most cliched approach to a season finale and say what you will about the psychological underpinnings of the cyclic “like mother, like daughter” gesture, to see Gilmore Girls implement it is just a low blow.
Reina: My friend and I were talking about how, if the last four words were something that Amy Sherman Palladino had planned out all along… Does that mean she would have had Rory getting pregnant shortly after graduation?
Gauraa: Yup. According to the interviews, Amy planned to get Rory pregnant at 22. I don’t know how much of this is actually true. As we all know, writers have a tendency to retrofit.
Reina: Yikes, so it was meant to be a “like mother like daughter” situation in the end? That’s… predictable, I guess.
Gauraa: Where Lorelai mislead, Rory followed.
Reina: DID YOU NOTICE THEY NEVER PLAYED THE SONG?!
Gauraa: I just…they took away everything we loved about the show. They didn’t even bring back the real Tristan Dugray. Suppose they thought having Carole King sing “I Feel The Earth Move” would somehow compensate. Surprised as I am to say this, it didn’t.
Reina and Gauraa did not expect for it to be such an emotional Friday night. They insist they need to be alone now. You can find them here next Friday, discussing McFly’s Just My Luck.