Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life may not be the last we see of the Gilmore women on Netflix. But it should be.
News of preliminary talks for more Gilmore Girls at Netflix has us thinking — what would more Gilmore look like? Is it a story worthy of exploration? Why can’t we just leave Emily Gilmore alone stabbing imaginary whales in front of unsuspecting children?
For arguments sake, let’s liken the first trip back into the Gilmore-world to a free ice cream bar. Everything looks appetizing. Before you know it your head spins from looking around at all those sugary toppings that bring a tear to your eye. Nostalgia creeps in and takes over.
A little touch of Miss Patty, a few bits with Emily and her maids, and a Kirk cherry on top.
But as you begin to chow down, the ice cream starts to melt, your teeth start to hurt, and you remember that your body doesn’t handle lactose quite as well as it used to. While a few bites never hurt anyone, an entire sundae, or A Year in the Life, might do more harm than good.
Of course, when a show experiences a tidal wave of support, enthusiasm, and more importantly, incredible, yet secret Netflix ratings, studios clamor for more. But when can less be the new more?
‘Talking as Fast as I Can’
Lauren Graham’s book did a lot to push me towards the opinion that ending Gilmore here is best. Talking as Fast as I Can plays out over the course of the weeks before and during the filming of A Year in the Life. In the passages that recall moments on the lot, Graham recounts the fleeting moments of interaction, the joy and pain of seeing and remembering co-stars, and the special magic of capturing lightening in a bottle for a second time.
The directors call the final cut the crew, set designers, wardrobe department, trailers all disappear from the Warner Brother’s lot. Instead of walking away uncertain, Graham gives the sense that the door closed with a satisfying click on the final chapter of the Gilmore saga.
Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan Palladino had more screen time than they knew what to do with in the first place. If there was room for a grand total of 15 minutes with Lane Kim and 20 minutes of “Stars Hollow: The Musical,” then what could the duo possibly do with six more hours?
There is certainly not a lack of care or dedication from any member of the cast, crew, or creative team. I was fortunate to speak to every cast member at the Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX Festival in Austin, TX ahead of the revival announcement. Each one of them expressed the pride they felt to be a part of a project so loved and treasured by the world.
But they also relayed the fear and pressure to try and get it right if they were asked to return.
That fear extended to the fan base as well. Could they pull this off? Luckily, that anxiety has since passed since the final cut to black appeared in “Fall.”
So… there are more final words?
Those are the final four words. The words that Amy Sherman-Palladino never got to write for the screen in 2007. They are out in the world and the trajectory of Rory Gilmore’s future is in motion. Is there a dire need to have more than the creator originally intended?
Look, I was a huge fan of the revival. In fact, I enjoy it more and more as time passes. It makes sense in the context of the larger
This is where they wanted to take the audience. They left Rory as a stunted 30-something with a baby instead of a stunted 22-year old with a baby on the way. And thus…
Rory’s future? More like Lorelai’s past
The height of my passion for Gilmore Girls grew as I watched Rory Gilmore navigate academic obstacles four years ahead of my own timeline. As a freshman starting high school, Rory was a new face on the Yale campus. Though not exactly lucky in love, Rory always fell back on her incredible work ethic.
She was focused, determined, and flawed. But she was always on the path to success.
Rory Gilmore circa 2016 is an entirely different story. The floundering she experiences in post-grad life is still relatable. However, she is not a fresh face out of school.
Rory is a product of privilege and she finds herself trapped between having too much and having nothing at all. But the worst bit about her is the attitude that the universe owes her a favor for doing the bare minimum.
It is never going to be about Rory’s success. And honestly, I don’t need the series to try to put her story back together. Amy Sherman-Palladino mentioned shortly after the finale that Rory’s future is one giant question mark. Does she keep the baby? Does she become a version of her mother with Jess by her side after he pines for her for 20 years?
If so, I’m fine not knowing her fate.
Emily Gilmore deserves to be happy
The absence of Richard Gilmore, though his presence lingered, left a huge hole in the revival. Kelly Bishop portrays Emily’s (and by extension her own) grief with such poise and gravity. It is a masterpiece added to the already incredible canon of Emily Gilmore performances.
Emily Gilmore is not a saint. But she is not the villain I thought she was in my early Gilmore days. In fact, returning to the series as an adult, I was shocked by two new revelations:
- Emily Gilmore deserves to be happy.
- Jason ‘Digger’ Stiles was treated horribly and is actually the perfect man for Lorelai.
The second point is immaterial, but the first one grows on me with every single rerun I catch on TV. Emily Gilmore is the toughest woman on television. The relationship between Emily and Lorelai is the story of the revival. It is the relationship that suffered the most, the one that always needed the most TLC.
The revival gave them as happy of an ending as it could. Emily Gilmore has a new lease on life. Suddenly, her daughter’s shortcomings and what they mean for her status are a thing of the past. She can exhale. And in these later years, she deserves to hear the ocean and take a breath.
The show about mothers and daughters completed a cycle. And as a viewer, I too, feel complete.
When you stop and think about, do you really think Netflix should extend the ‘Gilmore Girls’ lifeline?
Check out Matthew’s argument about why the story isn’t over for Rory, Lorelai, and Emily!
You can stream every Gilmore Girls episode, including A Year in the Life on Netlfix now.