Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life

I am a Gilmore Girls fan, and have been since somewhere in season 1, and watched season 7 as it aired.  And I stayed up way, way past my bedtime over Thanksgiving weekend–which, really, I need the sleep that weekend above all others–watching the newest four episodes on Netflix, just me and my iPad and my earbuds.

I seriously loved it.

ALL THE SPOILERS BELOW although at this point, if you’re still reading, I would imagine you binged it, too.

I mean, there are little things I didn’t enjoy (I did not need that many songs from the musical, for one, and could we have named Rory’s memoir something other than the title of the show?  That was cheesy.  Rory should totally write about herself and her mom, but call it something else), but overall I felt like it was a nice continuation of the show and it balanced the nostalgia without drowning itself.

Kelly Bishop and Lauren Graham did some amazing work, here.  I’ve always loved how Lorelai’s body language changes from adult woman to defensive teenager pretty much from the minute she walks into her parents’ house, and there was so much of that sort of acting going on.  And Emily in grief was exactly what you would expect, trying to make everyone else hurt as much as she does; but I really liked how, even after she realized she wasn’t going to get rid of all her belongings right away, she spent a lot of her arc figuring out what brought her joy.  As well as figuring out who she was, if she wasn’t Mrs. Richard Gilmore anymore.

It’s interesting that Emily, who has never understood Lorelai, ends the show/season surrounded by a family she literally cannot understand.  But they take care of her, and she takes care of them.  (They get her a TV so she can watch her opera.  Rory got her to try frozen pizza.  Lorelai introduced her to the wonders of her favorite musicals on DVD.  Parallels!)

The writers just did so well working with unavoidable things like Edward Herrmann’s death and Melissa McCarthy’s schedule.  So much of the story revolved around Richard being gone.  And Sookie leaving the Inn, doing something else–that seems pretty realistic.  It also adds to Lorelai’s story that her best friend isn’t around, that your world changes as you get older.  And it makes Michel wanting to stay even as he needs to leave so much lovelier.  It is always amazing when a writer takes something they can’t avoid and makes it integral to the point of their work.

And Lorelai and Luke are just … Lorelai and Luke.  I never had any fear that they’d break up (I’m smarter than Luke and Jess, what can I say); I knew they’d figure out their communication issue at some point. Basically for all the reasons Luke laid out in the kitchen. 

Rory is always problematic for me.  This is not the show’s fault.  I was texting with Jason about this: my headcanon!Rory is a smart, talented, hardworking person who would work wherever she had to in order to gain a professional reputation.  She writes all the time.  She’s working on articles and pitches to the point that if someone asked her, out of the blue, what she was working on, she’d have a lot to say.

Canon!Rory is actually insecure and kind of elitist; she’s trying to blaze a trail but has no one to ask for advice, and for whatever reason, she doesn’t try and find someone–old college professor, maybe?–to ask questions about how she should get her career together. (Is it because she’s afraid they’ll see her as less awesome than they all thought?  Weird pride thing from her mother?)  She wrote a piece for The New Yorker, awesome, but when that doesn’t bring her tons of success, she … turns up her nose at the people trying to get her to work for them?  I mean, sure, that looks like it would have been a terrible fit, but way to be snobby, there, Rory.

Anyway, once I realized that the Rory in my head is not the Rory on the screen, it was easier to watch her storyline–which I am thrilled was not “trying to decide which boyfriend I want.”  (For the record, though, I’m Team Adult Jess.)  I can handle “adrift and flailing.”  Hell, I can even handle “trying to fit myself into this open relationship arrangement thing that is so not something I want or am comfortable with.”  

(Matt Czuchry does really, really well with what I think is a thankless role in Logan.  He is so clearly resigned to his life, and you can tell he really cares about Rory and wants to help her, but he just has no idea how.)

And Rory being pregnant … well, Jason called it.  I think it’s a really organic ending.  Rory’s older, she’s got a support system, so her getting pregnant is not the disaster that Lorelai getting pregnant was.  But it’s also a very adult, real-world consequence of Rory’s actions, which are not always the most mature or thought out.  And you can tell she knows that; at the end of the last episode, when she says she wants to remember every detail–she knows that as soon as she tells her mother, it’s real. She’s an adult.  Because while I’ve never been sure Rory has really learned all the things Lorelai wanted her to from Lorelai’s life, she’s definitely learned that being a mother is a serious thing.  And because it’s an echo and not a direct retread of Lorelai’s story, I think it works.

And the random things I loved:

  1. Kirk.  Just Kirk.
  2. Paris Gellar must make a lot of rich, infertile, high-maintenance women very happy.
  3. Lane!  Lane and Zack still play music!  And possibly have some sort of polyamorous or maybe just millennial-era housing/parenting arrangement with the other band guy!
  4. Brad the Piano Guy from Glee–nice to see him getting work.
  5. “You can’t have a Steely Dan flash mob.”  My friends, that is a variation on a conversation my husband and I have had many, many times.
  6. Michel and Luke in swimwear, what? LUKE DANES WEARS FLIP FLOPS TO THE POOL?! STARS HOLLOW HAS A POOL?!  (Jason and I are convinced it’s just someone’s backyard pool that the town uses every summer.)
  7. PARIS AND FRANCIE FIGHTING IN THE GIRLS’ ROOM!
  8. Everyone swearing.  But especially Emily Gilmore using the words “bullshit” and “tits.”
  9. EMILY IN LORELAI’S OLD CLOTHES.  Also, I want her huge blue sweater.
  10. They seriously hate man buns on this show.
  11. Jess taking out the router is perhaps the best thing I have ever seen him do.
  12. SOOKIE!  All those cakes, she knows who’s been in her kitchen (she didn’t seem to be upset about Luke, though), and she yells at Michel.  Yay!

I loved the scene when Lorelai asks Emily for Luke’s franchise money.  I love that Emily didn’t hesitate and just said yes–and then added the rider, and Lorelai didn’t hesitate (well, didn’t argue; more just wryly pointed it out) before saying yes.  I love that Richard wanted Luke to be able to take care of Lorelai, but Emily knows Lorelai’s the one with ambition.  (Also, she starts the scene assuming the wedding’s off, which is also nice–she’s not mellowing that much.)

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