Thousands of words have been written since the release of the Gilmore Girls revival the Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe millions. I mean, based on the dozens of posts, text messages, comments, and vox messages I had to avoid until I had watched all four episodes, it’s clear that a whole lot of people had a whole lot of thoughts about this thing.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that I, also, have a lot of thoughts. And feelings. SO MANY FEELINGS. And questions. Oh! The questions! Maybe you do, too?
So let’s talk about this. I’m itching to watch the entire revival again, to think through some more things, but until then I thought I’d go chronologically through the four seasons/episodes with some hot takes.
I started to write it all in one post, but when Winter hit 1,000 words, I realized I’d better break this up. So today I’m posting about Winter and the other three seasons will come soon! For each one, I’ll share some basic reactions, some bulleted thoughts — and then we can talk about it in more detail in the comments if you’d like! (Or we can go back to one of the dozens of articles or private Facebook groups that have been dissecting our show for the past week…)
Obviously, this post is FULL OF SPOILERS. So if you haven’t watched and don’t want to know every little detail, bookmark this to read later. Also, while I’ve gone in chronological order, my brain doesn’t always work that way. So if I get things out of order, just roll with it. All of this comes full circle anyway, right?
- The opening – a black screen with a montage of our favorite quotes from our favorite episodes? This didn’t necessarily feel Gilmore Girls-ish to me, but it felt VERY right for us as fans and viewers. After all, the last decade has basically been a black void filled with our Gilmore memories while we waited for this day to arrive…right?
- Oooober – Kirk’s new business venture of basically being an Uber drive, but way worse, cracked me up. Especially Lorelei saying, repeatedly, “Don’t make that sound!” It also provided us with the previously unimaginable scenario of Kirk at a Friday night dinner.
- Friday night dinner – And speaking of… When Rory and Lorelei sit down for dinner with Emily, I literally let out a sign of contentment. For me, this was when the show began feeling like home. (I loved the banter of the opening scene in the gazebo, but it felt a smidge forced as our girls got back in the swing of things.)
- Rory the nomad – The way Rory was randomly in and out of scenes and randomly looking for boxes she’d shipped to various places was a little disconcerting to me. The transitions weren’t as smooth as I’d like and, honestly, I still don’t understand why she didn’t ship all her stuff to one place. But I wonder if all of this was done on purpose to illustrate Rory’s bumpy stage in life and her disjointed relationships and career. If so, I can get on board with that.
- Logan – I cannot, however, get on board with Logan. LOGAN (said in my very best Seinfeld-saying-Newman voice). Ugh. I was hoping this would work out and all my #TeamLogan friends would have the chance to rub it in my face that they were right and he’s the best. You guys? He’s THE WORST. More on that LATER.
- Paul who? – Okay, I’ve read many reviews that say this series-long gag was annoying and made Rory and everyone else look like real jerks for literally forgetting someone’s existence. I mean, yeah, I get that. But as a fan of Arrested Development, I appreciated the nod to, “Her?” (also known as the character Ann, also known as the actress Mae Whitman, also known as Lauren Graham’s daughter on her other show, Parenthood. FULL CIRCLE.)
- Sookie’s absence – Wow. I saw so many people lamenting the lack of Sookie in the first three episodes. Did you all not read any articles about this revival?! Oh, you’re telling me not everyone reads every pop culture article everywhere, all the time? Hmm. Fine. I, too, missed Sookie but since I’d read about how limited her time was for this show, I wasn’t surprised that they saved it for the end. I didn’t really need the substitute chefs in her place, though.
- Michel’s out – I remember being so confused by Michel when I first watched the show. Is he gay? Or is he just French? The show never clarified – until now. Michel is married, and his husband wants kids. Meanwhile, Michel is also on his way out of Stars Hollow, looking for more opportunity than the Dragonfly can give him. I was so sad to see how close Michel and Lorelei had become, only to have him tell her he’s leaving. But it felt real. Like real life. That stuff happens, and it’s hard and it sucks, but it’s real. Gilmore Girls is not real, though, so a happy ending – with Lorelei expanding the inn and Michel, presumably, sticking around after all – was inevitable.
- Luke and Lorelei – They’re together! Not married, but living together. And bantering together. And doing it all good-naturedly. They clearly still love each other, and I love that. (To the critics who say they didn’t have chemistry, whatever. I thought they seemed very natural as a long-term couple, and that made me so happy.)
- Hep Alien – How fun to see our favorite Stars Hollow band! And I have to say that they sounded MUCH better than they ever did in the early years. (I also have to say, much as it pains me, that Zach is not looking his best. I think his day job is literally sucking the life – or at least the color – out of him!)
- No story for Lane? – I really wanted more for Lane. It seemed like, especially in this episode, that she’s lost her zing, her mojo, her Lane-ness. I understand that can happen for moms of littles or anyone who has to eventually grow up, but I also think it’s possible to hang onto your spirit even when trudging through the everyday. I was bummed we didn’t get more story for Lane and bummed that what we saw was, like Zach though not literally, a pale version of the rock star we know she is.
- Paris is FIERCE – You guys. If we were nominating Gilmore Girls characters for awards right now, absolutely NOBODY could compete with Paris in the category of Becoming More Herself in a Totally Realistic and Awesome Way. I mean, Paris was SO PARIS in this revival! And I loved it. I loved how being a mom had not really softened her, but it had changed her. I loved how she was so determined to help Luke and Lorelei with their fertility issues (despite Luke being uncharacteristically dumb about how the surrogacy process works). I loved her haircut and her clothes and everything about her.
- The troubadour is back – Oh, I’m so glad the troubadour was still there in Stars Hollow, serenading us as we walked through town! I loved that detail, especially the part where the competing troubadour is actually his sister. I did think the musical interlude of us simply listening to the troubadour early in the first episode went a bit long. But as music was such an important part of this show, it kind of makes sense.
- Luke’s wifi password – I laughed at this bit. Every single time. It was so Luke, so real-life, and [to me, at least] so funny.
- The funeral – THE FUNERAL. Oh man, watching our girls’ faces during the funeral flashback (and every grief-filled scene afterward) was brutal. And when Lorelei shares the most inappropriate (although also appropriate) memories of her father? That felt so REAL to me…as did the fallout when she and Emily attack each other. Oh, it was so painful. But also so real and so well done. SO WELL DONE.
- Emily goes KonMari – Even though I’d seen most of this scene in a trailer, I found Emily’s decluttering rampage to be delightful. It was also well done and real-to-life, even while being funny (largely because of Lorelei’s reactions).
- Kirk has a pig now – Last but not least, Petal the pig cracked me up. I realize it was unnecessary but as a visual running gag, it made me laugh every time that little pig ran across my screen!
When I finished the first episode, I couldn’t stop grinning. It was just so much fun to be reunited with all our old friends. Seeing each of the characters, some of them changed and some not, some of them where I expected and some not, was a TV lover’s dream come true. And even though I had a few critical thoughts here and there, overall I loved this reunion with the Gilmores et al!
Whew! Can you believe I was going to write about all four episodes in one post?! That would have been crazy. Besides, I need to take a break so I can hear what YOU thought about Winter. Did you love it? Were you disappointed? Delighted? Tell us ALL YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS in the comments!
If you want to read some more reviews, here are a few:
- Critic’s Notebook: ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ Spoiler Talk — The Last 4 Words and More (The Hollywood Reporter)
- Review: ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ Revives a Snow Globe Town (The New York Times)
- Gilmore Girls’ Amy Sherman-Palladino: The Revival Post Mortem Interview You’ve Been Waiting For (TV Line)
- After 8 years, we finally know Gilmore Girls’ final 4 words. They’re … complicated. (Vox)
- Are You Freaking Kidding Me, Rory Gilmore? (For Every Mom)
- Honestly, Rory Gilmore Sucks (BuzzFeed)
- The complete guide to binge-watching Gilmore Girls (Entertainment Weekly)
And for even more Gilmore Girls, check out FAST TALK & FAITH: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls.
So good! We waited months and months for this revival. I had childcare planned – our four year old was going to stay with Grandma – Grandma and I had it all planned out. I was going to have a kid-free zone to watch but, no. Our daughter chose this very day and weekend to become glued to me – while very sweet it was exhausting because I was up until 2:00am and 3:00am just dying to watch it all. I need to re-watch it all in a less harried state. I felt so sad that Rory was such a wanderer – Paris was so Paris and found her way. Rory still wandered though, felt uncomfortable. I loved the Luke and Lorelei relationship though and I always thought they were right. Oh Zach – that is all.
Yes, I want to re-watch it, too!! Here’s hoping we both find kid-free time to do it! ;)
Parts of me really liked it (I also laughed every time Luke’s password was mentioned). Parts of me felt let down. The reason I first started watching Gilmore Girls was because it was somewhat wholesome. I liked that Rory was basically a “good girl”. I really didn’t like the last season all that much and this just felt like more of that. I read a huff piece that said something to the effect that the writers now get to do what they were always held back from doing 10 years ago with the morals the way they were and the channel they were on. This made me sad and I also think they are alienating a good chunk of their fan base who like somewhat wholesome shows with the winsome antics of small town life thrown in. Only halfway through Spring so I’m glad you only wrote about Winter ;-)
I agree with you on the switch of morality. I started watching the series with my 12 year old daughter and then when Rory went to college I had to tell me daughter that it was no longer a show we could watch together. That was too bad, because it was a fun “girl’s night” for us. She watched “Winter” with me, but I watched the other three by myself, which made me feel better.
I didn’t even think of this since Annalyn is still too young for a show like this. Too bad you guys couldn’t watch it all together. :/
Yeah…they definitely moved away from Rory as a “good girl.” I don’t know that it’s unrealistic, but it was disappointing in many ways. :/
Same here with my girls :-(
Forgive me if I blur episodes together. I too was freaked out about how Zach did not look good. I had to google images of Todd Lowe to see if that is how he looks in real life! I was BEYOND shocked at how good Miss Patty looked. I think they showed a really quick glimpse of her in Winter and she was featured more later on. I too googled lots of images of Liz Torres. It’s sad to realize how I focus on image. As someone that has struggled with weight my whole life, I think it will always be something I focus on, shallow, but true. I watched most of this episode while on the treadmill and found myself with HUGE smiles and even some dance moves! It was nice to be reunited with the cast!
I think we were all curious to see how our favorite characters looked after a decade! :)