Netflix releases four-part mini-series

Same charm, new twists in ‘Gilmore Girls’ revival

Marley Parish, Features Editor

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The sacred final four words of the series have been spoken after Netflix released the Gilmore Girls revival “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Friday, Nov. 25.

Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino picks up right where she left off with the coffee-loving mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Finally after eight years, the Gilmores are back, along with the familiar faces of Stars Hollow, Chilton, the Dragonfly Inn and Yale University.

To quote Rory’s high school graduation speech, “We never thought this day would come. We prayed for its quick delivery, crossed days off our calendars, counted hours, minutes and seconds.”

After years of waiting, fans can travel back to the small Connecticut town of Stars Hollow in the four-part mini-series that brings the Gilmore stories full circle. “A Year in the Life” has its oddities, strengths and weaknesses, but the Gilmores never fail to warm hearts, generate laughs and amaze viewers with their iron stomachs.

Each 90-minute episode represents a different season in the year, starting with winter. The first episode helps establish where each core character is in their life, explains major events that have passed and returns to that famous, fast-talking, small town charm we all know, love and cannot forget.

Rory is now 32 years old, the same age as Lorelai was when the original show first aired on Oct. 5, 2000. The first episode opens in Stars Hollow’s infamous gazebo as Lorelai is waiting for Rory to arrive for a short trip home. Rory is searching for writing jobs after having a piece published in the “New Yorker.” She has little stability in her life and for the duration of the series, she is scatter-brained, secretive and lost.

Lorelai and her daughter have switched dynamics, making Lorelai the stable one in their relationship. She is unmarried but is in a committed relationship with Luke Danes. Other than suffering horrifying nightmares and coping with the fact that she is approaching 50, her life is put together. After the death of her father, Lorelai and her mother, Emily, are unsurprisingly at odds with one another. Everything is mostly the same. Everyone is just a little older.

Sookie left the Dragonfly to work in the wilderness and study plants and soil, making me resent her for being an ungrateful and absent friend who misses big events in her supposed best friend’s life. Michelle is married, preparing to raise a child and is looking for a new place to work.

Lane, Zack and their band Hep Alien are still together. Taylor is still cooking up ridiculous plans for the town, ranging from new sewer systems to a musical production. Luke’s Diner has Wi-Fi for a brief period of time. Jess comes back, along with Rory’s other former boyfriends, Dean and Logan.

The only character who has changed is Rory. She’s lost and waiting for something big to happen in her personal and professional life. All of her belongings are scattered in boxes in other people’s houses. She is in a relationship with the most forgettable man to ever be on the show—even prim and proper Emily fails to remember his name. Rory spends most of her time forgetting to break up with him. Once again, Rory is the other woman to a former flame who is engaged. When she’s not having an affair, she’s co-writing a memoir with an odious, pretentious and babbling drunk.

She is not happy, and she is not going anywhere with her life.

The second episode takes place in the spring. Lorelai and Rory suffer a few setbacks. Lorelai begins going to grief therapy with her mother. Meanwhile, Rory gets rejected from a job that wouldn’t have made her happy in the first place.

“Summer” is by far the worst and most embarrassing episode of the mini-series. Even after the musical portion of the episode ends, it does not get much better. Rory is busy trying to save a newspaper but is going nowhere and accomplishing nothing in the process. Emily is sleeping in until noon, watching TV in the living room and eating dinner on a TV tray. She and Lorelai are not speaking and not going to therapy together anymore. Rory gets a visit from another old boyfriend who inspires her to write a book about herself and her mom, only to end in a disagreement between mother and daughter. Luke and Lorelai have a fight in the middle of the diner only to end with Lorelai deciding that she needs to “do wild” and fly to California to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

The final installment, “Fall,” helps wash out the bad taste left in your mouth left from the previous episode as loose ends are tied up and the final four words are revealed. The characters develop as the seasons change, and you can feel the story coming to a close.

Although much has stayed the same in the “Gilmore Girls” universe, Sherman-Palladino works her magic to create a world that still has that welcoming tone that makes it seem like the show never really left.

Emily manages to overcome her grief, gets out of bed and puts her prissy lifestyle behind her. Lorelai reconciles with the ghosts of her pasts and her relationship becomes more permanent. Rory’s story is left unfinished in an unexpected ending that will make your jaw drop.

The Rory we used to know is missing. I miss the Chilton student who turned a parking lot pavement story into a moving and bittersweet piece about how everything becomes obsolete. In the new episodes, Rory is busy complaining about how she’s broke and in debt but still manages to fly back and forth from New York to London every other week.

Sherman-Palladino knew how she was going to end the show within the first season: with four little words.

On April 20, 2006, Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel announced that they would not be returning to “Gilmore Girls” due to a contract disagreement. Even after leaving, Sherman-Palladino kept those four words a secret, saying that she did not want to ruin the surprise and hinting that she would come back to the show eventually.

Finally, after four years of waiting, fans get to hear them, and I guarantee that they will leave you in shock once said out loud.

“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is sure to warm your hearts as it takes you back to Stars Hollow. Once you let the finality of it all sink in, the events all make sense. Sherman-Palladino brings the show full circle.

The show concludes in a cliff-hanger with a character stunned as the legendary theme song plays and the final credits roll.

In an interview with “The Hollywood Reporter,” Sherman-Palladino said, “It was satisfying in the context of when we put it altogether. It’s an emotional moment.”

I was left with one question once the four words were revealed and the screen went dark. Is this the end?

“We really had a very specific journey in our minds and we fulfilled the journey. So to us, this is the piece that we wanted to do. And the whole thought about, is there more, is there more, is there more—this has to go out into the universe now. And then whatever happens, happens,” Sherman-Palladino said.

Sherman-Palladino may have gotten her chance to end the series with her ideal final words, but she did not finish Rory’s story. In fact, she made it more complicated and unsure than ever.

I grew up watching “Gilmore Girls,” idolizing Rory and fantasizing about living in Stars Hollow. “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” took me back to my childhood and left me craving more. I hope that more episodes are released and that Rory finds herself.

I want nothing more than to fall back in love with the character I related to as a kid. Although it was not what I expected, the story comes full circle, and I could not imagine it ending any other way.

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