Together with all Gilmore Girls fans around the world, I eagerly awaited A Year in the Life; the Netflix revival with four episodes of 1,5 hours each. I even rewatched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls to get into the mood. This revival would make everybody forget the terrible season 7, since it was again written and directed by creators Amy Sherman – Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino. It would even feature the (in)famous four last words. And sadly, it did make me forget season 7. Sadly, because A Year in the Life was TERRIBLE. Read my spoiler-filled opinions below.
The Palladino’s made very clear that they had nothing to do with season 7, and that the ending of the show was not theirs. Though a given that the final season was bad, the ending itself actually was pretty decent. It saw Lorelai and Luke back together and Rory choosing her blossoming career over marriage to Logan. She would even get to follow Barack Obama on his campaign trail! Most other characters also got their happy endings. So it’s a huge friggin’ shame the Palladino’s threw out all character growth coming from season 7.
Rory Gilmore, aka the Priviliged White Girl
I loved Rory during the original Gilmore Girls. She was so smart and did everything for her career. She would make it in the world, without a doubt. I loved that there was a kick-ass, sassy smart girl who dared to turn down a marriage proposal in order to pursue her own dreams. Where did that Rory go? In A Year in the Life, she is constantly whining, complaining and sulking. She’s basically having an affair with Logan, who is engaged to be married (and don’t get me going on Paul, because what the hell was that about?). It’s like she never even learned from her hook-up with a married Dean in Gilmore Girls, or the pain Logan caused her when he cheated on her. It just makes no sense whatsoever. I started genuinely disliking a character I had always loved. All of her life choices were just… off.
Huge piece of crap
I get that the writers wanted to show how a thirty-something woman can struggle with life but there had to be better ways to write about that than this huge piece of crap. That whole group of thirty-somethings in Stars Hollow was supposedly funny but it just made me cringe. That’s not how people who are searching for more in life, who are struggling, would behave. Let alone that their mothers would form another sub-group. Ugh, I hated that group and every scene they were in.
The book she was writing about Naomi Whatsherface was a terrible plotline. Naomi was supposedly a great feminist but all her scenes made her look like a crazy drunk. Rory was one of the best students and it kinda baffles me she has no steady job and no career. And there isn’t even a single mention of her time with Obama. And that scene with her terrible job interview was another example of how great Rory thinks she is.
This is not a 32-year old Rory
Her take on the whole ‘waiting in lines’ story was terrible and no decent journalist would go about it that way. Let alone have a one night stand with a source. That one night stand also was completely out of character for somebody like Rory. Everything feels like this was indeed written for the Rory of 10 years ago, not a 32-year old. The Palladino’s should have dusted off their script of a decade old, given it a more up-to-date feeling, and they should have taken the 7th season into consideration.
Also, writing a book is HARD. Rory’s last minute career choice just made it seem like everyone can just go ahead and write a book and even expect that it will get published. But hey, she won’t need to make any money out of it anyway since she can just get all the money she needs from her grandmother and babydaddy. Who needs their own career, right? Good way to set an example, Palladino’s. Rory used to be a rolemodel for girls her age, now she’s just the complete opposite.
I could go on and name a million other reasons why Rory sucked big time in A Year in the Life, but lets also waste some words on the other characters.
Lorelai and Luke
YES. I loved that these two were still together. I was very disgruntled when prior to A Year in the Life I read fan theories online about how Lorelai would be pregnant or have a baby during this season. People are forgetting she is almost 50 and that’s just too old. So luckily, there was no baby. The whole surrogate storyline was completely useless and I think it only was only there to show how succesful Paris had become. They completely left it out in the later episodes, as if it never happened. Why even bring it up in the first place?
I disliked Lorelai’s weird ‘Wild’ storyline but I guess it gave her something to do as clearly she was just very happy and happy people generally make terrible television. It was amazing to see Luke and Lorelai FINALLY got married and I am sure they will have a very, very happy ending together. So that was a positive note in this Gilmore Girls revival. (Also, can Kirk come and decorate every party I throw from now on?)
Emily (and Richard)
The funeral scene made me very sad, but it was just so beautiful and it was an amazing tribute to the late Edward Herrman. Of all the Gilmore Girls, Emily had the most growth during the A Year if the Life Netflix revival. It was good to see how she’s (not) coping with being a widow. Her new family of servants though was hard to watch as it all felt a bit racist. How did nobody know what language they were speaking or where they came from And why couldn’t they find another actress to play the part (as this is just Rose Abdoo (Gypsy) in another role)? This was probably some sort of comic relief but no, it wasn’t comedic at all.
Back to Emily. Her leaving the DAR was very surprising at the least but that scene was amazeballs and maybe one of the best in all four episodes. I stand with my former opinion that I love Emily Gilmore. How she made a new deal with Lorelai about coming over for two weeks each summer and one week during Christmas was great. I have mixed feelings about her ending up as a tourguide in a museum about whaling, but it did seem to make her happy, so I’ll give it a slight thumbs up.
Dean: Dean got the best ending out of all of Rory’s boyfriends. You go Dean, you deserve your happy end!
Jess: It shocked me that Rory and Jess didn’t even hug when they finally saw each other again. Did they keep in touch these years prior? Why no hug, no kiss on the cheek, no nothing? These two have such great chemistry. I had hope to see more of Jess (WHY wasn’t he present at the wedding when Michel and Lane where there) but was left with just a couple of scenes. Poor Jess. He deserved better and more. #teamjess forever
Logan: yes, Logan sucks. He is actively cheating on his fiancee, a lot of times. If he so desperately wanted to be with Rory, why not just stick with her? Logan always claimed he wanted nothing to do with being the Huntsburger heir and yet all of a sudden he agrees to marry some random French girl who his parents approve of. Again, there is nothing left of the character growth from season 7.
Other major Gilmore Girls characters
Paris: aaaaallll the love for Paris. Seriously, why wasn’t she in more episodes? Liza Weil picks up the Paris vibes from all those years ago and does some serious ass kicking. I hated that there was too little time to play out her relationship with Doyle. The writers could have handled that better. Instead, we just have to accept they are getting a divorce? If all stupid ‘comedic’ storylines were dumped (the Palladino’s clearly have no knack for comic relief at all), we could have gotten closure for Paris and Doyle. I choose to believe they got back together, so there.
Lane: she was… just there, I guess. She had no own storyline, her life pretty much seemed the same. I have always felt Lane could have been so much more but this was such a big let down for me. Good to see Hep Alien is still together though. And am I the only one that didn’t like the fact Mr. Kim is finally present on screen? He should have stayed a mystery forever.
Michel: everybody was right, Michel is gay. I would have loved to see his husband though. And it made sense for him to want to leave the Dragonfly Inn, but it still seemed like a forced storyline and too hurried.
Sookie: she is amazing, but had too little screentime. I get why, as Melissa McCarthy has a very busy schedule so it was great to have her back for at least that one scene.
The Life and Death Brigade: though it made no sense at all, I did enjoy the scenes with those boys and it was good to know they were still in touch and crazy as ever. In Omnia Paratus!
Kirk: Kirk is Kirk is Kirk is Kirk.
The Stars Hollow Musical
No. NO. Just no. Another fine example why the Palladino’s shouldn’t write comedy. It just went on and on and on and not one song was even remotely good. If this whole musical just written out of the show, we could have more Paris, more Lane, more everybody. Instead, we get this big mess.
The final four words of A Year in the Life
I saw it coming from miles away. I saw it coming when Logan and Rory slept together after their fun Life and Death brigade weekend. I saw it coming when Amy Sherman-Palladino claimed in an interview that Logan was the Christopher to Rory’s life (and that makes Jess her Luke). I saw it coming when Rory talked to her dad about not raising her and how he felt about that. I saw it coming, and I disliked it.
These final four words would have been the ending to the show ten years ago and it would have made so much more sense with Rory being in her early twenties and Logan still figuring his life out. Now, it just made me feel ‘meh’ and I was sad that this was the end of a show I once was such a fan of. A Year in the Life gave me no closure, only very mixed feelings.