By Samantha Plumley – 1851 Staff
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is the four 90-minute long episodes and a homecoming for fans and characters alike. After the disappointing ending of the original series almost a decade ago, the revival was the closure fans needed.
The quirky and colorful characters of fictional Stars Hollow, CT return for this instalment, whether to simply say a few words in Doose’s Market or to pop out out of nowhere. As promised, Rory’s three previous love interests show up, as well as Paul, the irrelevant new man in her life who nobody can remember, including Rory.
Tension among fans revolves around which boyfriend was best for Rory (Alexis Bledel). Small town Dean (Jared Padalecki), her first love, returns for another cringe-worthy interaction. It becomes apparent that she continued her loveless relationship and became the mistress of trust fund baby Logan (Matt Czuchry), who is engaged. Somehow she did not remember the emotional distress she had the first time she was the other woman and a disproportionate amount of time was spent on the Rory and Logan plot line. Of the three, the only man who had character development was Jess. Milo Ventimiglia’s Jess has depth and showed growth with his improved relationship with Luke (Scott Patterson), his uncle.
Rory focuses on her personal life instead of her floundering journalism career. Unlike young Rory, she slacks on simple assignments and snubs perfectly good job opportunities. The loss of innocence she faced after leaving Stars Hollow led to her loss of ambition.
Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s social commentary took the form of the “30-something gang.” This group of sensitive unemployed individuals moved back home, like Rory, but Rory was unwilling to associate with the group, refusing to accept reality. With the time that has past, Rory should have grown up but her newfound elitist attitude prevents her from being civil with people who have been nothing but nice. This is drastically different from her past, having been known to make friends with the least likely people.
Liza Weil’s dynamic Paris Geller only got better with age. The spitfire character remains one of the funniest characters in the show. There is no one quite like Paris. Her wardrobe is updated but her paranoia and meltdowns are perfectly the same.
As most characters were having existential crises, it was not surprising Lorelai (Lauren Graham) felt restless and unfulfilled. Unfortunately, she did not see her problems as they were: a mid life crisis and far too much time was spent on this frivolous plot line.
Edward Herrmann’s death in 2014 was honored through the seamless references to his character Richard Gilmore in the first episode. Watching the heartbreaking funeral scene was like facing a personal loss. Friday night dinners turned into Tuesday morning therapy sessions with her mother Emily (Kelly Bishop). Emily faced a heartbreaking identity crisis after the death of her husband and her emotional journey showcased the range Bishop brings to the character.
Most shocking was Emily uncharacteristically keeping a maid for more than one day, a joke of the original series. The standout new maid Berta (Rose Abdoo) has a language barrier from her employer and created a humorous storyline leading to Emily’s emotional transformation.
While Sherman-Palladino didn’t write the final season of “Gilmore Girls,” she wrote these four episodes the way she originally planned. Questions were finally answered, including what the final four words of the show would be, as Sherman-Palladino wanted for the original ending. She teased fans but refused to hint about what the words were. After the excruciating wait, the four words turned out to be simple yet momentous.