One Fan's Critique of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life"
Don't Read this Blog Post if You Haven't Seen it All!
I just finished watching the Netflix original series, "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life". Here is my take on both the positive and negative elements of the show, and what I think should happen next.
Don't read past this point if you haven't watched all four episodes of the new installment, as I will be discussing the characters and plot in detail, and I wouldn't want to spoil it for you!
First, the Negatives...
To start off, I'll share what I felt were the negative aspects of the show. Then I'll get on to the positive, so we can end on a good note.
The Mother-Daughter Relationship: Mostly Good, but Somehow Lacking
Fans of the original show, "Gilmore Girls", liked it so much partially because of the witty banter and fun, wholesome relationship between the outgoing and hilarious mother, Lorelei, and her shy, book-smart daughter, Rory. These four episodes do contain quite a bit of creative and witty dialogue, so I will give it that much credit. Lorelei and Rory still have a close relationship, and they still do some of the same things they did in the original series, such as eat take-out while camped out in their living room watching girly movies and quoting obscure one-liners from said movies. However, their relationship still seems to be lacking somehow, especially when we find out Rory has been keeping things from her mother (i.e. the Logan situation), and later, when Lorelei is less than understanding about Rory's decision to write a novel about their lives together. Granted, there does have to be some kind of conflict that propels the storyline forward, but one wonders whether the writers couldn't have included some more light-hearted and silly moments between the duo to make the episodes a little more fun, and a little less somber.
Rory Behaves Badly, Seems to Lack Morals
Unfortunately, we don't see a very good side of Rory Gilmore in this four-episode re-boot of Gilmore Girls. In fact, Rory behaves downright deplorably, if you think about it. First off, she has a "boyfriend" named Paul, whose name everyone keeps getting wrong, and who no one can seem to remember because he is apparently barely ever around, and for whom Rory does not seem to care for very much. Yet, she can't seem to find time (or the courage?) to break things off with him. In one scene, she even leaves him at Luke's Diner, then runs back inside a few minutes later, when she remembers he was waiting for her there. It is not until the end of the series that he finally breaks things off with her, citing their ever-conflicting schedules. She herself even states the obvious regarding her treatment of Paul, noting, "I suck!" Yes, Rory, you kind of do... and not even in a self-deprecatingly funny way... just a genuinely bad, morally rotten way.
Rory's lack of moral compass permeates the series, first with the aforementioned Paul, who they keep making fun of, then with her skanky shenanigans with Logan at his apartment in London, and then with her tryst with the wookie (I mean, really? The idea that such a previously wholesome, smart young lady would stoop so low as to randomly have sex with some stranger in a wookie costume...everyone makes mistakes, but it's just not what we expect or want to see from our dear sweet Rory... the jokes about "one night stands" and "three night stands" just weren't funny. They were sad.) It's so disheartening to see our beloved Rory romping around London, chasing after Logan like a wounded puppy dog, instead of finding her sense of self-worth and moving on to someone who would treat her with dignity and respect. Also, one has to feel sorry for poor Odette, whose face we never actually see. If the poor girl does end up marrying the spoiled and adulterous Logan, he will no doubt continue his pattern of cheating on her once their nuptials commence.
One wonders why Rory would stoop so low as to pine after an engaged man who has no intentions of breaking things off with his fiance, but is rather content to continue their rendezvous in hotels if need be, as well as on the streets of Stars Hallow in that weird, out-of-place steam punk scene, which seemed like a dream sequence gone terribly wrong...I think I'm not alone in saying that fans such as myself would be much more gratified to see Rory end up with a sweet and endearing young man like Jess, than the arrogant and smarmy Logan... which brings me to my next point...
There's Not Enough Jess
We only really get two tiny little scenes with Jess in them... and that's just not enough! He truly seems to have Rory's best interest at heart, unlike the awful, two-timing Logan, so it's unfortunate that we don't get to see more of him. In the last "season", we watch as Jess vehemently denies having any remaining feelings for Rory, but then sneaks one last look at her through the living room window before leaving to stay at his mom's house. Obviously, Jess still carries a torch for Rory, but whether or not they could ever rekindle their romance is not explored this time around. Hopefully, the creators will make more episode, so we can find out!
There's Not Enough Sooki
Sooki is so fun and funny. She makes us laugh. The touching moments with her and Lorelai always make us cry. The good kind of tears. And there just wasn't enough of that in this series, since Sooki only made an appearance at the very end, and it was very brief. C'mon creators, we need you to make more episodes so we can see Sooki and Lorelai together again once more. She may have a husband and kids now, but that's no reason why Sooki shouldn't be able to find a *little* bit more time to pal around with her bestie Lorelai. And we need more of that laughter and lightheartedness if any more episodes get made.
There's Too Much Wasted Time, with Weird (Filler?) Scenes
There seems to be a consensus among myself and many of my friends. We're all wondering: what's up with the weird, drawn-out scenes, like the over-the-top town play and that whole steam-punk scene with Logan and the Life and Death Brigade? The L&DB does not seem to have any relevance anymore in the current storyline. So why bring it back? As for the play, am I the only one who didn't get any of the references? We could have determined how horrible it was within the first couple of minutes... it didn't need to go on for what seemed like half an hour! Some meaningful time with Jess, or even Dean, could have been spent in those precious moments! Why was there a sense that the creators were just trying to use up the time?
Lorelai and Emily's Therapy Is For Naught
I know therapy doesn't always make a difference, but I'm just sayin'.. it was depressing to see that the sessions with mother and daughter didn't produce *some* kind of revelations about their relationship, or breakthroughs of any kind. The therapy, in my opinion, seemed like wasted air time as well.
The Bombshell Dropped with the Last Lines...
It seems that Rory is following in her mom's footsteps, as she drops the bombshell at the very end that she is pregnant. We can only assume the father is probably Logan, however... can we really rule out the wookie, at this point? Maybe she and Jess may have had an encounter on the side, for all we know... although that does seem highly unlikely. Also, we can't forget about Paul, but he was around so little that that scenario doesn't seem very plausible, either. There definitely *needs* to be more episodes if only for the fact that fans need to find out who the father is... and also, whether Rory will also be raising her child alone, or with the help of her baby daddy, OR with Jess, or even a new love interest by her side. (Please, please let it be Jess! #teamjess)
While there were many aspects of this reboot that could have been better, there were definitely some positive elements as well. Let's explore those now...
Emily Learns How to Grieve in a Healthy Way and Move On
It's nice to see Emily learn to grieve Richard's death in a healthy way. At first, she is sleeping in until noon most days, which is very uncharacteristic of her. But, due to encouragement and support from Rory, she finally ventures out again and makes some positive changes in her life. It's sweet to see her even getting back into her old social circles at the club and getting a new beau. While her decision to sell the house is bittersweet, it seems fitting that she should do so, and it's nice to see her letting go in a healthy way, while also keeping the memory of her beloved Richard alive. The scene where she won't admit that she made a mistake on the dimensions of his portrait, is pretty funny. It's endearing to see how much she loved him, and although its sad, its very touching as well.
Lorelai's "Wild" Endeavor Leads Her to a Great Memory of Her Dad
I thought Lorelai's idea of doing "Wild" was going to be another lame waste of time, but it was actually pretty funny trying to see her cram all that stuff into her backpack, and the cameos of her co-stars from "Parenthood" were pretty entertaining as well. The fact that she thought of a good memory of her father and was finally able to share that with her mother over the phone was very touching and sweet. The bonding moments with the other ladies on the trail was cute, too, and it was neat how her absence made Luke a little crazy to have her back in his arms again (although it was pretty sad that she left him for weeks at a time to begin with. Poor guy!)
To Be Continued... I have more thoughts, but for now, share your comments below!
I'll be adding more to this hub... comments, whether you agree with my analysis or disagree, are encouraged!
Tell me what you liked and didn't like about the new Gilmore Girls!