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Coming Full Circle with ‘Gilmore Girls’

Photo Courtesy of Citiblend It’s been a couple of weeks since Thanksgiving and now that we’ve all had time to digest our turkey we can digest something else too – “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” was the real main event over the long weekend. The Netflix reboot of the 2000s show “Gilmore Girls” was released on Nov. 25, readily available to binge watch.

In a world where no TV show ever seems to be truly over, this has been the only revival of a show that I actually liked. I tried as hard as I could to keep my expectations low so as not to leave room for disappointment, but the hype was too much to contain and my hopes shot sky-high.

Unpopular as my opinion might be about the famous (possibly infamous?) final four words, a lot of my expectations were met in the four-episode return to Stars Hollow. The quick, snappy dialogue chock-full of pop culture references that only this show could pull off was there, the storybook town and all of its misfits were back and the actors fell into their roles like nine years hadn’t just passed.

Notably absent, though, was the patriarch of the Gilmore clan, Richard. Actor Edward Herrmann died in 2014 and while he and his character left a huge hole in the lives of both the characters and fans, it gave the show the strongest storyline in the series, a chance for his daughter Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and wife Emily (Kelly Bishop) to confront their ever-complicated relationship. Graham and Bishop were the strongest actors of anyone in the cast, including Alexis Bledel as golden girl daughter Rory. Every scene they shared together was either entertaining or heartbreaking, or both at once, and watching two characters who have had so many problems finally come full circle was the most gratifying part of the whole reboot.

As for Lorelai and her own daughter, anytime she and Rory spent together was a highlight. In the four 90-minute episodes – which would not have had pacing issues had they been eight hour-long installments instead – they were apart for more time than I would have liked. But the banter and chemistry between Bledel and Graham was on full display when they were united, and for nostalgia’s sake it was near-perfect.

That doesn’t mean the show was perfect, it wasn’t. Sometimes it felt too cinematic and not like a TV show, too much time was spent on stories I didn’t care about (example: the Life and Death Brigade; Lorelai going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail a la “Wild” in the finale) and Lorelai’s business partner and confidant Sookie’s (Melissa McCarthy) one scene wasn’t nearly enough.

I had mixed feelings about Rory’s narrative as well. When we see her again as an adult she’s a freelance writer and working on a book proposal, but can’t figure out what she wants to do permanently. She’s a little lost and confused and not sure what to do next. That wasn’t the problem – I thought it was relatable. That in the end she decided to write a book about herself and her mom wasn’t the problem either. It just took too long to get there, and for a show that was never supposed to be about who Rory was dating or would end up with, ex-boyfriend Logan got an awful lot of screen time.

But none of those negatives fully outweigh the positives, including the return of Rory’s high school nemesis turned best friend Paris Geller in all her glory, Emily and Lorelai’s emotional but hilarious therapy sessions together and Lorelai and longtime love Luke (Scott Patterson) finally tying the knot.

Which brings us to the end and those final four words, the way creator Amy Sherman-Palladino always wanted to end the show. (I’m about to spoil them, so if you somehow have not finished watching, come back and read the rest of this when you do.)

Spoken between Rory and Lorelai, the “Mom?” “Yeah.” “I’m pregnant,” conversation followed by the credits rolling was a cliffhanger on a show that is not known for its twists. But it was a good cliffhanger – we don’t need to see any more. Maybe it wasn’t the ending you were expecting or wanted, but it probably got you talking. The last words were one of the things that the reboot did right: it made viewers want more.  

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