*Thank you so much Netflix for sending me this box of goodies to get in the Gilmore Girls spirit!*
Oh man, as I write this, it's 10:30 pm on what will forever be known as Gilmore day, November 25th, 2016 and the tears are still streaming down my face from the poetic beauty of those last four words.
I can't help but feel slightly Rory-esque as I sit here and type this, about what I know best, the story of mother and daughter.
I have been waiting and prepping for months for Netflix's ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the life'. I really can't put into words what this revival meant to me… so let's back up a little bit.
As some of you know from my Instagram, a few weeks ago I had the honor of visiting the Warner Bros Studio and went on a seven-hour tour! SEVEN HOURS around all the back lots, sound stages, prop house. Seeing ever whimsical detail I could find that brought the Gilmore Girls to life, including the coffee cart Logan rents to follow Rory around for a day!
The next day, totally unrelated, I got an e-mail from a PR person – as a blogger this is pretty common, she wanted to send me a “date night with mom” box full of Gilmore approved goodies. Excitedly, I jumped up and did an internal YASS! clicking my heels, but then I re-read the e-mail, would that mean I need to actually watch the show with my mom?
… Luckily it didn't and I still got to enjoy these amazing goodies.
You see my mom and I have been frozen in a Rory-Lorelai standoff circa Rory sleeping with married Dean (no, I didn't sleep with a married man), for the last several years. As many of you know, I got married a little over a month ago and she didn't come to the wedding. She texted me that day, and I haven't heard a word since. But alas, those details will be saved for another post. This post is about why the revival meant so much to me and what I took away from it…
Much like the Gilmore Girls, my grandmother, mother, and I have shared similar dynamics over the years. Over the last five years, my mother and I have deeply struggled with the adult-adult relationship, so I was particularly interested in how Amy Sherman-Palladino would:
a) Come back to write the ending she always intended (Fan girl trivia: so if y'all have been around long enough, you might remember that The CW was previously The WB, which is where Gilmore Girls ran for all of it's seasons, except the last one, when The WB and this other network merged, the took the C from the other network, and the W from Warner Bros, and this was circa the time of the writer's strike. Long story short, the creator and genius behind Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, and her husband Daniel Palladino (also an executive producer), had no hand in the final season).
b) How Amy would portray the adult-adult relationship between Rory and Lorelai
You see, the adult-adult relationship seems to be where my mom and I can't find our sync. We spent many a year being compared to the Gilmore Girls (you can read more about that in my post on Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls).
I was so excited Thursday night that I could barely sleep. I woke up in a fit of excitement on Friday morning and cracked open my goody box.
Seriously this box is gold. Every detail is so perfect. The welcome note, Lorelai's tv date night rules, Gilmore approved snacks including red vines, popcorn, and pop tart biscotti, and then… the part that if you caught my Snapchat, you saw totally put me over the edge…. the Binge Candle, was wrapped in the “Stars Hollow Gazette”!!! With actual stories about the Twickham house, Dance Marathon, Kirk, Festival of Living Pictures! OMGOMGOMG!
I immediately wanted to start watching of course, but the hubs grew quite partial to Logan during my binge to prep for the revival and asked if I would wait for him to come back from his workout class. I agreed, as long as we could get some trivia in that morning! I nailed it, with 20 out of 25 questions!
Finally, when he got home from the gym, I was able to grab a coffee in my Luke's mug and settle in…
I love how the show maintained the very essence of Stars Hollow. I love that we finally got to see Lane Kim's dad, although I wish we got a little more of that! And how everytime I had a thought or question go through my head (for instance: are they going to make reference to Tristan? Will Paul Anka make a cameo (although, that dog didn't quite look like the original Paul Anka…)? They haven't eaten any Red Vines yet….), literally seconds later it would appear on the screen. For that, I thank you Amy and Daniel and Netflix.
Before we get into my three life lessons from the revival – I have a teaser (NOT A SPOILER) for you all on some back story… there is a spoiler in this post, in number three, don't worry I will give you ample reminders to cover your eyes and scroll quickly before we get there…)
In 2006 Amy Sherman-Palladino gave an interview around the time she left the show, stating she already knew the ‘last four words' of the show. She never disclosed what they were to anyone. When Gilmore Girls ended it was bittersweet for me – I was literally graduating high school at the time and felt like it was the end of so many chapters in my life. I liked the original ending. It made sense to me, being a young woman, that Rory would choose her career, not a guy, and Lorelai and Luke were together in a way that made sense for the timing of the show… So when I found out about ‘the last four words' I was a little scared… unlike most shows going off the air these days, I truly felt content and happy with how things ended with the Girls. So while I trusted Amy, I was skeptical and terrified going into this… in #3 you'll hear my thoughts. Also in case you haven't watched yet, don't worry, I got you covered with the spoilers, you will see a two video tweet PSA's from the Girls below, the spoiler is sandwiched between them. I will remind you again to scroll past it before we get there.
Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life:
1 . “Life is a series of peaks and valleys” – Yup, I kind of already knew this, but to see it play out was magical. I think as we get older, ruts are inevitable, but for me at least, the magic of television always keeps things interesting. It was really cool to see such a ‘realness' for lack of a better word, where the town and people were still doing the exact same things after ten years. Up until our twenties, it feels normal to constantly be doing something new. Always hustling for the next goal. Then all the fast-paced changes just kind of… stop. I think that's where so many of us confused twenty-somethings freeze up a little bit and feel claustrophobic with thoughts like, “Is this my forever? Is this what the next fifty years will be like?” – But the valleys can be where the magic happens too – just like in Stars Hollow.
2. Adulting is hard. Okay, I love that they poked fun at the millennial generation, furthermore the part of our generation, who historically refuse to identify as millennials, I am talking to you in ‘the thirty-something gang‘! I know this because I am married to a 32-year-old with a 34-year-old sister, and they swear up and down they are not millennial. I think for me, one of the best parts of this revival was seeing Rory struggle. I spent so much time at the top of my class, excelling in school and internships, that I never expected my “plan” to go totally off course the way it has these last few years. Watching Rory lose her way, at 32 no less, felt beyond comforting as I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing at 27. One thing I do wish we saw, was what happened when Rory went on the Obama campaign trail? How did she become such a drifter from that point?
So here is where the spoilers come in – I am sandwiching them between this great little PSA on spoilers for you guys… once you've scrolled past youtube vide, and the SECOND PSA video, you are in the clear, I promise! So again: You need to see the same video of The Gazebo, Lorelai and Rory, before you are out of the spoilers woods lol
— Gilmore Girls (@GilmoreGirls) November 18, 2016
3. “Everything in life comes full circle”… So what are the final four words of Gilmore Girls?
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”
Yup, that just happened. Cue the credits, roll the Carole King theme song.
The Twittersphere and Insta-world is a hot mess over the ending… but I love it. I kind of saw it coming too though so I was prepared. You see, early on in the show, Lorelai makes it a point to say Rory is 32 — which mathematically does make sense since we are picking the show up after 10 years and the show ended with Rory being 22 or 23… but I thought it was fitting that the original show started with Lorelai at age 32… Furthermore, Logan was in the show wayyyy to much. Sherman-Palladino once said in an interview that Logan was nothing more than Rory's daddy issues coming out — or something to that effect… — With how closely the Logan-Rory, Lorelai-Christopher dynamics were it seems fitting that he is the likely father, who will likely be absent… Especially when retrospectively thinking about the exchange between Christopher and Rory during ‘Fall' where Rory asks Christopher how he felt about Lorelai making the decision to raise Rory on her own, and his cryptic answer about how it happened exactly like it was supposed to. Rory will likely make the same decision as Lorelai once did, with Luke (*ahem* I mean Jess), as the ever present rock in her life.
*Fan girl trivia: Were you wondering why so many of Rory's tops were super flowy or baggy? Well, the timeline hasn't been confirmed anywhere but it appears Alexis Bledel had just had her baby before starting filming. Or else she was pregnant during filming, but the former seems more likely.
Given that I started this season, really looking for my surrogate family to give me some clarity and answers with my mom situation as I am starting a family I can really only say this, “everything in life comes full circle.” I was raised with my mom always telling me, “You take the good from your parents and try to filter out as much bad as possible, to hopefully not become them and repeat their mistakes.” – I've heard that more times than I can count in my life. It's a motto I live by… It's also why we aren't speaking right now probably. And while I am definitely not reaching to pick up the phone and give my mom a call anytime soon (our therapy sessions went a lot like Lorelai's and Emily's during the show), it's a nice sigh of relief (as someone who is considering being a parent) to know, that no matter how much parents try to protect their kids from making the same mistakes as them (as Lorelai had done so many times over since Rory stayed out all night with Dean all those years ago…), they will always make their own choices, and the only job the parent really has at the end of the day, is to be there for them.
I know 100% I am repeating my mother's mistakes with her mother. The amount of years they went without speaking when I was little was in the double digits, and now I am here very much so on my way to those same double digits. But, much like Rory, while I am making the same “mistakes” that my mother made, I am improving upon them (after all, Lorelai had to drop out of high school and raised her baby alone at 16, Rory at least has a degree and is in her thirties). I spent a lot of time obsessing over this and in therapy over this, and I know at the end of the day, by setting the boundaries I have set with my mom, it's for the betterment of me as a person with self-respect, confidence, and self-love. Somethings I know she has struggled with her whole life. And while, much like Lorelai, she probably wouldn't be thrilled that I am writing about her, I hope she can understand why.
While Amy didn't help me figure out this adult-adult relationship with my mother, she did help breathe some peace into my normally anxious psyche, as someone who hopes to be a mother someday, I feel a little more confident about how to handle those difficult times, and know I can simply ask myself, “What would the Gilmore Girls do?”
With that the Life Lessons are over, but spoilers are not…
So now to all of the unanswered questions and what I wish we could've/would've seen:
- I love that we had a nice cameo of Lane's dad, but still, what the heck is the story with that guy?!?
- Whyyyy couldn't they get back Chad Michael Murray?!?
- Why/how did the Rory/Logan thing even happen after Rory's guilt and shame from the Dean situation?
- Why in the Stars Hollow Gazette, that was mailed to me in my goodie box, did one of the articles mention Kirk being a published author? Another future storyline perhaps?
- How will the relationship with Lorelai and Emily develop now the Emily has mellowed out, Lorelai has finally gotten married, and they are both in very new and different phases of their lives?
- Where will Rory live to raise the baby? Lorelai's house? Where would Lorelai live?
- Can we all just pretend, that now that Rory is living her truth and following her passion with writing this book, she will in fact live happily ever after as the powerhouse career woman we always dreamed of?
I would totally be down for a full on Netflix revival to answer these questions and many more (think Girl Meets World, seriously that is one of the best-revived shows IMO), but I am also totally at peace at how beautiful Amy's ending is.
— Gilmore Girls (@GilmoreGirls) November 18, 2016
OK SPOILERS ARE OVER FOLKS!
One more final random thought, who else was crazy happy to see all those cameo's of Parenthood guests?How fun that Lauren Graham's TV Daughters met! HAHA Does anyone know if there was a connection between the shows beyond Lauren Graham?
Gosh, and with that I leave you. If you haven't finished, I seriously suggest you hop on it! If you have finished, let me know your unanswered questions from the revival, what you wish you would've seen, or any other thoughts on it in the comments! I could talk about TV all dayyyy!
****UPDATE: 10/29/16: A lot of you have been messaging me about the possibility of a revival. Here is a recap of what I've read/watched and what I gather from it: On Chelsea last week, she interviewed “Jess” who basically said that coming back was for the fans, and not for him, – his whole attitude made it seem highly unlikely he would come back ever, let alone as a regular — On the Today show this morning, Kelly Bishop (Emily), Scott Patterson, (Luke), Lauren Graham (Lorelai), and Alexis Bledel (Rory), all made it sound like it was a possibility… So we will see! I know there is a petition going around Facebook for Netflix to pick it up… If you've watched, would you want more? Or let it rest?
My thoughts? While I enjoyed Fuller House, it still doesn't quite feel right to me. I don't want that to happen with my beloved Gilmore Girls… I love how Girl Meets World has been revived, it makes sense, maybe because it's a new cast we primarily focus on? — I think if it came back, it would need to be different – I don't know exactly how or what I mean by the right now. I trying not to put expectations on anything and keep an open mind when watching TV, it helps me get lost in the world that's been created for us to enjoy.
Looking for more shows to binge this weekend? Grab my checklist of current and classic shows!