As you may know, we're both fans of Gilmore Girls, so, naturally, we were all over the revival and we have a lot of Thoughts and Feelings.
BEFORE YOU GO ON, KNOW THAT THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD (and a lot of capital letters, from Sam at least).
Sam: A solid start to the revival. There were a couple of references to how long it’s been since the last time the girls made an appearance on our screens, and a lot of familiar faces. More importantly, it gave us the set up for the revival: I’m glad they paid such a touching homage to Richard aka Edward Herrmann. I thought it was interesting that they chose to reveal the funeral in a flashback – I can think of only one other episode where flashbacks were used so it wasn’t a common tool in the GG repertoire. I know Logan isn’t the most stand-up guy, but he is my favourite of Rory’s beaus, and Logan in a London flat is basically the dream. Super-proud Luke is precious and Paris continues to be the most badass lady of them all (she is actually the best thing about this revival, let’s be real). Oh, and thanks to the Palladinos for finally confirming what I always suspected: Michel is gay (and now married!).
Jane: I enjoyed the quote montage that led us into our return to Stars Hollow (though some were a little... strange) and I can't deny the fuzzy feeling I got once I saw that gazebo in the middle of the town which revealed our protagonist. With each episode being 90 minutes long (and not always a lean 90 minutes), and the fact that I watched them all pretty simultaneously, it's likely that I'm already meshing episodes together. The main thing that I took away from this episode was that FINALLY Emily said what we had all been thinking during the 7 original seasons of Gilmore Girls: Lorelai is selfish, only does what's in her best interest, and the weird obsession that the entirety of Stars Hollow has for her is just that... weird. It was a fantastic scene, that played out in flashback form after Richard's funeral, and thrilling acting turns from both Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop.
Sam: Team Paris all the way in this episode. She’s such a magnificent character, and she makes me laugh SO MUCH (her delivery is just A+). I would watch an entire series about Paris going around kicking butts and taking names. Lorelai’s story-line was a bit of a downer because a) there’s so much arguing between her and Queen Emily and b) SHE AND LUKE ARE KEEPING SECRETS FROM EACH OTHER AGAIN BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEY DON’T LEARN???!?!!? They’ve been together steadily for nearly a decade but it’s still cool for them to lie to each other about the important things in life??? Don’t they remember what happened in season six????? Speaking of not learning...if Logan is engaged, why does Rory insist on keeping up their affair??? Doesn’t she remember what happened with Dean or is she trying to make a name for herself as a homewrecker??? Also, maybe Rory's career is failing because she doesn't know how to pitch a story to a potential employer? And hasn't she figured out how to fake enthusiasm for a job she doesn't really want (she can't whine about not having a job if she doesn't put any effort into finding one)? As a writer, I find Rory’s career path super frustrating; she has a ton of people vying for her attention and offering her experience, if not a full-time job, AND SHE KEEPS TURNING THEM DOWN. I get that she’s holding out for a dream job, but if the editor of a huge magazine asked me to work for them, I’d throw myself at their feet SO FAST.
Jane: God, Rory's storyline. ALKJFLDKJLAJLKDJFS. She is given a fucking rad assignment, to talk about lineups in New York City, why people do them, what are they lining up for, what if they're not lining up for anything at all, and she falls asleep???
She doesn't take her job (or lack thereof) seriously, and it's completely and utterly frustrating. I completely agree with what Sam said above, lots of capitalization and all, re: Lorelai and Luke's lack of communication, which is what brought about their downfall initially in the original series run.
Paris remains amazing. I'm sad about her and Doyle. I hope they can work it out.
Sam: UGH, THIS EPISODE WAS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. Spending 20 minutes on a musical is something that would have worked in a full-length season where you could afford filler episodes. But when you have six hours to get your story across...it was useless and did absolutely nothing to further the plot. Lorelai could have heard that last song literally anywhere else and it could have had the same effect on her, so what was the point of making us sit through the whole musical? I really liked the secret bar, but since that's where Michel broke the news that he was leaving, it was a bit of a downer. Because Paris wasn’t in this episode, I think Lane might have been the best secondary character to make an appearance (how great is it that she works at Kim’s Antiques?)...after Jess, whose reunion with Luke was the brightest highlight of this 90-minute trainwreck.
Jane: So... I loved the musical? I don't know why. It was insane, it was ridiculous, IT WAS SO LONG, but I loved it. Sutton Foster and Christian Borle are national treasures and I couldn't get enough. What I didn't love was most everything else. I hated the fat-shaming at the pool, I hated that they had those two little boys acting as their servants, I hated... well I just really didn't love this episode. Jess and Luke were beautiful and I held on for them but really, this one was not satisfactory.
Sam: I’m getting it out of the way right now: I had a feeling about what the last four words would be, and I was close (I pegged the words on the wrong girl) - full frickin' circle, indeed. Other than that, this episode was a thousand times better than “Summer”, even though it was a slow start and I was a little worried it would suck. But we finally got our Sookie cameo (such an amazing woman), and I 100% teared up during Luke’s speech. I was also dangerously close to sobbing when they were eloping and Sam Phillips’ “Reflecting Light “ was playing in the background (the same song they danced to at Liz and TJ’s wedding in one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE GG episodes, “Last Week Fights, This Week Tights”)...but their marriage seemed a little anti-climactic, since we didn’t get to see everyone else’s reactions. All I wanted was a panning shot of Stars Hollow, sweeping over the townsfolk as they milled around the gazebo, drinking and laughing and celebrating the greatest romance their little community has ever seen. And even though I don’t agree with Logan still wooing Rory while he’s engaged, the steampunk-y vibe of their final Life & Death Brigade outing was delightful (though the time spent on Colin, Finn, and the other random guy could probably have been put to use on other characters). OH AND I really like how Jess and Luke’s relationship has grown, but I’m not completely sold on Jess still pining for Rory like she’s the protagonist of a stereotypical YA novel (as someone who reads a dozen stereotypical YA novels a year, I know what I’m talking about).
But also, can I get a hell yeah for Emily Gilmore completely turning her life around? I live for Kelly Bishop spitting the word “bullshit” at a bunch of snobby women.
Jane: What the everloving fuck was that Life and Death Brigade bullshit? The fact that it wasn't a dream sequence, made it even more implausible and ANNOYING. I do not care for your privileged, rich escapades, Colin and Finn, begone with you. And sorry... Wild? Lorelai. You know what you need? It isn't to go traipsing through an intense hike on the West Coast. IT IS COMMUNICATION. GOD DAMN. WHEN WILL THEY LEARN???? Yes, eventually she gets on track, and tells that beautiful Richard story to Emily, and then she comes back home, and Luke and her FINALLY get married, and it's all good, and then we get those stupid last four words and everything is derailed again. Emily's story-arc was a highlight throughout the whole series (despite it being completely out of character) and I'm happy to see where she ended up.
Sam: I could probably talk for hours about all the little things I didn’t agree with and all the things I thought were cute, but I’m going to stop talking here and just ask you a bunch of questions that I’d really like the answers to:
- how could Rory afford to fly back and forth from London to Connecticut/New York if she couldn’t even afford to buy underwear?
- why did she insist on sending her stuff to multiple places instead of just home (either Lorelai’s or Emily’s)? I get that she was just squatting at everyone’s houses (I don’t understand why she’d need to stay at Lane’s if she’s in Stars Hollow, though), but how would she have had outfits for every occasion in every box??
- if the Dragonfly wasn’t making enough money to expand and the dining room was always empty...how/why would they get celebrity chefs to work the pop-up kitchen?
- is Taylor gay??? I never considered that before but it seems to make sense now that I’ve thought about it
- why were tertiary townsfolk like Gypsy (and her alter-ego Berta) and Bootsie and the new gay guy given so much screentime but Miss Patty barely made an appearance and Sookie/Dean were squashed in as last minute fan service? (yes, I know Melissa McCarthy and Jared Padelecki are super busy now, but c’mon).
- what are Paris’ kids’ names?????
Jane: There were some good parts in this revival. Paris and Jess for one. Michel was actually pretty delightful. Sookie's teensy tiny cameo. But after having a few weeks to marinate and let the series sink in, I feel like I have more negative than positive thoughts.
So... Rory sucks. The fact that they seem to have retconned her Obama job made me a little nutty but her whole modus operandi in the original series was to become Christiane Amanpour. What happened? Rory is a terrible journalist (which we do sort of learn during her first Life and Death Brigade adventure) and also, kind of a terrible person. The fact that she was dating a guy for multiple years and KEPT FORGETTING ABOUT HIM, was just cruel. The fact that she was cheating on said guy with another guy who was in a relationship is cruel. The fact that she sent all of her boxes to about 8 different places is just plain weird. The fact that she set up a flight immediately after her grandfather's funeral sucks. And the fact that no one calls her out on her bullshit is upsetting and wrong.
I do like the revival. I think it was fun, I maintain a love for the musical, and Emily's growth as a character was fantastic. But there's a reason this show isn't called Gilmore Women (alliteration be damned!). Lorelai and Rory still haven't grown up. I don't think I would mind Lorelai and Rory's screw-ups so much if everyone else didn't celebrate them so much. If there were actual consequences to their actions. However, there never seems to be. They both float through life complaining, and everyone else picks up the pieces.