Rory Gilmore did nothing wrong (kind of) in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life


Back in November 2016, when things were super weird (to say the very least), Gilmore Girls fans had one amazingly unexpected thing to look forward to: The reunion we all desperately needed in the form of Netflix’s revival miniseries A Year in the Life.

The four-episode revival featured 90-minute “movies” that each took place across a single season in a, you guessed it, year of the Gilmore girls’ lives. Grief, hilarity, and everything in between abounded. Naturally, devoted fans who have been rewatching the series since its end in 2007 had opinions. Strong opinions!

Now seven years removed from the fateful day those final four words were spoken, the takes continue. Some of them accurate, some of them lacking the understanding that the show is a comedy, some of them just takes for the sake of takes.

Fans have been particularly harsh on Rory Gilmore’s flop era at 32 years old, and while she’s deserving of some of the criticism hurled her way, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life found her in a relatable and, honestly, warranted state of directionless wandering. In that sense, she did nothing wrong.

Rory didn’t deserve the hate she got for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Obviously, there’s an adulterous elephant in the room, and yes, Rory deserves a serious amount of side-eye. Logan’s at fault, too, but Rory should haven known better after her season 5 storyline with Dean. She willingly, carelessly, and recklessly engaged in a prolonged affair with Logan, who was engaged to Odette. Not to mention, she was dating Paul, whose presence in the revival was a comedy bit that didn’t land, didn’t need to happen, and further added to Rory’s questionable character.

But beyond having an affair with an engaged man and stringing along another man for years, Rory being a hapless hot mess in other aspects of her life isn’t completely unforgivable. There are long-time fans who have lamented that the upward trajectory she had been on at the end of the original series had been demolished. She’s now chasing any gig and complaining about it when it doesn’t match the high standard she has set for herself. In her early 30s, she’s a tangle of contradictions.

Rory’s narcissism and privilege, along with Lorelai’s, has always been a topic up for debate, even being looked at more closely in the series proper. A faction of fans have called out Lorelai and Rory for seemingly lacking self-awareness of the advantages they have been provided in life and in turn ignoring or denying them. In the revival, Rory can plane-hop from the states to the UK at the drop of a hat without her financial situation being examined. The magic of TV.

Gilmore Girls hasn’t ever been classified as satire, and it’s not, but it is a comedy. That’s an important distinction to remember when metabolizing Lorelai, Rory, the rest of Stars Hollow, and some of the choices these characters make. That’s in no way excusing any of them for bad behavior, but it’s the lens through which this particular fan of the series has watched the show from since its early days. Don’t take it too, too seriously, right? That’s what Lorelai would advise.

However each fan felt about A Year in the Life is completely valid, though a decent chunk of the critiques that have sprouted throughout the internet since 2016 have seemed to point at one thing: Maybe you just didn’t like the revival. And that’s okay to admit! But the story that was told, specifically for Rory’s second coming-of-age, was something that the creators felt needed to happen and was almost inevitable for how just-so Rory’s life had turned out thus far (grand larceny arrest notwithstanding).

Whether we never find out the father of Rory’s baby, and she never has a chance to redeem herself for the disappointing showing in A Year in the Life, it’s important to take the events of the revival for what they are: A portrait of chaos tornado bumbling through life without the safety net of her own academic prowess. It was uncharted territory and she was doing the best she could. That’s all any of us can ever do.

Watch the complete series of Gilmore Girls and A Year in the Life on Netflix.

Next. Gilmore Girls cast ages: How old was the cast then (and now)?. dark