11 things nobody wants to admit about Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls - Netflix
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Gilmore Girls

3. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was a great revival

When Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life debuted in November 2016 amid a flurry of fanfare, the adrenaline was high for fans. Getting to reunite with characters you love after a decade off the air and taking in what they’re up to now… it’s a lot. The initial reception to the Netflix revival was mixed. Fans seemed to hate the “cliffhanger” ending and Rory’s characterization and the lengthy musical sequence in the “Summer” episode. Again, it’s a lot to take in!

But if you let go of expectations, what you thought we were going to get or what you wanted to get, and allow the story to be what it is, you will have a much better time with A Year in the Life. There was no world in which the revival would have been like season 1 again. Their lives have become messier. Life has happened: Richard’s death, dashed dreams, stalled relationships. To have returned with everyone happy and settled would have been boring and a waste of time.

Did some of the jokes not land? Yes. The entire bit where no one, not even Rory, remembers her boyfriend Paul was cringey. It’s a sitcom joke, and while this has never been a show to take itself too, too seriously and has always been a comedy at its core, something better and funnier could have taken the bit’s place that paints Rory in a less self-involved light. She was also criticized for the state of her career. The Rory we knew wouldn’t have been so hapless. But this isn’t the Rory we knew! She’s older and having a mid-life millennial crisis.

And to tackle one of the biggest qualms about the revival, the storied “final four words” were how Sherman-Palladino had always envisioned ending the series, but she didn’t get to on the original run having left before the final season. “Mom?” “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant.” It’s full circle. It’s open-ended. It’s maddening to fans. Everyone wanted to know more. Who is the father? What’s next for Rory? How could they end with such a bombshell?!

It’s supposed to make us want more, but it’s also supposed to be the kind of ending that brings Rory’s story back around to the biggest moment of Lorelai’s: motherhood. A new generation of Gilmore is coming. It’s no longer just Lorelai and Rory against the world. Maybe this ending would have had different implications if it happened in Rory’s 20s, but it’s no less special.

As a whole, A Year in the Life was judged a little too harshly upon arriving in a time when reboots and revivals were a dime a dozen. The years have arguably been kinder to the miniseries, though. It’s a warm hug. A victory lap. A fun and comfy little side trip back to a place that feels like home. As much as we’d love another year in the life, we shouldn’t take this one for granted.