First things first, I would like to express that I did enjoy the revival. It managed to still have the same Gilmore Girls charm that the original seasons had with all our favourite relatable pop culture reference moments and plenty of ridiculousness surrounding the town of Stars Hollow itself, including the glorious return of Kirk’s film making ventures. However, I have to admit that there were aspects of the revival that didn’t sit right with me – one being the much hated musical scene, which had me exclaiming every minute it went on too long ‘WE ONLY HAVE SO MUCH TIME STOP WASTING IT!’ but the more pressing problem I had was with development of some of the main characters, mainly Rory.
I want to begin with the topic everyone was talking about before and after A Year in the Life streamed – who was Rory’s love interest going to be? I am shamelessly all for Jess and Rory being end game but that doesn’t mean that I dislike Logan or the relationship they had prior to the revival nor was I really against the idea of there being a new character or for Rory to simply be single as long as they did it right and I’m not sure they did. At first, the introduction of Paul was comical and alluded to the mess Rory was currently dealing with called her life but it definitely wore thin fast. Rory may have cheated on previous boyfriends but she always showed guilt or regret because deep down Rory is (to me at least) a wholly good person, who of course does still make mistakes and does have flaws or else she would be completely unrelatable. I just really couldn’t believe that Rory would honestly agree to date someone she wasn’t interested in and then simultaneously cheat on that person and not show an inch of guilt for that. She only seems to feel bad at the fact she forgets him not anything else and even then it’s more of a woe-is-me-I’m-a-mess type of feeling. Furthermore, it was even harder for me to believe that Lorelai wouldn’t have said anything to her after how involved she was with Rory’s relationships before. I honestly couldn’t imagine in what world Lorelai wouldn’t sit Rory down for 5 minutes and seriously ask her what she was doing with Paul, but no, instead she just becomes part of the joke, forgetting he exists.
Then there is all the shit to do with Logan. Logan has always been straddling the two worlds of the person he wants to be and the person his family expects him to be. It’s a classic struggle and everyone loved it back when Gilmore Girls was originally running so was I sad when we found out he is probably part of the family business now and doing what was expected? No, not really because I believe that he wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t what he actually wanted so maybe it was something he discovered he was interested in as he grew up – those gaps weren’t difficult for me to justify – but the faceless Odette? That was a bit of a tough pill to swallow. Not only was I annoyed that she is talked about and never really seen, which makes it feel like some awful narrative with Logan and Rory wanting to be together but with Odette as a hurdle ergo shifting the blame onto a woman we don’t even know, oh such a tragedy! No. Without an explaination as to why Logan has to marry this faceless lady, I can’t honestly fathom a good reason, it’s a gap I don’t want to have to fill because I always got the impression that despite the pressure from his family, Logan would always end up doing what he wanted. It’s enough to make me want to yank my hair out to think that after all this time and how his character developed when he was with Rory that they would then come back together and just completely devolve because that was never their dynamic; the good parts of their personalities combined to help them both grow.
So, Jess. How much despair was in when Jess came in to the picture and then promptly disappeared during A Year in the Life? A lot. Of course I love the idea of Jess and Rory together because their relationship always read to me like bad timing. The arrival of Jess and the beginning of Rory falling for him let us see a new side to Rory whilst also allowing her to express a large part of herself without being beaten down by someone else’s insecurities. I mean, who else fumes when Rory is looking around the book stalls in Stars Hollow and Dean makes her feel bad about it? I think it’s the one time we see Rory and Dean doing something that is about Rory and he can’t even feign interest without being whiny about it. That may just be my own anger though at the thought of someone telling me to stop looking at books, I digress. Anyway, Jess is there at several pivotal points in her life and he helps her get back on the right path and he does this yet again in A Year in the Life and then there is the look. We all know what longing look I mean. Part of me really wanted to enjoy it and scream ‘HE STILL LOVES HER’ but that didn’t last long because all I could think was that Jess’ character deserved better. They should either just be together or he should be happy with someone else/with whatever he is doing with his life but we don’t know anything about his nine year gap, instead we got 20 minutes of musical numbers that meant nothing! And don’t even get me started on the Lorelia ‘Wild’ sequences, they bothered me in more ways than one.
Overall, I think the problem with all of this was that Amy Sherman Palladino had this planned out for years and she wasn’t able to put the ending of the story out there when she wanted to so instead it had to be adapted to fit into a ‘nine years later’ scenario and I’m not sure it worked so well. I don’t think anyone has ever watched Gilmore Girls for some hard hitting realities, for me it was always a little bit of escapism despite how true to life the writing was and A Year in the Life was just a little too real. I understand that Rory becoming a famous journalist and having it all isn’t a likely scenario but the one presented in the revival was just a little too far from what I believe her character would be like. If Rory had announced her pregnancy nine years prior then I would’ve maybe understood the upturning of her life but all I gathered from the revival was that for nine years everything Rory had worked for just didn’t happen. Part of me just can’t believe that the Rory I loved growing up would have wasted nine years of her life seemingly doing nothing, having an affair with an engaged man and forgetting about her current boyfriend and all without a word from Lorelai. I have too many questions that I’m not sure I want answering with a second season after how I feel about this one because I don’t think it was the plot points that bothered me as much as how it was all handled but hey ho, I’m not a TV writer and part of me is just thankful we got a revival at all. Now, can we bring back Firefly?
P.S. – Why the hell was Jess not at the wedding? Michel and Lane were there but they couldn’t quickly find Jess? I just think that shot would’ve been a whole lot more powerful with Rory on Lorelai’s side and Jess on Luke’s if the point is this whole cyclical narrative thing *shrug*.