The beloved series with a mother and daughter who act more like sisters, Gilmore Girls has returned as a four part event on Netflix. This long-awaited return to Stars Hollow is a welcome treat for fans. What’s been going on in the Gilmore Girls lives since last we’ve seen them in 2007? How much did Lorelai and Rory change? And are the residents of Stars Hollow still as quirky as ever?
The Miller Twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers Stacy and Tracy Miller discuss the events of each season themed episode. What do these sisters have to say about the characters, actors and plot? Read on as we journey back to Stars Hollow and Gilmore Girls. You can come home again.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life Episode 1 “Winter” please do not continue reading.
I walked away from social media on November 11 because of some very painful events that happened in my personal life. I had to put my health first, to clear the cobwebs. Sometimes life puts you on that fast train and your emotions becoming dizzying pit stops. Sometimes you just need to get off.
My self imposed exile from Facebook and Twitter has been good. Introspection is good. You need to go home again to find some fresh perspective even if “going home” constitutes re-examining where you are heading by using the past as a road map.
As a big Gilmore Girls fan, I had eagerly anticipated Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Those Gilmore Girls, Lorelai and Rory (portrayed to perfection by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel), and the collection of eclectic citizens inhabiting Stars Hollow, are like going home. We may not have visited these characters and this town for quite awhile, but seeing them again felt familiar. And comfortable. And right. It was time to come home again.
The first episode, “Winter”, maintained that beautiful sense of nostalgia. Stars Hollow looked and felt just the same. The delightful repertoire of our coffee drinking, fast talking mother/daughter tag team of Lorelai and Rory whose bantering should qualify as an Olympic sport, felt the same and as comfortable as a toasty blanket. Lorelai can still smell snow. Luke is as cantankerous and lovable as ever. Paris is still intense (scary intense, if that’s even possible). Kirk (now the daddy of an adorable pig) is still the self made entrepreneur who is an eternal optimistic. One business fails, no problem, there is another one waiting in the wings. Taylor still believes he knows the pulse of Stars Hollow and has the ideas that will serve the town best. Michel is still Michel. The way Michel expresses his disdain is humorous.
Everything has remained the same. Right? Wrong. What this installment does is reveal the uncertainty inherit in change and how Fate forces us to sculpt our lives around the unexpected. One of the pivotal changes surrounds the death of Richard Gilmore. The Gilmore patriarch was such an incredible presence in Emily, Lorelai and Rory’s lives that it makes sense that his absence would cause them to reevaluate their own lives. Trees become bare and vulnerable in winter. They shed their leaves to begin anew. With Richard’s death, Emily must begin anew. It isn’t easy to craft a new life when you lose your soul mate after fifty years of marriage.
Rory isn’t doing very well either. At Chilton and Yale, she was an academic superstar. After graduation, Rory seemed to fulfill her writing dream by having a piece published in The New Yorker. Now, she is at a crossroads and her future appears anything but rosy. She can’t nail down a permanent job. Former beau Logan Huntzberger (who now lives in London and is engaged to another woman) is Rory’s “friends with benefits”. It is an arrangement without strings (per their agreement) and also without a future. In addition, Rory has become a vagabond, sleeping on the friend’s couches. The girl who once used a slew of post it notes to plot her life is now clueless about her next adventure. Will collaborating on a book with a larger than life celebrity be the answer to her career woes? Or, is writing another kind of book on Rory’s horizon?
“Winter” was the perfect inaugural episode for this revival. Not only did “Winter” maintain the charm of the beloved series but it also struck emotional chords with new dilemmas befalling our characters.
The way Lorelai and Rory are addicted to coffee is the way I feel about Gilmore Girls. I can’t count how many times I have seen each episode. I can quote lines in super fast speed like the Gilmore Girls themselves. I have been waiting with anticipation for this return to Stars Hollow like a kid waits for Santa Claus and thank everyone involved in making this project. Thanks for this Christmas present in November!
The Stars Hollow we left at the conclusion of the last television episode of Gilmore Girls “Bon Voyage” is the same in its visual appearance, the gazebo, Luke’s Diner, The Dragonfly etc. but the Gilmore Girls themselves Emily, Lorelai and Rory face significant changes in their lives. The biggest is the loss of husband, father and grandfather Richard Gilmore. Although Gilmore Girls is primarily a show about three generations of women and the path of their lives, Richard Gilmore helped shaped the course and determined the road they traveled. As a husband, he was a guiding presence in Emily’s life for over fifty years. As a father, Richard’s acceptance and approval was something Lorelai sought even when she knew her choices met with his disapproval. And as a grandfather, he was an intelligent businessman who Rory admired. Who were they now that Richard Gilmore was gone?
A death in a family is a time for them to come together and cling to each other in loss. However when Lorelai makes a mistake due to grief and mixed with alcohol and exhaustion, it leads to a terrible confrontation with mother. Emily angrily views the story Lorelai tells to Richard’s friends of her one memorable moment with her father as a disrespectful insult to her father’s memory. Emily Gilmore reasons that Lorelai still blames her parents for every unhappiness in her life and always has to be the one in control of every situation. It’s Lorelai’s world and they’re just a small part if it. Even Luke didn’t have much of a say on where they would live (Lorelai’s house) and whether they would have children of their own. Her mother’s words (even though they were said in anger) rang in Lorelai’s ear for the rest of the episode. She asks Luke whether he wanted children with her and decides to look into the possibility of surrogacy. Which leads to my favorite part of the episode featuring the return of Paris Gellar as the owner of Dynasty Makers, the fertility agency Lorelai and Luke consult. I’ve gotten so used to seeing Weil as Bonnie on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, I forgot how gifted she was playing the less darker character of Paris. But stepping into Paris Gellar’s shoes was like riding a bike for Liza Weil. And Paris going over what Dynasty Makers offers in the way of helping couples achieve their dynasties was hilarious. I especially liked Luke’s constant inquiries about whether he had to sleep with any of the women.
Rory Gilmore’s dream of a journalist career came true in some ways. Although she’s not a foreign correspondent as she often talked about, Rory did manage to have a piece published in The New Yorker, of which proud surrogate dad Luke displays on the back of his diner menus. Who said Luke’s Diner wasn’t a classy eating joint with sophisticated reading material! But Rory is still floating between her professional and personal lives. She gives up her apartment and decides to live a vagabond existence where she will stay on various friends’ couches and travel where the next story takes her. Romance is with Paul, her boyfriend of two years who is easily forgettable that it makes you wonder whether Rory chose to be with him knowing that there wasn’t any chance for a lasting relationship to come between her professional goals as it did with Logan, who makes an appearance in Episode 1 as Rory stays with him at his place in London.
Other town people of Stars Hollow show up in Episode 1 “Winter” like best friend Lane, her husband Zach and Hep Alien band members Brian and Gil. We learn about Michel and his partner. Kudos to writer Amy Sherman-Palladino for being open with Michel’s sexuality. The question of Sookie’s absence at The Dragonfly is explained. Taylor is trying to get Luke to side with him on a town issue (as always) and Kirk is as enterprising as ever. I had to hold back laughter when I heard his new transportation business, Oober. Uber has nothing to fear from Kirk, though the personal touch of a family owned business might be appealing for some. Or not with Kirk’s mom. I did like how Kirk ended up at the Gilmore family dinner. And I guess he got off easy with Emily as she had other things on her mind with her husband’s passing. Seeing one of Lorelai’s former boyfriend, Jason Stiles was nice as was Miss Patty and Gypsy’s appearances.
As Episode 1 ended, Emily sneakily got Lorelai to agree to go to therapy with her. Will these two strong Gilmore ladies finally open up to each other, end past resentments and grow stronger as mother and daughter? I can’t wait to see how this plays out in Episode 2 “Spring.”
Comments? Sound off below. Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .