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 2 “Spring” please do not continue reading.
Spring provides the rebirth from winter’s cold discontent and Episode 2 of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life titled “Spring” continues with the various characters coming in touch with the new rhythms of their lives.
Richard’s death offers the catalyst for Emily and Lorelai’s dissection of their relationship. It is true that mother and daughter have long harbored hostility and resentment so therapy promises the opportunity for some much needed healing. Or does it? When one comes into a therapy session armed to do battle, such an environment isn’t conductive to healing. In Emily and Lorelai’s case, it is a waltz of wills and each woman seeks to emerge the victor. Silence and guilt trips become the weaponry of choice.
Methinks the therapist is over her head dealing with the Gilmore ladies.
In addition, Stars Hollow has always been big on its themed events and “Springs” continues with this esteemed tradition with The International Food Festival. I have to say that the food festival provided some levity to the otherwise intense tone of the earlier therapy scene. Here we got to see Taylor being Taylor trying to micromanage everything, Rory and Lane bonding, and appearances by BOTH of Lane’s parents. Yes, I said both. The original series gave us plenty of Mrs. Kim but Mr. Kim had previously been unseen, almost like an inconsequential footnote buried in a script. Even though we only got a glimpse of Mr. Kim in “Spring”, I was happy to finally make his acquaintance nonetheless.
When Rory leaves the festival, she returns to London and her dalliance with Logan. Their clandestine restaurant meal date is interrupted by the surprise appearance of Logan’s father, Mitchum Huntzberger. It seems like perverse irony for Rory to cross paths with Mr. Huntzberger after all of these years especially now that her professional future is so uncertain. The elder Huntzberger lays on the charm (well, what qualifies as charm for him) and offers to pull some strings and get Rory a business meeting with Conde Nast (CondeNast had been postponing a meeting at this point). I was proud that Rory turned down Mitchum’s offer. Her life is complicated enough without letting Mitchum become the puppet master for her professional success.
“Spring” is quite effective in oscillating between the emotional scenes (e.g. Emily and Lorelai’s therapy sessions, Lorelai telling the therapist about Richard’s final moments) to the lighthearted scenes (e.g. Kirk’s short film, Rory and Paris’ return to Chilton, the news that Luke’s sister Liz and her husband TJ unintentionally joined a “vegetable cult”, Paris and Doyle arguing as their marriage is ending, Emily telling Luke that Richard left some money in a trust account so Luke can begin building his empire with Luke’s Diner franchises).
With Rory’s book collaboration now off the table, she pitches a story idea to GQ. The scenes with Rory and Lorelai in New York as she researches this story are comedic gold as is the later scene in the hotel room when Rory confesses her latest indiscretion to her mother.
“Spring” mixes the essential ingredients for a very satisfying dramedy: We feel as emotionally vulnerable as Rory and Lorelai as various aspects of their lives are unraveling. Yet, Kirk always makes me laugh. He gives happy tears and that’s a good thing.
Any long time viewer of Gilmore Girls knows that Emily and Lorelai have mother/daughter issues going back to the early stages of their relationship. Their stubborn personalities make communication difficult. But now they are in therapy together, will they finally talk through their problems and come to an understanding? That’s the goal of therapy but when you’re dealing with Emily and Lorelai Gilmore, it’s easier said than done. Mother and daughter sit silently during the session. When Lorelai breaks the silence by trying to apologize to her mother for her mistake, an angry Emily is on the attack. After Lorelai defends herself, more silence follows. Well, Lorelai does speak to ask the time as she’s eager for the uncomfortable therapy session to end. Yes, it’s looking like there are many wrinkles in getting these Gilmore ladies to iron out their differences.
Fortunately, Lorelai has a safe haven in her small town Stars Hollow life and the entertainment of Kirk’s latest film. A second film by Kirk features his pet pig. But even before the film starts there is an amusing scene in which Kirk reminds the attendees of the theater’s rule on bringing outside food to the movie to which everyone responses pulling out their various takeout. Poor Kirk, he’s worse than Rodney Dangerfield and gets no respect!
Rory and Paris head to Chilton and an alumni event in which they offer the new students personal insights to help them with their academic career. Rory tells them how she discovered an interest in musical composition at Chilton while Paris being Paris delivers a speech that terrorizes the young students. Headmaster Charleston offers Rory a staff teaching position once she has secured her Master’s Degree. Apparently Rory’s vagabond life has reach the ears of the headmaster. It’s interesting how a person like Rory who has spent her life planning her future always seems to not have control of it. One of the best moments of the Rory/Paris Chilton reunion was when Paris saw Tristan and her own feelings of insecurity resurfaced. Unlike Rory, Paris is a successful business woman with multiple degrees. Yet the boy she had a crush on many years ago in high school can make her feel worthless. I had a problem with Tristan’s appearance at Chilton. Why would Tristan be at an alumni event when he got expelled from the academy? Plus, if Tristan had to be there I wish Chad Michael Murray was able to reprise the role. In addition to Tristan, Rory and Paris got to see Francine again and viewers were reminded of the turbulent history between the three characters. I felt that the purpose of the whole Chilton alumni scenes were to show that deep down, Rory and Paris haven’t changed that much. After the Chilton alumni event, we got to see a little more of Paris’ family life. She and Doyle have two beautiful children but the couple are estranged. The whole concept of nannies quitting because they were tired (both physically and literally) of walking up the five flights of stairs in the house because Doyle had refused to have an elevator installed as to not ruin the home’s original historical architecture was amusing. It’s interesting that the women on Gilmore Girls seem to not be able to hold a romantic relationship together.
Since Emily is unable to reach an understanding with her daughter, she works on Luke’s future by helping him with the diner franchise. If nothing else, both Emily and Richard wanted to guarantee that their daughter’s future was secure. The interference in Luke’s business may be well intention but again, it speaks volumes for the confidence, or lack there of that Emily and Richard have in Lorelai. But I did enjoy the scouting of the diner location scenes with Emily and Luke as we get very few moments with just these two characters without Lorelai.
Rory taking Lorelai with her while she researches material for her GQ story offered great scenes between the two. And Rory’s confession of a one-night stand was priceless. Sex with an unknown wookie, how the mighty Gilmore girl has fallen!
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