It’s no small secret that I have been eagerly awaiting the Gilmore Girls revival since it was announced earlier this year. In fact, to complete my due diligence in respecting this incredible tv show, I’ve watched the ENTIRE SEASON. That’s right – from beginning to end. Not one episode missed, not even during that dreadful Season 7.
With the release of “A Year in the Life” I’ve decided to take my time and not binge on these scarce number of episodes. Instead, I’m watching one episode every couple of days, letting it marinate, and then posting my online review. Let’s see if I can stay true to my goal.
So, let’s get to that first episode, shall we? Spoilers aplenty, obviously.
The decision to start with the Winter season is just perfect. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with some of TV’s favorite characters during a time in which good cheer prevails, alongside copious amounts of food eating and sometimes garish decorations adorning the homes of the inhabitants of Stars’ Hollow (see Lorelai’s house).
Winter is also a symbolic time in which things end and people tend to turn inwards in both their feelings and lifestyles. Hence the excellent fit to weave in Richard Gilmore’s death into the narrative. All three Gilmore girls are still amidst their own journey towards grieving, with the always fun to watch Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) the deepest in pain. The flashback scenes to Richard’s death just a few months earlier are difficult to watch just for the sheer ferocity of subtle emotions expressed by the three series leads. It’s tough, but required in order for the story to move forward of these three women who always seem to find themselves not living in the moment.
I’m not going to provide a play by play of the first episode. You can watch it for yourself. Instead, I’m going to just ruminate on my thoughts on what really worked in this episode, and some other concepts that, well, didn’t so much.
Um…can I say all of it?
Ok, I cannot surely be the only one who quite literally squealed in delight when the opening chords of the soundtrack led to Lorelai and Rory’s reunion in the town square. It was like seeing old friends whom you’ve missed so much. But let’s get to the most obvious observation: both Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel have not aged. Time has seemed to stand still for both of these women. Wowsah.
The dynamics between the cast is as strong as ever. Watching the clever dialogue play out between Lorelai and Rory is fantastic, and the scenes where Emily Gilmore is in just makes me realize how modern tv lacks in comparison to these powerhouse actors.
Kudos to the show’s writers and producers for making the Stars’ Hollow sets look amazingly similar to the sets of the shows original run. While there were some noticeable misses (um, how big did Lorelai look on Rory’s bed?).
I also really found the whole ‘Paul’ being forgettable bit really quite funny… and consistent. As Rory made her way through town meeting old friends along the way, the smile on my face was ear to ear, beaming in complete and utter contentment.
And was I only the one who was completely riveted with the scenes in London (where the perma-douchey Logan still lives)? I would totally watch a show where Rory is find her way through life in the UK, writing her book. Wouldn’t you?
Not much actually happened during “Winter”. The episode acted more as a 90 minute catch up with the lives of these characters that we love so much. Lorelai’s still super clever, Rory is still a bit of a nerd, Luke is still gruff but loving, and Emily is still tough as nails but her heart of gold is on full display. I’m thankful for these little things.
The Not So Good
TOO. MUCH. KIRK. I liked Kirk during the original run of the series. His mini-stories usually broke the intensity of the show’s more prevalent plot developments, and his money-making schemes always brought some humour to the narrative. However, I did not anticipate him being pretty much a main character during this episode. I even found myself watching to see more of Tyler instead of Kirk and his ‘ooo-ber’ business. I guess it can’t all work, right?
I don’t know if this falls into the ‘not so good’ portion of my review, but I wanted to see more Rory and Lorelai scenes, just the two of them. The scene in which Lorelai catches Rory tap dancing her stress away was one of the strongest of the episode. When it’s just these two ladies around their kitchen table, drinking coffee, and talking really fast, the show really excels.
Also, I wanted to see Mrs. Kim! Where’s that old firecracker?
Oh, I nearly forgot. I found there was a bit of a temporal inconsistency with the episode in relation to Rory’s frequent travels to London (where the erst-douchey Logan still resides). The episode begins with Lorelai expressing her discontent at Rory only being in Stars’ Hollow for a day, yet they then were at dinner at Emily’s. Maybe I just had too much chips, and chocolate, and candy, before watching the episode.
I’m ready for Spring!!!