TV Thoughts: Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life

I’m not one to watch expanses of tv at a given time. I rarely watch more than an hour or two at a stretch. But I sat down and watched all of Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life, in one sitting. And I had a lot of feelings about it. Spoilers ahead, for those who haven’t watched it.

Let’s talk about the ending first: I am writing this exactly twelve seconds after watching the finale, and it ended in the exact way I thought it would, and yet I was so surprised. Of course it would all circle back. It was foreshadowed and foreshadowed, we were practically banged over the head with all of this.

And yet I don’t know how I actually feel about the ending. I want more of the series, which I guess was the point, but I also wanted this to be an ending that was complete on its own. I could talk about how a VOX article I read recently inevitably punishes the women of Gilmore Girls for having sex with pregnancy, but I don’t know how I feel about that being either true or helpful. I think, after a tumultuous year, this was the only ending Rory could have had.

Anyway. I want to compare this to another Netflix original love letter…series, Fuller House. Fuller House follows the lives of the Tanner sisters, all grown up, going through a similar situation that their father did 20 years earlier. I watched the original series as a kid, and watched Fuller House without rewatching the original, and I found it to be sort of bland.

Gilmore Girls, however, has always had a magic to it. It’s quirky, it doesn’t have a laugh track, it’s interesting and nuanced and laugh out loud funny. So I loved watching this season. The experience of seasons through the town, the passage of time, the way we were introduced to old characters and friends was really perfect.

I will say though, that while I enjoyed the format, some of this series felt really padded. Jokes and scenes would go on for double or triple the time they needed to. Minutia felt like it was coming out of my ears. But then there were times that it worked, like the musical number where the show ends and then the actors come back out and sing “Waterloo” by ABBA. I was in tears laughing at that.

Finally, I want to address Rory. Rory has always been a flawed character. Her relationships are a consistent mess, she has had a rocky road with everyone, and yet she is likable because she is more plucky than she is unlikable. Her affair with Logan in this current season mirrors Rory’s past actions with Dean, and her actions are within the bounds of her character. So while her actions aren’t noble by any means, they are brave. She is brave in letting herself feel the things she’s feeling, pursuing what she wants and loving openly and honestly. That is who she is. Rory spent her teens as a goody-two-shoes, and spent 7 seasons breaking away from that, and in this season, that is mirrored as well. I love Rory, but I don’t aspire to be like her. I empathize with her, but I don’t think her actions are inherently good because she is the protagonist. She’s, ultimately, Rory.

What’d you think of the new season? I want to know your thoughts!

-M

 

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