I appreciate that substantial effort went into the making of the recent four-part Netflix series, ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’. Long-lost cast members returned from relative obscurity, writers brushed off their old writing pens, and once-abandoned sets were tended to once more. There was a lot of buzz around this series. I was very excited to watch it. Alas, this excitement was misplaced.
First of all: Rory. (Beware, spoilers). Rory was always a very nice person. She worked hard, she cared about people, she was driven; she had a sense of humour, a quick wit, and a firm sense of what was good in the world. She was entertaining. She might have made a few bad decisions here and there, (*cough* Jess *cough*), but she was, in her purest essence, well-intentioned.
Why, then, I ask, has Rory become cold-hearted, rude, and mildly infuriating? What has happened to Rory Gilmore? Rory doesn’t drag men along because she has apparently forgotten their very existence! She doesn’t look down on her unemployed peers, or have affairs with engaged men only to get angry when it turns out that they are (remarkably) marrying their fiancées. Rory has better things to do than perform in flash mobs with her tiresome college friends, and she certainly doesn’t need a man to be her saving grace, or to come up with her ideas for her. She has things to write and people to meet and places to be! I know life has its ebbs and flows, and everyone has a slump every now and then, but this incarnation of Rory is a vacuous husk: a mere shell of the Rory that once was.
The same goes for Lorelai. She was still entertaining, but seemed to have developed a similar harshness. The old Lorelai was like a breath of fresh air entering a room: brutally honest, perhaps, and ridiculous at times, but never mean. Why has such a cruel fate befallen two of the warmest, wittiest, and sharpest female leads in television? This is not the Stars Hollow of yore.
I will concede that the ending was good. The poetic irony was clever, although I won’t give this particular plot twist away, just in case you haven’t seen the series yet. Stars Hollow itself felt refreshed whilst maintaining its timeless, small-town charm. The ‘Lorelai-does-Wild’ sequence was slightly bizarre and slightly unnecessary, but it was, at least, memorable. The death of Richard and the growth of the character of Emily were very well done, and deservedly heart-wrenching. This being said, Rory and Lorelai were always the most magnetic aspect of the original ‘Gilmore Girls’, and I can’t help but feel that they have been betrayed by this new update. I miss them very much.