Those Four Words, And Everything Else: Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life

It’ll take a minute to get there, but I swear this post is about Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life

I utterly failed at NaNoWriMo this year. A few days of post election ennui got me behind, and my job change decisions coupled with the choice not to scale back here (no regrets! Westworld was worth it!) just equaled a bad year for me to try to make something new. I’m bummed about it because I had a plot and main character I adored. (I haven’t given up on Magic School or Anessa, but I wasn’t ready for them…) But luckily, as she’s often been when I screwed up, Rory Gilmore was there to validate me.

Now, I’m the first to jump on the “Rory is the WORST” train, but I also always felt strangely connected to her. I was also awkward and had trouble making real friends. I too often liked the wrong boys. I too took an ill advised but kind of necessary semester off of school for vague but also made perfect sense to me at the time reasons. (OK, I didn’t steal a yacht, but still, I felt very Rory in the moment.)

What I’m saying is Rory’s feeling lost as the dreams she’d initially built burned up around her, really sat with me. I’m not living the life I expected to live even a little bit and it’s past time that someone, anyone dealt with that level of experience in media. (Girls doesn’t count. They all still live in the city and get to be fabulous, not a one of them has other mom’s of other unemployed people trying to network with their mom, a thing that has happened to me regularly since moving home.) So I appreciated that. Rory’s life remains more fabulous than mine in general, (I’ve yet to even get to encounter Alex Kingston at a Comic Con, let alone try to write a book with her) but the emotions of it hit, which was great.

Lorelai’s story always felt better, as it always has. Her communication issues with Luke were consistent, and beautiful and very well written. Lauren Graham is forever a treasure, and my favorite moment of the whole she-bang was probably when she handed Mae Whitman’s anonymous line waiter who had to get to work a donut. (This by the way, forever illustrates the “Amber is better than Rory” divide, Amber was on her way to work, while Rory was floundering. Lorelai, however, would kick Sarah’s ass, so series-wise, it’s a wash.)

Emily’s growth to realizing that without Richard, the life she built with him is hollow was probably the slowest crawl of the series, and the payoff, where she tells the other DAR ladies that everything their doing is “bullshit” (I’m not paraphrasing, it’s a delight, the whole scene) is incredible, and while I feel that Kelly Bishop is criminally underused, the whole thing works for me as a story.

I texted Crystan last night saying the anything that involved Sutton Foster and was underwhelming sours me, I meant it. There’s a twenty minute interlude of a Stars Hollow musical that features Sutton and her equally talented and criminally underrated ex-husband Christian Borle, it felt like a waste of time, and that’s a problem, because I love those two. (Christian even still had his Something Rotten Shakespeare beard!)  There was a brief and very satisfying cameo from The Gilmore Guys, drinking coffee in the Dragonfly, and several other spots that felt right. (Hell, that same episode gave Carole King a minute on the piano to sing a few bars of “I Feel The Earth Move!”). A return to Chilton without a check in with Max Medina felt wrong though, and a blonde old stand in for Tristan rather than Chad Michael Murray himself, also rubbed wrong.

I greatly enjoyed Paris, although she was horribly underused (what else is new.)

OK, now let’s talk about the boys! Team Jess prevailed, as he slipped into Stars Hollow, gave Rory some sage and great advice, (Write a book about your mom!) got Luke to talk about his feelings and was just the best. (Not you know, do 10 push ups with his adopted son on his back to prove how fierce his love is the best, but This Is Us is a totally different story.) Logan smashed any and all good will that I once had for him, cheating on his fiancee with Rory and getting her pregnant! (WHATTT?) Dean is married again and moved to Scranton, PA, which just, I mean, I’m sorry town where I became an adult, but I can think of nothing more perfect.

So, yeah, that’s what’s happening. It was definitely an ending, but there’s also room to move forward. (I’d love another Netflix season exploring everyone’s next step but it doesn’t feel naratively pressing.)

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