Originally published 1:00 PM EDT, MARCH 8, 2017
Gilmore Girls is in early negotiations for a second Year in the Life. It’s time to talk about why Stars Hollow should return to Netflix.
My fellow writer, Brittany, believes less Gilmore is more. I, on the other hand, am here to fight for another, and possibly even a few more, installment of the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls. Here is why:
I will be the first to admit that A Year in a Life had it faults. It was a little messy. The 90 minute episodes were a bit too much Stars Hollow to fit into one sitting. “Stars Hollow: The Musical” was the most unnecessary sub-plot in the history of television (except for the “Love Revolution” song, gimme that shit on repeat.) I have a firm belief, however, that despite its faults, this revival was true to the heart of Gilmore Girls.
Given how the revival ended there is room to expand on that in an even more effective and beautiful way than done the first time around. There are a couple of key things that any second or subsequent revivals could address.
When we left Starts Hollow at the end of last November, many loose ends from the original series seemed to be tied up. Luke and Lorelai were finally, finally married. We met Lane’s father. Emily left the heartless Daughter’s of the American Revolution cult. Rory seemed to find her footing outside of a floundering professional life. Contempt for the greatest Gilmore villain of all time (April Nardini) simmered to a dull annoyance. By the end of Fall, I felt very satisfied with the last six hours of television I had consumed.
Even so, although much was resolved, even more was left open. Paris and Doyle were headed for divorce. However, in the bathroom at Chilton, Paris showed that rare vulnerable side of her when she confessed she was afraid of Doyle leaving her. Does this mean she will fight for that relationship? Will Connecticut’s number one power couple give love another try? Who wrote the nasty letter to Emily on her birthday? If not Lorelai, was it perhaps Trix, Lorelai’s grandmother? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time she wrote a hateful letter about Emily. Will Rory finish and publish that book about her and her mother? Did Emily settle down with Jack or not? Are Lorelai and Luke really giving up on some sort of family together? And, of course, who is the father of Rory’s child?
The first installment of A Year in the Life happened so fast. In every interview from cast mates, and even in Lauren’s book, Talking as Fast as I Can, it is noted that the cast seemed to be scrambling to fit this into their schedules. There was not enough time or planning to include many of the things that fans hoped to see, one of the biggest examples being Sookie St. James. Mellisa McCarthy, now an A-list movie star, was not given adequate time to work a lengthy appearance into her busy schedule and only appeared in one scene. Similarly, Jess Mariano only appeared in two episodes of the revival due to his commitments to This Is Us.
Furthermore, it is was revealed that the episodes weren’t even written until well after the ATX Festival of 2015. The show went into production less than a year later. There was so much pressure to get it made quickly that possible production value went out the door.
One of the biggest criticisms about A Year in the Life has to do with Rory Gilmore herself. I remember thinking as the first scene started, Alexa seems to be acting so weird right now. Maybe it was the weirdness of being back on set, trying to find her character again, or maybe it was the writing. To me, most of Rory’s storyline felt contrived throughout the revival. It was like they were trying to fit a 22-year-old’s struggles into the life of a 32-year-old woman. Which I totally understand. Amy and Dan were not given the opportunity to work with these characters at their original ending, but refusal to ignore the growth these characters made at that time was insulting to the fans. A second revival may have the opportunity to fix that.
Instead of giving Rory Gilmore an old storyline that was meant for her nine years ago, a new story can be written with a fresh set of eyes. One not dependent on four final words that were written out almost a decade ago. The revival showed a Rory that no one liked; a lost, somewhat entitled, and unprofessional Rory that made little to no sense from the moment she appeared on our screens. This deserves to be rectified, she deserves another chance. I imagine that any sort of second installment would have less to do with Lorelai, whose future is sealed, and more with Rory who, now more than ever, needs to figure things out.
The driving force of the original revival was obviously the death of Richard, and while moments of that played out beautifully, it got lost along the way many times. This new revival would have a much stronger purpose to it that could carry the characters throughout for many seasons to come. Rory as a new mother.
We never got to see Lorelai mother a toddler or infant. It wasn’t relevant. Now, however, it is. We will be given the opportunity to see how that might have played out. Or how it will be completely opposite of how Lorelei handled young motherhood.
The parallels between these two women have come full circle and now it may be time for Rory to branch off and create her own path for herself. Will she do the opposite of her mother and involve the father in her child’s life? Again, who is the father? Will she even keep the baby? What might be the consequences of her choosing to let it go? How will motherhood affect her professional life, maybe it will ground her in ways that we saw her flounder in the original revival.
This addition and exploration of character would not be doing a disservice to the original series as the revival did in many ways.
Finally, it’s all about me. I have been watching Gilmore Girls since I was six years old. My sister was in high school as it aired which made it a staple in our household. Stars Hollow, in many ways, is a second home to me. Gilmore is my favorite show of all time and I would give my left leg to visit it over and over and over again. Which is why I rewatch the series at least once a year. So, selfishly, I pray for a second revival. Not just for me, but for other fans who find warmth in that tiny little snow globe of a town.
It’s more than just a show. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion. And I say hell yes to more of it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHOULD NETFLIX RENEW ‘GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE’ FOR ANOTHER AND POSSIBLY MORE SEASONS TO COME?