SPOILER ALERT: This is full of spoilers for Winter. Since I’m slower than everyone, that may not be a problem.
ADDITIONAL ALERT: I hated it, and these are my feelings along those lines. Not in order. In bullet points of rage.
Special thanks to Noah and the monster in his bedroom for waking me up at 4:30 which allowed my previously hazy and disappointed thoughts to crystallize into a deep rage at how this show has undermined the actual show I loved. As I lay beside my sleeping child who had stolen my blanket, I was unable to fall back asleep and found myself realizing that Gilmore Girls wasn’t just disappointing, it was infuriating. And any chances of sleep were ruined as my brain ran through all the things that were so deeply wrong about it. The Gilmore Girls Revival is the true monster, haunting all of us.
- The throwback to Richard’s death. His death — specifically, the funeral — would have provided a great beginning for the show. It would have been depressing, but provided a perfect opportunity to set the tone of the show (look how things have changed! Now let’s add some things that haven’t changed!), and provided a plot and a conflict to guide this self-indulgent trip down memory lane. With so much of the plot dependent on this ~throwback~ scene, why not just begin with it? It also could have (and did) provided the opportunity to introduce Luke and Lorelai’s relationship (Emily’s complaints of them not being married) and Rory’s accomplishments (having to leave for a plane).
- Lorelai’s memories of her father are completely out of character. We don’t get fun!drunk!Lorelai, she is suddenly cruel with no reason. The rift between L and her parents always had basis before, and this seems baseless. Lorelai would have spoken at least about the bond between her father and her daughter. That though they had differences, he loved Rory and was always supportive of her. For Lorelai NOT to do this is tremendously out of character, all previous Gilmore disputes notwithstanding. Without some build up of watching Lorelai get progressively drunker — and even then, would she have so quickly thrown out Richard’s bond with Rory? — this is a bizarre, contrived scene. Emily and Lorelai have plenty about which they can disagree and offend one another. For all the talk about GG’s strength being its take on mother/daughter relationships, this is a surprisingly shallow and surface level conflict.
- Alternate drunken funeral scene: Lorelai is drunk, grieving the loss of her father, speaks emotionally about the bond he had with Rory and deviates into how he never shared that kind of bond with her. In doing so, Lorelai says something that calls into question Richard’s perfection in Emily’s eyes, Emily gets upset. End scene.
- I would have loved to see the show begin here, possibly play everyone about five years younger, and have an actual plot.
- 10 years is a lot of years to have no growth, and that’s what this show seems to display. Stars Hollow is ramping up the quirk, because God forbid anyone forget that in the 10 intervening years since we last visited them that they are quirky. The heart is gone though, possibly having died somewhere around the recession. The charm is buried below the layers of youth-pastor-esque attempts at relevance. It’s 2016! Stars Hollow screams. We have the wifi! WE’RE MODERN! Meanwhile they’re also suddenly stricken with woes that never existed – cell phone service, despite being a key part of the original show, is suddenly nonexistent. Rory trundles around the town for an embarrassingly long scene about bad cell phone service. It’s a scene from a Disney Channel show, or a slapstick family comedy, not Gilmore Girls. Not to mention it’s odd that with all the advances in technology, things have somehow gone backwards in Stars Hollow.
- Starting with Winter is an odd choice. Starting with a hodgepodge of one-liners from the show is an odder choice. Harping on the “I smell snow”, which happened once or maybe twice, is odd. I don’t spend my time walking around remembering minutia of conversations I had 10 years ago. Starting with Fall, I think, would have made all kinds of sense – the show previously began with a shot of autumn leaves.
- Rory is 32, the same age Lorelai was when the show began. This is never mentioned. This bothers me immensely.
- Let me repeat, Rory is thirty-two, the same age Lorelai was when the show began. Lorelai, at the beginning of the show, was an adult. Admittedly, I was 19 or so when I first watched it, but we come on the scene with 32 year old Lorelai and her 16 year old daughter. Lorelai is deep in the throes of adult life, and Rory is already heading there. Now, 10 years later, Rory, who was on the fast track to success beyond 32 year old Lorelai’s wildest dreams — Rory, who against all odds was sent to Chilton by her single mother to fulfill her hope of getting into an Ivy League school — is doing exactly what she did at 22 (I had this vague moment of success, I don’t know where I’m living, awkward boyfriends omg!) Literally the best moment of growth Rory has shown in this show is that she has taken up tap dancing to deal with stress. Except again, this falls flat… we don’t see the stress (something that would provide an interesting plot point or moment of character development for Rory), just the tap. And it’s played to be “quirky.” Worse yet, Rory notes she found it after trying yoga and jogging, two activities previous Rory Gilmore would never have done, and which Lorelai would have mocked. Rory and Lorelai’s last attempt at athleticism involved sitting on the floor of a handball court. When did Rory become someone that sought to relieve her stress through an outlet such as yoga, jogging, or dance? This would be interesting to see and potentially something that could be feasible. Rory has always been high strung and placed a lot of pressure on herself, and it would be interesting to see her break down now as an adult. But we don’t see that, we see a contradictory story of Rory’s carefree, wayward couch-surfing lifestyle, accentuated by one scene where she acknowledges the stress of her early thirties through late night tap dancing.
- So much of this show makes the previous seasons seem insincere or renders them meaningless. To take this show as canonical, it means undoing a lot of what came before. This is the same problem I have with any post-Tennant seasons of Doctor Who and, incidentally, was ironically flaunted with the sudden appearance of River Song, the vulture coming to feast on the remains of Gilmore Girls and the signifier that yes, this is going to destroy everything you loved and throw it away for some cheap one-liners and whimsy, JUST LIKE DOCTOR WHO. The heart of the show is gone, stripped out with the lack of plot (hey, maybe that plot did something after all!) In its place, an increase in supposed witty banter tries to fill the gaping void. This could actually be an interesting existential commentary – because who doesn’t try to fill the gaping void with ramped up witty banter? – but it isn’t used in that way. Rory, following an extended separation from Lorelai, offers her barely any greeting and instead the two launch into a manic comedy routine that comes off as a parody of the original show. Lorelai harps endlessly about Rory’s post-airplane appearance, never once bothering to acknowledge her daughter who has returned home, and the scripted, clearly-acted conversation ends with the strangely self-aware, fourth-wall-breaking comment from Lorelai that Rory “hasn’t done that in a while.” Except… in years past, the way they talked was just the way they talked. It wasn’t a schtick, or a contrived act, or something intentional. Turning it into something intentional means the Gilmores have been trolling all of us, and wrecks all previous seasons that allowed them to be normal, awkward humans coping with somewhat-normal, awkward situations.
- The stagnancy of the past 10 years is evident in Luke and Lorelai’s relationship, which hasn’t changed… at all, except to change to something where they are now a boring, established thing that somehow never got married. They’ve defaulted to their season five selves, and they’re both totally cool with it. Remember when Luke and Lorelai were serious but unmarried before? That’s exactly where they are now, ten years later. They haven’t gotten married, despite this being so important to Lorelai as to create nearly a season’s worth of drama 10 years prior. The very reason they broke up was Luke’s inability to commit to a date, Lorelai’s ultimatum, and now… well, they’re not married. It’s okay though. We don’t know why it’s okay, but it must be, because there they are, playing caricatures of themselves, being quirky at each other. It’s a useless plot device and one clearly used to allow the audience and the creator to write the ending they intended which likely included a Luke/Lorelai wedding, except the thing with life is that you don’t get to put it on hold for 10 years if you miss the chance to write the ending you intended. Had Luke and Lorelai been separated, or on and off again, over the past ten years, I could get behind this. There is, I am sure, in the world of fiction, a way to do this that rings true to both their characters and the previous narrative of Gilmore Girls. This show opts instead to freeze Luke and Lorelai in time along with the rest of Stars Hollow.
- I zoned out a few times and played around on the internet. I gathered that Rory was hooking up with Logan while also dating her boring, forgettable (too forgettable – Disney Channel comedy levels of forgettable) boyfriend. Except… Rory once made a BIG DEAL over how she’s not a hooking-up kind of girl. She’s a girlfriend girl. In fact, this spiel was given to Logan. Rory would not hook up with Logan, at this point, I argue that she wouldn’t even get back together with him seriously, after his proposal and her denial. They had their time (fun, college, carefree!) and she knew that time was done. Why is it suddenly not done? Rory would also not keep a boring, forgettable guy around for lack of wanting to tell him they’re done. Rory broke up with Dean over Dean saying I love you.
- We’ve not only been frozen in time, we’ve gone back 10+ years to season six, when GG went off the rails. Rory’s having her find-myself crisis (see Yale dropout), Luke and Lorelai are working through conflict in their relationship (now fabricated, because the audience needs to believe they’ve been together for the past 10 years). Amy Sherman Palladino’s insistance on writing the ending she wanted is overwhelming, but you can’t go 10 years into the future and pretend we’re in season six.
- Why are Lane and Zack still living with the bandmates? Why is the band still together, unchanged, save for the addition of two shout-outs, in the form of extra actors, to the twins?
- PAUL ANKA WOULD BE DEAD
- PARIS WOULD BE A DOCTOR
- I read somewhere that someone thought the technology already felt dated, and I didn’t think this could be true, but it is. See comment above. The wifi bit in Luke’s was out of place (he wouldn’t have wifi) and dated (anyone diligent enough to be working on a laptop IN LUKE’S — which he wouldn’t allow — would likely have a hotspot, also LUKE WOULDN’T HAVE WIFI). No one talks about cell phones and DVR that much because it’s not new technology and not worth talking about.
- Lorelai and Rory don’t appear to have any sort of close relationship at all. They are like cordial strangers, or college roommates, gathering for a 10 year reunion and awkwardly stuck in a throwback to 10 years ago. The only types of people who do this are people who haven’t had intervening events in the meantime and haven’t been able to hold onto their relationship through the following years. You’re trying to get to that former closeness, but it’s gone, because you’ve grown and changed, and instead of acknowledging it you pretend you haven’t and invoke sentences from 2005: “I smell snow.” And I was waiting, waiting so much for Real!Rory to say, “Mom! Look around!” because THERE WAS SNOW, but did Real!Rory, no. She did not. Because Real!Rory is dead.
- The whole episode was an exercise in “tell, don’t show” as we were told things with no explanation and no backstory as to how they got there, and we missed out on the things that presumably we would like to see – when (and why?) did Paris and Doyle marry (and divorce?) Why isn’t Paris actually a doctor instead of running a fertility clinic like a high pressure car salesman? Did Richard recently die or not? Why are we flashing back if it was recent? Why not start here? (I’ll keep on because this infuriates me).
- TWITTER LOL. Dude, Twitter is already old news.
- Why not make the catalyst for this episode, AT THE VERY LEAST, Rory’s 10 year reunion?
I’ma go drown my sorrows in the Veronica Mars movie.