Review: Gilmore Girls reboot leaves something to be desired

After a decade of unanswered questions and anticipation, the Gilmore Girls revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, was finally released to Netflix on November 25. The revival picked up ten years after the last episode aired, and it was hard to believe that so much time had passed in Stars Hollow. The sound clips at the beginning of the first episode took the audience back in time, successfully setting the tone of the original Gilmore Girls.

There were many questions that needed to be answered in just four 90 minute episodes, and at first I was unsure whether that could be accomplished while also developing a new story line. The burning questions left unresolved from the original series were mainly centered around Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), particularly the status of both of their love livesand Rory’s career after college. The revival did a good job with addressing Lorelai’s love life. She finally settles down with Luke Danes (Scott Patterson); a move so obvious it wasn’t even worth predicting. Throughout the entire series, there is tension between Lorelai and Luke, and an implicit assumption that in the end they would end up together. While Lorelai’s fate is fairly set in stone, Rory’s life is a bit more of a mystery, and the revival is not completely successful in addressing it.

Although set ten years out from Rory’s graduation, the plot does not treat it like that much time has passed. While the plot introduces a new, yet boring and disinterested, love interest for Rory, it still references all of her previous boyfriends. Of her former love interests, the revival focuses on her messy and ongoing relationship with Logan, and also shows a tender and compassionate moment between Rory and Dean. Although the revival was somewhat lacking in developing Rory’s career and personal life, it did a great job adding backstories to characters whose backgrounds were more obscure during the original series. For example, characters Doyle, Michel, and Paris all are given complex and dynamic storylines.

Additionally, the age of all the actors make it hard to believe that it had been a decade since they were all last together. None of the actors have aged, particularly  Taylor Doose (Michael Winters), the town selectman everyone loves to hate, and Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), Rory’s father. The strikingly similar appearances made it easy to pick up right where the series left off over a decade ago. However, it is important to recognize and acknowledge that the seeming “anti-aging” phenomena of the cast might have more to do with Hollywood’s beauty current beauty standards than the timeline of the show. 

Overall, the revival did a great job resolving Lorelai’s life; she finally settles down with someone, and her career continues to flourish and expand. However, there is no concrete resolution for Rory, especially regarding her career and relationships. In fact, the revival led to more questions and speculation that yet another spinoff may be in order to properly conclude the life of Rory Gilmore.

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