Let me just start off by saying, I know that this is pretty much irrelevant at this point. Yes, yes I know the revival came out in November 2016 and it’s now April 2019… And to clarify, I wrote an article reviewing the series back when it first came out.
I also wrote an article reviewing the original series in preparation for the revival series coming out.
But let me be clear, if you thought I haven’t been thinking about this and itching to talk about it more (to someone other than my partner and friends) you’d be so wrong.
Let me preface this with everything I loved about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The first thing that I really loved was the anticipation and excitement there was leading up to the Netflix premiere. The Gilmore Girls community is just so lovely and I loved seeing post after post in my newsfeed. I also liked the nostalgic aspect of the revival, it was fun to see all the wacky faces from Stars Hollow again.
When I wrote the review of a Year in the Life back in 2016, it’s clear to me how much I valued the hype and nostalgia around the revival. To quote myself from that review, “this series was filled with emotions of nostalgia, sadness, happiness and everything in between. It was the perfect ending to one of my favourite shows, we even got a second film by Kirk.” And I don’t know if I fully believe this anymore.
To say it was the “perfect ending to one of my favourite shows,” would be a huge stretch. I re-watch the original series at least twice a year, I love putting it on and I find it to be an incredibly watchable show. I haven’t fully re-watched the revival series once in the last three years. A few months after it came out I put it on in the background while I was working and I promptly turned it off and switched over to the original series instead.
I have two major problems with the revival. The first is the look and feel of the show (i.e the cinematography). The original Gilmore Girls series was shot on on super 16mm film and they probably shot on a 50mm lens. Of course that’s my speculation, but I’m pretty confident considering the crushed backgrounds and tight frames.
In comparison, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was shot on digital and used a much wider lens. The shots tend to dwell on the background and it’s honestly very distracting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, IT’S TOO CRISP.
I found the colours in the revival to be mediocre at best. In winter for example, the colours are so blue and stark. It makes me feel like I’m watching a Hallmark movie not another episode of Gilmore Girls.
My second biggest problem with the revival is the writing. There is supposedly 10 years between the original series and the revival. 10 years is a long time and people would naturally change a lot in that time.
The revival acts like it’s picking off 10 months after the original series rather the 10 years. When the revival was announced, Amy Sherman-Palladino the creator of both the original and revival series, stated that there were four magic little words that she had intended on ending the original series with and would now be ending the revival series with.
The last four words were: “Mom,” Rory says. “Yeah?” Lorelai responds. “I’m pregnant,” Rory replies. And then it’s over.
This would have had a much bigger impact at the end of season seven in the original series. Rory was in her early 20’s, she had freshly graduated from Yale, she had just turned down a proposal from her boyfriend Logan and she was about to head off on the road on the Obama campaign trail for an online news outlet. She had a lot at stake.
Now, 10 years later in the revival series she’s in her 30’s, she’s fumbling in her career but she has achieved some success. It doesn’t seem like a shocking, unmanageable announcement anymore. This to me just shows how little growth the writers gave these character in 10 years. Not to mention that half of the plot points throughout the revival don’t make sense anymore.
It angers me that Loreli and Luke weren’t already married in the revival. Yes I loved seeing their wedding but it made no sense. One of the big points of contention of season six and seven in the original series is that Loreli wants commitment. She wants to get married, and Luke’s inability to commit is what drives a wedge between them. So, don’t you think they would have gotten married in the 10 years since we last saw them? YES, yes they absolutely would have.
The last thing I want to bring up before ending this rant, is that the format just didn’t work in the revival. In the original series we got seven seasons with about 20-some episodes each and the episodes were about 40 minutes in length. And this format works so well for the show. It allowed things to move along as quickly as the Loreli and Rory were talking (so, at a pretty rapid pace). In the revival, we got one season with four episodes that were around 102 minutes each. This added length just made each episode drag its feet a little. I didn’t like it, and I don’t think it worked well.
Okay… One last, last thing is that the Stars Hollow musical they made us watch was dreadful and honestly one of the worst wastes of screen time… Ever. The whole uber Kirk bit wasn’t funny. I wished we got more Sookie and less Loreli circling through other chefs bullshit. I get it but just no.
I know that I’ve spent quite a bit of time ripping apart this series but honestly, it’s not that bad. It’s not, it’s okay. But as a fan and lover of all things Gilmore Girls, I was disappointed because I so desperately wanted to love this and I just didn’t.
But hey, at least paul Anka came back for the reboot.