Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life REVIEW

It happened y'all.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life released on Netflix on Friday and it was so glorious. I thought it would be great to do a review and put my thoughts out into the universe in blog form and I have a LOT of thoughts. There will be many spoilers in this blogpost so if you haven't had the chance to watch it yet and don't want to know what happens before you have the time to sit down with your coffee, pizza, and Pop Tarts, stop reading now and come back at a time when you're done visiting Stars Hollow. Without further adieu, let's get on into it!

I'm not sure how to attack this review so I'm going to break it down into a few different sections to make my thoughts a little bit easier to sift through!

The things I loved:

All of the tributes to Richard/Edward Herrmann. It is so sad that he passed away before this revival was able to happen but I think Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino did an amazing job in paying tribute to him throughout the entirety of the series.

The scene of Rory walking through Richard & Emily's house and glimpsing in on old scenes like the Friday Night Dinners and Richard in his study (Fall). I would have loved to see more scenes like this sprinkled around the series but if that was the only scene that we saw presented in that style they did an absolutely beautiful job of it.

Paris is still the same ol' Paris and her life makes perfect sense. Liza Weil did a wonderful job finding Paris's voice again and playing her adult version the way I would have imagined her to be. She's a super successful, kick-ass lady and I don't think any of us would of had it any other way. Speaking of Paris...

The scene where Paris and Rory return to Chilton (Spring). This was one of my favorite scenes in the series. I loved seeing the teacher running away from Paris. Adult Rory fits so perfectly in the front of a classroom and I kind of hope she ends up in a teaching position somewhere down the line. Paris making the students in her guest lecture cry? THAT WOULD TOTALLY HAPPEN. And then Paris's mental breakdown at the sight of Tristan? Omg, so good. I could have done without the Francie cameo, but you can't win 'em all.

Jason Mantzoukas & Gilmore Guys Cameos! If you listen to Gilmore Guys you'll know Jason Mantzoukas is a huge Gilmore fan and had expressed his desire to be on the show on multiple occasions. When he finally popped up on the screen I burst out laughing at the sheer joy of seeing him be a part of the show! I also was super excited to find the the Gilmore Guys themselves made a background appearance. When first watching the scene I thought I had saw them but just kind of moved past it without a second look. When they confirmed that yes, indeed they did make an appearance on their initial reactions podcast that released on Monday, I was so pumped. So great that they were able to get involved!

A second film by Kirk (Spring). This scene was so funny for multiple reasons. The grill Babette and Maury brought into the theater. Maury's t-shirt reading "a film by kirk" (totally want one, by the way). The short film itself. I was dying the whole time.

Lorelai phone call to Emily (Fall). TALK ABOUT AN EFFING TEARJERKER, AMIRITE?! It took everything I had to not burst into tears at this scene. Thinking about Lorelai's relationship with Richard and what that story meant to Emily... yeesh. Tugged at the ol' heartstrings for. sure.

Luke & Lorelai's Wedding (Fall). Hands down this was the most beautiful scene shot through the whole series. The setting, the ceremony, the song that Luke & Lorelai danced to... even the text to Kirk. My eyes got teary at this one too! I watched this with Brett and the whole time we kept saying "This is so cool! This is so cool!" What an amazingly gorgeous scene. I absolutely loved every part of it.

The things I didn't love:

RORY. I feel like this might be an unpopular opinion but it seems to me that Alexis Bledel forgot how to play Rory Gilmore. It was distracting to me the entire series. Rory just wasn't the same Rory that I knew and loved from the original series and I really disliked her portrayal. It's hard to tell if it's just the fact that Rory has matured over 9 years and she has a different personality and Bledel played it that way or if Bledel was just not familiar with the character anymore but Rory just felt so different from the Rory in the original series and it was very distracting for me.

Paris & Doyle are broken up?! I was so devastated about this! Paris & Doyle were so great together in the original series and I love the fact that they got married and had children, but the fact that their relationship is in a state of flux left me so heartbroken. I have a very strong need for this relationship to be fixed and if A Year in the Life were to come back, this is the first thing I would want to be resolved.

Stars Hollow Musical (Summer). This scene went on way. too. long. and I haven't heard from anyone who thought differently. I think if they just stuck with the first song and dance number (STAAAAARS HOLLOW *jazz hands*) that would have been plenty and I might have actually liked its place in the series but it just. kept. going. and the sheer length of this scene and plot line made me hate it. So much.

The scene Rory had with Christopher was shot so strangely (Fall). For the first minute and a half of their conversation they were never in the same frame and it made me think "oh they must not have gotten the chance to shoot Alexis and David Sutcliffe on the same day," but then they panned around and showed them in the same frame. Really, the whole scene was so weird. Their chemistry was way off and it made me wonder if something really big and negative happened in their relationship in the 9 years between Rory's graduation from Yale and the time frame of A Year in the Life.

Rory & Lorelai's trip to New York (Spring). This trip seemed to serve zero purpose. I guess it was to demonstrate another dead end in Rory's journalism career but I thought this whole plot point was kind of stupid. Like... she just met and slept with someone (A WOOKIE) off the street? For some reason I don't think Rory would do that, even this new and improved Rory. The only redeeming point of this story was that Lorelai kept skipping all the lines to get the thing everyone was waiting for. THAT was hilarious. 

The things I wish we had more of:

LANE! Lane is my favorite character so of course I wanted more of her, but even if I wasn't a huge Lane fan I think I would have wanted more from her story. We could have totally cut down the musical and New York story lines and gotten more Lane story! I did enjoy everything we got to see her in, though.

Jess. Okay, so I have never been Team Jess. I thought Jess was a terrible person to Rory when they dated and I was NOT a fan of him. However I did see his potential when he made a return in season 6, and out of all the boyfriends he matured the most over time. Now that Jess is all grown up I am TOTALLY Team Jess (albiet I'm Team adult Jess, not Team teenager Jess). I would have loved to see more Jess and Rory story line! They worked very well together.

Miss Patty. Come on. Who doesn't want more Miss Patty? But seriously - two scenes? They could have totally written in more lines for her, especially when it came to the musical scenes! Where was she during that plot line?!

Thoughts on the final four words:

I was really surprised at the final four words! Definitely wouldn't have guessed they would have ended on a pregnancy for Rory! I know a lot of people that are pissed about the final four words because it leaves off on a loose end, but I'm really not annoyed by it. It ends in a way that represents life - you don't always get to see the end of everyone's story. Most of the time ends are left loose. I can totally see why this is how ASP wanted this to end - Rory's life it totally reflective of Lorelai's life now (Logan being the Christopher role, Jess being the Luke role, etc.) though it would have been a much different ending if this is how the original series ended right after Rory's Yale graduation. Overall, I'm surprised but not unsatisfied by the final four words.

Favorite episodes in order (favorite to least favorite):

1. Fall
2. Spring
3. Winter
4. Summer

What did you think of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? What were your favorite moments? Least favorite? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and continue the discussion! :) *cue Gilmore Girls theme music here*

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