To anyone who is just joining in, I'm live-blogging my re-watching of the Gilmore Girls Revival. In case you missed the introduction, you can read the full thing here.
Or, here are some key points:
1. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. Don't read if you don't want to know what happens. Obviously.
2. Lots of sarcasm ahead.
3. I have seen the entire series, & I have a lot of feelings.
The cheat notes, for those who aren't fluent in Gilmore:
ASP = Amy Sherman-Palladino
GG = Gilmore Girls (or Gossip Girl, in some social contexts, but always Gilmore in this blog post)
Milo = Actor who plays Jess
Rorelai = Rory & Lorelai
If you missed the other parts, here they are:
I'll jump right into Fall. I'm trying to keep it a BIT more condensed than the others, because I want to leave more room for an overall summary.
We start out with Lorelai in her Wild motel. She has, for some reason, spread out everything she brought across the entire room. Not very practical, but fitting for Lorelai. I'm 100% "meh" about the whole Wild part of this episode. I've never seen the movie or read the book, so I guess I just don't get it. Is it really that big of a deal, with all these women flocking to do the trail? It takes Lorelai going to the truck stop or whatever to have the revelation that her dad did do one nice thing for her, & to call Emily & let her know. I feel like it shouldn't have taken all four episodes & a weird hiking trip to get to that point. The best parts of the Wild section are seeing Mindy from Friday Night Lights (LOVE her!) & the two Parenthood cameos. Since I don't have much else to say, I'll just ignore the rest of those scenes.
It's sad to see Luke having such a hard time without Lorelai, but Jess is there to offer support & shut down the wifi. I love Luke/Jess interactions. Milo is the reason for the season. & by that, I mean this entire Revival.
The "With a Little Help From My Friends" scene is blatantly stolen from Across the Universe, with them even doing the rooftop golfing, but I love love LOVE Finn, & also Logan & Colin & Robert, & the whole Life & Death Brigade era, so I'll accept it. Rory asks Logan in the tango club if he's really going to marry Odette. This makes me wonder if she already knows she's pregnant (& that the baby is Logan's), & wonders if Logan is really planning on a future with Odette, or if she should tell him about the pregnancy & see how things go. Maybe not, but maybe. Rory saying goodbye to the boys with the little nods to Wizard of Oz is super cute. I adore them all.
Luke ranting at Lorelai when she gets back & saying, "You wanted me to sleep with all those women!" cracks me up. & then Lorelai says she set a wedding date, & Luke already had a ring. It's about dang time.
I like the idea of Emily moving to the coast & taking in her maid's family, & also being easygoing enough to have kept a maid for this whole year. The Jack thing is still weird to me, but fitting for someone who is grieving - wanting company, but also being happier when that person is gone, because it's not the person you truly want. Emily taking a job at the whaling museum is great. Telling the gruesome story of the whale losing "buckets of blood" is something I can see her doing. I liked Emily blowing up at the DAR Meeting or whatever to an extent. It's just Emily learning that the things she once thought were so important are not important to her anymore now that Richard is gone.
I hate that Christopher's only scene is this tense, weird conversation between him & Rory. I think we had gotten past all of that in the series. It makes sense that Rory is asking all of these questions about if her dad made the right decision & his parenting tactics, given that she likely knows she's pregnant. But there seems to be so much awkwardness, & telling Christopher not to come to the wedding, like he'd try to steal Lorelai away, when they've had over a decade to deal with all of that is weird.
I think it's really funny that Emily thought the wedding was off. It's also funny that Lorelai said everything was the same when Emily had "moved things around," because I definitely noticed a painting that had moved.
I also love that Emily was willing to use the franchise money to expand the Dragonfly, but on her terms. She was just discussing never making big purchases without Richard, but then she made this business deal with Lorelai so smoothly, & I think they really did honor his memory with the deal. & I love that Emily was planning to buy the house next door in Nantucket for Luke & Lorelai. This is all definitely keeping the cycle going.
Seeing Dean in Doose's... Not sure how to feel. I have never liked Dean. I'm glad that he is happily married & that there is no hint of them getting back together. I don't like that Rory says Dean was "the greatest boyfriend alive," & says she wishes they'd met at a different time, & doesn't mention any of the bad things. 1) To me, Dean is every overbearing, jealous, awful guy I've ever dated. It doesn't matter what stage of my life I was in, they were still awful. 2) My ex, or Laker's, says that they wish they would've met us at a different time so things would've worked out? NO. That's not a cute, nostalgic thing to say. That's not okay. He's with someone else now. He's happy. Don't say you wish it was you. 3) Did she forget all of the reasons why they broke up to begin with, or the affair that ended his marriage? She doesn't want to leave the bad parts out of her mom's story in the book in the name of honesty, but she's okay with sparing Dean's feelings?
A lot of people are upset that Sookie was only in one scene. I've read that Melissa McCarthy is the second highest paid actress in America this year (only JLaw made more). It's unlikely that she had much time or that the GG crew had the money to include her in more. My complaint is that they had a big scene about her making wedding cakes, but Sookie wasn't even at the wedding. If you're only going to have Sookie in one scene, make it the wedding.
Speaking of the wedding... Lots of people loved this scene, but I found it weird. To start with some positives... I loved Kirk freaking out about overdoing the decorations, & everything in the square looking amazing. I loved Kirk getting the text that it was perfect while crashing on Lorelai's couch. There were some great interactions between Jess/Luke/Lorelai/Rory during planning, & it was fun to see them all together. & Lorelai is so cute in overalls! I loved Lorelai giving up control on the book, too. I feel like that's what she would have said from the beginning. I feel like the "Gilmore Girls" book is supposed to be how the show came about, telling their story. & so that also comes full circle. I can definitely see Luke & Lorelai sneaking out & getting married early. But the music video scene was a bit much. & I don't understand why Jess & Sookie were IN TOWN, but no one got them to come for the ceremony, yet there was time to snag Michel & Lane. LANE. Over Jess & Sookie. Because when you get married, there's no one you want by your side more than your daughter's high school best friend who she's not even that close to anymore. Just like... Don't have anyone there except Rory. Also, Emily wasn't there. That really bothers me, again, because this show is about the Gilmore Girls, & I feel like it would devastate Emily to have missed the wedding. She's already missed so many big events in Rory & Lorelai's lives, & they just made up after the weird funeral fight, so this would only deepen that rift. It also would have been nice to have some sort of reception scene or something with everyone together one more time.
Then we end the Revival in the gazebo, where it began. After all of the Last Four Words propoganda, I was so confused when I first watched this, because, "Mom, I'm pregnant," is three words. But apparently it's, "Mom," "Yeah?" "I'm pregnant."
So, my ending thoughts...
It seems like there was kind of an overall theme of no one being happy or successful in this. I'm wondering if ASP was going through something or has an (ironic) bias against happy, successful women. We see Rory, Lorelai, Paris, Lane, Emily, & even Sookie having to sacrifice either family, success, or both. Even the Wild hiker women seem pathetic & needy, not inspired or motivated. I've mentioned this throughout, but it would have been nice to see a couple of successful female characters. That's one thing I liked about the original series: There were so many strong female leads who had great relationships with each other, as well as strong goals. But now everyone is unhappy, unsuccessful, & barely talks to each other.
ASP has made some stupid, lame excuses for this, specifically for Rory's behavior. In this article, she claims that we all have weird points in our lives where we don't act like ourselves for 6 months or so, & says, "You just gotta break the story because if you know who your character is, the story will tell you." That seems like a cop-out to me though. Maybe don't write about the 6 month period where no one acted like themselves. & if you want to have something completely new, that's what new situations, characters, & interactions are for. Don't completely change the essence of the characters people already know.
There's also a difference between avoiding the expected, & doing things that are just unrealistic. Rory is allowed to have bad days/weeks/months. But having her fall into the same mistakes that she has already learned from, like cheating with a (soon-to-be) married man, just seems unrealistic. Having her end the series with following Obama's campaign, & now saying she can't get hired anywhere, when we know Obama is now POTUS... That seems unrealistic. Having Rorelai fighting over boys & relationships, & them not talking to Emily after Richard's death, doesn't seem realistic. If you're going to do these things & call them "unexpected," give us believable reasons for why they're happening.
A lot of people thought the ending was a cliffhanger that left the series open for more episodes. I think it actually tied things up fairly well. If Rory hasn't seen Paul to break up with him, we can assume there was no way for a baby to be made with Paul. Unless we think the Wookie was the father, which happened in spring & Rory isn't showing in fall, so that seems unlikely... It seems that Logan is the logical choice. ASP says the ties between Logan & Christopher are purposeful. She wanted to write this ending when Rory was graduating college at 22, not when Rory was in her early 30s, but she doesn't seem to have adapted it much. If we see Rory as Lorelai, Logan as Christopher, then that leaves Jess as Luke. Throughout the Revival, we see these other relationships close off. Rory sees Dean, & he's happily married. She ends things with Logan. Paul breaks up with Rory in a text, & she is pretty un-phased. That just leaves Jess... The only one who is left open-ended. I think that was on purpose.
I've also said this, but there was so much unnecessary junk in this Revival. Take out all the pointless cameos, scenes that had nothing to do with the plot, & that awful, awful musical, & you could have fit this into two episodes, tops. I think the main weakness of the Revival is that it wasn't adapted into what it needed to be, but instead it became too many things for too many people. ASP wrote the ending she always wanted, even though it didn't really make sense anymore, ten years later. We had a million cameos, unecessary returning castmembers, & pointless musical/music video scenes. It was like they wanted to take every offer & every opportunity that came in, when in reality, most of us just wanted a few more, normal epsiodes of one of our favorite shows.
I've come to the conclusion, though, that Jess & Michel are all I really need to enjoy this show. Rorelai can fall off the deep end & act like completely different characters, but as long as Michel is a snarky grump & Jess is sweet, loyal, & wise, I'm still here watching.
However, I'd much prefer a Gilmore Girls that focuses on the actual GG & the relationships between them - not all this fighting & bickering that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I was most looking forward to seeing the three GG together again, & we didn't get many scenes with any of them together. If there ends up being more episodes, I hope they stick to the relationships, & the main plot points, not all this filler & weirdness between everyone.