The day had finally arrived, eight years in the making. Netflix's highly anticipated Gilmore Girls revival premiered the day after Thanksgiving to millions of fans who had been anxiously awaiting a "do-over" from the disaster that the show's final season on The CW was.
Season 7 of Gilmore Girls had often been the one that fans chose to forget existed— as did creator Amy Sherman herself — especially since she wasn't involved in it. So there we were, all would be made right! The cast was back, Amy Sherman was back, the stars were aligned — what could go wrong? Rory Gilmore. That's what went wrong.
Rory Gilmore, as problematic of a character as she often was, never stooped quite as low as she did in Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. And if I'm being blunt, her character left a sour taste in my mouth for the whole season. Not even Luke and Lorelai's fairy tale ending could sweeten the revival enough for me because Rory was that awful. The reboot managed to reduce her once kind, flawed, but smart female character to a manipulative, whiny, mistress who couldn't handle being told no. Let's take a look at some evidence to back up my thoughts, shall we?
Rory Gilmore, Head Mistress
Nothing had me raging more than the fact that the Gilmore Girls reboot once again made Rory into the other woman. You know, because we didn't already cover that in the first seven seasons. In Season 4, Rory and Dean shared an intimate night together even though Dean was married to Lindsey. This prompted Lorelai to confront Rory about her dangerous and irresponsible choice and give her some tough love by telling Rory the truth — Dean isn't leaving Lindsey for her. This whole ordeal turned out to be very traumatic for Rory as she realized the severity of her mistake.
So someone please explain to me how it would make sense that Rory would once again put herself in that position by being Logan's mistress 10 years later? It's hard to love a character who repeats such distasteful behavior and is so casual about it. No big deal, Rory says, because "What happens in Paris stays in Paris." No, Rory —it is a big deal. You can't go back to the men you've sent away just when they find happiness with another because you miss their attention.
There is a difference between writing a realistic and flawed lead character and writing pure character assassination, and this whole Logan/mistress storyline is the latter. It made no sense from where we left Rory having turned down Logan's proposal and having been through the devastation of stepping on someone's marriage.
The only thing that could possibly redeem this plot line are the last four words of the Gilmore Girls revival: "Mom, I am pregnant." In those words we see now what Amy Sherman was trying to accomplish in bringing Logan and Rory back together — history repeating itself. Rory is 16 year old Lorelai, Logan is 16 year old Christopher, and Rory is about to embark as a single mother who's a jobless millennial coming out of a relationship with a married man.
This is the original way Amy Sherman had planned to end the series before she exited due to contract negotiations. Rory would have been in her early twenties in her last year at Yale having to give up her bright future to be a full-time mom. But as the reboot is eight years later, the devastation of Rory having to give up her Yale graduate career dreams for her pregnancy won't work.
So how could Amy Sherman raise the stakes to make Rory's pregnancy as shocking and scary as it would have been eight years ago? Make her a jobless, childish, thirtysomething who needs a therapy session every time someone doesn't tell her what she wants to hear. Rory's lack of tough skin in the reboot was hard to swallow and I didn't like it, but I do understand Amy Sherman's intent — for the most part. I just wish it would have been handled differently.
Making Rory a cheater for the second time means her mistake wasn't a one time deal — that it has something more to do with her integrity or lack thereof. I can't seem to find the heroine in Rory I once did so many years ago.
Where Rory Went Right
While Rory may be forever irredeemable in my eyes, there were some aspects of where she ended up eight years later that I loved. For example, her struggle to find work as a well-educated millennial following her dreams and the rejection she faces. This is realistic — I've been there and I know so many who have. It was refreshing to see Rory not having it all together like so many other TV characters seem to.
Another great part of her character was when she found out she was pregnant. Rory paid a visit to her father to ask him about his regrets, if any, in leaving Lorelai to raise Rory alone. She was looking for him to give her a reason to include Logan in on her — their — bundle of joy.
It was smart of Rory and showed just how much like Lorelai she really is. She wanted to do this right if not for anyone else but her child. Christopher ultimately confirmed what she already knew: What's best is Rory taking care of her baby on her own and focusing on being the best mother she can be instead of bringing her mistakes with Logan into her child's life. In the end, it seemed she had decided to do it alone, but the difference is she has Lorelai while Lorelai had no one and I think Rory gets how blessed she is for that.
So What Now?
If I had to sum up my feelings for Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life in one word it would be "complex." Things like Luke and Lorelai's wedding, Kirk's "oooober" service, Paris' bathroom meltdown, Emily's beach-side cabin full of her newly adopted family, and Jess' lingering stare at Rory through her window made the revival so many things I had always hoped it would be.
Still, Rory Gilmore definitely tainted my ability to enjoy it to its fullest. My only hope is believing that Rory raises the baby with Lorelai and Luke at her side and that Jess and her find their way back to each other before the child graduates from Yale — because you know it will.