Personal · TV talk

Release the excitement, the girls are back!

Tomorrow, Gilmore Girls: A year in the life of… drops on Netflix. From the minute it got announced, I’ve been ridiculously excited to head back to Stars Hollow and to see what has happened to Lorelai and Rory in the years since we last saw them. I also knew it was about time I made my way back through the complete series to properly re-educate myself and because it was much overdue. Yes, I voluntarily Gilmored myself. It’s also exactly why I’ve not read any press or watched any trailers for the new one.

I don’t really remember how I discovered GG but I remember it being on E4 quite a lot in my teens and, for the most part, being able to keep up with it in order. It spoke to me as young, particularly female, adult in ways other programmes did not. Strong, independent but human characters I could relate to in some way, not least the very quick, witty repertoire that Mum and daughter share, but also the coffee addiction. I wasn’t a coffee drinker until a fairly late age and sadly not thanks to this show, though I had a much greater appreciation of it all from the minute I became a frequent devotee.

So why did a show that’s not always the most realistic in the world hit audiences so hard? Sure, somewhere quite as niche and crazy as Stars Hollow probably doesn’t exist but it’s a wonderful idea and in some respects not too far off. The characters are beautifully flawed, easy to relate to in one way or another to so many. Sure, nobody can quite exist on the diet the girls do without being the size of a house or having no teeth, but it’s a nice dream. It’s the relationships that anchor this show. They most definitely do feel real. People fight, people come together, sometimes when they shouldn’t and more often when they should. I grew up with this show, grew up, age wise, similarly to Rory.

I’ve spent time laughing, crying and being angry at the show. Sometimes I’ve really disliked the paths the girls have gone on. I spent a lot of season 5 being annoyed by Rory and the changes we saw for a while. Or how Lorelai seemed to self-sabotage early relationships, like poor Max. While obviously her and Luke should be end-game, it was still sad. I’ve cried for them and with them during the show, season 6 having some particularly tear-jerking moments, though the end episode set me off more than once. Both girls though get to demonstrate that ultimately their beaus, whoever they are, aren’t their reason for existence. They’re women who, like the rest of us, want and deserve it all. For Lorelai she opened the business she’d dreamed of and for Rory, well when we last left off, she’d landed an incredibly exciting job doing what she’d always wanted.

The character developments felt genuine, if not a little frustrating, at times. As above, I really disliked Rory and the decisions she made at certain points of season five but then she more than repaired it during the course of season six and it is normal for young people to have a wobble. I know I had my own, though nowhere near on this scale. Despite forever adoring Luke, you just want to beat some sense into him as season five ends and six begins. It took five seasons to get them together and then he’s the one who couldn’t do it? Ahh, so frustrating. The ever changing, ever difficult relationship that Lorelai has with her parents provides some of the best and most heart-wrenching moments.

The show always had time for its kooky side characters who make up the rest of the town too. Who didn’t love Kirk in all his weirdly, wonderful glory. Lane, Zack and her band were up and down in terms of interest, but I liked the different element it brought. Babette, Gipsy and Miss Patty were all brilliant. Then there’s Paris. Easily getting some of the best one-liners, her development over the years is one of my favourite. That title though is ultimately taken by Luke. Some of his moments are just great and he provides plenty of humour. The end episode was a perfect way to offer them an ending and a fit way to end things.

Perhaps what always struck a chord for me the most was the Lorelai/Rory relationship. I can see so much of my own relationship with my Mum in it, we’ve always been what I consider to be best friends and it does make change the way you can appreciate certain moments. The fast talking is an art me and my Mum definitely have down to a tee, something my boyfriend has had to adjust to over the course of the years. We also talk frequently on the phone and share music and film tastes.

During my re-watch, I went through all of the emotions all over again and just wanted to be able to visit the places in Stars Hollow and hang out with its residents. It’s one of my all time favourite shows. Endlessly quotable (I included some of mine in my doodle at the top), more pop and cult references with the occasional ones I didn’t understand and utterly charming. No episode ever felt like filler because it’s just nice to be with those characters.

So what are my hopes for this latest instalment? I have faith that none of the original charm or humour will have bene lost given that cast and crew are pretty much all back on-board. I hope we get to see the girls progress in a way that fits with how we left them. My expectations are high, but in terms of plot, I don’t really have any. I’m just happy that we get some more time with them in Stars Hollow.

 

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