Film & Television

In ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,’ You Can Go Home Again

My daughter and I were late to Gilmore Girls, but we made up for lost time. The series began in 2000 and ran for seven seasons. After much prodding by our closest friends, and particularly by my mother, we gave it a try a few years ago — and were both immediately hooked. Despite having now watched every episode (many-multiple times), we’ll still happily sit down to enjoy an hour of fast-talking Lorelais and their oddball but lovable community of Star’s Hollow.

Gilmore Girls celebrates a unique mother-daughter relationship. The older Lorelai, who became pregnant at 16, has built a life for herself and “Rory.” Lorelai is a bit of a rebel, while Rory is studious. (My daughter once informed me that she and I were just like the Gilmores, but in reverse, because I was “so serious” and she liked to “have fun.”) Lorelai has turned her back on her upper crusty Hartford family and the series set-up revolves around her returning to reluctantly ask her parents, Richard and Emily, for a loan to pay Rory’s prep school tuition. They refuse the loan, but offer the money as a gift, provided that the two Lorelais attend a weekly Friday night family dinner. And the rest is TV history.

Alas, even the most beloved series can’t last forever. (The Simpsons, in its 28th year may prove the exception.) But, thanks to Netflix, the Lorelais’ story continues. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life launched the day after Thanksgiving so, for thousands of fans, “Black Friday” wasn’t quite so black this year. As a matter of fact, with so many of us bingeing, I’d be interested to see if retail numbers were down.

The Netflix series is broken into four 90-minute movies, titled “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer,” and “Fall,” a nod to the classic Carole King song “Where You Lead” that opened all of the original TV shows. The network invested in traditional media promotion, as well as tweet-worthy guerrilla marketing events, like pop-up Luke’s Diner coffee shops, and an elaborate field trip to the “real” Star’s Hollow. Fan enthusiasm grew as actor after actor agreed to participate. From stars Lauren Graham (Lorelai), Alexis Bledel (Rory) and Kelly Bishop (Emily) to the town’s quirkiest minor characters, virtually everyone signed on for the reunion. Even box-office gold Melissa McCarthy, arguably the original show’s most successful breakout, agreed to a cameo. The only person missing was Emmy Award-winner Edward Herrman, a renowned actor of stage and screen and particularly memorable in Gilmore as Lorelai’s father. Sadly, Herrman passed away in 2014.

Be warned. At this point, I’m going to talk about the new series in some detail. If you haven’t watched it yet and plan to, you may want to stop reading, start watching and come back to the story when you’re done. (P.S. Have fun.)

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  • hillsmom November 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Can’t wait to see more of the “Gilmore Girls”. It’s one of my all time favorites. I wanted it to go on and on to see what happened. Logan didn’t deserve Rory. Jess and Dean didn’t either. Perhaps my local library will have it sooner or later. Up cable tv has all 7 seasons playing in sequence in case you wanted to know.
    Another favorite of mine is “As Time Goes By” on PBS. Unfortunately, it has an annoying laugh track. Cheers…