Why Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life didn’t work

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life felt like no time had passed

On Monday, Deadline announced that The CW would be airing Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Monday, Nov. 23 through Thanksgiving weekend.

The miniseries, which was distributed by Netflix and aired in 2016, was the follow-up to the popular WB/CW series Gilmore Girls that aired from 2000 to 2007 and starred Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. The original series followed Lorelai (Graham) and Rory (Bledel) Gilmore through the trials and tribulations of life in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

After Rory gets accepted to Chilton Preparatory Academy, Lorelai must ask her wealthy parents, Emily and Richard, played by Kelly Bishop and the late Edward Hermann, for tuition money. In doing so, however, she opens the door for them to enter back into her life, 16 years after she got pregnant and ran away from home. As a result, things quickly get complicated.

Gilmore Girls was one of my favorite shows growing up, and so I was ecstatic when I heard the news that the show was coming back for a limited series.

The news became even sweeter when I learned that the revival would be helmed by the original showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan, who left the show after a contract dispute with the WB at the end of Season 6. Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Let’s talk about why Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life missed the mark.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life picked up exactly where we left off

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life reunites us with Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, nine years after the original series. When we last saw them, Rory had left Stars Hollow for Iowa to work as a reporter on the Barack Obama campaign while Lorelai had gotten back together with diner-owner Luke.

Nine years later, Rory had gotten a piece published in The New Yorker but had spent much of the last few years working as a freelance journalist, always in pursuit of her next story. Meanwhile, Lorelai and Luke were still together but had not tied the knot.

Revivals are difficult to pull off. Although fans welcome them, eager to be reunited with their favorite characters, there’s always the worry that a revival won’t capture the spirit of the original work. This worry is predicated upon the fact that too much time has usually passed.

As a result, fans become worried that the characters they know and love will be shadows of their former selves. In Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, however, it feels like no time has passed at all, and that actually ends up being a problem because Rory and Lorelai are in the same spot that we left them nine years ago.

Success isn’t a straight line

Despite working on the campaign trail for the man who would become the 44th President of the United States, Rory hadn’t exactly been able to follow-up that success and had spent much of the past decade couch-surfing with one project after another falling through.

To make matters worse, Rory’s love life was a mess as we’d find her in the middle of a two-year-long lustless relationship with a man who couldn’t seem to leave an impression on anyone that he met. Yet, it wouldn’t matter much as to gain a sense of familiarity and stability in her life, we would learn that Rory was having a secret love affair with her old flame Logan Huntzberger. Logan, who was working for his father despite having opted to make it on his own in Season 7, would be living in London with his fiancee Odette, a French heiress.

To get back on track, Rory would once again need to be saved by yet another old flame, Jess Mariano, who would encourage her to write an autobiography. Unfortunately, when it seemed like she was finally getting her life together, she would be thrown another curveball, a baby.

See you at the next reunion

Lorelai, on the other hand, was still managing the Dragonfly Inn, although her partner-in-crime Sookie St. James had left a year prior for a six-month sabbatical at Blue Hill Farm, and Michel was contemplating his own departure. Meanwhile, although her relationship with Luke seemed to be going well, they appeared to be having the same communication issues that broke them up nine years previously.

The only Gilmore Girl that seemed to be moving forward was Lorelai’s socialite mother, Emily, who, after the death of her husband Richard, had to figure out what her life looked like as a woman who no longer lived her life in servitude to her husband and their socialite lifestyle.

Even still, her relationship with Lorelai remained complicated, which meant we had to watch them at odds for the umpteenth time, and it became quickly apparent what was really going on.

In trying to make up for her abrupt departure, Amy Sherman-Palladino, with this revival, had decided to write her version of Season 7. Unfortunately, in doing so, she’d had to undo all of the progress that had been made in her absence.

As a result, Rory was having a post-grad slump in her 30s, Lorelai and Luke were continuing to keep their personal lives separate, and Emily and Lorelai were continuing to have the same 30-year-old argument.

And, in general, nothing had changed in the lives of their friends or the townspeople of Stars Hollow with Kirk Gleason continuing to live with his mother, and Lane Van Gerbig nee Kim finding herself living as a housewife who still hadn’t hit the big time with her rock band Hep Alien.

While familiarity may seem comforting, watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life unfortunately felt like attending a high school reunion where you quickly realize you’re the most successful person in the room. I guess we’ll see everyone in another 10 years?

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What did you think of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and will you be watching when the miniseries comes to The CW?