A TV series about a coffee-swilling, fast-talking, pop culture-spieling duo of mother and daughter, Gilmore Girls had developed a cult following since it began airing in 2000. The show is precious to all its fans, even though it concluded in 2007. When news about a Gilmore Girls reunion hit the news, fans were undoubtedly excited and they waited breathlessly for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life to become available on Netflix. These are basically four reunion specials, which are approximately 90 minutes long. There has been considerable speculation about the ‘final four words’, which Amy Sherman-Pelladino, the creator of the show, had intended to use for its ending.
However, she had been unable to do so because she wasn’t at the helm when the series came to an end. The show begins nine years after Lauren Graham’s Lorelai said goodbye to Rory (Alexis Bledel), her then 23-year old daughter. She was a budding journalist ready to join the campaign trail of Barrack Obama. There is a 16-year age gap between mother and daughter, which is why they seem more like friends. The first episode opens with the reunion of the two on the steps of a snow-covered gazebo and it is everything that Gilmore is about, with a 2016 touch.
The lead women talk about various things ranging from hummus dip to diphtheria without pausing for a breath. The reunion is quite a thrill for fans of the beloved show. Sure, some new aspects have been added and it takes time adjusting to them. Rory is swigging scotch and martinis and there is also some swearing here and there. This is mostly because the audience met Rory when she was 16, but it falls into place when you realize she is 32 now. The biggest difference so far is the format, which is feature-length, which leaves more room.
There is a point when Lorelai and Rory don’t say anything to each about for almost five seconds, which is rare because these characters always have something to say to each other. But, it becomes apparent that the show can maintain a balance between its rapid pace and silences without taking away the magic. Soon, this new element comes off as special. It doesn’t take long for viewers to realize that this reunion is nothing short of a love letter that Sherman Palladino has written with Dan Pelladino, her husband and co-creator, for fans who have waited almost a decade to see it done right.
Sure, there are explanatory dialogues in the script so new viewers can become acquainted, but a lot of the oddities and in-jokes will be tough to understand those who haven’t seen it from the start. New viewers are going to find some things strange like the inability of both characters to hold a full cup of coffee or the ridiculously long commute Rory takes that defies time zones and incomes. Yet, old viewers will find joy as the show returns to Stars Hollow, the weird yet charming town. But, it is not just about Kirk’s hustling, Taylor’s campaigning and some extras dressed as snowflakes.
This time, the drama is driven by the death of Lorelai’s father, Richard Gilmore. The character was played by Edward Herrmann, who died two years ago and the event has been incorporated in the storyline. The tremendous Kelly Bishop, who plays Lorelai’s mother Emily, accidentally commissions a wall-sized portrait of her husband whose death looms just as large as the portrait itself. The beauty of this show has always rested on the three strong female lead characters and the Gilmore women now have to confront their lives after suffering this loss. There is lots of pain and angst, but there is also a pet pig in there. In a nutshell, this reunion is nothing less than a perfect gift for fans of the show as it brings their favorite characters back onscreen.