In the lead up to the weekend, the Internet has been abuzz with talk of all things Gilmore Girls. In anxiously awaiting the return of this generation’s beloved mother-daughter dynamic, the inevitable has occurred: Disappointment. No amount of expectation-tempering could prepare us at The Binge HQ for what awaited us during the marathon session we were exposed to by Netflix.
Having craved its return for the better part of a decade, fans have built it up to unattainable heights in their mind’s eye. However, this still doesn’t explain how much of a train wreck the revival turned out. Yes, we sat there for all six hours of this spectacular implosion of an iconic show, and we’re scarred for life by it. Let’s talk about why, shall we?
The overarching theme of this season seems to be the fact that it was written under the influence of copious substance abuse. There is no conceivable way this was written without cocaine, whisky, and a mental breakdown colliding in a glorious display of hallucinogenic proportions. Between the distinct lack of continuity, and the randomly peppered pop culture reference (including cameos by celebrity chefs such as Rachael Ray, and mentions of others like Anthony Bourdain) that had no relevance to anything, you get the feeling that there is a desperate scramble to bring this show up to speed and make it relevant again. It seems to have gone unnoticed by the myriad people working on the show just how unhinged it came off as.
While the show has always precariously straddled the line between eccentric and irrational, that line has always been just visible in the distance. Somewhere between the shockingly arbitrary and incessant musical numbers, it got scuffed over, and buried under the ruins of it all. Unless you have LSD in your possession, it’s going to be extremely difficult to understand how you went from watching Gilmore Girls to the world’s most contrived musical.
Something that’s left us taken aback is not how much the characters have aged, but just how much they haven’t.
The sheer quantity of botox in this season could stop time; or even turn it back to when it was something remotely palatable.
Aesthetics aside, the characters themselves have barely changed, unless it’s because they’ve become terrible people (*cough* Rory *cough*).
Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) is still an emotionally stunted child who sabotages her own life in the most cavalier fashion. With all the self-inflicted woe-is-me moments, it’s become increasingly difficult to sympathise with her character. It’s nice to know that the writers have eased up on the unhealthy co-dependence between her and Rory (Alexis Bledel) now, though. Speaking of relationships, it’s very difficult to gloss over the fact that there is no actual chemistry between Lorelai and Luke (Scott Patterson) now that they’re together. Could it be because she’s defying the laws of physics with how far her skin can stretch?
The truly mind-boggling aspect of this show is how they have taken the beloved character of Rory and turned her into an utterly despicable human being. While all women can appreciate the reality of turning into their mothers in their 30s, Rory has turned into Lorelai on steroids. The student surpasses the master, indeed! Between her inability to stop making questionable decisions where men are concerned, and her complete disregard for airing her mother’s dirty laundry in public, we can’t help but wonder what happened in the decade leading up to this season to have turned her into what she’s become. Believe it or not, it’s not covered anywhere in the obscenely pointless storyline that runs through the season.
While the overwhelming feeling when watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is that you just want it to stop because it’s so painful, it does have its share of moments. If you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls, you will be struggling not to tear up when heart-wrenching moments involving Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrman) are brought up by Emily and Lorelai. You will also likely mourn the loss of the huge quantities of coffee that pervaded the old series. For some inexplicable reason, this has been replaced with alcohol (primarily whisky), and a bizarre amount of product placement. In hindsight, the plastic surgery had to be funded somehow.
Pictures taken from Netflix.