Break out the coffee makers and the pop culture dictionaries — everyone’s favorite fast-talking mother-daughter duo is back.
Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) returned to our screens, inspired by Netflix’s latest nostalgia stint and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s willingness to continue the story, with the release of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Nov. 25.
From the “will they-won’t they” nature of Lorelai’s relationship with Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) to the infamous “Final Four Words,” “A Year in the Life” delivered in all aspects, living up to both the hype and the Gilmore name. Each episode takes its name from a season, bringing both the entire series and the revival, full circle. The revival picks up years after the end of the show’s first run, with the characters slowly, but surely readjusting to the fast-paced dialogue and the pop culture references during their return to small town Connecticut.
The quirky, small town atmosphere of Stars Hollow acts as its own entity, though Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) acts as its mouthpiece. His latest antics, to the chagrin of most of the town, involve a musical centered around the small town, a search for A-list actors and plans for a gay pride parade. Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) and his odd jobs, which range from Ooober, not to be confused with Uber, driver to town decorator, also makes his highly anticipated return.
One of the biggest changes from the original run to the revival is the death of patriarch Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann). Much of the revival centers around his death and how Rory, Lorelai and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) cope without him. Emily’s transition from housewife to grieving widow is fraught with arguments and therapy, with the occasional appearance of an odd pair of blue jeans. Her reaction to his death is raw and realistic, by far the best acting of the entire revival.
The chemistry between Bishop and Graham is palpable and portrays grief and estrangement to a T. Graham plays all facets of her character as only she can, going from comedic relief to dramatic dialogue with the drop of a hat. Although their fraught relationship doesn’t improve much, both mother and daughter see each other through different eyes after a stroll down memory lane ends with an anecdote concerning Richard.
Between the copious pop culture references and allusions to both the original series and fan theories, one question remains unanswered: which of Rory’s old beaus will play the biggest role in the revival? Her forgettable current boyfriend, Paul (Jack Carpenter), doesn’t live up to the standards that Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki), Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) and Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) set in the original run, as every single character, even Rory, seems to forget that Paul even exists. She finds closure in a few of these relationships, but lingering glances and the effect of the Final Four Words begs to ask whether or not the closure will last.
In the final scenes of “Fall,” the fourth and final episode of the revival, the fallout from the Final Four Words could — and hopefully will — pave the way to later episodes. Although “Fall” serves as a solid ending point if Sherman-Palladino chooses to leave the characters as they are, the so-called cliffhanger has fans, including myself, looking for more clarity.
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” fits the nostalgic revival vibe that Netflix utilizes, thrilling fans of all ages and providing closure for many of the characters that the millennial generation grew up watching.