After eagerly bingeing on the highly-anticipated reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life over Thanksgiving break, I’ve had some time to mull things over, and I realized that I still have a few bones to pick with the show.
Here are my remaining queries, in no particular order — and yes, I will accept a letter from Amy Sherman-Palladino explaining all of the answers.
1. Did Rory ever find her underwear?
One of the verbal motifs of A Year In The Life is Rory bemoaning the fact that she can’t find her lucky outfit and that all of her possessions are scattered around Connecticut in various boxes. She even semi-drunkenly laments this fact to a perplexed Jess, telling him that she doesn’t have any underwear (GIRL, JUST BUY SOME). Despite all the complaining, we NEVER FIND OUT if Rory gets all of her clothing back.
2. Was Rory seriously dating Forgettable Paul for multiple years?
While the running gag about Paul’s utterly forgettable personality was funny, it was also on the verge of being outlandishly preposterous. Is it believable to have a forgettable suitor of a few months? Sure. A few years, however? This just makes me concerned for Rory’s mental health. Did she get concussed or something? Is the Rory Gilmore we know and love really so self-absorbed that she’s in a “relationship” with someone she can’t even remember? I’m not totally sure, but it feels like the writers were too lazy to create a new, fully-formed character for Paul, and settled instead for making him a two-dimensional punchline.
3. What ever happened to Zack and Lane’s hopes and dreams?
The more you think about this one, the more depressing it becomes. Lane’s impressive musical prowess was always one of the show’s shining beacons of girl-power light, not to mention the fact that she taught herself how to play the drums after hours (in the dark) at the local music shop. She always dreamed of becoming a rock musician, and, for a while, Hep Alien gave both herself and her random paramour, Zack, that very opportunity. But then, the whole band storyline took a backseat to the standard Marriage Plot — i.e., Lane and Zack got married, for some mysterious reason (sex?), and promptly became pregnant. This was basically the end of their story arc. The whole thing just seemed like either a cruel plot device, or a way-too-real commentary on what actually happens when you pursue your outlandish goals. In A Year In The Life, I was sincerely hoping that perhaps the show would offer some sort of retribution for Zack and Lane’s frustrating ending. It didn’t.
Unless you find the fact that they now play in a duo at the Secret Bar to be comforting — in which case, bully for you!
4. What was the point of that Naomi Shropshire storyline?
Don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated by this bizarre, drunken British woman (my favorite kind of lady, to be honest), but it seemed kind of strange to force Rory to interact with her. Was this meant to be some sort of reference to the inevitability of working with an insane boss at some point in one’s postgraduate career? I’m not sure, but I am vastly curious as to whether or not Naomi ended up writing that children’s book about the mouse and the whale.
5. How much money did Lorelai waste on her Wild (the book) trip?
Sitting down and wondering about the economics of Gilmore-land is probably a fruitless endeavor, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Lorelai drove cross-country, stayed in numerous motels, and purchased an impressive amount of hiking equipment in order to hike the Pacific Crest Trail — which she never actually does. It really sort of puts her criticism of Logan’s spending habits into perspective, doesn’t it?
6. What is Christopher’s job, exactly?
He seems to work in some sort of classy colonial office, but other than that, we know nothing about what Rory’s dad actually does for a living. I’ve decided that he must just be a professional handsome person, because holy shit how has he not aged a day in ten years??
7. Do Paris and Doyle ever reconcile??
Paris and Doyle were just bizarre enough to make perfect and total sense. They were just insane enough to be in sync! And yet, Doyle’s hyper-meta transformation into an L.A. screenwriter seems to have torn the two asunder. But, if I know Paris and Doyle, I have a sneaking feeling that these two aren’t quite finished yet.
8. Did Rory ever finish her piece about waiting in line?
I mean, no, I didn’t really care about reading it, but if she didn’t complete it then I’m pretty sure she just had sex with a Wookiee for nothing.
9. Does Luke’s Diner even have WiFi?
Luke keeps trolling his laptop-savvy customers with fake WiFi passwords, but does a real WiFi password even exist in Luke’s Diner? I have a hard time believing that Luke would willingly install anything that would modernize his establishment in any way — let alone a feature which would actually encourage customers to stay longer.
10. What the f*ck was up with Emily’s maybe-boyfriend?
Look, all I know is that he played Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks, and it was really weird for me every time he was onscreen. Was he using Emily? Was she using him? Were they ever actually together?? I’m not sure, but their “breakup” was so uncomplicated and fast that I have difficulty parsing out what was actually going on here.
11. Why did they force Rory to be the “other woman” yet again?
Look, fair warning: in the original Gilmore Girls days, I was (am) a staunch believer in Team Logan. Despite his playboy tendencies, he seemed to genuinely be able to set aside his wild ways for Rory, and ended up actually pursuing long-term commitment by asking her to marry him. In the reboot, however, Logan and Rory’s relationship has somehow evolved into a toxic one, and I have difficulty believing that either of these characters would willingly enter into a “no strings attached,” adulterous relationship with their former partner. Rory’s already tried that with Dean, and it obviously didn’t work out so well. In the original series finale, Logan was unable to forgive Rory’s rejection of his proposal, saying that he didn’t want to “move backward” in their relationship. Why would either of them agree to this Trans-Atlantic tryst, then? It just seems weird and uncharacteristic. But, you know what? I’m ultimately thankful, because it gave us all this magnificence:
THANK YOU, NETFLIX.
12. How much did Melissa McCarthy get paid for her five minutes of screen time?
It must have been one kabillion dollars or some completely untenable rate, because WOW, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH SOOKIE HERE, YOU GUYS.
13. Was that Life and Death Brigade thing a dream sequence, or did it actually happen?
As I watched this scene, I was perpetually convinced that it was going to end with Rory waking up suddenly. And then, somehow … that never happened. How did that never happen? Was everybody high as a f*cking Georgia kite? Did they suddenly decide that the show needed even more musical sequences, which I hadn’t even expected in the first place? I’m not sure, but those steampunk fashion choices need to go away forever.
14. So … what’s next?
We were probably all expecting A Year In the Life to be one long session of fan-service, fanning the flames of our nostalgia and giving us the opportunity to wander through Stars Hollow yet again. To its credit, the show refused to do that, and forced us to deal with the possibility of character growth in new and frightening directions — and the shocking reveal of Rory’s pregnancy.
But, now, we’re left with even more questions than we had before. Namely: is Logan actually the dad, and, if so, he is going to be an analog for Rory’s dad, Christopher? Is Jess essentially going to be Rory’s own Luke? Are you allowed to drop the bomb of a character pregnancy without the promise of future episodes, or should such a maneuver banish you to TV jail?
Now that Rory is pregnant, it seems like the show could actually have newfound legs, as well as a compelling new story — if the pregnancy reveal hadn’t been shoved to the end of the reboot like an infuriatingly explosive footnote.
Does this mean we’re getting more episodes? Or are we just meant to sit around and muse about how fitting it is that the show finally came full circle? While I doubt Netflix can resist the lure of another fan-based cash-grab, Amy Sherman-Palladino is a tougher egg to crack, and has essentially only said “maybe” to the possibility of future episodes.
But, one thing is still certain: where Amy leads, we will (probably) follow.