The remake, reboot, revival craze continues in Hollywood and even Netflix is in on the fun! Why not? It’s a ratings goldmine that comes with a built-in aurdience. Rehashing Full House last year with Fuller House became a pop culture success leading to second season in 2017. Arrested Development was an early success for the streaming service as are Trailer Park Boys and Longmire now. Now comes a revival of Gilmore Girls. But does the next nostalgia missile explode into awesome or fall like a dud?
If you don’t know, the Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 to 2007, first on The WB and then on CW. It stars Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), a single mom raising an extraordinary overachieving teenage daughter, Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). The pair struggle with school, work, life, and family as they chug coffee in the small town of Stars Hollow. Gilmore Girls is a comedy and drama, but a bit of a fantasy too as the idyllic Stars Hollow exists in a world with a town troubadour, quirky townspeople, and pop culture references galore.
Gilmore Girls is like living inside a Norman Rockwell painting only everyone has whip-smart things to say.
The show’s three strengths were it’s rapid-fire and pop culture-infused dialogue, fantastic acting, and fluid directing. Long, one-shot takes put you in Stars Hollow along with acclaimed performances from Graham, Bledel, and Kelly Bishop as matriarch Emily Gilmore.
Gilmore Girls grew into a strong ratings performer. But it’s that final season that fans complain about. And for that reason, Netflix decided to fill a void by offering Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. It’s four episodes, each taking place during a different season (Summer, Fall, etc.) that recaps the lives of the Gilmore Girls and puts a better bow on the entire Gilmore Girls package than the original, weak series finale.
Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life hits the ground running. The overall story takes a bit to get going. But from the opening moments, the dialogue is shooting out the mouths of the cast. The camera is carefully following. And the wacky, small town is buzzing again.
For fans of the series, it’s a must-see. It’s four more episodes to enjoy with these great characters and the brilliant way the show mixes humor and drama. For those who have never watched Gilmore Girls it’s still entertaining, if only for the dialogue and performances. However, without the benefit of the series, a lot of the feels will get lost, as will those joyful moments when old characters pop up.
Is it perfect? No. A lot of questions are left unanswered. And there are a few song and dance numbers that feel a little tacked on or are longer than they should be. Not all the old Stars Hollow folks return or are around like they should be. And the ending will be a point of discussion for fans for years to come. As a personal nitpick, why didn’t they use the theme song. “Where You Lead” by Carole King?
I’m generally not a fan of reboots, remakes, or otherwise uses of weaponized nostalgia. I like to look forward and in the end that’s the message behind this new Gilmore Girls. Emily, Rory, and Lorelai all leave old fears behind to face new, exciting fears as the bonded, confident women they are.