If you're out on the road, feelin' lonely and so cold...
The Gilmore girls wrapped up the story that they started 16 years go with Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life; Fall.
How did we feel about "Fall?" TV Fanatics Amanda Steinmetz, Allison Nichols, and Ashley Bissette-Sumerel, joined by Elizabeth from the Gilmore Girls podcast Under the Floorboards and Tamar from The Shipping Room Podcast discuss some of the best and worst moments of "Fall" and from A Year in the Life as a whole!
Luke and Lorelai are finally married! Was it worth waiting for?
Amanda: I cried so many happy tears during that entire sequence. Their wedding was a long time coming. While I don't think everyone needs to be married in order to be satisfied, I think it was needed for Lorelai to feel more complete.
It's kind of crazy they made it all these years without the talk of marriage coming up again, but Luke and Lorelai have never been the best at communication. Luke's speech to her in the kitchen after she returned from California was so sweet and just about as romantic as Luke is capable of being.
Lorelai's quasi mid-life crisis was very relatable, and I thought it was a nice turn that she didn't need to go on the hike to achieve her epiphany. The town square set up for the wedding was simply magical (if entirely unrealistic for Kirk to pull off). I also adored how they used the same Sam Phillips song they had danced to at Liz and TJ's wedding.
Allison: It was such a cute wedding. Kirk knocked the decorations out of the park, and I loved his freak out over ruining it. When did he get so crafty? I bet he has a Pinterest. I will admit I'm not exactly sure why they held off all this time, unless the answer is just they never really talked about it. I wasn't really satisfied with that aspect of the wedding.
Also, why weren't Jess and April at the secret wedding? I mean they apparently had time to get Michel and Lane out of bed, but not April and Jess?
Ashley: I cried buckets. It was absolutely beautiful and quirky, and that song was such a perfect choice. The whole thing really did feel magical. I did kind of want to see the big party, but at the same time, I think the actual wedding could have been disappointing for such a long wait. Doing it this way was more special.
I agree with Allison, though. Why couldn't April and Jess be there? It felt too obvious that this was about casting and timing. But, I don't care. It was still perfect, and made me so happy. It was definitely worth waiting for.
Elizabeth: Luke and Lorelai's wedding was absolutely worth the wait for me. The original proposal, while genuine, was partially born of Lorelai's heartbreak over the path Rory was heading down. This particular proposal was clearly a moment of joy where both characters realized just how much they love each other and how they want to be together forever.
Tamar: In a time when TV is pushing all kinds of boundaries and challenging societal norms, Gilmore Girls is still a show that relies heavily on them. Luke and Lorelai had a successful relationship for all these years. I thought their wedding scene was absolutely beautiful and I understood that Richard's death was the catalyst for Lorelai, but it still felt like they got married because Emily made Lorelai feel so bad about her choice not to get marry.
I wish the decision to get married had come from something else. But, still, it was a stunning scene and the music was perfect. The only thing missing (and his absence was startling) was Jess.
Which Season was your favorite?
Amanda: "Fall" was by far my favorite. I'd put "Winter" in second place followed by "Spring" and then "Summer". There were so many standout scenes in "Fall": the return of the Life and Death Brigade, Logan and Rory's bittersweet farewell, Lorelai's phone call to Emily, Luke's speech in the kitchen, Emily's rant at the DAR, Sookie's return, Lorelai's acceptance of Rory's book, and the wedding sequence.
The final season tied up loose ends of the series while leaving us with the knowledge that a new chapter would begin and that the Gilmores still have more to their journeys, even if we aren't there to watch them.
Allison: Oh goodness, I have to pick a favorite? Right now, I'm going to go with Spring. I'm sure it will change after I rewatch the revival, but Spring is definitely in the lead. Paris and Rory going back to Chilton was fabulous on so many levels. Paris is definitely my favorite part of the revival, and she shines in Spring.
Ashley: "Fall" was absolutely my favorite. "Spring" was probably my second favorite. Then "Summer," then "Winter." To me, "Winter" felt like they were still getting back into the swing of things.
Elizabeth: It's a tie for me between Winter and Fall. I think Fall was a masterful piece of television. But that moment where you realize you're once again fully invested in Stars Hollow and it's like not a day has passed since 2007... that moment was goosebump-inducing.
Tamar: "Fall" was my favorite, mostly because I thought the Dean scene was masterful and absolutely loved the Life and Death Brigade, but "Winter" is a close second. I don't disagree with Ashley that they were still finding their footing a little, but I thought they did a good job setting the stage and the family stuff surrounding Richard's funeral was really special. I do agree with Allison that Paris and Rory going back to Chilton was amazing as well.
The final four words. Oh baby! Did you like the concept of Rory and Lorelai coming full-circle with Rory now facing a pregnancy with her own Luke and Christopher scenario?
Amanda: I know I am going to be in the minority here, but I didn't mind the reveal that Rory is pregnant. It's maddening in the sense that they cut to black and we won't see the aftermath, but I'm not surprised this is the ending Amy Sherman-Palladino created.
The ending was very full circle and the fact that Rory is twice the age Lorelai was when she got pregnant adds a ton of symmetry. I know this isn't the ending most people wanted for Rory, but that's why I'm choosing to not look at this as her ending, but the beginning of a new phase of her life.
The fact that she didn't make it as a journalist doesn't mean she's a failure. Perhaps this book she's writing will be a huge success and her career will be as an author. Or that's not to say she wouldn't find success in journalism later on.
Just because you're smart or went to a great school doesn't mean everything will work out the way you wanted. Life takes us in strange directions and most of my friends have jobs they never anticipated for themselves. Also, Rory being pregnant doesn't negate everything Lorelai wanted for her daughter. Rory went to Yale, she became an independent woman, she traveled the world, and her pregnancy doesn't change any of that.
As far as the idea that Logan is Rory's Christopher and Jess is her Luke is very full circle and I don't really mind it. Also, I don't think it's fair to say Logan is exactly the same man as Christopher. It's obvious that Logan and Rory loved each other, but due to timing and his imposing family, they couldn't make it work.
However, I think were she to tell Logan about the pregnancy, he would either try to leave his fiancée to be with Rory or he would want to be involved with the child. Christopher was also a teenager when Lorelai became pregnant. I would like to think because they are in their 30s, Logan and Rory would handle raising their child together in less dramatic fashion.
In terms of where Jess fits into all of this, that is left open. It's clear he still loves Rory, but right now Rory's not even thinking about him romantically. That's not to say things would change in the future. Just the fact that Jess is Luke's nephew means he will always be connected to Rory. Were she to have this baby, I'm sure Jess would take on a similar role as Luke was for Rory. I'm a Team Jess girl all the way, so I'd like to think there could still be a future for them.
I understand the disappointment and anger people are feeling over this ending. It's not what most of us envisioned for Rory. But watching her struggle was always far more interesting to me than when she was always perfect.
I'm one of those fans who loved watching the later seasons when she made the mistake of sleeping with Dean, struggled with her future and when she dropped out of Yale. Rory's seemingly perfectness in the first few seasons made her less relatable to me.
So that's why watching her journey throughout this revival reminded me that Rory doesn't have it all figured out. She may not always make the right choices, but she's still figuring out who she is and what her future holds. Perhaps because I am in a similar place in my life, I can easily understand her perspective.
Allison: I liked the full circle aspect of it. I enjoyed the parallel to Lorelai's situation with Christopher and Luke. Now I'm not saying that Logan and Christopher are exactly the same, but their relationships with their respective Gilmore are a lot alike. They both come from money, and Lorelai and Rory fell head over heels for them. Neither relationship ever worked out.
You could argue the timing is wrong, but something never worked. Lorelai went back to Christopher repeatedly over the years, and this revival shows Rory going back to Logan. Meanwhile Luke was always there for Lorelai, and Jess is always there for Rory.
Jess is the guy who can put things in perspective for Rory, and she values his opinion. Jess has turned into someone Rory can count on, which wasn't always the case. My issue with the final four words is that we are left with a cliffhanger. We don't know for sure who the father is. We are ending with Rory starting this huge next chapter in her life, and we are being shut out of it.
I don't think anyone went into the revival expecting this kind of shock. We were caught off guard and let down because we have been waiting for this revival for years. We wanted a semblance of closure.
Ashley: Yeah, I know people are split on this, but I actually really love it. I love the idea that it's full circle, and I think it's safe to assume the baby is Logan's. So I don't feel like that's an unanswered question. I also kind of like that it wasn't this perfect ending all tied together with a bow -- it's the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.
Elizabeth: I will admit that at first, I didn't really like The Final Four Words. I had about a 10 minute "WTF?!" moment and then it started to dawn on me that it made perfect sense and was poetic in a way.
Not being a Logan fan, I wish it wasn't with him (although, maybe it's the Wookie?), but the fact that Rory's life has started to come together with the book and she can see a clearer picture for her future, I can see her being just as amazing a mom as Lorelai was to her.
Also, knowing that these were the words planned from the beginning, I'm almost glad AS-P left in season 7 and then the show was cancelled. I'm more on board with a 32-year-old Rory being in this situation than a 22-year-old Rory. There's nothing wrong with having a child at 22 years old... but it was clear that's not what Rory's future was meant to be.
Tamar: I feel the exact opposite of Allison. The parallel to Lorelai's life just frustrates me. I don't believe that the notion of life coming full circle means that our lives are exact replicas of our parents. The revival could have ended with Lorelai and Christopher in a hospital room at the delivery of Rory's baby and that would have also fit the bill of feeling "full circle."
Lorelai's life was hard, and though her relationship with Rory made it all worth it to her, romanticizing it for the sake of being profound doesn't work for me. There's nothing poignant about Rory leaving Logan out of the equation and raising her child on her own.
There's nothing beautiful about Jess longingly looking at Rory without having the courage to just tell her how he feels (if he, in fact, feels something). Yes, many, many people loved watching Lorelai's story unfold for seven years on the original Gilmore Girls. That doesn't mean that it's appealing to think of Rory repeating the entire thing on her own.
Who was the MVP of the Revival?
Amanda: I have a few MVPs. First up is Emily. Her path after Richard's death was uncertain, but I'm thrilled she achieved a sense of peace: quitting the DAR, finding a maid she liked. packing up the house, and finding work.
The next would be Lorelai. Lauren Graham did some of her finest work in this revival and the scene when she tells Emily the story she should have told at the wake was lovely. Lastly, I have to pick Paris because she was always one of my favorite characters and Liza Weil slipped back into the role with ease.
Allison: Can I just copy and paste Amanda's answer? Paris and Emily are the ones who immediately came to my mind. I'm so proud of Emily for starting this new life for herself. It's nothing like the life she had with Richard. Emily found the courage to jump into something new and leave behind every aspect of her old life. Paris is my MVP because she's Paris Geller! She is completely dominating in her field, and yet she still has her insecurities that she is working through.
Ashley: Well, now I feel unoriginal. I pretty well feel the same way: Emily, then Lorelai, then Paris. Just for the sake of saying something different, I think Luke also deserves a shout out. His character felt so passionate to me, from his WiFi passwords to his speech to Lorelai begging her not to leave. Oh my God. He had me in so many tears. It was perfect.
Elizabeth: I have to give it to my man, Kirk! Sean Gunn has gotten crazy hot since the original series ended, but I still 100% bought him as the bumbling Kirk we know and love the moment we saw him explaining his Ooober idea. And the scene with him telling Luke about Ooober and Lorelai off-camera yelling and throwing bagels at him... might've been my favorite scene of the entire revival.
I'm glad the genius of Kirk Gleeson finally got its due on A Year In the Life.
Tamar: Kelly Bishop, no question. As everyone said, Emily's storyline was the most well done, and Bishop's performance was magnificent. I agree that Lauren Graham did some of her best work in this revival, and Liza Weil is always amazing.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is streaming now on Netflix.