Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Bullshit

This articles contains spoilers for the Netflix special.

I am livid. I have just finished watching all four episodes of the revival, and I am so very angry at what these four little episodes have done to the canon of this show. I’ll try to put this all into a cohesive order, but I am so very disappointed.

To start off, let’s talk about where we left these characters at the season finale of the broadcast run. Firstly, we have Rory. She had landed a job following Barack Obama’s campaign across the country for an online newspaper. Not the most prestigious of positions, but she was excited to get her career off the ground and get some real experience as a reporter. She was a smart young woman who was moving past her small town childhood and many mistakes of her past. She also had no ties to any men, as all her past relationships were not very healthy in one way or another. As for Lorelai, her business was booming, she was on good (enough) terms with her parents, and that last kiss with Luke was perfect.

So now we open on A Year in the Life. Rory’s entire career has collapsed into her freelancing, living on the road with no actual home, no actual job, and only a couple flimsy prospects. She’s “dating” someone named Paul and sleeping with Logan on the side. Lorelai and Luke are still together, but Sookie has abandoned the Dragonfly Inn and Michel is dealing with the hole in staffing. Richard Gilmore has passed, and the three women are dealing with their grief in different ways.

One of the things that I am most angry and confused about is what the hell is going on with Rory and Logan. Logan is engaged to someone else, a French heiress named Odette. Yet, Rory and him are still seeing each other on the side. This confuses me so deeply, that I kept thinking that I was mistaking something in the plot, and that there was no way that Rory could be messing around with a taken man. Again. I’m confused as to why she would do it in the first place. I’m confused as to why Lorelai didn’t lose her mind when she found out, like she did with Dean. I’m confused as to why Rory doesn’t seem to feel any guilt whatsoever, treating the fact that what she’s doing is wrong as more of a unfortunate truth, not a immoral choice she made. The fact that she sleeps with him again after “breaking up” with him says it all. She doesn’t actually care that she’s a mistress, she just finds it inconvenient. I am just upset that Rory turned from a naive girl who slept with Dean on a childish whim, to a legitimate homewrecker. She has a boyfriend, is sleeping with an engaged man, and has a one night stand. Poor Paul indeed.

The one story that I enjoyed was Emily Gilmore. This is very surprising to me, because usually I find her to be a very irritating character. She’s manipulative, ignorant woman who can play the victim better than anyone. Her interactions with Lorelai sometimes leave me screaming at the television to just shut up and listen for once in her goddamn life!! But I digress. Throughout these four episodes, she grows deeply as a person. In her first therapy sessions with Lorelai, she’s a nightmare as usual, constantly criticizing her daughter on irrelevant things. She is still a control freak with a need to but into people’s business, such as her pushing of Luke to franchise. But she starts to calm down. It’s clear that she is a woman lost without her husband, her partner for 50 years, and she doesn’t know who to be without him. Between self help books, therapy, and taking it out on those closest to her, by Fall it seems that she’s come to peace with the fact that she doesn’t have to the rich, entitled, DRA member she always was to be happy. She can be whoever she wants to be, and if that person is the type to move to Nantucket and scare kids with stories of whale hunting, then nothing is stopping her. I’m sure she’ll still be Emily Gilmore, but I can see he really relaxing her iron grip on everything.

I am also tickled to see Lorelai and Luke finally tie the knot. It was a long time coming. I think they still have a major communication issue, but they can work on that. They are each other’s one true, and that’s been clear since about season 1.

Back to Rory, and this revival’s conspiracy to destroy everything about her character. We have to talk about those last four words.

“Mom.”

“Yes?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Absolutely garbage. This happens right after she had just given up on her life dream of being a reporter in exchange for working the editor job for the local newspaper with two elderly, uninterested colleagues. She also decides to write a book. She’s already basically anchored herself to Stars Hollow, but now with a baby on the way, there is no way she will be able to return to a busy corporate position anytime soon. There is just so much settling from what used to be a very ambitious, devoted character. She would never give up on anything, whether it was getting the paper out at the deadline or supporting her mother through rough breakups, she never gave up. And then after a couple bad job interviews she’s just going to resign herself to small town living?

This is the same treatment that Lane got in the last couple seasons of the broadcast show. She wanted to be a rock star. She started a band, was playing local gigs, and looked to get signed. And then one day, she’s pregnant and settling down. Zack’s working a nine to five, and they live in a small house with their two kids, practicing every once in a while. She wanted freedom and music and to rebel with everything she had, and then was reduced to a housewife. It drives me crazy, but I got over it because she did see legitimately happy with Zack, and they both did want kids eventually.

Rory on the other hand, does not want children. While acting perfectly cozy with Paris’ kids during Year in the Life, in the past on the show she was pretty blatant about her priority being career over family for the foreseeable future. But now she’s thrown out her journalism dream and is pregnant. Who are you, Rory Gilmore? Some people would say your mother, what with the having a child out of wedlock and considering raising it on your own, it seems you are slightly reliving your mother’s teenage years.

I don’t really have much else to say. I am so disappointed. These episodes took the Rory Gilmore I knew and loved and replaced her with a serial cheating, spineless quitter. I am very annoyed by the last lines of the show. Besides the normal feelings of irritation a cliffhanger gives, I’m very much not happy with the implications it has for Rory’s future. She deserves better. Hell, even Logan and Jess deserved better endings. And thank god Paul go out at the end. But regardless, I’d love to hear what you guys though of Year in the Life. Let me know if you agree with me or if you loved it in the comments.

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