Operation Gilmore Girls

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Old TV shows never die; they get revivals.

As you may have heard, new episodes of Gilmore Girls are coming to Netflix on November 25th, more than eight years after the original end of the series. The fast-talking, pop culture-obsessed, coffee-guzzling, quirky mother daughter duo of Lorelai and Rory GIlmore will return, along with most of the original Stars Hollow gang. Revisiting a TV series or movie is always a dicey proposition, but when news of this revival was revealed I was delighted; creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was back at the helm after being fired for the show’s seventh season and would be able to end her series on her own terms; it’s been speculated for years what the final four words of the series would be and know we’ll likely finally find out. Of course, there is a chance that they won’t be able to recapture the same magic of the initial run, but I’m cautiously optimistic. Spending more time with these characters is something that I didn’t expect, so I’m grateful for the new episodes, even if they aren’t as good. Really, my only disappointment is that they weren’t able to pull this off while Edward Herrmann was still alive; the absence of Richard Gilmore will cast a long shadow over the new episodes.

The return of the show, however, has put me in something of a bind; as much as I loved Gilmore Girls when it was originally on, I never actually finished the series. I bailed out around the time that the show introduced the character of April, which for me was just one step too far. In all honestly, it wasn’t April per se that was the problem – though she was clearly a plot contrivance just to add drama – but it was how the characters on the show reacted to her introduction. For me. It was just too far a departure from what we would expect from these characters. After pining away for Lorelai for the previous six years. It was unfathomable that Luke would not only postpone their wedding but would jeopardize his entire relationship with her. Lorelai, on the other hand, was never one to hold her tongue, so the idea that she wouldn’t clearly communicate how she was feeling was also something of a betrayal. These weren’t the characters that I loved anymore and I was tired of the show finding ways to keep Luke and Lorelai apart. I had some other issues with the show as well – I always thought Lane deserved better than the plotline that they saddled her with – so somewhere around the sixth season, I just stopped watching and never looked back. I’ve watched the first five season multiple times thanks to re-runs, but whenever April pops up, I know it’s time for me to bid adieu.

However, I am a completest by nature and even though I vaguely know what happened in the remaining episodes – thanks Wikipedia – I wanted to watch what I had skipped before the new episodes debuted. Unfortunately time really got away from me thanks to work, the election and life in general; I suddenly realized that Thanksgiving was next week. I think part of me was putting it off since I kind of dreaded having to revisit these episodes. I do love a challenge, though, so this didn’t change my resolve. Instead, I started on a Gilmore Girls crash course binge watching plan; because I’m a nerd, I even scheduled out how many episodes I would have to get through every day to make sure that I was ready for our Gilmore Girls viewing party on Friday. I wasn’t sure exactly when I stopped watching so I decided to pick up when April made her first appearance, which was much earlier in the show than I remembered – she pops up in the ninth episode of the sixth season. I’d kind of been banking on her showing up closer to the end of the sixth season. So I had a little over a week to get through 36 episodes. A bit daunting, but still doable. In fact, at this point I’m even ahead of schedule; one of the perks of not being able to sleep is that I can power through more episodes in a night than I had planned on. I knocked out 11 episodes in two days; the nice thing about Gilmore Girls is that it isn’t a complex show. There aren’t a lot of plot twists and the show doesn’t require your undivided attention, so I can do other things while moving though the episodes pretty quickly.

These still aren’t my favorite episodes, but despite my previously stated issues with the later part of the series there are still moments that I enjoy. As someone who is #teamLogan, I’m in a stretch where he’s less likable, but my allegiance has not wavered. Really, at this point of the show a lot of these characters are in their least likable incarnations, but the occasionally goofy glimpses of what the show used to be show through and make it worthwhile. That’s mostly thanks to the strong bench of supporting characters that the show has; Lorelai and Rory many be insufferable on occasion, but the good people of Stars Hollow are there to pick up the slack.

Jimmy Fallon is apparently doing his own Gilmore Girls binge, though he is way further behind than I am.

 

I’ve been thinking about his #GilmoreGirlsTop4 as I’ve been working my through my marathon. Even without the caveat that Lorelai and Rory can’t be considered as the four best characters, I don’t think that they would have cracked my list, which is kind of impressive since they are the stars of the show. I’ve gone back and forth, but my #GIlmoreGirlsTop4 would look like this:

  1. Babette

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Babette isn’t a main character – she usually has a few minutes of screen time – but she lights up every scene that she’s in. She has some great one-liners, is partners in crime with Miss Patty, eats oatmeal, and calls everyone “sugar.” What else do you need? I’d watch a spin-off series that tells the origin story of her relationship with her husband Morey.

 

  1. Paris Geller

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When Paris debuted as Rory’s nemesis at Chilton Prep School, there wasn’t much to indicate that she would become a fan favorite. Paris is difficult and a little crazy, but she owns who she is and she does not suffer fools gladly; she has some of the best insults.  She’s a good foil for Rory and though they are often at odds or exasperated with each other, they do care for each other quite a bit.

 

  1. Emily Gilmore

All hail the Queen! It’s a testament to the writing and the wonderful skill of national treasure Kelly Bishop that Emily is more than just a caricature. She’s often the heavy and the bad guy, but there is a method to her madness. Her relationship with daughter Lorelai is fascinating to watch over the series and while she was what Lorelai was rebelling against, it’s clear that they both have more in common then they think. Emily is wickedly funny and she can eviscerate another person without breaking a sweat; one of the highlights of the entire series was her brutal takedown of Logan’s mother. It will be heartbreaking to watch her in the new episodes without her beloved Richard.

  1. Luke Danes

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What can I say – as a girl of the 90s, I love a guy in a plaid shirt. He is easily the greatest guy in the entire series and Lorelai frankly doesn’t really deserve him. He can come off as grumpy and gruff, but there’s a heart of gold underneath it all. It helps that he also has the same life philosophy as me:

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He is the voice of reason in a town that desperately needs a voice of reason, yet for all his grumbling he still cares a lot about his friends and neighbors. He is a secret romantic who carried around a horoscope in his wallet for eight years while he patiently waited for Lorelai to realize that he was the one.  He took in his idiot nephew and tried to put him on the right track without much gratitude (one of the many reasons I am not #teamJess). He’s handy, he can cook, he’s loyal – he’s just a solid guy. Luke is the best.

For what it’s worth, if I was doing a #GilmoreGirlsWorst4, it would look like this:

4. Dean

3.  April

2. Christopher

1. Christopher

(That’s not a typo – I just really hate Christopher.)

So who would make your #GilmoreGirlsTop4? Why am I nuts to be #teamLogan? Sound off in the comments.

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