A few months back, I decided to re-watch all of Gilmore Girls. It was right around the time they announced they’d be reviving the show. I was ecstatic, but I didn’t remember much of the show I grew up on.
When I re-watched the show, I noticed that I felt less akin to Rory and more akin to Lorelai. Perhaps it was the years that have passed, but I didn’t care about the trappings of a 14-year-old who got to go to the best schools and have some pretty serious relationships.
No, I felt the life Lorelai lived and the reasoning was simple: I’m 31 years old and I have bigger things to worry about than what college I’m going to get into. It was revelational and it was different. I went into watching the revival with that same mentality.
Yes, it was different and yes I’ve read what people have said online about it. Everyone in the book universe and Gilmore Girls universe have been waiting for this new season to arrive and I couldn’t help but to be a part of those masses and that sentiment.
I geared myself for the time I’d spend on it. I poured a big hot mug of mulled cider, neatly arranged my knitting to work on while watching the show, and even made myself a stack of gluten-free/dairy-free waffles with tons of maple syrup because hey, it’s junk food. I was that optimistic.
I needed to know how Rory’s life panned out. Is she a famous journalist? Was she living in some swank apartment on the LES with her artist/musician/actor boyfriend who happened to have minored in comparative literature in college? Most importantly, is she living the life I expected for myself and now I’ll have to vicariously live through her?
The truth is (and if you haven’t seen the show yet, avert your eyes) no. She’s not a famous journalist (some fame, but not a lot) and she doesn’t have the swank apartment on the LES with her dramatic arts boyfriend who looks good with a shirt off. She’s actually burned out to a point where she’s decided she will just live everywhere. Where she’s getting offers to go back to school and teach (those who can’t do…).
Suddenly, it hit me, I was Rory. I’m the 31-year-old person who dreamed of being a famous writer and journalist only to be disenchanted by the entire journalism world and ending up finding something else to do. Granted, I don’t have as interesting a life as Rory Gilmore, but I found a way to pivot and do something semi-OK while writing and reading books on the side.
I found myself changing with every iteration of the show I’ve seen. Sometimes I felt for Rory while other times it was for Lorelai. In fact, my favorite character from this new season was Emily! Out of everyone, I liked Emily the best and I don’t think I’d ever appreciated her if it wasn’t for this show. I mean, she wore jeans for an episode. JEANS!
I’ve been reading the online reviews for this show and a lot of people are not happy with the way it turned out. Where were the books? Where was the quirk? Why in the hell would Lorelai volunteer to hike the Pacific Coast Trail?
Yes, it’s not the show I recalled when I was a kid, but it wasn’t the show it was when I watched it as an adult. I know people were hoping for some big show stopper like Fuller House where you felt like you were right back in that little house or driving around Stars Hollow, but one thing needs to be understood; people change.
People are constantly reinventing themselves and surging forward with a different tune. Amy Sherman-Palladino did just that. She made the Gilmores real people with real feelings and real hopes and dreams and real problems. I think if you were expecting the same old book-loving Rory, then this story wouldn’t have been believable.
To see Rory struggle the way she did, to find herself amongst her friends who have all moved forward and beyond, it was like seeing me and feeling the stagnation I sometimes feel when thinking about my life. Perhaps others are more well-adjusted, but for me, well, I don’t see myself writing a memoir anytime soon but I’m doing something I love.