November 30, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

NO SPOILERS! I PROMISE! This is my first review in a while...sorry about that. Been super busy. Anyway, last night I finished watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix. Rather than a whole new season of the show, we get a 4-part miniseries where each episode runs @ 90 minutes and is named after a season like fall, winter, spring, or summer.

These new episodes take place in 2016. In fact, the show was filmed from February to May of this year so the turnaround for shooting to final print was really quick. Being that it takes place in real time, we get to see what all has happened since the TV show ended almost 10 years ago.

In short, I loved it. All the main characters slip right back into their roles as if the show ended a week ago. It's pretty amazing how much they all look basically the same, too. There are cameos throughout the series of just about everyone who was on there, though some of the biggest ones don't happen until much later on. It's as much a tribute to the original series as it is new content, and we get a clear picture of what happened to these people and there are some surprises.

Rather than describe what becomes of our main characters, Lorelai, Rory, & Luke, I will discuss something I've thought of since watching the original show because I think it helps to explain the way things play out in the series. So here goes:

Stars Hollow is a fantasy world. A sort of modern day Mayberry. It's a delightful microcosm that represents everything people wish their hometown could be like. Even the annoying parts have a certain charm to them. Like most fantasy worlds, its inhabitants are fine so long as they stay within their world. When outsiders come in, they tend to not stay long, and when insiders leave, they tend to find a harsh outside world that often rejects or eats them up. I think that's the big picture here. If you stay in Stars Hollow, you'll be fine. If you venture out, you'll meet people and go to places that will change you and maybe not always for the better.

In the end, I found the series to be somewhat bittersweet. There will be change that you may predict, other things you won't see coming, plus a few crazy moments to keep it interesting. There are musical numbers, another odd film from Kirk, new places but no new people, and of course, town festivals. If you liked the original series then you must see this, but try to consider the bigger picture. In one scene, Rory actually makes a reference to Lord of the Rings and it's funny how much Stars Hollow may be like the perfect little world of the Hobbits. In fact, this could have been called Gilmore Girls: There and Back Again.

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