Review: Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life – “Fall”

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this. As required by U.S. Law, I must acknowledge this celebration by honoring my long-held, sacred traditions. My one tradition is posting the video of Patton Oswalt’s “Christmas Shoes” routine:

I apologize for not getting this up last week. I was being lazy as I am wont to do.

So, for what I think is the last time EVER, here is my review of a Gilmore Girls episode.

Lorelai wasn’t kidding about wanting to “do Wild.” We start with her in a motel room trying to shove the contents of 9 sporting good stores into a backpack. I relate to this on two levels – I’m kind of obsessed with the independent motels dotting LA. Like, how do they stay in business in the face of the Hiltons of the world? Who stays in them (though I have a pretty good idea that just speaks to economic uncertainty in a city where costs of living are spiraling out of control)?

The second way I relate to this is because I’ve recently developed the overwhelming urge to drop everything and move to the middle of fucking nowhere. I’ve never seen or read Wild. I just want to live in a cabin and do nothing but work on the dumb novel I’m writing. I’d drive in to the nearest town once a month for supplies and a latte and then I’d be back at it again, just me and nature and my book (and my husband if he wants to come.) If I didn’t have student loans to pay back I would leave LA tomorrow. (Student loan debt is killing me, film at 11.)

The next morning Lorelai discovers the only people waiting at the trailhead are other women who have been inspired by Wild (both book and movie factions are represented.) A storm is coming so all the “Wild ladies” have decided to wait until the next day to hit the trail. No one who has watched this show would ever believe that Lorelai, miss “I can’t carry my own shit to the Stars Hollow pool without a child slave” would actually be serious about this hike. We know she’s not really going to go.

Rory is still kicking around Stars Hollow. But you’re not really back, right Rory?

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She’s still working (for free?) at the Stars Hollow Gazette. Her computer starts giving her weird messages and all I can do is endure what is about to happen next. I watched these all before writing the reviews and the bullshit that happens with Rory in this episode is why I didn’t write my review last week. I didn’t have the stomach to watch it again.

But before we get into all that, we make a stop by the diner. Broody is (still?) in town. The timeline is a little off – when exactly is the “Fall” episode taking place? Immediately after the events of “Summer?” Or have we had a month in between?

Luke is discombobulated; he’s breaking bags of flour, he’s handing out the real wi-fi password, he can’t remember what Broody just told him seconds ago. Broody, one of precisely two characters in this universe who has experienced actual growth since the series ended, asks Luke what the hell is wrong with him. Luke can’t function because apparently not having Lorelai around induces early onset dementia in him. He’s all “SHE’S LEAVING ME!!! WE NEVER HAD PROBLEMS BEFORE IF YOU DON’T COUNT THE HUGE ISSUES WE NEVER WORKED ON OVER THE PAST 9 YEARS! OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???” :dissolves into a weeping pile of flannel::

I have to say that I do appreciate the two men having a “OMG, SHE’S LEAVING!” conversation while the woman is off finding herself in nature and probably pulling a DiCaprio by climbing inside a dead bear in search of an Oscar.

Back in Wildland, Lorelai makes friends with the other book ladies who are drinking boxed wine like real Americans. The women want to know why she’s there and they ask if she has terrible children. Lorelai tells them that her daughter is “amazing.” Yeah, sure, if we use Trumpian logic where words literally have no meaning whatsoever.

Then we’re back in Stars Hollow and the nonsense begins. Actually, I’m going to borrow from the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and say this isn’t just nonsense, its white nonsense.  That’s an important distinction because there is no other way these fucking idiots could pull this bullshit off if they weren’t rich white dudes.

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That’s if any of this is even possible to begin with (changing the lettering on a neon street sign? Mechanical birds wired to speak placed in a tree on the busiest street in town with no one seeing it?)

Can I just say: the Palladinos made a big show of hating the fragile, sensitive 30-something gang but they break this out?

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You don’t get to rag on man buns and then give me a dude in a top hat riding a unicycle without feeling the wrath of my side eye. #WhiteHipsterNonsense

Rory goes to the newspaper office where these guys are waiting:

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Reminder: THESE MEN ARE IN THEIR 30s.

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Did they kill everyone so no one walks down the street while they do this?

Another reminder: THIS MAN IS STILL ENGAGED AND HE LOOKS DUMB IN A STEAMPUNK HAT

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They drink, play golf, watch Kirk’s movie, and then go to a tango club where everyone is dancing in sync just as they walk in. Look, even if any of these things were possible with unlimited wealth, why would you want to be involved with someone who participates in such gross, over the top displays of wealth when they are in their 30s? They didn’t stop to think what else they could have done with that money instead of spend it on steampunk hats, ugly coats, and mechanical birds?

The fact that they haven’t let the Life & Death Brigade die is…weird. All of these people are at least a decade out of college and they’re still doing this? Colin, Finn, and Dude I Always Forget have nothing to do by try to get Smarmy laid and drink until they pass out? If they’re still drinking as much as we’re led to believe, it’s not cute. What about their lives? Their careers? Do they have families? Have they ever considered going in to rehab and drying out for more than a few hours at a time?

More questions: If Smarmy likes Rory enough to drop everything to go to Stars Hollow and set up this disgusting display of monetary privilege, why aren’t Smarmy and Rory together? Why is he still engaged to Odette when he obviously doesn’t care about her? It’s not like this is 17th century France and he’s a prince who has to marry a princess his father picked out in order to preserve a fragile alliance between his country and Spain. This is 2016 and he’s just rich. That’s it. So…why aren’t they together? There doesn’t seem to be a reason outside “because.”

Smarmy then offers Rory something I would give my left arm for – a house in the middle of nowhere that she can use to write.

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People love to hand Rory shit, don’t they? I think that’s what people have reacted to in this revival. In the original run (at least in the first four seasons) Rory seemed like a smart, driven girl who was going to achieve anything she set her mind to. And then she just…stalled out. All her successes were things that were handed to her, as if everyone around her could sense an inherent specialness in her that somehow meant she deserved everything she ever dreamed about without putting in any work. With every guy she ever dated (save Paul as we don’t know how they met) they decided they liked her and pursued her. Like she was waiting on a shelf for someone to come and claim her, like she was a doll. Maybe when this was written* the passivity of women to wait for a man or a job to notice how Good and Special they are was normal. It’s not anymore because a lot of us who were raised with the mentality that people will just notice you realized that it was total bullshit. Sitting around and waiting for acknowledgement of any kind will get you nowhere. Unless you’re Rory Gilmore, apparently.

*When I say “written” I mean the original run and the revival. There is nothing that will convince me that ASP didn’t pick up exactly where she left off with regards to the Luke/Lorelai and Rory/Smarmy storylines. 

The Idiot Brigade goes to the Dragonfly an inn in New Hampshire. It takes 4 hours to drive from New York to Boston, and it takes about an hour and a half/two hours to drive to New Hampshire from Boston. So they somehow drove about 6 hours and it’s still dark. STEAMPUNKS DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE TIME!

Rory, queen of bad decisions, sleeps with Smarmy and his abs. In the morning she’s all, “Oh, yeah, maybe pretending to be a steampunk chick who fucks engaged dudes that think money = love may not be a good idea?” Smarmy is all “LET ME TAKE A PICTURE OF YOU WITH MY MIND CAMERA SO I MAY SPANK TO THIS WHENEVER I NEED! ODETTE! ORALLY PLEASURE ME WHILST I IMAGINE MY EX-GIRLFRIEND/WOMAN I CHEATED ON YOU WITH” We’re supposed to find this sweet. I do not because I do not tolerate dude shit.

Lorelai, who is still in this show, is ready to do Wild but she’s lost her permit and can’t go. One of the women is like “I’m gonna be so thin when this is over” and I’m all, I would totally do this crazy life-threatening hike for that exact reason. I’m not proud of that. Lorelai drives to some cafe that isn’t open and then walks into a field where she finds whatever she wanted to find on her hike. She calls Judgy WASP Mom and tells her the story she should have told at Spacey Grandpa’s wake. It’s a nice scene.

Then she goes home.

She finds Luke in the kitchen making Paul Anka a steak and he’s convinced that she’s going to leave him. She’s all:

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Luke goes on a long tangent about how he doesn’t want their relationship to end. On one hand – aww. Who doesn’t want to hear that their significant other wants to fight for their love? On the other – he says “I’ll be whoever you want me to be.” Uh. Um. So. That’s fucking weird. Why would you want to be in a relationship where you have to change who you are to make your partner happy? Not change and grow as a person because that’s what people do, but literally become someone else like you’re putting on a costume because that’s what your partner wants?

Lorelai stops his tangent by telling him she planned their wedding (again) so they should get married. Luke gets the ring he’s been keeping for her for 9 god damned years from the desk by the door and then they declare that the only way out is death and kiss. It’s like being in a cult! I can see how living in the Lorelai-worshipping Stars Hollow would be like joining Heaven’s Gate.

Meanwhile, Judgy WASP Mom is on Nantucket with her boyfriend. When he tells her that he has to leave she’s all “later, bro!” and pretty much pushes him into a car. She’s discovered that as much as she loved Spacey Grandpa, she digs being alone. She likes being her own person. She likes going to the whaling museum by herself. This is the emancipation of Emily Gilmore.

Rory goes to the Gilmore estate to write while Judgy WASP Mom is away. She walks around thinking about her grandfather, which is the first time we’ve seen any sort of reaction from her at all with regards to her grandfather’s death. She even left his funeral early to fly to London and bang Smarmy.

This made me tear up:

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Rory wakes Lorelai up in the middle of the night to show her the first three chapters of her book. She’s bound it with brads, like you do for a screenplay. It’s called The Gilmore Girls!

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Does this mean that what we’ve been watching since season one is Rory’s dumb book? No wonder everyone can’t help but suck Rory’s dick at every turn.

Judgy WASP Mom has returned from Nantucket to interview a trophy wife with the rest of the DAR. Judgy WASP Mom calls bullshit on the whole thing. Literally. This is all I have ever wanted from Emily Gilmore and I could have watched 4 episodes of The Adventures of Emily Gilmore, Widow. Emily in this scene is #goals.

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Right?

Lorelai and Luke plan their wedding and Lorelai has Miss Selene helping with her wedding dress. How does this make sense besides wanting to give Alex Borstein a cameo? Miss Seline is in Judgy WASP Mom’s world. How does it jive to have her, with her Emily Gilmore aesthetic, helping Lorelai pick out a dress ?

Rory, looking terribly worried, goes to see C-Money. C fucking money. He looks great. Rory wants to know how C-Money felt about Lorelai raising Rory alone. He’s all “Great, considering my other daughter is living in Paris with her mother and I don’t see her or participate in her life at all, either. Nothing better than knocking up ladies and then skirting all responsibility! Being a dude is fucking awesome!”

Lorelai goes over to see Judgy WASP Mom and finds out that she’s selling the house. She’s moving to Nantucket full-time. Fuck yeah, Judgy WASP Mom! Embrace your truth.

Side note: I like the outfit Lorelai is wearing in this scene.

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Oh, and Lorelai wants to borrow money. Of course she does. She’s soooo independent until she needs a loan for something and then she’s asking mommy and daddy for it while complaining about what monsters they are.

Rory is picking things up from Doocey’s when she runs in to Floppy. She hugs him. She didn’t hug Broody. He’s married (with three kids and a pregnant wife!) but somehow she stops herself from jumping on his dick. She tells him about her book and asks him if she can include him. He’s the only one she asks.

Sookie is back! She looks great.  Cakes, etc.

Judgy WASP Mom has moved to Nantucket and she’s gotten a job at the Whaling museum. Guys, her life in this episode is my fucking DREAM. House out near the water where she can do whatever she wants all day. An occasional gig where she can terrify children. Sigh.

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On the night before the wedding Broody is at the house until he realizes that everyone around him is an insane narcissist and he should run away as fast as possible. He stops to longingly stare in the window at Rory. Sorry Team Jess people, but I wish this scene wasn’t in here. Why? BECAUSE BROODY DESERVES BETTER THAN RORY. Broody should be dating some cool girl who has a bunch of tattoos and a ModCloth wardrobe and who makes scrap metal into art or owns a vegan food truck. They live in a converted loft in Philadelphia with a three-legged rescue pit bull named Captain and they own more books than they have space for. They prefer to listen to music on vinyl. They talk about art and books and have good sex and they’re happy. They’re both emotionally available people committed to being open and honest with each other. That’s the kind of relationship Broody deserves. Not this aimless, rudderless woman who can’t even figure out that she, a writer, should write a book without someone telling her to do it.

That night, Luke and Lorelai decide to go to the gazebo and get married. Why not wait until tomorrow? Because QUIRK! There is a lot of dancing and looking at hats in trees. Then they get married, but Judgy WASP Mom isn’t there. She bought a dress and she isn’t even there? The hell? Broody’s in town – he’s not there? Sookie? Paris? Kirk isn’t even there and he’s the one who decorated the whole town for them!

The next morning Rory and Lorelai are sitting on the gazebo steps. Where’s Luke? No one knows. The Final Four Words happen and I throw my fucking computer against the wall.

“I’m pregnant.” COME THE FUCK ON. REALLY?

BULLSHIT.

BULLSHIT!

First, can no one in this show use protection? Of all the children that have been born in this show I think maybe one has been planned. (Sookie and Jackson’s first kid.) Does contraception not exist in this show? Is everyone super fertile and just has no issues getting knocked up? Does every sexual encounter result in a baby?

Second, and I hate to use this word, but this is hack. Everyone thought these words were so obvious that we had all assumed that there was no way “I’m pregnant” would be in here. And yet, here we are. We’ve all be trolled. Considering 2016 was the year that the trolls rose to power, maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised that obvious troll is obvious yet still successful?

And, third, I would like to quote myself here:

…I’ve decided that I hope the final four words aren’t the ones she originally planned. And here’s why.

This isn’t the same show anymore. Too much time has passed between the end of the show and the beginning of this revival. The characters are older, there were a lot of life-changing events in season 7 (like Lorelai and C-Money (Chris) getting married), our cultural landscape has changed, and Richard is dead. To try to shoehorn these words in, unless it’s something inconsequential like “Cinnamon pancakes?” “And coffee!” I worry that this will be a case of trying to bolt an ending onto a different version of the show than the one we have now.

I agree with myself! Good points, me!

This revival suffered because they wrote towards this ending. I’ve said all along that ASP seemed to be writing Rory as if no time passed at all. If Rory was always supposed to end up pregnant by Smarmy because FULL CIRCLE/CIRCLE OF LIFE/YOU ARE YOUR MOTHER, it’s a disappointment. It’s also an ending that doesn’t carry the dramatic weight that they were hoping for. A 21/22-year-old fresh out of an Ivy League school with Big Dreams getting pregnant before she has a chance to go out and live her life can be seen as a tragedy (:cough: like Lane :cough:.) A 32-year-old woman who had a lot of years to live her life before getting pregnant? That’s just a Tuesday. A dramatic cut to black doesn’t work when the event isn’t that big of a deal.

If we’re going with the “full freaking circle” theory that I’ve heard floating around, that makes Smarmy a C-Money and Broody a Luke. Again, Broody deserves better. Why should he have to pine over her for the next 20 years when he could be married to that cool scuplter with the ModCloth wardrobe?

I hate this ending.

For the revival in general: I loved Emily’s storyline, but everything with Lorelai and Rory felt like a retread of ground we’ve covered many, many times. I agree with Demi from the Gilmore Guys podcast – I liked the revival well enough. It just wasn’t necessary.

 

Well, that’s it. No more Gilmores. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs. I loved this song when I was a girl growing up in Colorado. Now that I’m a woman living in Los Angeles, it carries that much more weight for me.

OMG.

Omg omg omg!

Guys!

FULL FREAKING CIRCLE! :punches self in face:

Thanks for reading!

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life – “Fall”

  1. A couple things. After my rant of last night I’ll keep this brief. Besides, I’m no longer feeling ranty about this show. Anyway.

    1. When they were deciding on the guest list there was no mention of April. I kept saying it because I kept expecting Luke to say it but he never did. Weird.
    2. They said they were going to go ahead with the wedding for the town the next day anyway. This was just them being impulsive. So no worries, Emily still gets to wear that dress.
    3. I love the new and improved Emily Gilmore. I want to know all about what comes next for her.

    • Right? Why didn’t Luke invite his kid to the wedding????

      And yes, I would watch whatever happens to Emily Gilmore, Widow. Her story was the best part of the revival.

  2. I CANNOT DEAL WITH LOGAN AND HIS WEIRD STEAMPUNK BS FANTASY A-HOLE FRIENDS. ARGH.

    That stupidity dragged this episode down a solid letter grade for me. Especially because, like. Is Rory’s child conceived after that nonsense?!?!?! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

    Other than that, I found Lorelei’s ‘Wild’ stuff and her conversation with Emily really solid. The wedding was also very effective. It makes no f’ing sense that it’s happening after 9 nears of dithering around, but it warmed my cold, cold heart to see it.

    I wish I could throw everything involving Rory into a giant dumpster fire, but the revival was worth it for the Emily/Lorelei/Broody/Paris/Luke/Stars Hollow/OK Everything Not Rory parts.

  3. Thank you for reviewing the series and “A Year in the Life.” I am so happy to find someone who saw this show as I did. I binge watched the series the first time to see what all of the hoopla was about and then binged a second time to note all of the stuff I hated, which you astutely point out in your reviews, which I have now binge read for a couple of days. Great stuff!

  4. Okay, I’ll admit it — Your reviews were much better than the show itself. I found myself binge-reading and then skipping ahead on the show just to see the scenes that seemed most amusing. I wish I discovered these reviews sooner!

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