Stars Hollow is back: a year in the life of the Gilmore Girls

 Coffee-addicts, rapid-fire conversationalists, and even the occasional viewers, were ecstatic: Earlier this year, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino announced the Netflix revival of the iconic, coming-of-age show Gilmore Girls. This came as a pleasant surprise to many loyal fans who felt the absence of the cast’s familiar faces and unforgettable personalities. The new miniseries, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, connects the three generations of Gilmore women once more and ends with four significant last words. But will these last four words appease those who felt somewhat unsatisfied with the show’s ending nine years ago, after a seven-season television run?

The original show, which first aired in October 2000, became a timely, relatable, and clever reflection of the millennial generation. Interwoven with early 2000s trending pop culture phenomena, the show depicted fascination with social media and addiction to technology while showcasing younger generational traits of curiosity, ambition, and progressiveness. It follows the life of a spontaneous, coffee-obsessed single mother, Lorelai Gilmore, and her quirky but diligent daughter, Rory Gilmore, as they maneuver about their lives in and around their quaint town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

graphic by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Caroline/" title="View all of this person's work">"Caroline</a></span>

graphic by Caroline Tan

The revival takes place over a one-year period, with each 90-minute episode corresponding to a season of weather. In “Winter,” the first episode, every character is re-introduced with significant changes in their life events. “Spring” brings about more complexity and chaos in the characters’ lives. “Summer” and “Fall” are risky in the sense that every character is put in a new—but not necessarily flattering—light. Old character flaws resurface, but new ones, which were quite unexpected, are revealed as well. Spending a year with the Gilmore girls and company guarantees major conflicts, hence the complexity of each episode.

The show’s characters are at a modern-day point in their careers and lives. Rory is now a multi-tasking journalist in between jobs and a permanent home. Throughout the episodes, she embarks on a mission to determine what makes her successful and brings her the most fulfillment. Lorelai, meanwhile, struggles to maintain her relationship with her traditional, reputation-obsessed mother, Emily Gilmore, after a significant loss in the family, as well as with her partner, Luke. Yes, the show does pick up where it left off, but there are plenty of surprises and subtle connections to our generation that make the show more contemporary.

The creators knew there was a lot of catching up to do in terms of adapting the show to fit our modern day and age. There are moments, like passersby taking selfies in the town center, customers impatiently asking for the Wifi password at Luke’s Diner, or Kirk starting his own car-service named Ööö-ber that solidify the show’s commitment to making the series current. Despite this modernization, ever-present are the inside jokes and nostalgic feel of the original show.

As high school students, we barely missed the cutoff for the millennial generation. It’s quite intriguing to see how someone our age in 2000 is going about her life today as an adult. Even now, Rory is unsure of what to do with her life and the manner in which she will progress. The plans she created and promised to stick by as a teenager haven’t exactly come through, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The people in her life who have supported her for so long continue to empathize and remain loyal to her. She slowly becomes more comfortable with the fact that it takes time to achieve goals and, even as an adult, she cannot pursue everything at once. She learns to value delayed gratification, just like her mother did at important moments in Rory’s gradual development.

The millennial generation has stuck by Gilmore Girls for almost a decade, and now an opportunity exists for our post-millennial generation to tag along as well. The final four words of the last “Fall” episode leaves the story with a major plot twist. It is entirely possible that this glimpse into the year-in-a-life series will continue. Who knows? In ten years, it could be our generation feeling nostalgic and teary-eyed as we sit down with old friends to watch the next Gilmore Girls revival.

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