Published Nov 22, 2016Reboots, remakes and revivals are rightly derided as being cynical cash grabs from executives hoping to make bank on the ever-lucrative world of nostalgia capitalism. Netflix has been one of the guiltiest parties, sneaking repulsive content like Fuller House in with their otherwise impressive programming. And while complaining about Hollywood's lack of new ideas is almost cliché at this point, fans were still wary about the proposed Gilmore Girls revival.
Fortunately, upon the arrival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a great weight has been lifted. The season, made up of four movie-length episodes, is proof that there's still value in revisiting past pop culture.
After a shake-up on the business side, Gilmore Girls creator (and inimitable voice of the show) Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino resigned from the show back in 2006, making the final season in 2007 feel like a hollow shell of its former self. Making matters worse, Sherman-Palladino had always promised fans that the final four words of the show had been written since it was created, so it felt then like they may never see the light of day.
A Year in the Life completely redeems Gilmore Girls and solidifies its characters and the delightful, fictional town of Stars Hollow as some of the best that television has ever seen. The whip-smart dialogue, the heart-wrenching emotion, the scathing humour, the delightfully cheesy outfits and the complex familial relationships are all here, and frankly they're as good as (and sometimes even better than) ever.
The less you know about the plot the better, but the new episodes of the show reveal each character at a crossroads of some sort. Lorelai ostensibly has it all, but she's questioning whether her life is missing something. Rory can't decide what to do with her life since her journalism career has resulted in little more than meaningless blog posts (what's wrong with that, Rory?). Emily Gilmore is lost following the passing of her husband Richard.
Outside of these plot points, the show offers bit parts and sub plots for all of Stars Hollow's best characters, not to mention cameos from the lesser characters you forgot existed. That said, it hardly feels like a cynical checklist or a bunch of awkward callbacks. For the most part, Gilmore Girls revisits its former self in a way that feels entirely organic.
Warm, funny and deeply satisfying, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life exceeds expectations on every front. And while they might be pushing it if they followed this up with even more episodes, we can't help but hope for more — nostalgia's a powerful drug. (Netflix)