When news of the Gilmore Girls revival was released, I jumped for joy, aggressively alerted my housemates, and proceeded to text my very best friend — a Gilmore Girls junkie as well — frantic, all-caps messages late into the night. Initially, I thought my dreams were finally being realized. Like the majority of die-hard Gilmore Girls fans, I pined for some sort of continuation of the nearly lethal mother-daughter combination I had rooted for during the seven years it was on the air. What happened to Rory’s journalism career once Obama became president?! Did Luke and Loralei ever have that June wedding? Again, like the majority of Gilmore Girls followers, I wasn’t all that thrilled when the writing changed hands after Amy Sherman-Palladino left the show after the conclusion of the sixth season. But, I may be in the minority when I say that I’m not worried the revival will damage the show’s legacy — I fully trust the creative ability of Sherman-Palladino, who is signed on to produce four, 90-minute episodes for Netflix.
When we last left Stars Hollow, it was 2007: Rory had rejected Logan’s engagement proposal and gotten a job on Barack Obama’s campaign trail, Luke and Loralei shared a somewhat indicative kiss after being separated for some time, and Sookie was pregnant with her third child. It’s been only too easy to imagine where the gang is now, in 2015. One of the biggest worries for fans it that the new episodes won’t be a true, artistic continuation of the quirky, fast-paced world we know and love. The fear for some is that the new episodes will pander to its devoted followers with a fan-fiction style in order to funnel more viewers — and money — into the entertainment machine that is Netflix. While this outcome would be #devastating, I put my faith in the hands of Sherman-Palladino. I’m excited for her return, because after her departure, she said she never got to finish the show the way she wanted, sympathizing with fans who were notably disappointed in the seventh season’s change of writing. I can understand the trepidation in regard to how it might harm what was such a great show for so long. However, I highly doubt Palladino’s long-awaited attempt to conclude the show will result in any risks that could potentially backfire.
Additionally, I wouldn’t be on board with a new Gilmore Girls season if it didn’t promise the same cast, or at least the main characters, and thank the Lord it does. With the exception of Sookie (Melissa McCarthy), the main cast is back: Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel), Luke (Scott Patterson) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) have signed on (Please come back, Paris Geller. You must be done with medical school by now). The loss of Edward Herman, who played Rory’s uber-intellectual grandfather Richard Gilmore, will no doubt be felt, but that’s not to say it should be cause for concern when it comes to the quality of the show. Yes, Richard was an integral part of Rory’s life — financially, as he financed her tuition to both Chilton and Yale — but also paternally, as a constant father figure in place of her mostly absent father. Herman’s loss will be felt, but if nothing else, his absence is quite true to life, as grandparents are mortal, too. Seeing Richard’s empty place at the head of the table during the ritualistic Friday night dinners may be a bit jarring, but at least it’s real and relatable. Wouldn’t it be a bit strange to return to the group eight years later with every detail the same as it was before?
Much time has passed not only for us, but for Rory and Loralei as well — it would be selfish to want everything back the way it was, and hold the new material to the same standard. I’m looking forward to catching up with the gang, Taylor Doose and all, even knowing the new episodes probably won’t be as good as what I hoped, or stylistically identical to past seasons. It will be like catching up with an old friend after time spent apart: hopefully it’ll feel like not much has changed, even though you’ve both taken different paths while continuing your lives. In anticipation of the show to come, I’ll re-watch the saga from start to finish in order to remind myself why I fell in love with Gilmore Girls in the first place.