Warning: Spoilers are ahead for the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life episode “Spring.” If you haven’t watched it yet, get back into Luke’s Diner and have more coffee.
Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life gave me something I never knew I wanted: a second film by Kirk. One glimpse into his murky, creative mind wasn’t enough. Plus his follow-up piece had Petal, a.k.a. the cutest pet to ever be seen in Gilmore Girls (sorry/not sorry, Paul Anka).
The second installment of the Gilmore Girls revival, “Spring,” was about much more than Kirk’s filmmaking. With hour and a half episodes, there’s a ton to review and unpack just in the categories of familiar faces and events. Let’s breeze through some highlights before we look back on the topics directly related to our Gilmores, okay? Stars Hollow’s spring food festival brought a Jackson cameo, the return of the picnic basket auction (one of my favorite festivals in the original series), and the long-awaited Mr. Kim sighting. It’s hard to believe he’s never appeared in the show before. Mitchum Huntzberger stopped in, Rachael Ray took a turn in the Dragonfly’s kitchen armed with sammies, Mae Whitman made a brief appearance, and Danny Strong showed up as Doyle. Whew. Plus, Alex Kingston killed it as the habitually drunk and wacky Naomi.
That was the icing on the cake. The trouble is, they (meaning the Palladinos) have to be very careful about not drowning the cake in icing. They have a lot of cameos and callbacks to work into the whole “progressing the story of the Gilmores” business, and I can already sense the temptation to get lost in the weeds. The story’s arms are so numerous they’re feeling a bit stretched.
Emily and Lorelai’s relationship is a cornerstone piece of Gilmore Girls, and they’re slowly working on things. To be fair, they didn’t make a ton of progress in seven seasons, so I shouldn’t expect any sort of dramatic turnarounds now. Emily expressed strong disapproval of Lorelai’s lack of being wed. Lorelai’s been with Luke nine years–presumably since their kiss in the season seven finale. I’m glad the therapist pointed out marriage wasn’t necessary for a strong emotional connection. Emily seems to be coming from a place of not wanting Lorelai to miss out on what she had with Richard, but she doesn’t understand such a relationship is possible without a contract and rings. To me, it was a reminder of her being traditional and a little old-fashioned.
Of course, everything Emily’s bringing up to Lorelai is making Lorelai wonder if she’s hit her peak with Luke and with the Dragonfly. It’s a similar theme for Rory. All the Gilmores are on unsteady ground, but of them all, Lorelai should be on terra firma. She has what she’s dreamed of with the inn and Luke, but as she talked to the therapist, she seemed to be more convincing herself it was all okay rather than speaking the truth. I can’t quite tell what she’s doubtful about or what she thinks she’s missing.
Rory also kept repeating things as if to convince herself she’s fine. Before I dig into that, why is everyone so freaked out about her being “here and there?” It could be out of character, but we haven’t been around Rory in nine years; we don’t know her as well anymore. Being freelance isn’t as bad as people in this show seem to think it is (says a freelancer). Also, can we maybe not glamorize spec work? Especially for someone who’s had the career Rory has. I know they’re having her do the piece on lines for GQ to communicate her desperation and how she’s flailing (we got the desperation message with her asking for Mitchum’s help), but working for free isn’t cool.
In some ways, Rory’s sense of freewheeling is probably amplified by those around her being concerned about her rootlessness. Headmaster Charleston offered her a future job at Chilton if she got a master’s degree, and it seemed to make Rory stop and pause. But as much as she seemed to falter, she hasn’t been humble about any of this. Though Sandee Says wasn’t the type of job Rory was looking for or even wanted, it was rude of her to go in unprepared and acting like the position was beneath her. Arrogance isn’t becoming on anyone, but especially not Rory. It’s also less than awesome she is once again sleeping with a taken, almost-married man. I don’t care how attractive Logan is.
You know who is shining in the revival? Paris Geller. When she ran into Francie at the Chilton event, her rival rattled off a list of Paris’ accomplishments. She’s qualified to be a doctor, a lawyer, and a dental hygienist. She has two cute kids. The Doyle thing isn’t working out, but Paris is fierce. She’ll bounce back. Oh! And do you think Paris is pregnant again?
We’re two episodes in. On one hand, I can appreciate how they’re letting Rory make mistakes–even if she’s made some of them before–but she’s acting like a brat. And hey, plenty of women like dudes who wear Wookiee suits. No need to be so snobby, Rory. What do you think? Tell me in the comments.