I was already finished with high school when I started watching Gilmore Girls on DVD, years after the series moved from the WB to the CW and was subsequently canceled. And by the time I finished, I was a college graduate. (It took me awhile to get through the whole thing, which is still further than creator Amy Sherman-Palladino made it.) My timeline rarely matched with Rory Gilmore’s: I laughed at her Chilton drama, but I would have cringed had I also been 16, when whatever happens in high school is the most important thing ever. Our paths were roughly the same — I’m a writer, she’s a writer; I enjoy stuffing my face with a comical amount of junk food, she enjoys stuffing her face with a comical amount of junk food — but they didn’t cross.
They did for millions of other viewers, though, who related with blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked Rory — they cheered when she got into Yale at the same time they were applying for schools, and cried when she cried at the end of “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” (Okay, I cried, too, but not because I went through a similar situation.) But that divide between myself and Rory no longer exists, because we’re both adults with grown-up problems, like when I’m unsure if I can afford my monthly trip to London to have sex with my ex-boyfriend, even though he’s engaged and I’m currently seeing someone.
Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is, overall, a success: Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel still have that indescribable spark, the flashback funeral is one of the most emotionally resonant scenes in the entire series, and Emily and Paris remain the best. But there are problems, like the fake Chad Michael Murray, the endless Stars Hollow: The Musical (I’m all for Sutton Foster in everything, but her bit with Christian Borle just kept going), and the fat-shaming “jokes” in “Summer,” the weakest of the four episodes.
But my biggest issue with the miniseries is Rory Gilmore. I’m not the only one.
In “Winter,” we learn that Rory had a piece published in The New Yorker, which has led to countless compliments but no job leads. In other words, she’s a freelance writer — it takes real commitment and courage to live (measly) paycheck to (measly) paycheck, and to learn to live with rejection for the love of the craft. Unfortunately, after a brief success, Rory lacks that commitment. She’s no longer the same person who quit Yale because a rich jerk told her she wasn’t good enough, that she doesn’t have “what it takes” to make it.
She’s worse. In A Year in the Life, Rory:
-Forgets to break up with poor Paul
-Cheats on Paul with Logan, who’s engaged
-Goes to a job interview under the assumption that she already has the position; she gets hostile when the editor asks her for ideas
-Falls asleep while on assignment for GQ
-Mocks the 30-Something gang
-Continually complains about being broke but still travels to London