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Much to fans’ glee, Gilmore Girls is returning with a limited run series on Netflix. While negotiations with the cast remain in progress, all reports suggest most of the major players will make a return to Stars Hollow. Also, series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is back at the helm and all is right with the world.
As we look forward to seeing our favorites (hopefully) in the new episodes, let’s take a look at what the core cast has been up to since the show ended in 2007 and Rory and Lorelai shared their last coffees.
Lorelai Gilmore — Lauren Graham
Few female protagonists have been as wonderfully complex as Lorelai Gilmore. She was selfish, made terrible choices, and often unfairly punished those closest to her. However, she was also brave, ambitious, and unendingly clever, and it was the balance between the two sides of her that made her such a compelling protagonist.
Honestly, the entire show hinged on Lauren Graham. Had she been unable to handle the dialogue or mesh sufficiently with Alexis Bledel, Gilmore Girls never would have become the show it did. Since 2007, Graham has worked steadily in television and film. She had supporting roles in Because I Said So, Evan Almighty, Flash of Genius, and The Answer Man, and appeared in a few episodes of Web Therapy. Her most notable role to date was as Sarah Braverman on Parenthood, where she played another cool single mom on a show prone to cause waterworks. Graham also wrote a novel called Someday, Someday, Maybe in 2013 and is set to write and produce an adaptation of the Fug Girls’ first novel, The Royal We, making Graham a true triple threat.
Rory Gilmore — Alexis Bledel
While she matched her mother quip for quip, Rory was the sweeter, more cautious Gilmore girl. She was her mother and her grandparents’ golden girl, the one they hoped would learn from Lorelai’s mistakes and take a more traditional road to success. As she navigated academia, boyfriends, and finding her own way, Rory served as the other half of the show’s beating heart.
After Rory rode off into the sunset (to cover Obama’s first presidential campaign), Alexis Bledel took mainly supporting roles in independent films like The Good Guy, The Conspirator, Violet and Daisy, and Jenny’s Wedding. Additionally, she reprised her role as Lena Kaligaris in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and starred in the movie Post Grad. Bledel also was a guest star for a few episodes of Mad Men, where she met her eventual husband, Vincent Kartheiser.
Luke Danes — Scott Patterson
He may have been grumpiness in a baseball cap, but Luke was the steadying presence that the flighty Lorelai needed. Luke wasn’t always emotionally open or communicative, but he was always there for Lorelai when she needed him. Their will-they-won’t-they romance was one of the many threads of the Gilmore tapestry, and one that kept fans invested until the very end.
Since he last closed the diner, Scott Patterson appeared in Saw IV, Saw V, and Saw VI as Agent Peter Strahm, and in The Boys of Abu Ghraib. He was also the classic American dad on the underrated television show Aliens in America and had a supporting role on The Event.
Emily Gilmore — Kelly Bishop
Her relationship with Lorelai was a fraught one, but Emily quickly became a standout character. On a lesser show, Emily probably would have been painted as a villain, but Gilmore Girls kept her more dynamic and complex.
Kelly Bishop has kept busy since her time with the D.A.R., with guest roles on Law & Order: SVU, Mercy, The Good Wife, and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. She also appeared in the film Friends With Kids and teamed up with Amy Sherman-Palladino for her next project as one of the leads on Bunheads, a show canceled way too soon.
Richard Gilmore — Edward Hermann
As the patriarch of the Gilmore family, Richard’s relationship with Lorelai was similarly complicated, but his sweet connection to Rory consistently served as one of the show’s low-key delights. What’s more, Richard and Emily Gilmore’s marriage felt as true-to-life as any on television.
Edward Hermann also had a steady career following Gilmore Girls, with guest appearances on televisions shows like 30 Rock, Law & Order, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, and The Good Wife. His deep voice (he had done extensive voice work for The History Channel and PBS for years) also made a cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street. Sadly, Hermann died on Dec. 31, 2014, due to brain cancer.
Sookie St. James — Melissa McCarthy
Has there ever been a better television best friend than Sookie St. James? Not only was she Lorelai’s business partner and closest friend, Sookie was also a well-drawn character in her own right. Her skills as a chef and her ever-growing family with Jackson were always at the forefront, not just her relationship with Lorelelai.
Since Gilmore Girls ended, Melissa McCarthy has had the most high-profile career. After Bridesmaids rocketed her to fame (and earned her an Oscar nomination), she’s been in a long string of films, including Identity Thief, The Heat, Tammy, St. Vincent, and Spy. She’s also done more than 100 episodes of Mike & Molly, for which she won an Emmy in 2011. Her career shows no sign of slowing down — she recently designed her own fashion line and she’s going to be a Ghostbuster.
Lane Kim — Keiko Agena
Stars Hollow’s biggest rebel, Lane evolved from rocker chick to badass mom over the course of seven seasons, all the while being a better friend than Rory really deserved. After settling down with bandmate Zach and their twin boys, Steve and Kwan, Lane was proof that staying in your hometown doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on your dreams.
Since she played the drums for Hep Alien, Keiko Agena has worked the guest-role circuit, doing episodes of tons of popular shows, including Kim Possible, Private Practice, ER, Castle, House M.D., Scandal, Twisted, and Shameless. She also had a bit role in Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon.
Paris Geller — Liza Weil
Rory’s rival and eventual roommate, Paris was a prickly character from the start. Paris was “Rory with an edge,” and her intelligence and ambition knew no bounds. It was clear that Paris was going to go on and do great things, so it will be interesting to see where she ended up in the new season.
Liza Weil also who followed Amy Sherman-Palladino over to Bunheads. Weil is currently a major player in Shondaland, appearing in guest spots on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, playing a supporting role on Scandal, and currently serving as one of the leads on How To Get Away With Murder.
Michel Gerard — Yanic Truesdale
Michel the flighty Frenchman was Lorelai’s loyal inn employee and the purveyor of snippy quips. He followed Sookie and Lorelai from The Independence Inn to The Dragonfly Inn, griping and complaining the entire time. No one ever loved Destiny’s Child or chow chows more.
Dean Forester — Jared Padalecki
Dean was Rory’s first (and arguably worst) boyfriend, the small-town boy who could never keep up with her ambition. Dean usually meant well, but his execution was flawed. When Dean and Rory broke up for the final time in season five, it was clear that he was a relic from her past and nothing more.
Since he left the show in 2005, Jared Padalecki has made his mark in the horror genre. He’s starred in a few films, including House of Wax, Cry_Wolf, and Friday the 13th. However, his defining role has been playing Sam Winchester, one-half of the demon-hunting duo on Supernatural. The show has a huge and passionate fanbase and recently started its 11th season. Padalecki has also been very open about his struggle with depression, and has worked hard to raise awareness for mental-health issues.
Jess Mariano — Milo Ventimiglia
Jess was loved more for his potential than his actual follow-through. He could have been Rory’s great love had he gotten his act together sooner, but all the sexy brooding couldn’t outweigh his failure to commit in even the smallest way. He was always in Rory’s orbit, even remotely, so maybe they got it right eventually.
Following Gilmore Girls, Milo Ventimiglia played the noble Peter Petrelli on Heroes, and had roles on Mob City, Chosen, Gotham, and The Whispers. He played Rocky Balboa’s son in Rocky Balboa, provided the voice of Wolverine in an animated series, and appeared in the films Gamer, Armored, That’s My Boy, Grown Ups 2, and Grace of Monaco.
Logan Huntzberger — Matt Czuchry
Logan was Rory’s most polarizing boyfriend by far. Fans either loved or hated the privileged Yale grad. While he may have been spoiled, it’s hard to argue against that he was Rory’s most mature relationship and a boyfriend who treated her like a true equal. He may not have handled her rejection of his marriage proposal well, but it was pretty clear that he would always love Ace.
After a brief stint on Friday Night Lights and an unfortunate turn as Tucker Max in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Matt Czuchry has worked as a series regular on The Good Wife since 2009, where he has been turning in a stellar performance as the slippery Carey Agos.
Kirk Gleason — Sean Gunn
Oh, Kirk. Stars Hollow was filled with charming weirdos, and Kirk was easily the weirdest. A man of many jobs and only one Lulu, Kirk never stopped finding ways to inadvertently traumatize his neighbors, be it via an art film, night terrors, or his participation in historical re-enactments.
Sean Gunn had a supporting role on the show October Road, and showed up on Bunheads. He is also officially a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing the space pirate Kraglin and serving as the on-set double for Rocket Raccoon, in Guardians of the Galaxy, a film directed by his brother, James Gunn. Sean is set to reprise his role in the sequel.