I went into the viewing dreading the inevitable walk down Ex-Boyfriend Lane, because all of Rory’s past suitors—yes, even Dean—were several kinds of problematic. Except this time, through the sobering and horrific prism of 2016, they weren’t. It was Rory who was 57 flavors of insufferable, entitled, and selfish. And I couldn't help but wonder: Is Rory Gilmore a terrible person?
Yet “Winter” finds Stars Hollow’s brightest rudderless, homeless and even without underwear. As always, Alexis Bledel does a wonderful job of couching the unsavory aspects of Rory’s personality in beguiling sweetness, but even her icy blues and prim dresses can’t distract from the fact that her life is a mess, and 99% of it is her fault.
In her love life, she’s not only stringing along poor Paul—a boyfriend so dull no one remembers him—she’s also cheating on him also with random wookies and Logan Huntzberger (the disarmingly charming Matt Czuchry), despite the fact that he’s engaged to an heiress named Odette.
Professionally, she’s not fairing much better. Though “super-proud” Luke is lauding her newest piece in The New Yorker, it seems to be her only tangible work recently. She keeps referencing an ever-changing meeting with Conde Nast, and a book proposal with a booze-soaked British feminist, but she’s not actually writing. It seems as if she's merely consciously or subconsciously creating a façade of a being jet-setting freelancer. This behavior would make sense at 22, but is absolutely bizarre a decade later.
The one solid opportunity she has, a staff writer position at a Buzzfeed-esque website, falls through only because Rory arrives at the interview expecting to be wooed, and is completely unprepared to actually earn the position. Oy with the poodles already! (Sidenote: Was anyone totally underwhelmed by Rory’s lucky outfit? Hit up the comments section).
It’s probably a combination of all of the above, but A Year In The Life leaves all of those questions unanswered, and it’s one of the larger weaknesses of the otherwise whimsical and comforting re-boot that feels so desperately necessary right now, I wouldn’t be opposed to another season without the copious extended musical numbers or the Life and Death Brigade, and more Melissa McCarthy's Sookie St. James.
Once I got over my rage at how Rory’s wasted her potential, I actually find her predicament encouraging. If this incredibly connected, WASP-adjacent Yale graduate hasn’t managed to get her life together by 32, then who’s to say any of us should?
I’m a vastly different person than the girl who barricaded herself in her bedroom and watched seasons 1 through 3 in an entire weekend back in 2009, and I can’t help but marvel at how much I’ve changed in the years since. Granted, when I was published for the first time, my parents forgot to buy the paper my article was in despite being super-proud. They did get me a World’s Best Blogger Oscar from Madame Tussauds Gift Shop in Las Vegas, though. So suck it, Luke.
It also proves that life is an ever-changing thing, and that being a little aimless at times isn’t always a bad thing as long as you have the courage to embark on a different, better course.
For Lorelai, it means that her quiet little life with her 10-room inn needs to be bigger, and maybe she can be the one to build the empires instead of Luke.
And for Rory, it means working on her book and taking on newfound responsibilities in her life fearlessly—a skill I’m sure she learned from her mother.
What did you think of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life? Hit up the comments section below!
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