▪ After months of waiting and speculating and standing in line to get a promotional cup of Luke’s coffee, it’s finally here! All four 90-minute episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life were waiting for me on Netflix when I woke up on Friday morning, begging to be binge-watched. And binge-watch I did. Twice. (Once Friday, once Saturday.) On the whole, I was more than satisfied with the episodes. Reboots are tricky—old fans want the show to be as perfect as it stands in their memories, which is a tall order—but I thought the Gilmore Girls one was pretty strong, compared to, say, the X-Files reboot earlier this year, which I found so terrible that I didn’t even finish it.
Since I know not everyone has had the chance to watch all four episodes yet, I won’t discuss any major plot developments. But with a few very mild spoilers included, here are some of my notes on the show:
- It’s been a long-held belief among serious GG fans that episodes written by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino are far better than those penned by her husband, Daniel Palladino. I think Daniel generally doesn’t deserve this bad rap (although he did write what is hands-down the worst episode of the show ever, “A Vineyard Valentine”), but I definitely found his two episodes of A Year in the Life, “Spring” and “Summer,” to be much less enjoyable than “Winter” and “Fall,” which were written by Amy. In fact, there were 20 minutes or so in “Summer” that I could barely stand to watch. So I don’t think this mini-series is going to change long-time fans’ minds about the merits of Amy episodes versus Daniel ones.
- Something that many fans laughed at in the original series was how clear it was that those ubiquitous coffee cups in Lorelai’s and Rory’s hands were actually empty (it even spawned a hashtag, #EmptyCupAwards). Nothing has changed—see the photo above. Has any human being ever held a full cup of coffee from the bottom, as Lorelai is doing?
- Emily “Bullshit” Gilmore is possibly my favorite person ever. Lorelai and Rory are fine and interesting enough, but Emily is the Gilmore girl I come to watch.
- Does anyone actually believe that law-abiding Rory Gilmore (well, aside from the time she stole that boat) would drive around on a license that expired three months ago? And since she’s barely working, why can’t she take a couple of hours and make a trip to the DMV? Okay, that’s a very minor point, but it’s that kind of character inconsistency and flat-out lack of logic that makes fans hate Daniel episodes.
- A big thumbs-down to the weird and nonsensical Paul storyline.
- Two thumbs-up to “A Second Film by Kirk,” destined to be a classic.
- Who is paying for all of freelancer Rory’s plane tickets to London as she hops back and forth across the Atlantic?
- As someone who hates to shop and never knows what looks good, I would very much appreciate a branded line of Lorelai wrap dresses to solve all my wardrobe problems. (A lot of her blouse-and-jeans combos are pretty good, too.)
- It was over the top, full of obnoxious displays of privilege, and required a massive suspension of disbelief, but I don’t care: the Life and Death Brigade sequence was weirdly perfect.
- I’m sure much will be said about the legendary final four words (no spoilers in that link). I’m okay with them.
- I know some people are hoping that there will be more Gilmore Girls in the future, but I thought this revival was so strong that I’d rather they leave things be. Don’t dilute the brand, in other words.
I’m sure I’ll watch the episodes again—probably soon—but I’ll leave my ramblings there. And now, some non-Gilmore Girl wanderings …
▪ Maybe this should have been the leadoff item, but Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve had a short staycation in Ann Arbor this weekend, as I visited my family earlier in the month and will be seeing them again soon. The ambitious, optimistic part of me planned to get some work done during the days off—my high hopes for #GTDNovember have been crushed by the unpredictabilities of life—but it’s now Sunday morning and I don’t think much of that’s going to happen. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time cooking (yams & chickpeas, these brussels sprouts, and this butternut squash salad, which is delicious but would be better without the onion), knitting, and, obviously, watching Gilmore Girls (also Working Girl last night; I wanted My Cousin Vinny but couldn’t find it online for free). I’m often very hard on myself when I feel that I don’t use extra time off productively, but I feel no guilt at all right now; November turned out to be more chaotic and stressful than I ever expected, and I desperately needed a break.
▪ Jennifer Polk of the site From PhD to Life interviewed me for her “Transition Q&A” series about moving from academia to a non-academic job.
▪ I love this story: pizza delivery by reindeer might become a thing in Hokkaido, Japan this winter, as Domino’s prepares a fleet of animals to contend with weather that’s expected to be harsher than usual. As my brother asked, do you have to tip the reindeer?
Image via the “Shit Academics Say” Facebook page.