TV Review - Jackie K Cooper
"Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life" (Netflix)
For years I have avoided watching "Gilmore Girls". All through its original run I dismissed it as something I wouldn't enjoy and something I had no interest in whatsoever. But then along came "Parenthood" and I became fascinated by Lauren Graham. I found her to be an enchanting actress and a bright personality in real life. She was the main reason I watched every episode of that show during its too short run.
So when I heard she was doing an "update" of "Gilmore Girls" my interest was piqued. Here was a chance to see Graham again. I hesitated for a few weeks but then I plunged into it and bingewatched all four ninety minute episodes of the revival of "Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life". It wasn't bad, and Graham was very, very good.
For those of you who are in my boat and didn't know anything about these characters before this show, Graham plays Lorelai Gilmore, mother of Rory (Alexis Bledel) and daughter of Emily (Kelly Bishop). In the ten years since the series ended Lorelai's father Richard (Edward Herrmann) has died, and Rory has moved on to pursue a career in writing. Lorelai lives with Luke (Scott Patterson) and runs a bed and breakfast in her home town of Stars Hollow.
"Gilmore Girls" is a very quirky show and the quirks were not things I overall enjoyed. You have members of the community who are eccentric to say the least. One man has a pet pig that he is constantly walking, another is the obsessive compulsive mayor of the town who is forever dreaming up ludicrous schemes to bring more money into Stars Hollow. Some of the wide range of community participants and leaders are fun but others fall flat. Perhaps if you were a regular follower of the old show these people had made themselves endearing there. For newcomers they are just odd.
Then there are the celebrity appearances. True life notable chefs turn up in Lorelai's kitchen at the inn, Carole King becomes a member of the community testing ideas for a musical revue, Mae Whitman and Jason Ritter of "Parenthood" have cameos. There are also other assorted appearances of people from the past shows such as Melissa McCarthy and Milo Ventimiglia.
Where I came to enjoy "Gilmore Girls" was in the more serious moments. I ached for Lorelai when she was trying to establish a connection with her mother, and felt real pangs of sadness when Rory shared a moment with her father. I was touched by the love story of Lorelai and Luke, and dismayed by the relationship between Rory and long time lover Logan (Matt Czuchry).
There are a lot of negatives in "Gilmore Girls" for me, but the overall strength of the relationships displayed won me over. By the end of the fourth episode I was hooked and would like for there to be more stories of Stars Hollow in the future. I may not be the biggest fan of the show but I am a true fan of that Graham girl.
"Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life" is available on Netflix now.
Jackie K Cooper