SPOILERS AHEAD FOR GILMORE GIRLS!
Gilmore Girls is the feeling of cosiness, warmth and peace, encapsulated and put on screen. Stars Hollow is a home of every kind of quirky Connecticut type, hot cups of strong filter coffee, backwards caps and spring festivals. Festivals of every kind, really. It is a community, a home, and Lorelai and Rory act as your companions-cum-guides in that crazy small-town life.
Now, when approaching the topic of the Gilmore Girls finale, one has to observe the fact that for this stunning and long series, there are in fact two. The 2007 ending of Gilmore Girls left us watching Rory jet off on the trip of a lifetime to begin her career in journalism, on the trail of presidential candidate Obama, after her tumultuous journey at Yale, the end of heart-wrenching relationships, rejection and graduation, and years of watching Rory (Alexis Bledel) grow up, into a young woman, warts and all. The early noughties/late nineties ambiance, accompanied by Carole King’s dulcet tones and the coming of age of all of Rory’s friends, came to a close. The relationship shared by Graham and Bledel (Lorelai and Rory) felt like it was coming to a justifiable, comfortable and necessary end. Lorelai was not ceasing to be a mother, but instead her story was growing more and more distant from the seemingly mature Rory.
It became quite easy (for me anyway, an avid and passionate fan of the series, that I’ve watched, yes, 5 times) to dislike Rory through the last couple of series. Her entitlement, her insipid nature, her need to act out but thinking she was different, special. In a way, I suppose, we could suggest her becoming how she was was natural with the combination of how her mother raised her and her grandparents coddling. And so, it was almost a relief, seeing her journey change and seeing Luke and Lorelai finally get the happy ending (AND THAT KISS Y’ALL) that they deserve. It truly was a gorgeous, well-timed and poignant end to the series.
Or so we thought.
As is so intoxicatingly upsetting, but still the hot topic of many of our conversations (especially right now), Netflix decided to get involved and resurrect the series. Six hours’ worth of modern Stars Hollow joy ensued, spanning seasons from “I smell snow” to poolside reveries. We were given glints of nostalgia, hints of lost love, grief, romance, and ultimately, shock. The ending gave us everything the final episode before didn’t do, and rightly so. The 2016 revival ended with us being told that in her career spiral, Rory had made a choice that could be a kiss of death to her career, unless she is like her mother. We are given no confirmation of who the father is to Rory’s baby (I hope it’s Jess to be honest, but I feel they should be together whoever she got pregnant with), we are given no idea of where her future will go and we are left guessing. And yes, okay, that would be fine, but it just felt cripplingly un-Rory and very much forced to create a step in case Netflix decide to chuck more money at the series again in the future. It felt like an easy shock-tactic, cliche ending, particularly with the way Luke and Lorelai’s wedding was handled.
For me, the series ended in 2007. It felt right then. I cry, every time. I cannot accept the Netflix ending. I just cannot. The series as a whole yeah, sure, it was nice, fun, a revival. But it was not truly Gilmore. The only saving grace of this finale for me was the peace that the harsh and intimidating widower, Emily Gilmore, finds. She deserved some peace. And maybe I’m an old fashioned cynic for feeling like this about the big budget revival, but I think any true Gilmore fan will see the difference between this contrived ending and the truly loving and emotional ending of the original series. The saving grace of this series was the way Rory’s book was set up. And I agree with Lorelai, she did the right thing cutting the ‘The’. So, I will pour my black cup of coffee, don my 90s-style boots, a flannel shirt and a backwards cap, and continue to watch Gilmore Girls day in day out, but I will restarting again after ‘Bon Voyage’.
Gilmore Girls is available to watch via Netflix UK.