Why the Gilmore Girls Revival was a Missed Opportunity

 

As a group, humans are rising up to discover the best versions of themselves. Archaic standards for behavior, social etiquette and gender roles are all falling away to be replaced by a compassionate and all-embracing definition of what it means to be a decent human. And Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, on the whole, did not advance that social growth but maintained old standards of gender roles and relationships save for one– radiant –exception.

But first, my top three WTF moments (spoilers ahead):

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“I’ll run a franchise if that’s who you want me to be”

 

Luke’s Speech

There is a global conversation surrounding what masculinity is and what it looks like and Luke’s so called declaration of love was not it. A Year in the Life could have contributed to that conversation of masculinity by having Luke admit his fears in a way that kept his dignity and independence as a human. Instead he displayed unhealthy co-dependency by saying he would do and be anything Lorelai wanted so that he could be with her. This is the not kind of romantic gesture offered when we are being the best version of ourselves. So I officially submit an alternative scene:

Luke: I have loved you, Lorelai, since I met you and I knew it for certain on that day you came up to me in the diner wearing a pink sweater and an empty coffee cup in your hands begging for your sixth cup of the morning.

Lorelai: That was my first cup of the day.

Luke: No it wasn’t.

Lorelai: No it wasn’t.

Luke: Anyway…you know I want to be with you but it feels like you’re pulling away and that frightens me.

Lorelai: I want to get married. Do you?

BOOM. DONE. Independent Luke communicating clearly.

 

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“I slept with a Wookie”

Rory’s Meltdown

Rory feels like she has hit rock bottom in her romantic and professional life by writing the story “Lines” and subsequently sleeping with a stranger. And yes, yes she has. And there is no good reason for her to be unemployable with her level of education and experience. So this entire story arc is pointless. Therefore, I submit an alternative scene:

Rory: Mom, do you want to come up to New York for the weekend? I’m exhausted from writing another piece for the Times and I need a break.

Lorelai: Only if we wear little black dresses and stare longingly into the window displays at Tiffany’s while drinking coffee and eating danishes wondering if we’ll ever meet a man worthy of our beauty.

Rory: I don’t like danishes.

Lorelai: Neither did Audrey Hepburn but she ate it anyway because a danish has more class than a muffin.

Rory: And muffins crumble.

Lorelai: Inciting Givenchy’s wrath at ruining a perfectly good dress.

Rory: Gotta keep Givenchy happy.

Lorelai: I’ll bring the coffee.

Rory: I’ll bring the danishes.

 

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“Mom?….”

The Final Four Words

Real women around the world are facing death and abuse to make certain that they and other women are treated equally. But A Year in the Life is a story about a 32 year old woman who gives up on her dream career because of a string of bad interviews and now finds herself pregnant with a baby she conceived because she was a mistress to her unavailable ex-boyfriend who she previously refused to marry to because she wanted a CAREER. Also, Rory tells Lorelai this news on Luke and Lorelai’s wedding day. What a dick move. So I submit an alternative scene:

(On the Stars Hollow gazebo steps drinking champagne)

Rory: You just got married.

Lorelai: I just got married.

Rory: To Luke.

Lorelai: To Luke.

Rory: At midnight

Lorelai: And now it’s morning

(Kirk chases Petal past the gazebo)

Rory: We need more coffee

 

These silly and outdated storylines about how a person finds their life path or how they cope with uncertainty are going to infuse themselves into a culture that is trying really really hard to better itself. Rory could have been a role model on how to keep your morals in the workplace when people try to sway you or how sometimes you discover that family is the most important connection in your life. But she wasn’t. 

I would have lost hope in the revival if not for the one –radiant–exception: Emily Gilmore. This was the type of character growth I wanted to see in Lorelai and Rory; the kind of example that shows others how it is alright to feel lost within grief, to learn more about yourself and to connect with others. Emily was a woman fumbling through a difficult transition and found herself on the other side confidant and radiant in her newfound independence. This is the kind of storyline I want to see more of. This is an example of how to rise to the best version of yourself for your own well being and for the betterment of others.

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“The Sand Castle says ‘Owner: Emily Gilmore'”

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life could have showed society what it looks like to better yourself and those around you with fast paced, quippy dialogue. Instead we were given two females stuck in outdated gender roles that belittle those around them and stunt self growth. Thank god for Emily Gilmore. Oi with the poodles already!

 

Want to rise up to your highest self? Here are some resources that have helped me:

The Mask You Live In is a documentary about how boys and men navigate America’s narrow view of masculinity while trying to reconnect to their inner lives.

MissRepresentation is a documentary that reveals how mainstream culture under represents women in power and mainstream media contributes to the over sexualization of women.

The Good Men Project is a website leading the conversation about the damaging effects of toxic masculinity in society and how men are stepping out of that box to live a full and connected life.

Healing is a book by David Elliot that takes a look at the core issues in our lives that block the flow of energy in the body that bring balance and healing.