I haven’t made any secret of my Gilmore Girls excitement. As the rumors and news and set pictures and fan tweets started trickling in, that excitement only built. But then something happened. And kept happening. I’m not sure exactly what the tipping point was, but looking back now, it’s clear that we’ve passed it.
Because I’m still looking forward to the new season. But I wouldn’t say I’m excited. I’m nervous. Wary. Cautiously optimistic. I can feel those walls going up where my expectations were. Which, to be fair, is probably for the best, at least to some extent. I try to keep my hopes tempered with these things, but fandom is a hard feeling to moderate. I didn’t want this to turn into another Veronica Mars Movie, a revival which by most standards was perfectly decent, but was an overall huge disappointment for a lot of fans.
So where did these feelings turn? Well, let’s look at the news we’ve been given so far, both officially and by reputable word of mouth or set photos.
—Lorelai and Rory are both onboard. So is Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop).
—Luke is back!
—So is Christopher. (Boo.)
—So is April. And I count this as good news because while April Nardini is THE WORST, Vanessa Marano is the coolest, and I, personally, cannot wait to see 1. a college-aged April, and 2. Luke with a grown daughter.
—Melissa McCarthy was not invited back. While this is weird, terrible news, I don’t think it plays into my bigger feelings about the show.
—PARIS AND DOYLE!!!!!
—We learned Dean is coming back.
—So is Jess.
—So is Logan.
And there it is. My problem with the Veronica Mars movie (to use that example again because IT STILL STINGS) was that it it cared TOO much about pleasing us. We— the general we— wanted a new Veronica story. Instead, we got two hours of winks and nods and catch-ups and making good on what shoulda been. I was so excited for the news that the new Gilmore Girls season would really be more like four short movies than a regular series of hour-long episodes. It seemed more likely that the integrity of the show could last till the end.
But with ALL of Rory’s boyfriends scheduled to come back, this seems an indication that this could easily go the way of a Gilmore Girls, This Is Your Life loose ends tie-up fest. Of course none of us know what this will be until it is, but if this veers into a High Fidelity What Does It All Mean scenario, spread out over an in-world year and six on-screen hours, that’s going to be disappointing as hell.
For contrast, take a look at what Kelly Bishop had to say about the first episode. While the loss of Ed Hermann (Richard Gilmore) still hurts, it’s nice to know that the show won’t be ignoring that loss. From what Bishop has described, it sounds like they’re actually tackling it head-on, and that we will be devastated.
Well, because of the fact that Emily lost her husband, she’s kind of a raw nerve. In a desperate attempt to push through [her grief], she blows between right on the edge of losing it to almost being a little manic. I recall doing something very similar when I lost my mother; I was quite devastated. I suddenly got into this mode of getting things done and getting things done right. I was manic and aggressive and pushing, pushing, pushing — because, if you stop, you’re going to cry. So you don’t stop. And I see that in Emily. [Richard] is certainly a presence, especially in that first script. And Ed’s probably going to be hovering around the set a bit and watching over us. I really do believe that. Because he really loved the show.
Gilmore Girls was, obviously, hilarious. And charming. But it won our hearts because it also has characters we love exploring very real relationships. The wins and the losses on this show move us. If we’re going to invest ourselves again, especially if it is in a form closer to feature films than TV drama, we’re in it for the real stuff. Please don’t waste this on Rory having to choose between her exes or more Lorelai-Christopher will they/won’t they/gag me. Please, for the love of Miss Patty, make this something great.