Eds. Note: Spoilers for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are coming so don't say I didn't warn you.
Anyone else feeling personally victimized by Amy Sherman-Palladino after watching the Gilmore Girls revival? Me too. A hate crime-enabling cheeseball covered in sliced almonds is our president-elect. The world is a stressful, overheated place. The Pantsuit Nation's flag flies at half-mast. After this particular election, I really wanted to see good things happen to my favorite smart women on TV. I wanted to see Rory Gilmore, one of TV's beloved smart girls, living up to her promise.
Instead, the smart, disciplined aspiring journalist we last saw hitting the campaign trail at the end of season seven is depicted attempting a freelance career with ZERO HUSTLE, wasting her time on awful Logan, and hanging out with the washed-up manchildren of the Life and Death Brigade. I'm all for charming, handsome-in-the-"I have a boat"-way, morally ambiguous young professionals, but we have another Matt Czuchry role for that, The Good Wife's Cary Agos.
LOGAN. IS. GARBAGE.
And the emotionally stunted men of the Life and Death Brigade just remind me of the snobby New England a capella bros (probably from Yale, now that I think about it) who would show up to my women's college on weekends and creepily fill and fill your drink. SERIOUSLY, FUCK THE LIFE AND DEATH BRIGADE. IT WAS NOT COOL OR FUN WHEN THEY WERE IN COLLEGE AND IT'S JUST EMBARRASSING NOW THAT THEY ARE MEN IN THEIR THIRTIES.
Rory Gilmore deserved better than this.
Here's ASP's rationale for betraying her: “We don’t like tying things up with bows because life isn’t like that, so we didn’t want an ending where it was like, And they all lived happily ever after," she told Buzzfeed. "Proceed to vomit now. Your life should not have a bow on it at 32. Your life should be a wide-open field at 32 years old.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Could she at least have had underwear tho?
I get the allure of complication, but damn it, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Gilmore Girls is not a gritty cable drama. It's a show where people run around through vast yardage of twinkle lights and celebrity chefs try their luck at small-town New England inns. It is heartwarming, wish-fulfillment-heavy comfort TV, a rare celluloid refuge in a world that feels increasingly frightening and backwards. It's less straight bourbon, more hot cocoa. Not the rich, bittersweet kind, either: the sugary kind that comes in a packet with crunchy mini-marshmallows.
If ASP wanted to give Rory an antiheroine arc, she should also have remembered that Alexis Bledel plays Rory, and Alexis Bledel is not a strong enough actress to carry that narrative. Speaking of Bledel: She also (politely) took issue with what happened to her character.
“I really wanted her to have had some great rewards, or to have enjoyed quite an interesting life… I wanted her to be on top of the world, so to learn that we pick up with her scrambling… I just had to imagine that for her," said Bledel in a Vulture postmortem on the revival.
And o, Amy Sherman Palladino! We haven't even gotten to those dreadful four final words. You have now done to Rory what the writers did to Lane in the later seasons of the show, saddling her with children and tying her permanently to an emotionally immature man. I hope you're happy. I'm not.
And that's not the only problem. As other outlets have valiantly pointed out, the show's depiction of Rory's career displays a pretty terrible understanding of how journalism works. Doing man-on-the-street interviews in a full skirt and heels? Showing up to a meeting with an editor with no pitch ideas at all? Sleeping with a source? The first two are things no journalist I know would do. The latter is a damaging cliché that contributes to a garbage idea some sources, readers, and Twitter trolls already seem to have about the women journalists they encounter. PSA: Women journalists aren't your girlfriend, your mom, or your therapist. We're at work!
Television is already rife with lazy, borderline offensive characterizations of women journalists. I expect this nonsense from Aaron Sorkin on a bad day. I don't expect it or accept it from nominally feminist Amy Sherman-Palladino. And I didn't expect her to have such a terrible explanation for why she ruined one of my favorite characters, and sent a clumsy fuck-you to women journalists everywhere to boot.
So here's how ASP can earn my forgiveness: The inevitable follow-up to A Year in the Life opens with Lorelai and Lane taking Rory to Planned Parenthood. Then Rory and Jess get drunk together and laugh about how she almost got saddled with a Logan baby, Rory singlehandedly shepherds the Stars Hollow Gazette into the 21st century and it wins awards for local news reporting, and she publishes her memoir with Jess' small press. It gets optioned for TV (too obvious?). She takes a job with the Philadelphia Inquirer because Philly is where Jess lives and she's a dogged investigative reporter, then parlays that into a gig with CNN. She and Christiane Amanpour high-five next to a foxhole. She has a kid later, or she doesn't, because honestly who cares, full circle can happen whenever. The rest of the follow-up episodes are dedicated to real storylines for Paris, Emily, and Sookie.
Logan dies in a tragic jetski accident.