Gilmore Girls reboot lacks original spark

Jamie Glenn

Millennials of the 2000s can finally return to the sleepy town of Stars Hollow with the revival of an old favorite, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” With the final episodes of the original series airing almost ten years ago, the short season lets viewers tie up loose ends and catch up with the lives of America’s favorite small town girls: Rory and her mother and best friend, Lorelai.

GilmoreGirls.OnlineStory: “I smell snow.” The show opens with iconic dialogue from defining moments in the original “Gilmore Girls.”  All seven seasons were aired on the “CW” from  2000- 2007.  After  nearly a decade hiatus, creators return with a valiant effort, yet a somewhat misfire of a reboot. Writing duo Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino bring their pens to Netflix to flesh out the unfinished moments that many fans have been waiting to reach the screen.

When we had last left the leading ladies, Rory was just starting out as a journalist and Lorelai had yet to marry Luke. Season one of “A Year in the Life” offers four episodes, each modeling a season of the year starting with winter and closing with fall.

It’s in this continuation that we begin to see an even more adult side of Rory (Alexis Bledel), who ultimately finds her way back to her hometown of Stars Hallow to discover herself once again. We also get a glimpse into a much older and mature Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her life as an inn owner.

In our time away, she has become more stable in her relationship with both Luke (Scott Patterson) and her mother Emily Gilmore (Emily Bishop). The season offers new passions, questions old loves, grieves a loss and the sound of wedding bells chime.

Ultimately, viewers are left with one big question: what does Rory’s future hold?

Characters: A strong returning cast with nearly all the original members from the show, “A Year in the Life” has a promising lineup. The “Gilmore Girls” humor is good, but at times missed the mark and felt forced, as if a key component of the puzzle were missing.

Secondary character Kirk (Sean Gunn) rekindles the fire of his character by returning with modern punch lines about Uber and the world of the internet. Michel (Yanic Truesdale) is brought more to the screen in this revival.

In the original series, Michel was a secondary character who had minimal screen time. In this new season we are given much more insight and detail into his character. The opposite occurs with Melissa McCarthy as Sookie St. James, Lorelai’s business partner and best friend, who only returns for the tail end of the new season.

Style: Writers make a statement on the importance of connection without technology while trying to modernize Stars Hollow. Luke’s Diner, a town gathering spot, forces human interaction. Luke’s character has been one to always love personal interaction, hate cellphones and not provide Wi-Fi for his customers.

Many comments are made throughout the season regarding poor cell phone reception along with outdated cultural references about media and pop culture that fail to reach most of the audience demographic.

Each episode offers a coloristic tone that reflects the season the episode takes place in. Winter uses bright yet cold tones and fall is full of vibrant nature tones. This amount of detail demonstrates the dedication that went into creating the show’s return.

Verdict: The show’s humor is off, not allowing the dialogue to reach the mark and  jokes are often too  long and drawn out.

Many character interactions feel forced and take up too much screen time, influencing the pace of the show. Still, there are references to the original series that pay tribute to longtime viewers.

The foundational characteristics as to why the show is loved by many still remains. The original series gives off a vibrancy that allows it to be rewatchable and supplies good humor, relatable actions and strong human emotion between characters. The new season seems to be missing that spark.

Gathering many of the original cast members allowed for promising execution, but failed to reach its full potential due to the fact that the writing could have been a bit stronger in some scenes. The response to this revival season is very mixed, loved by some, while others are left with disappointment. Longtime fans who had to wait for almost a decade to tie up elements of the show may generate a different response to someone brand new to the series.

Bringing back the “Gilmore Girls” has allowed for a bigger audience to catch up on the previous seasons, in continuation with this new season Netflix has to offer. This reboot also has presented itself at a very pivotal time in entertainment where it’s easier to build on preexisting storylines with strong fanbases, rather than start from scratch.

Though flawed, many will continue following Rory and Lorelai’s stories.