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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Wastes Time with “Summer”

By on November 29, 2016

GILMORE GIRLS | (Left to Right) Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham. Photo credit Saeed Adyani/Netflix

By Chelsea Hensley

Important questions: Since when does Stars Hollow have a pool? Why did Rory go sit by said pool in jeans and a long sleeved shirt and complain about the heat? And perhaps most importantly why did anyone think we wanted to watch an overly long and overly bad musical? And why, when it’s finally over, do we have to watch a scene of it being discussed? For such a finite amount of time to work with, the Palladinos didn’t care about wasting it. Between this trash musical and the whole saga of Luke’s empire (ugh) how much time could have been better spent giving Rory something more interesting to do than abandon her journalism career and continue arguing with Logan?

“I’m not back.”

Despite Rory’s protestations that she isn’t back in Stars Hollow, she’s definitely back in Stars Hollow because her freelance career is totally dead. Why that is I’m not sure, but this is the same girl who dropped out of college when one man told her she didn’t have “it” so this is perfectly in character. But it begs the question, if freelancing was so hard for her why does she think writing a book (which will probably be titled Gilmore Girls — let’s get the eyerolls out of the way now) will be any easier an undertaking? There a lot of steps to it, and Rory is clearly not a fan of rejection. What am I saying? Jess will just publish the book for her because why not?

For a girl determined to prove that she isn’t back in Stars Hollow permanently, Rory sure fights hard to become the new editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette which is cute and all but still makes zero sense. Rory would rather work for no money than actually freelance for (probably very little but still) money? But does she even need money? Rory claims she’s too broke to buy underwear, but she has enough to go to London in a few weeks? What is the truth, Rory? A lot of this foolishness can be laid at the feet of the Palladinos, who clearly have no idea what a freelance writer looks like, but when Rory’s story is already annoying even the small things feel worse.

But nothing is worse than this continued nonsense with Logan who is now easily the worst of Rory’s boyfriends. That was debatable before, but him carrying on an affair with Rory, that both of them are inexplicably confused about not going well, definitely sinks him in the rankings (Matt Czuchry however is painfully attractive and has my eternal good will after The Good Wife). That being said, there’s literally no other ex Rory could have ended up with in the revival because neither of others are as messed up as she is.

We haven’t seen Dean yet but let’s assume he’s got his life together, and we know even before we see Jess that he’s living his best life. He’s got big arms and shaggy hair and way more sense than Rory. I shudder at the thought of Rory dragging one of them down with her (I wondered if Rory was on her way to developing a drinking problem this episode), especially since she still hasn’t broken up with Paul!

“I’m going away.”

In what universe is Lorelai Gilmore going to go hiking? Midlife crisis or not, what makes her think that roughing it in the wilderness will make make her feel better about her life right now? Luke’s incredulity only makes it a little better, but by the time Lorelai’s determined she’s totally doing this Wild thing, I’m in front of my laptop with raised eyebrows and a pained expression. I’m just accepting this as a consequence of Lorelai’s clearly addled brain, and her suddenly in flux relationships, because it’s stupid otherwise.

But this is a bad episode for Lorelai. Michel announces he’s leaving the Dragonfly, Emily may or may not be dating friend Jack, Rory wants to write their story, and Luke didn’t tell her about looking for franchise locations. Frankly, this would have been a perfect episode to see more of Lorelai in therapy, but our only Claudia sighting is when she’s auditioning for the musical (why is she auditioning for a musical in Stars Hollow anyway?) when what we really need to see is her exploring why Lorelai is so against Rory’s book (this is the woman who cried happy tears when Rory included her in her valedictorian speech but now doesn’t want Rory to write about her because Emily may learn she put Rory in a bucket one time?) Rory and Lorelai’s blowout feels like just an excuse for them to be on bad terms heading into the final installment which is especially annoying knowing Lorelai will inevitably give Rory her blessing so the book can be turned into a series starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.

Emily is no more discernable than her daughter, mostly because of how little time we spend with her (which makes me all the more angry about the time wasted on that musical). She’s become more of a vehicle to point out the secrets Luke and Lorelai are keeping from each other than actually dealing with her own story. She’s sleeping until noon, watching TV in the living room, and spending a lot of time with maybe-boyfriend Jack. Her DAR meetings are still happening, but it’s now difficult to tell where Emily is in her healing process or if we’re missing large chunks of it. The trip to Richard’s grave should be more impactful than it is, but Emily just disappears to argue about single quotation marks.

Then there’s Luke who finally confronts Lorelai about hiding her therapy in a mildly confusing argument. Does he really think Lorelai’s lying about going to therapy? Why after ten years together are either of them surprised that their together-but-separate-lives thing isn’t working out the way they thought? Why is Luke suddenly acting like Lorelai’s parents have never been a factor in their relationship until now? Scott Patterson and Lauren Graham act the hell out of it (and I feel bad for those customers), but I wish we had a better handle on what exactly either of them was doing.

Summer is already my least favorite season, and A Year In the Life did nothing to change that.

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