‘Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life’: The Good, The Bad, And The WTF

by Erika W. Smith


I watched the entire new season of Gilmore Girls on Saturday, and to be honest, I’m still processing. A Year In The Life definitely felt like the old Gilmore Girls….but the most frustrating parts of the old Gilmore Girls. Like when Rory stole a yacht or stopped speaking to Lorelai for an entire season. Or when the show implied that Rory was the “good kid” and got into Harvard because she was a virgin, while Paris was the “bad kid” and didn’t get into Harvard because she had consensual sex with her boyfriend.

Of course, there was plenty to love, as well — Paris kicking the bathroom door shut in heels being one of them. Let’s go through the good, the bad, and the WTF together. Obviously, spoilers abound.

Paris Geller


Everything Paris Geller.

From the aforementioned bathroom freakout to her rant about the stairs to her complete command of her surrogacy business to her stint as a dental technician, Paris was a highlight of the new season. We only wish we’d gotten to see more of her! Hey, Amy Sherman-Palladino, can we have a Paris Geller spinoff series, please?

Giimore Girls

Surprisingly, April Nardini.

April Nardini was one of the most ANNOYING characters in the original series, but the revival used her sparingly and well — instead of an annoyingly precocious child, she’s a hilariously pretentious college student going through her quarterlife freakout. And that Noam Chomsky line was great.

April Nardini

Lorelai dealing with grief.

I definitely cried a few times watching Lorelai come to terms with the loss of her father. And although I know some people didn’t like it, Lorelai setting out on her Wild journey, only to turn around and come home without stepping foot on the trail, worked for me — Lorelai loves pop culture and hates outdoor activity. And that phone call to Emily! I’m crying again just thinking about it.


Emily learning to be on her own.

EMILY GILMORE. Emily Gilmore was possibly the best part of the new series. I loved her DAR takedown and I loved her ending in Nantucket. I would be first in line for her museum tour.

Emily Gilmore

Everything with Richard, actually.

Gilmore Girls handled Lorelai, Emily, and Rory’s grief really well. I definitely teared up a few times, but I also laughed at moments like scene about the GIGANTIC portrait.


Sutton Foster’s final song. 

Lorelai cried and so did I. This was the one good moment of the Stars Hollow musical. More on that later.

Sookie’s scene.

I wish we could have had more Sookie, but because Melissa McCarthy was available for only one day, I get that her screentime had to be limited. This one scene was totally heartfelt and I love that they talked about Sookie even when she wasn’t onscreen. Now if they had only done the same for Lane!!!!


Mr. Kim.

This was a cute moment. Mr. Kim lives!!

Mr. Kim

Luke and Lorelai’s secret wedding.

Secret wedding are cliché and Sookie should have been there, but this scene was just gorgeously shot.

Gilmore Girls



Seeing Lane’s storyline get corrected was one of the things I was most looking forward to in this season: when the original series ended, Lane had given up her rockstar dreams in favor of marrying a manchild husband she didn’t even enjoy having sex with, and was raising twin sons. While Lane is in plenty of AYITL scenes, she doesn’t have her own storyline and is basically a sidekick to Rory instead of an interesting character in her own right. WHY??

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The joke — that Emily had a maid who she couldn’t understand — was offensive, unfunny, and took up way too much screentime. 

The fat jokes.

The “Summer” episode started with Rory and Lorelai body-shaming everyone who walked by them at the pool, particularly a headless fat man — a very harmful and uncreative trope. Also, like, they’re at A PUBLIC POOL. In the MIDDLE OF SUMMER. Public pools are not a skinny-people-only-zone!!! They’re for, uh, the PUBLIC, which includes a wide range of body types. It’s amazingly annoying to see Rory and Lorelai eat junk food for every meal and express disdain about athletic activity, only to shame people who don’t have their metabolism. Also, it’s just not funny. You can do better than this, Gilmore Girls!


The LGBTQ jokes.

This season was patting itself on the back for finally allowing Michel to be out of the closet a little TOO much. Why didn’t we get to see Michel’s husband? What was that joke about the gay pride parade being canceled because there aren’t enough gay characters? And WTF was that trans joke made by one of Logan’s sidekicks? Not cool, Gilmore Girls.

The Stars Hollow musical.

This would have been funny if it was one song, or maybe a two-minute montage, but the musical scene just went on and on and on and on. As good as Sutton Foster is, that scene was pointless and I would have happily traded those minutes for one tiny little Lane subplot.


The Thirty-Something Gang.

Millennials can no longer afford to live alone due to staggering student debit, underpaying jobs, and an ever-rising cost of living LOLOLOLOLOLOL. 

Rory doesn’t understand how journalism works.

RORY. From constantly flying to London on a freelance “salary,” to going to pitch meetings without any pitches, to her disdain for Sandee Says. Also, writing a book about your mom when she tells you not to is invasive; as memoirist Nadja Spiegelman says, “having a writer in the family is like having a murderer in the family.” This is especially true if you’re writing a book about your mom simply because you have no other ideas. I can say confidently as a full-time freelancer myself that Rory may be the worst journalist who ever lived. MITCHUM HUNTZBERGER WAS RIGHT. 


Rory’s complete lack of character growth.

In Season 4, when Rory is 18 or 19, she loses her virginity to her ex-boyfriend Dean, who was MARRIED at the time. Apparently Rory learned absolutely nothing from this, because at 32 she does EXACTLY THE SAME THING WITH LOGAN. RORY. GROW UP.



Paul was a sweetie and deserved much better than Rory. FREE PAUL!!!!!!


Those final four words.

Okay, I get that ASP wanted to come “full circle,” but way to end on a cliffhanger — and way to go back on your words that the series is more about Rory’s career than her love life, because all anyone is talking about now is who her baby daddy is (#TeamWookie, btw). On the bright side, maybe this means another season?


More from BUST

7 Things We Want To See In The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival Series

5 Groundbreaking Ways ‘Gilmore Girls’ Showed Women On TV

The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge



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