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Note: SO MANY SPOILERS
My Foolish Adoration of Rory
Back in October, I wrote a piece about my three favorite female fictional heroines: Mia from The Princess Diaries, Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Rory from Gilmore Girls.
I take Rory back — big time!
Now, I confessed in that article that I was only really familiar with the sweet, prep-school-going, shy, book-adoring Rory from the first few seasons. Since I was all of 5 years old when Gilmore Girls first aired, I watched the show in re-run form. But as a dorky unpopular pre-teen, watching 16 year old Rory rule the world was inspiring. She didn’t have to be “cool” to be, well, cool.
I needed that kind of role model.
So in order to gear up for the Gilmore Girls revival, I decided to binge-watch the first seven seasons in order. All was going pretty well. Sure Rory’s Dean vs. Jess choices seemed pretty stupid, but she’s a teenager. We’ve all been stupid. We’ve hurt people. We’ve been hurt. I get it.
But then she sleeps with her married ex-high-school-boyfriend in Season 4.
Breaking Up With Rory
She destroys Dean’s marriage, weirdly starts dating him again, and then they have a lame breakup with almost no argument when Dean sees her with Logan and his rich-kid Yale friends.
That’s when I started breaking up with Rory.
The role-model Rory that I knew and loved quickly became someone else.
Gilmore Girls progressively got more disappointing for me after the Dean nonsense. Rory’s flip out over being told she’s a bad journalist? An entire season of angst? And I know my focus here is on Rory — but what about the Lorelei plot? What’s with this lame-o drama with Luke? Why on earth does she sleep with Christopher after throwing a fit and — not surprisingly — not getting the response from Luke she wanted? And then she marries Christopher? And divorces him? What?
A Satisfying Conclusion
But despite the fact Gilmore Girls severely disappointed me after Season 4 ended, I was actually really pleased with the finale of Season 7. It was the best they could do with the mess they had created: Lorelei appears to be on the path to reconciliation with Luke, and Rory’s headed off into the real world of journalism. Even though I got married at 21, I think turning down Logan’s proposal was a good move on Rory’s part. I confess, I sobbed through the ending.
It was beautiful.
I was so satisfied with that ending, but I was also so excited for the reboot: Luke and Lorelei married with babies. Maybe we’ll see Rory’s wedding? At least we’ll get to see her amazing journalism career. She’s probably an awesome independent woman!
The Revival Gone Horribly Wrong
Or, instead, she’s the same angsty Rory from Season 6 who has absolutely no direction in life (And Lorelei and Luke are still fighting and hiding things from each other.)
Yes, Rory was immature and flighty at the end of the original series. But she was 22. She could mature. She had a life ahead of her and she was on the right path.
- Rory’s Terrible Career
Instead, in the last almost-decade Rory has had a handful of impressive bylines, like her New Yorker piece, but now isn’t doing anything else? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a freelancer and I’d be pretty stoked if I had a piece in The New Yorker, but she peaks and starts falling apart in the reboot. I expected to see Rory the awesome career-woman taking the world by storm. Instead we get Rory, the lazy broke freelancer.
As a freelancer, I’m just peeved with Rory’s incredibly lame work ethic. No, I’m not circumnavigating the world or breaking stories — I chose the proposal over chasing the presidential election (can we say, “no regrets?”) — but I financially support us by writing. She can’t get a job, but then she’s completely rude about working for an online magazine that’s somehow beneath her. It’s the 21st century, Rory, you take the work you can get.
I’m extremely confused as to why, after Rory’s comeback from Season 6 and her Yale Daily News success, we find her floundering a decade later.
- Rory’s Atrocious Love Life
And besides her poor career choices, there’s just way too much cheating going on in the Gilmore universe — originals and revival included.
Ignoring Lorelei’s indiscretions, first we have the insane Rory who ruins Dean’s marriage having sex with him which she “doesn’t regret.” Then we have the devastated Rory who almost broke up with Logan because he slept with his sister’s friends. But now — a decade later — we have the Rory who’s mistress to the engaged Logan? And she has a boyfriend, Paul, who she “doesn’t have time” to break up with?
In what world is this ok? What’s wrong with monogamy? Or at least, since it’s the 21st century and we need to “get with the times,” agreed-upon (by all parties, including poor Odette and Paul) non-monogamy.
- Everything with Luke and Lorelei
Come on. You mean to tell me with everything that happened between these two that they wait nine years to finally tie the knot? They were almost at the altar when they last broke up. Sure, take a couple years to rebuild — but nine?
And on the kid topic — they talked about wanting children the first time around — how are we supposed to believe that the conversation just never came up again? The originals seemed to make it clear Lorelei wanted to have another baby — and Luke was ready to be a great dad.
Why do they not have kids?
And although I loved Paris as the head of a lucrative surrogacy clinic, this whole plot-line is just a bit forced. And Luke — what’s wrong with adoption? That comment was offensive!
On the bright-ish side, at least this way we did get to see the very cute pre-wedding of Lorelei and Luke. But I would have loved to see a gown.
- Those Dumb Last Four Words
Maybe at some point the guys with the money decided behind closed doors to do more Gilmore Girls revival episodes, so they gave up on the whole “closure” idea of this reboot. I, for one, really like closure. Or at least — like with the end of season 7 — predictable open doors for the future.
Instead, we have 32-year-old Rory telling mom “I’m pregnant.”
This could honestly just come down to taste in endings. I wanted to see things wrapped up — and the director here wanted to leave a HUGE loose end. It’s not my style, and it’s not at all what I was expecting from Gilmore Girls.
Season 7 left me feeling warm, fuzzy and sentimental. For all the horrors that we went through in that lackluster season, it ended on a high note. I anticipated the reboot would leave me in the same state, but better. I’d feel refreshed, happy — complete! Instead, I’m left thinking, “That’s it? Seriously? This is how we are ending this?”
Some Bright Notes
I don’t mean to be a total downer on the revival. I loved Emily Gilmore becoming a docent at the whaling museum. I loved her finally keeping a maid for longer than 3 hours. I loved Lorelei’s story about her dad. The pot-smoking, hipster, MIT-grad April was an excellent touch.
Kirk was as annoying as ever. Taylor made me want to punch him in the face. Babette and Miss Patty were still hitting on younger men. It was wonderful and perfect. And even though some people felt that Rory’s run-in with Dean was too forced, I really liked her little ode to him. Everyone wonders what you’d say to your first love if you ran into them in the grocery store — and none of us would pull it off that well.
Plus, despite how annoying Rory is during the reboot, I love that she’s writing Gilmore Girls — and doing it in Richard’s study. It had a comforting “Little Women” feel.
Better Off Without It
As exciting as a reboot sounded, it left me feeling bummed and betrayed. I could have lived on imagining Luke and Lorelei and their two little kiddos and big-sis Rory coming home for Christmas between covering major world affairs on every continent.
In the end, it’s not my ending.