By Anisha Koilpollai
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life took me back to Stars Hollow, and with it, to my childhood. I grew up watching Gilmore Girls with my older sister, and while I’d hope to watch the revival mini-series with her, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait for her to return home. And thus, I watched it without her. And all of these feelings came with it. Let’s dive into it, shall we?
First, I do think that it is very important that you watch the original series before watching A Year in the Life. The mini-series brought back many of the original characters that we know and love, and with it, the drama and humor that existed in the original series.
If you haven’t watched the original series, but you watched the new series, then I feel like you are missing out on quite a lot; you won’t get the same impact as someone who had watched the original series. Jokes won’t transfer over. The setting won’t hold the same significance to someone who has watched the original show. It won’t matter that the town troubadour chased out another troubadour because you won’t even realize that the town troubadour, as insignificant as he might seem, holds much of the charm from the original series.
Now, A Year in the Life is my Netflix pick of the week because I think it adds a nice touch to the original storyline. Going back to Stars Hollow, you get to see all of your favorite places from the original show. But, the new series also adds places that were never before seen, and I think that’s cool. You get to see how the town has developed in the past year; even if you feel weird about seeing new spots in the town, it’s interesting to see that the town has changed. And with it, so have the characters.
The grandmother-mother-daughter relationship we all loved about the original series translated over well into the mini-series, and these dynamics were a central feature. Emily Gilmore, the grandmother for those of you who are not familiar with the show, had to deal with the loss of her husband throughout the show. We got to see how she was coping with the death throughout the span of the year. While she was understandably crushed in the beginning (50 years of marriage is a long time), by the end of the show, she had found her rhythm again.
The ever so rocky relationship between Emily and her daughter Lorelai, was also a focus of the show. But, viewers got to see how this relationship was affected by their mutual loss as well as their individual journeys at moving on in their lives.
Throw in Rory, the brilliant daughter of Lorelai, and it’s easy to see that while each woman still hold their individuality, they all are going through different paths to reach the same goal: discovering their individual purpose in life. The new series tackles depression in a way I feel that most shows wouldn’t dare to go about the issue: it accurately portrays depression as something that can take on many forms.
The show is different from the original, but it is different in the best way possible. It is a reflection of life. It shows change, struggles, relationships and family all painted in a complex manner, but a manner that best mirrors real life. The viewer is brought back into the world they know and love, but it is a world that has changed. Life for the Gilmores isn’t always going to be infused with movie references, insane amounts of food, and snarky banter. And that’s okay. It is tough, and it is messy. Because once the three women finally reached that point in their lives they had been struggling to get to for a year, it came with a twist. Life isn’t going to be a straightforward path. The Gilmores taught me to take it in stride. And so should you.