Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting

Exactly one week ago, the world received news that a long-awaited Gilmore Girls revival was finally in the works.

We’ve since had one week to digest this information, and while we still have a bit of Michael Scott freakout in us, we’ve managed to calm down enough to share our feelings on the revival with y’all.

T: When we tell our (maybe) kids about the revival, it’ll be akin to older folks telling stories about where they were when JFK was shot or like Ted Mosby telling a horrible story. “Kids, I’m gonna tell you the story of the exact moment I found out a Gilmore Girls revival was happening.”

M: If this revival hadn’t happened, my future children were going to have to to hear a 10-year-long story about how Luke and Lorelai probably didn’t end up together, instead. So really, everyone wins.

T: The day – Monday, October 19th. The time – around 2:30pm. The location – my office. I have to constantly be checking the Internet for entertainment news, and when I was checking my Twitter, I saw a post from Michael Ausiello of pop up that said this:

I really wanted to yell WHAT!!?!?!? out loud but there were others in the vicinity who would no doubt question my sanity, so I said it at a very low tone to myself and began digging deeper into the supposed revival.

M: Should I be concerned that it’s only been a week and I have zero recollection of how I found out? Those hypothetical kids are totally going to put me in a home, aren’t they? In any case, I was very pleased but also assumed that it was another one of those articles that comes out every couple months after a cast member appears on a podcast. Ahem.

T: Luke Danes, always be startin shit. Anyways, the story itself, Netflix has a deal with Amy Sherman-Palladino to make four 90-minute “movie-lets” or “super-sized episodes”, seemed feasible. It’s the whole – should I really believe this report that was getting to me. But my Olivia Pope gut knew it was true. This really wasn’t a drill. And it’s all because of Michael Ausiello. I’ve been creepily following him since his days at TV Guide, then Entertainment Weekly, and now Ed in Chief of TV Line. Why? Because I knew he was a hardcore GG fan, like me. In 2005, he had a walk-on role as a Dragonfly Inn guest, exiting a room just as Luke and Lorelai entered it (But I’m a Gilmore!, S5E19).

IMO, he is the go-to and foremost GG expert in the entertainment news world, and not only because he’s been bugging ASP and Lauren (and any GG alum he can talk to) to get them to fish on a possible reunion, and most importantly, what the ASP’s planned “last four words” of the show were going to be. She even mentioned him during the ATX reunion panel, saying Michael would be at her deathbed asking her what the final words are. I’m pretty sure he’s said he’s had at least one lunch with ASP (outside of journalism) before, and Lauren even considers him to be an exclusive GG reporter. Long story long, I would believe Ausiello over any other journalist when it comes to GG, so I knew there had to be truth to it. He later called in to an “Emergency Podcast” of the Gilmore Guys (LOL BECAUSE OF COURSE) and everything he was saying I believed wholeheartedly.

M: Yeah, it wasn’t one of those fake “news” sites that regurgitates rumors for clicks. And honest to goodness, my very first thought was that now we’d find out what those last four words are. If ASP finds some reason to weasel out of it, I swear to God. In my heart of hearts I want to believe that ASP insisted that Ausiello be the one to break the news. I imagine that she had to make sure that he was seated and had a cold compress and hot tea beside him before she said anything.

T: BTW, I legit had multiple contact me to either “congratulate” me or confirm the revival news with me, and I honestly consider this to be one of the greatest achievements of my life.

M: It was big news with everyone I knew who loved the show during its original run. Seriously, there was no reason to even bother to show up to your 2004 shift at Hoyts Cinemas if you hadn’t seen that week’s episode. I knew a lot of people who watched GG back in the day, followed the constant reruns on ABC family, then did a full rewatch when it landed on Netflix this fall. And while I love a lot of shows that I did NOT watch during the first airing, there is a weird feeling that it belongs to the people who loved it all along. Still, you can’t ignore that the show became bigger than it ever was during its run thanks to Netflix. There were kids in the audience at the Gilmore Girls reunion in June who weren’t even born when the pilot aired. I love that.

T: Also, Netflix is the perfect platform for the closure of this show. In fact, I’d say Netflix is a huge factor in this entire deal. Although the show had a fan base long before the entire series was released on Netflix last October, there was a renewed interest and a whole new generation of fans that found the show for the first time. It’s like when I watched Veronica Mars for the first time a few years ago on Instant and became OBSESSED. Flash forward to a Kickstarter and a movie and a book series – it took on a life of its own that really couldn’t have been possible a few years prior.

M: Absolutely. Things have changed, but in the early 2000s there was sort of a stigma around “WB Shows,” in that they were really tied to teeny-bopper culture. ABC Family has some cool factor with PLL and everything, but the syndication there also kept GG in the frothy teen/family fare category. Once the show was on Netflix, it reached an audience that it couldn’t have otherwise.

T: And now all those generations will get to see what happens next. Speaking of which – call me insane or insensitive but I really think the passing of Edward Hermann/Richard Gilmore will bring a lot of interesting drama to the show like we’ve never seen before. In the same vein, fans of Grey’s Anatomy were outraged when Patrick Dempsey/Dr. Derek Shepard died unexpectedly at the end of last season. People vowed to never watch the show again since a major character – the one married to the titular Grey – was killed off. But because I’m a TV nerd, I was looking forward for the next season, to see if and how Meredith would be able to continue just living life without her husband, without her best friend/person who moved to Switzerland, and having to start from the beginning and go blindly into the light. And I must say, the episodes to date have been outstanding, providing storylines that wouldn’t have been possible if Derek never died. So basically what I’m saying is, if these GG Revival Movie-lets include a memorial for Richard Gilmore and how Lorelai has to handle her own grief while handling her mother, I am so incredibly down for it.

M: During the panel, one of the questions was where all of the characters would be now. Since I think of actors and characters as separate entities, I wondered if they’d imagine that Richard was still alive. But there’s no Richard without Edward Hermann, and Kelly Bishop said that Emily would be adjusting to life as a widow. It will add a new dimension to the show, and will probably soften some of Emily’s crustier edges. The first dinner scene without Richard there is going to be a doozy, though.


T: Then there’s the Melissa McCarthy factor – will she be in it? Would it be weird if she didn’t show up for at least one episode, all the while we know she’s off in Budapest shooting another Paul Feig movie?

M: It’s weird, but Melissa McCarthy’s career is so big that even though I love GG, sometimes I almost forget that she was in it. I don’t know if she’d do it, but if not I can imagine scenes with Jackson and Lorelai where they’re always just like “oh, and Sookie is in the kitchen.” She’ll be like the Cathy Santoni or Cousin Tino of the Netflix revival.

T: The other thing is that ASP and her husband Daniel Palladino are at the helm again. This gives me all the faith in the world they will do it right. They’ll treat the Richard story right, the Luke and Lorelai story right, and the final words right.

M: The last four words make me a bit nervous. There’s been so much build up that something that would have been amazing in 2007, like “will you marry me” from Luke to Lorelai or vice-versa, can come across as anti-climactic. But with ASP back in the game I’m not too worried, because whatever she does, she’ll do the right way. It’s not like GG was known for shocking revelations and wacky cliffhangers – it was just a good story, well-told.

T: When Ausiello interviewed ASP in 2009, she basically gave GG fans hope there would be a “real” ending, even though she had no idea when it would be:

“I don’t want to totally say what my ideas were, because if there is a movie in the making, I’m going to be basically delving back into where I left off, and then I’m kind of screwed… Anything can happen. I’m in touch with Lauren and Alexis. If there’s a story to tell, then absolutely I think we’re all going to want to tell it. That’s the bottom line.

“If I thought it was definitely not going to happen, I would say, ‘No, it’s definitely not going to happen.’ I would do that for you, my friend. But I don’t want to say that. Because I think that the beauty of Gilmore, and the beauty of family relationship shows is, you never really run out of story. You’re going to battle your family until you’re all in the ground. Those things never resolve, doesn’t matter how much therapy you get. Ten years later, there’s still going to be material there to mine and to delve into.” {source}

This Netflix series will give the person who created this world a chance to finish her story. Imagine being an author of an incredible piece of work that was beloved by fans and critics alike – but having the final chapter yanked from you and written by someone else. Amy’s finally getting her chance to write her final chapter.

T: PS – don’t call it “Season 8”. They talked about this a bit on the Gilmore Guys Emergency Podcast, and I agree – this next installment of Gilmore Girls isn’t going to be season eight. It’s basically going to be season 7, cut down to a “six-episode season” and the way the show was really supposed to end. It’s not a new, 23 episode season of a fresh new Gilmore Girls. It’s a glimpse of where they are in their lives right now, in this moment, because they’re obviously real.

M: As we said on Twitter, now’s the part where we get to watch ASP dig her way out of Season 7. It’s a bit like when you move into a house. You can’t just come in and plop down your sofa, you have to undo all of the weird choices that the previous owners made. And the S7 show runners are like those previous owners who decided to put shag carpeting in the bathroom and install track lighting in weird places.

Time is on her side here, though – assuming the same amount of time has elapsed in Stars Hollow, it’s not as though she has to pick up with Rory living in Malibu Barbie’s Pool House. This isn’t a season, per se, but if I do a start-to-finish rewatch, I think this revival is going to entirely replace season 7.

def did not photoshop lg’s face on selena gomez’s body. is this creepyidon’t care

T: All this being said, I’m still cautiously optimistic about the whole thing. All I know is that I want it to be as satisfying as it should be. That the wait was worth it. And I know how much pressure ASP and Daniel must have on them. I am not enviable of them at all. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have an entire fandom on your shoulders. But we also have to remember they can’t please everyone (there are people who liked the HIMYM finale). But I’m hoping, and 90% sure they will.

But most of all, the more this whole revival becomes real, the more it becomes real life. The greatness of Gilmore Girls was that it provided a fantasy other world to escape to. We clung on to the hope that one day ASP would come back to write the final four words. We had something to look forward to for the past eight years. Once this revival is wrapped – that will be the end. I can’t imagine ASP (or the cast for that matter) wanting to continue even after the last last episode.

“That’s part of the wish fulfillment of this show, is ‘What if?’. What if you lived in this town where getting a traffic light was a major event? What if you were late to the town meeting again and everyone was going to know about it, you know, ‘What if?’ There was a real comfort aspect to living in this world that wasn’t gritty reality and that was part of the joy of it. It’s real but it’s also a break from the real world.” – Lauren Graham on the magic of GG (from the ATX reunion)

M: It’s this mix of primarily being really excited that the show will finally get the ending it deserved, and to actually get to see new material with the characters we love … but also being a little blue that once it’s done, it’s really, really DONE. This is all new to an audience that doesn’t usually get nostalgia-based fan service.

T: However like Lorelai on her wedding night, for right now, I’m avoiding that pothole and dealing with it when I have to finally face it.

Look out world.