Eight years after the series ended, Gilmore Girls made its triumphant return last week on Netflix, and you know that everyone in our office was bingeing on the show the way Rory and Lorelai binge on tater tot tacos. We assembled a crack team of Stars Hollow-obsessed VH1 employees, including publicist Kelly Andersen, editor Ali Read, social media coordinator Anna Cincera, writer Damian Bellino, editorial director Liz Black and intern Rebecah Jacobs to discuss the highs, the lows, and all the lingering questions that remain about the series’ revival. Spoilers abound.
Tristan. Why cram him in for a “cameo” when it wasn’t even Chad Michael Murray playing him?Netflix
Damian: I really just can’t understand what Chad Michael Murray is doing that would keep him from returning to Chilton. CMM allegedly turned down the offer and I think without him we really didn’t need that sorry Tristan cameo.
Ali: Also, why was he even at an alumni event? He didn’t even graduate from Chilton!
Anna: If you’re going to recast Tristan, then embrace it. Make him a total loser schlub (I can hear the choruses of “he wasn’t already?”) and make Rory and Paris walk him by shaking their heads and muttering in unison, “what were we thinking?”
Ali: If we’re squeezing in a fake Tristan sighting, then we also need to see Madeline and Louise, Max Medina, Marty, Anna Nardini, Liz and TJ, Davey and Martha, Kirk’s mom, Tom, Gigi, Sherry and Lindsey.
Kelly: If we are going to get teased with a Tristan mention, I better get to see Chad Michael Murray and his swoopy hairand signature sultry grin. IF NOT WHY BOTHER???
We finally saw Lane’s dad!Netflix
Anna: Lane’s dad! He looked so nice, didn’t he? I bet he’s nice. I like to imagine Mrs. Kim moved aside a civil-war era buffet one day and there he was, 16 years older.
Ali: In all seven seasons of the show, not once did we see Lane’s dad. Even when Lane comes home after Hep Alien breaks up (Season 6 when the foreign exchange student is stealing her life), and she kisses her sleeping mom on the forehead, we never see Mr. Kim. The joke was very well done and extremely cathartic.
Liz: Did anyone else think Mr. Kim was always just dead? Or maybe lived in Lane’s floorboards along with her Clash CDs? It was a delight, even for a moment, to see his existence acknowledged.
Michel is gay!Netflix
Damian: I was pleased that GG was able to shake its WB/CW roots and finally acknowledge that Michel (and likely Taylor) is gay.
Anna: Holy crap it felt good to see 2016 Michel living his life, casually, obviously and unambiguously. How hot must Michel’s husband be? Like, next level hot. If Jess and Logan are “a couple of normal teens” in the Gilmore Girls universe then please imagine what the hot people look like? Go Michel, enjoy your marriage to a blinding incorporeal light with abs.
Kelly: UM, DUH.
Ali: I have to note that in the original series they do talk a lot about Michel going after the ladies. Even though it was an inconsistency, I’m completely fine looking the other way so Michel (and fans) can embrace his true self.
Rebecah: He was still snarky and amazing this time around but I think him finally being happy with a man could be why Michel is BFFs with Lorelai and slightly less cynical now?
Those Parenthood and Bunheads cameos.Netflix
Damian: I really wasn’t into the Parenthood cameos. I don’t want to be reminded that Peter Krause is Lauren Graham’s real-life partner while she is contemplating Lorelai’s next moves in her pretend life with pretend soul mate Luke.
Ali: I loved that there were cross-show cameos. I loved Parenthood and I loved Gilmore Girls. As soon as I saw Mae Whitman in Spring, I was elated. And then when Jason Ritter and Peter Krause showed up as the park rangers, it gave me life. I just kept waiting for Craig T. Nelson to show up. Maybe in the next revival.
Liz: Considering Bunheads was just Gilmore Girls but set in California (and with Kelly Bishop as a Miss Patty type! Watch it if you haven’t.), it made sense that most of that cast made an appearance on the show. It was fun to see cameos from Lauren Graham’s Parenthood co-stars, but they gave us a meta, we-need to-suspend-our-disbelief feeling because Gilmore Girls kind of can’t exist in a world where its actors appear in shows they would totally watch. (That’s also why it’s weird that Doyle/Danny Strong exists and Rory, a Buffy binge-watcher, can’t acknowledge that he was on that show too, or when they have to pretend Carole King’s music doesn’t exist in the world already.)
Berta is Gypsy. Also, what’s the deal with Berta?Netflix
Damian: So much of Emily’s growth was exciting to see (Emily in jeans!) but her hiring an incomprehensible Berta, eating her indiscernible food, and then allowing Berta’s extended family to move in rang very false to me. Emily is grieving and evolving but she’s still Emily.
Anna: I’m the biggest Emily-head around. Love that woman. She’s my Gilmore. But the persistent light-hearted racism swirling around her is this show’s WEIRDEST VICE! That “what language does Berta speak?” joke is racist, right? Loving that Emily made a friend in a maid (really seems like it would go a long way to apologize for all that aforementioned casual racism) but how about a version of this Berta deal where Emily learns Spanish to talk to her friend like humans do?
Ali: Oh, Berta. I totally agree that it is far-fetched to believe that Emily would allow this crazy maid to continue to work for her when others have been fired over the fact that they “clomped around the house” (direct quote, season three). But I was fine believing that in Emily’s grief, she would make some allowances and stop caring about certain things. I mean, we saw her in jeans, JEANS! She is ridding her life of everything that doesn’t give her joy after Richard dies, and Berta does seem to actually bring her joy. Also, Kelly Bishop said in an interview with TV Line that she “always loved Gypsy.” So I think it was a great choice letting them finally interact. But I have no idea what happened to Berta’s language toward the end.
Rebecah: Okay, literally everything Berta said was comprehensible Spanish so I hate that they made it a big thing to act like nobody knew what she was saying. I kind of like that Gypsy was Berta because they’ve double-dipped with characters before (after Trix died, Marion Ross played Cousin Marilyn at her funeral) so I like a little Easter egg.
Kelly: Emily would never have been down with sharing her home with an entire family. I miss the old Emily firing people in every episode.
Surrogacy — why is everyone so dumb about what a surrogate does?Netflix
Anna: Ok, after the third time Luke asked if he had to do the nasty with a surrogate, I was begging for somebody to just please sit Luke down for five minutes and explain to him how babies are made. I know that the lightning fast quips don’t leave much room for like scientific and technical explanation but I’d like to drop Luke off at a Planned Parenthood for like, a half hour to make sure he knows the general deal.
Ali: I don’t understand why it was a running joke over the course of the year that Luke would have to have sex with the girls.
Rebecah: He’s a business owner, not an idiot.
Paris would not be a fertility specialist. Or would she?!Netflix
Damian: My biggest issue with the fertility story line is that that’s how Paris is introduced to the world. This is Paris’ life? This is Paris’ career? In my opinion, Paris would be doing whatever Rory wants to be doing but better. If Rory is known for one piece in The New Yorker than Paris works at the Times.
Ali: Paris never wanted to go into journalism, though. She was pre-law and pre-med (there is even a joke in season six about her being scared of sick people when Doyle shows up sick in her bed and Nanny comes to take care of him). But I don’t think that she would have gone into surrogacy. I really think she would have been doing something more “in the thick of it.”
Rebecah: I think it makes sense for Paris to be in medicine since she did go into Harvard medical school, but nothing actually working with patients. She should be doing the most like she always did and have a more extravagant, high-paying medical job.
Liz: I’m gonna need to see the Gilmore Girls version of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story where we get a very specific spin-off of Paris’s last 8 years and her career trajectory to becoming a fertility specialist, because I don’t believe for a second she would be doing that.
Damian: Too much. Also, #TeamLogan
Anna: I know everyone is sad that we didn’t get even a single good flirt going between Rory and Jess in the reboot but I’m upset we didn’t get even one scene where Jess ripped the gazebo out of the ground in a rage, or crushed a whole melon with his bare hands.
Ali: I love Jess, but Milo got way too jacked. He looked like he should have been turning green and ripping through his clothes. Scrawny Jess is the only Jess. Also, what is up with his hair? It looked like a helmet. Not a fan. But I’m still #TeamJess — #TeamScrawnyJess.
Kelly: I could look at Jess’ biceps all day. Between that and his hair-tuck behind the ears? The years have been very kind to Milo. He is Captain of The Dreamboat.
The Daniel episodes (“Spring” and “Summer”) vs. the Amy Episodes (“Winter” and “Fall”)Getty
Damian: I actually liked the second half of “Summer” once we got through the musical.
Kelly: No, you didn’t.
Anna: Daniel. Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Daniel. The wary glint in my eye when I realized I would have to sit through a second Daniel episode IN A ROW could have melted a steel beam. Do I need to say anything more than “the musical”?
Rebecah: Daniel literally ruined everything and I want to cry. For the most part, Amy’s episodes flowed perfectly and pushed the story along, Daniel just made us watch an hour-long musical. This is aggressive but @Amy: DIVORCE HIM. This is an injustice.
Kelly: Amy just seems more in tune with the Gilmore Girls romance I need. Anyone who has to convince themselves they liked the Daniel episodes needs to rewatch the Amy episodes and deeply reflect.
Speaking of the musical…Netflix
Damian: The musical was cute in theory and I’m glad to see Sutton Foster, Christian Borle, and Kerry Butler working but it was way too long. It didn’t advance the plot at all. I am however into Sutton and Christian working together because once upon a time they were married. Why aren’t more people talking about this tidbit?!
Ali: Why? Were there not enough scenes to make a full episode? There should have been half of the first song and then cut to Lorelai not liking it and then cut to the post-musical discussion. I liked the song at the end where it actually fit in with what was happening with the story, but the rest of the musical felt like it was trying to be like the Twickham house museum. But it fell a little flat.
Rebecah: Oh my god, I swear I fell asleep and woke up and the musical was still going. I’ve watched episodes of seasons 1-7 like 30 times each and was planning on doing the same with these, but I’m gonna have to skip “Summer.” It served no purpose except for making me annoyed and wanting those 30 minutes of my life back.
Kelly: The musical was the perfect time to check Instagram, use the bathroom, FaceTime your mom, etc. It was a waste of Sutton Foster, too. Girl can saaaaaang but I bet you she could also eat Pop Tarts and ice cream and she probably loves Luke’s coffee. Let her be a best friend!
Liz: Best part of the musical was the new townsperson, Donald, and his reaction shots.
Damian: Lorelai and Rory were not the kind of women who made “fat jokes.” Also, it’s 2016, do better.
Anna: The weirdness of the flippant “body shaming, I’m triggered!” jokes when we return to Lorelai’s kitchen in the first episode juxtaposed with the totally gratuitous and unnecessary body shaming during the summer episode were bad. That was bad and I get sad when I think about it. There’s no more “it’s 2003!” shield to hide behind. Bad stuff is just bad.
Kiefer Sutherland. Why raise our expectations for a Kiefer-cameo?Getty Images
Damian: The Kiefer joke had no pay off without seeing the real life Kiefer in the background of Luke and Lorelai’s wedding.
Anna: Inviting Kiefer Sutherland to a wedding in Connecticut 1 day before said wedding is a move so bold only Lorelai Gilmore would even contemplate it.
Rebecah: I can completely see Luke being friends with Kiefer Sutherland and loved it, but why make the joke if he’s not going to make a wedding cameo?
Kelly: I need a Kirk/ Kiefer scene. GIVE US ONE.
Liz: Chekhov’s Kiefer Sutherland.
Paul the boyfriend — Him?Netflix
Ali: I loved the nod to Arrested Development’s joke of the forgettable boyfriend/girlfriend. And it was great when Mae Whitman made her cameo. Well played.
Rebecah: I HATE PAUL. You can’t have Mae Whitman on your show and rip off/ruin her whole shtick! Can we look at Rory’s boyfriend history? Dean: Annoying but beautiful. Jess: Classic bad boy hunk. Logan: Picture perfect. Paul? No. No. No. No!
April. Still the worst.Netflix
Damian: I felt like they handled April perfect because they basically acknowledged that they added this terrible character to the canon but also reminded us that she is terrible and we are justified in hating her guts.
Anna: I mean, she’s the reason Luke and Lorelai almost didn’t seal the deal the first time around so a persistent anxiety disorder and that Rasta beanie are fitting punishments in my opinion.
Ali: I hated April so much in this. I would have taken TJ and Liz over April. She was just too much.
Kelly: I would prefer April does not return for future episodes.
Damian: Carole King as Sophie made her first appearance in the GG universe in season two. Why OH WHY is she suddenly winking at the audience playing “I Feel The Earth Move” as if the audience binge watching it doesn’t know that Carole King as an actress played a part on their beloved show. I don’t know. I hate this more than anything in the entire revival.
Ali: I thought it was really funny when Carole King as Sophie played “I Feel The Earth Move” and no one liked it. Very tongue-in-cheek.
The Life and Death BrigadeNetflix
Anna: I love Gilmore Girls a lot, I am on board with so much of it, and there is a LOT you have to get on board with to love a show like this, but if there’s one thing the show has tried to foist upon me that I cannot abide, it is the notion that rich white boys are fun to be around. Also, very real question: is steampunk still cool in 2016 among the coastal elite?
Liz: You know the scene was just an excuse for everyone to wear hats from the Amy Sherman-Palladino collection.
Kelly: I loved that they came back but I wish it was a little less on mushrooms than it was.
Ali: I loved this scene, but I hated it too. Too stylized!
Rebecah: The production of this was completely horrifying but the content itself was some of the best in the whole revival. Finn, Robert, and Colin were a few of my favorites from the series and their contribution made for some of the funniest lines. And it makes so much sense for Logan to make a grand gesture for his Ace and it’s adorable while also being super shady.
Ali: Also, they would have fallen out of that car as soon as they hit the highway to New Hampshire.
Damian: We all knew Lorelai wasn’t going to ever go on the hike. I was waiting for her epiphany from the moment she announced her Wild trip in the kitchen.
Ali: I loved the Wild integration. I’m book, not movie.
Kelly: Why go Wild when you can go on a cruise?
The Sookie of it all.Netflix
Ali: I only have one question about Sookie. Why was Melissa McCarthy’s voice so deep? Sookie had a very high-pitched voice. That is all.
Kelly: Melissa returning, even briefly, made me smile. She is such a kooky character. Wish we had gotten more of her but beggars can’t be choosers!
Damian: Lorelai and Sookie calling each other best friends while acknowledging they haven’t seen each other in two years rang so false. Friendships change and evolve and I think both Lorelai and Sookie are emotionally mature enough to be able to see that.
Anna: The real question is did Lorelai pick one of any number of the Very Extremely Good wedding cakes or did she pick the cake with a severed finger on it in the name of friendship?
Rebecah: It makes sense that Sookie and Jackson would live on a farm and all of that but what’s the whole thing with phones in Stars Hollow not working? If you two are “still best friends,” talk on the phone once in a while, or don’t lie to yourselves.
Ali: Why was Michel standing with Lorelai and not Sookie?! She was in town for the wedding, obviously. She was definitely available. And how did Lane end up on Luke’s side? Also, seemed a bit weird that while Luke and Lorelai were running down the list of who would be on Luke’s invite list for the wedding April and Jess are left off, but mysterious Cousin Billy already has his flight booked. And was Jess not on the list or just a given that he’d be there?
Rebecah: How late does bingo go in Stars Hollow? I wanted the series to end with their actual wedding and Kiefer Sutherland as best man.
Was Emily not at the wedding? Was she planning to go the day of? How would she possibly travel to the wedding in short time?Netflix
Ali: Okay! Now this is something that really made me mad. Why was Emily still in Nantucket the night before the wedding?!?! As a CT native, I know full and well that getting from Nantucket to CT (Washington Depot area) would not be something you would want to do the day of a wedding. Allowing that the wedding was probably scheduled for the afternoon (let’s say 2:00 or 3:00), she still has to take the ferry from Nantucket, which would be running fairly infrequently since Fall is the off-season, and then drive 5+ hours (allowing for no traffic) on I-495 and I-84!
Kelly: She must have given her evening gowns to Berta.
Why is Emily is so into whaling?Netflix
Damian: I loved Emily’s interest in whaling because she was able to channel the directness that often made her a prickly mother into something fun. Emily evoking fear in children at a museum is a true delight to me.
Anna: Was Emily’s marriage to Richard the only thing keeping her from a career of hunting whales full time? I’m starting to think so. Watching her mime a gushing wound was the highlight of the series. Also if therapy doesn’t work out for me I am going to move to Nantucket and scare children full-time, seems like a great outlet.
Rebecah: I love the decision to have Emily be a museum curator and finally have her own “thing” now that her life of serving Richard is in the past. Her going off in the DAR meeting was EVERYTHING but I wish she would have walked off with the entire plate of pastries.
Kelly: Does Emily own the Keds in additional colors or just the shiny white for her whaling museum uniform? And how did her rebound guy know she was SUPER into whaling enough to bring her to the museum and EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, enough for her to ditch him and still go alone?
Whose baby is Rory carrying? Or is she carrying it as a surrogate?Netflix
Damian: Praying to Amy, Dan, and bb Jesus that this baby is Logan’s. I’m not into the narrative that this is Jess’ from an unseen dalliance, or forgettable Paul’s, or the Wookiee’s because that happened in Spring. I’m a romantic and I believe Logan is Rory’s guy.
Liz: OMG WHAT IF IT WAS MARTY IN THE WOOKIEE COSTUME.
Anna: Can we also talk about how Rory upstaged her mom on her FRIGGING wedding day with that reveal? Rory has been competing in the Selfishness Olympics since minute one of this reboot and this is some next level Michael-Phelpsian stuff. It’s got to be Logan’s baby, right? Unless it’s the Wookiee’s baby which case it has had to contend with 3 to 4 slammed shots of Scotch per day. (Did the Gilmore girls always drink this much Scotch? Scotch is the new Pop Tarts in AYITL). Also, The “Logan is Chris / Jess is Luke” theory is fraught with fan-rage but I’m ok with it honestly if only because it means Jess will finally have something to hold with his big, big arms (a baby that’s not his).
Ali: The baby has to be Logan’s. The Wookiee doesn’t make sense because she definitely used protection. Who has unprotected sex with a Wookiee?
Rebecah: I think it’s Logan’s baby because it would have been Logan’s baby in the original series finale. Amy has had Rory’s pregnancy planned for literally forever and I hope she wouldn’t throw that away for a random Wookiee. I’m secretly hoping and praying that it’s actually Jess’ though because the last episode really should have ended with them getting together at Luke and Lorelai’s wedding—especially considering their first kiss was at Sookie’s wedding!
Kelly: Can you imagine all the brooding Jess will do if Rory is knocked up by Logan? He will use his new biceps to break Logan in half. I refuse to believe the Wookiee got Rory pregnant but what a life lesson that would be!
Is the series done forever?Netflix
Ali: I want there to be more episodes just because I would hate to think that this series ended on, what I feel is, such a cop-out. I want there to be another layer to the story. I don’t want to be able to imagine all of Rory’s future based on the trends of her mother’s life and the parallels we’ve seen in 7 season. Logan is Chris and Jess is Luke. I want to know if she tells Logan (who I assume is the father). How does Lorelai feel about all this? Rory’s not as young, but presumably she is pregnant with an engaged man’s baby. And Lorelai has never really liked Logan. Does Logan stay with Odette (like his family would want) or does he commit to Rory? Would Rory even want to marry him? She has said no before. What happens with Jess? Does he pine after Rory for 8 more years and then finally get his chance with her after Logan and her don’t work out? I want more episodes, and want the closure, but I don’t want it to all play out like Lorelai’s story played out.
Rebecah: I want it to come back as long as Dan stays far, far away from all of the episodes.
Kelly: This isn’t over. Jess didn’t take his shirt off once. There has to be more to life.