Major spoilers from "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" lie ahead.
Now that the days have past, the dust has settled, and the turkey (and Pop Tarts) has been fully digested, it's time to dig a little bit deeper into "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."
Revelist has already shared our thoughts on the best, worst, and most offensive moments from the four-part series, and now that we've had four whole days to process our binge, we're here to offer up our picks for the winners and losers of Stars Hollow and beyond ... ranked by how well they fared in the eagerly anticipated revival series:
Logan Huntzberger is, and always shall be, my favorite of Rory's suitors. Matt Czuchry does great work as this character and as Cary Agos on "The Good Wife," and boy oh boy, has the past decade been good to that boy's facial and abdominal regions.
However, he's also a cheating POS now who — for reasons that the revival does not explain — loves Rory, but not enough to be with her completely. He's become her Christopher in so many ways, which is depressing for the millions of us who thought the boy showed real potential in the original series.
While it makes sense that Digger attended Richard's funeral, no one will ever care what this man is up to. Ever. Not even Lorelai, who I'm pretty sure was half asleep during their brief conversation despite drinking 834 cups of coffee beforehand.
Christopher showed up for about five minutes to basically prove to Rory that, yes, having Logan's baby would "doom" her to a life of single-motherhood, as Christopher himself never doubted his decision to let his ex do the heavy lifting.
Though fitting, it's sad to see he never changed.
It's not the fault of Vanessa Marano, a lovely actress who has been great on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth," that April Nardini is a universally loathed figure who was more of a plot device than an actual character when she was introduced way back in Season 6. But we still didn't need to see her, here.
Enjoy that fine college herb, girl.
Francie was another character we really didn't need to see — like, "hm, I wonder what Francie is doing and how that has or has not influenced Rory's life" is something I've thought of zero times since 2007 — but her brief appearance led to some great comedic moments from Paris, so I'll allow.
Paul Anka (human)
Paul Anka the human man made yet another cameo in "A Year in the Life," and I'm sure Google searches for his name amongst the younger set (so, people who watch "Gilmore Girls," basically) got a huge jump, so that's a win.
All we learned during our brief minutes with Mrs. Kim was A) she's still an emotional terrorist to school-aged Koreans and B) there is, and always has been, a Mr. Kim.
All Mitchum did here was show up in a fancy London restaurant, act like his smarmy-ass self, make Rory feel slightly uncomfortable, then move along on his merry way.
However, he was also 100 percent right about Rory in retrospect, and therefore deserves our humbled respect.
It's hard for me to comment on Miss Patty, because every time Miss Patty appeared onscreen my only thought was "HOLY SHIT, IS THAT SKINNY LADY REALLY MISS PATTY?"
It was. And on the reboot, she was pretty much up to the same old tricks.
Zack Van Gerbig
Speaking of people who look drastically different than they did in 2007 ... Zach, what's good?
Poor Zach definitely got sucked in to a life he never wanted with Lane and the twins, but he seems to be making the most of it — and he also got a great moment with the Hep Alien gang performing "I'm the Man," which is a lot more than you can say for many of the other minor characters in Stars Hollow.
Babette got a little bit more screen time that Miss Patty. There is ... not much more to say.
What was great about Dean's solitary scene at Doose's was that it was basically a reenactment of Adele's "Hello," with Rory playing the Adele role of "self-involved human who will forever think their ex wants to talk to them even when they've clearly long since moved on and are happier without them" and Dean playing the role of "dude not answering Adele's calls."
Also, he seemed to be doing pretty great with his wife and eight-zillion babies. Let's hope she makes a killer meat loaf.
Though Oooh-ber or however you spell it was fun, the revival could have used a little less Kirk and a lot more, say, Sookie, or Paris. He's always been more of a running gag than an actual character, which worked better in a 22-episode-per-season format than in four 90-minute installments.
Basically, when our time with Rory, Lorelai, and Emily is so limited, it's tough to spend so much of it with Kirk's new pig.
Poor Lane has been getting the short end of the stick since Rory's Yale days if not sooner, so it's no surprise that the revival was no different. She seemed to be doing fine in her small town life with her husband and her children and her band and her terrifying mom, but the show historically hasn't been great at writing Lane stories, and it didn't even try, here.
Call it inside baseball all you want — Doyle becoming a hot shot Hollywood screenwriter because actor Danny Strong became a real-life hot shot Hollywood screenwriter was hysterical. Strong has penned multiple "Hunger Games" movies, "The Butler," and several episodes of "Empire" (which he also executive produces), and giving his character the same story was both very well-executed, and a great example of a wink-wink nudge-nudge joke for fans that doesn't distract from the main story.
The Life and Death Brigade
I last rewatched "Gilmore Girls" as recently as 2014, so the fact that I had to Google who most of these guys were means I can't be the only one who was surprised to see them get such an extended, glamorous send-off. Like, we got 10 minutes more with Logan's college friends than we got with Sookie.
Sure, they were pretty annoyingly childish for 30-something men, and an "Across the Universe" midnight montage was entirely unnecessary, but you've got to give it to these bros for winning the battle of screen time.
From his bulging biceps to his flowing, Dean-approved hair to his relentless support for Rory and her writing, Jess sure did make the most of his limited screen time. Though I've always been Team Logan, there's no doubt in my mind that Jess has grown into a much kinder, less egotistical person than he was a decade ago, and he also seemed to be in a far better place with his family.
Sure, he might never get to be a romantic partner for Rory — unless "Gilmore Girls" gets more episodes, in which case it'll probably depend on Milo Ventimiglia's shooting schedule for "This is Us" — but he got a more more sentimental edit than Team Logan or Team Dean, and one that still left fans with an element of will-they-won't-they mystery.
Sookie St. James
Melissa McCarthy was obviously busy being one of the most famous actors on earth during the majority of "Gilmore Girls" production, which is why so much of the revival was spent boosting up Michel and bemoaning her sadly-felt absence.
However, man, her one scene was fantastic. Hilarious, sentimental, and pitch-perfect for the beloved character, it nailed everything we loved about Sookie and Lorelai and left everybody wanting more. My only complaint, really, is that the show didn't bother finding a way to get her into Lorelai's wedding scene, since Sookie ostensibly being back in town yet not showing up for her best friend's nuptials is, frankly, absurd.
Paul Anka (dog)
Yell at me for putting Paul Anka higher than Jess all you want. The fact that this dog is still alive, let alone running around the house, is fucking extraordinary.
(Btw, Sammy the Old Dog from "Revenge" called. He wants his bit back.)
On one hand, Scott Patterson's Luke got a ton of screen time and a happy ending with the woman of his dreams.
... But on the other, it's hard to argue that we saw any real character growth from him, and his chemistry with Lorelai lacked the electricity we saw in early "Gilmore" seasons. He was basically just there to gripe about wi-fi and fuel a mid-life crisis for Lorelai, and given how great we know he can be when given non-April story lines, it's a real shame.
A lot will be said in the coming weeks about Rory's divisive "Year in the Life" story line, including here on Revelist. And while I was overall glad to see Rory finally get her comeuppance for her extreme sense of entitlement, many things that happened to her in the revival seemed like they were written a decade ago for a 22-year-old woman, not last year for a 32-year-old woman.
Like, how had Rory survived as a jet-setting freelancer for a decade despite having zero common sense and very little actual journalistic ability? Why did her "quarter-life" crisis happen now? Why was she still bumping uglies with Logan 10 years after college, especially since her cheating with Dean was such a colossally formative experience?
Also, wouldn't "I'm pregnant" have meant a whole lot more back in 2007, when Rory was fresh out of Yale with a fancy job? Doesn't it kind of fall flat now that she has a decade of adult work and life experience, as well as a massive safety net from her grandfather?
I would argue yes on both of those points, and fully understand the Rory fans who feel cheated by this previously inspirational character acting like a spoiled brat at an age when she should know better.
Who would have thought Michel would become such a welcome, important presence in Lorelai's life after Sookie's departure? Who would have thought the show would actually give him a decent story line, and — gasp — a devoted husband of his very own?
Michel wasn't exactly unlikable in days of "Gilmore" yesteryear, but it was frustrating that neither he nor the series' other main character of color, Lane, got a whole lot to do that didn't directly involve Rory or Lorelai. And sure, Michel's plot here did directly involve Lorelai's livelihood, but Michel leaving to further his career and create a better life for his family was all about Michel, and the (ultimately unnecessary) "goodbye" dinner between the two of them was surprisingly emotionally resonant.
Though Paris only appeared in the "Winter" and "Spring" installments then disappeared without a trace, boy oh boy did Liza Weil make the most out of her screen time. Almost inarguably, Paris was the show's best example of a character who believably evolved over time but was also undoubtedly herself — a walking, talking nightmare capable of striking fear in the hearts of children in one scene and comforting her heartbroken best friend in the next.
From her unyielding passion for her life's work (being the Pablo Escobar of the fertility world, natch) to her championing of Rory to her frazzled-yet-caring methods of motherhood, Paris was the Paris we know and love ... but also, you know, a freaking grownup. (Take some lessons, Rory.)
Also also, it must be said again that Weil is an underrated master of Sherman-Palladino dialogue, capable of keeping up its insane pace while also landing every. single. joke.
Though Lorelai's midlife crisis story line with Luke was a non-starter, Lauren Graham still undeniably carries this show, and she slipped back into her tricky character with seemingly astonishing ease. Lorelai was hilarious (seriously, re-watch her therapy scenes — woman doesn't miss a beat) and heartwarming throughout all four seasons, and her ever-changing relationship with her mother was an easy highlight of the entire series.
Basically, "Gilmore Girls" is "Gilmore Girls" because of Graham, and she deserves all the praise in the world for making us fall in love with Lorelai all over again a decade later.
This may be Lorelai's show, but it was Emily's plot line that won "A Year in the Life."
Many of the issues the Gilmore Girls repeatedly face — issues involving class, money, the struggle to gain autonomy from your parents while also being indebted to them financially, pressure to settle down and marry — are unique to white upper-class women, but grief, sadly, is universal. And Kelly Bishop nailed every moment of Emily's Year of Magical Thinking, from her loneliness to her boredom to her anger at her daughter to her utter lack of knowing what the fuck to do without her life partner by her side.
By the end of the series, Emily had made the triumphant choice to stop worrying about the societal pressures that came with her community in Connecticut, and instead embraced the life of a sea-dwelling, whale-loving, martini-guzzling singleton. It was a haunting, emotionally powerful storyline that respected the late Ed Herrmann's legacy while also moving Bishop's character forward in a believable and powerful way, which is why we solemnly declare that Emily Gilmore is the official winner of "A Year in the Life."