Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: A Shipper’s Perspective

November 26, 2016

So, here we are. We returned to Stars Hollow, we basked in the glow of our reunion with some of our favorite television characters, and we finally know how Amy Sherman-Palladino has always envisioned ending her beloved series.

There’s plenty to unpack as far as what this finale means for the Gilmore girls. Though many of us assumed the revival would bring much needed closure, the open-ended up-for-interpretation last few moments of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life may bring less clarity, not more.

We will spend a lot of time discussing all of our feelings about this reboot—and those last four words–in the upcoming episode of The Shipping Room Podcast, due for release at 12:01am on Friday 12/2. In the meantime, here’s a look at how this Thanksgiving weekend Gilmore binge is likely to have impacted the most dedicated shippers.

Scale:

4 hearts – total bliss

3 hearts – mostly satisfied, but also a little disappointed

2 hearts – mostly disappointed, but also a little satisfied

1 heart – total rage

0 hearts – indifference

***WARNING: MANY SPOILERS BELOW***

 

Luke & Lorelai (4 hearts):

If there’s anything shipper-related to truly celebrate about the Gilmore revival it is the union of Luke and Lorelai. Though the early seasons showed these two struggling with communication (much like they did in the original seasons six and seven), the pair managed to say exactly what needed to be said when it counted the most. Luke’s speech to Lorelai in the kitchen after she returns from her Wild adventure is perfect. All this talk of franchising Luke’s or having children never made sense to Luke. All he needs is Lorelai.

I worried that if Luke and Lorelai weren’t married when we first reunited with them nine years after the series finale it would feel contrived to ultimately have them wed. But the Palladinos did a good job of using Richard’s death as the catalyst that ultimately led to Lorelai’s decision to marry Luke, which felt organic and not contrived at all. The wedding scene is beautiful and nostalgic (dancing to the same song they danced to at Liz & TJ’s wedding) and, for people who have shipped these two for a decade and a half, it was a magnificent ending.

Rory & Logan (3 hearts)

How a Rory/Logan shipper will feel about A Year in the Life comes to down to interpretation. On the plus side, Logan got the most screen time. He is the only one who had any sort of romantic relationship with Rory as an adult. So, from a “who-gets-the-best-fan-vids-from-the-revival” perspective, Logan fans are the clear winners.

The details of their adult relationship are unfortunate and Logan’s willingness to marry a woman he seems not to care about for the sake of a family he’s always wanted to distance himself from feels dishonest to the original Gilmore circumstances. Additionally, the return of the Life and Death Brigade is glorious (though the length of the sequence could’ve been halved), but did Logan really go through all that trouble and still not profess his love and willingness to give up on the “dynasty” for the chance to really be with her? That’s disappointing.

But the most complex moment for a “Rogan” shipper comes with the last four words. Rory Gilmore is pregnant. Based on everything we’ve seen, and the very clear notion that Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to show how life comes full circle, Logan Huntzberger is the father.* That means that the set up is for Logan to be absent from the child’s life the same way that Christopher was absent from Rory’s (Christopher’s one and only scene was basically him giving Rory the green light to keep Logan out of his child’s life under the guise of being “the way it’s supposed to be”).

The good news for shippers, though, is that an open ending means we get to fill in the blanks in any way we want. So, does Rory decide to tell Logan and that’s the thing that finally pushes him to stop the charade with Odette and commit to Rory? Does Rory raise her child on her own for a few years only to reconnect with Logan and feel constantly pulled to him the same way Lorelai did with Christopher? The possibilities are endless. So, though the ending that we actually watched looked like a final ending, there’s plenty of room to dream up some really great head canon for these two.

*The Wookie-night-stand was in Spring. The timing doesn’t add up.

Rory & Dean (3 hearts)

In one of the strongest scenes of the entire four-part series, Rory runs into Dean at Doose’s Market (he’s shopping, not working thank god). Dean is only in Stars Hollow visiting his parents. He has a wife, four children, and lives in Scranton. It is all the redemption we could have hoped for.

Rory tells Dean of her plans to write a book about her life through the lens of her relationship with her mother. She wants to make sure it’s okay with Dean that she mentions him in the book, as he’s a big part of her story. Dean, naturally, wants to know what kind of stuff she’d say. And Rory says this:

“That you were the greatest boyfriend alive. That you were generous and protective and kind and strong. That as much as I wish that we’d met when I was older and more mature, I know that if I hadn’t have had you with me when I did, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That you taught me what safe feels like.”

The only disappointing part for a Rory/Dean shipper is that there’s no romance between them anymore. But, most fans of the show, even those who love Dean most, can acknowledge that Rory and Dean outgrew each other and that they were never going to make sense as adults. With that in mind, this scene was as perfect as it could’ve been.

Lane & Zack (2.5 hearts)

As far as shipping goes, the intensity isn’t usually as high for Lane’s relationships as it is for Rory and Lorelai’s romantic arcs. Still, Lane is one of the show’s most likeable characters and her ending on the original series is arguably the most disappointing of anyone on the show. The revival brought hopes of seeing Lane reclaiming her dreams now that her kids weren’t babies anymore. Instead we got Lane and Zack (still living with Brian?) playing covers in their living room. On the one hand, it was nice to see Lane playing the drums, and to know that Lane and Zack’s marriage is doing well, but it didn’t add anything to the narrative. Has Lane discovered that sex can be great? Have they packed up the boys and gone on any mini tours? Is their music on Spotify? In general, the revival would have benefited from less nonsense (fewer musical numbers, less of the LDB antics) and more development of characters like Lane and Jess and Paris who were all underused.

Rory & Jess (2 hearts)

As I was just saying, Jess was sorely underused. This was a particular let down because the bit of dialogue between Jess and Rory that was included in one of the trailers gave the impression that he would be a big part of her current life. On the contrary, though, Jess and Rory have precious few interactions throughout the revival. He still appears to be the one who understands her the most. His suggestion that she write a book about her relationship with her mother is the turning point in both the series and Rory’s life.

Rory & Jess shippers have a lot to be disappointed about. Aside from a brief look of longing on Jess’s face as he watches Rory through a window, there’s nothing romantic between them this time around. There are far fewer opportunities for gif making than there are for Logan shippers. However, the ending lends itself to the idea that Rory is a mirror image of her mother, just twice her age. If Logan is the Christopher in the equation, then Jess is the Luke. And as we’ve just seen, Luke is the real deal.

There’s definitely room for Jess and Rory shippers to feel hopeful about the future. Certainly fan fiction writers have a chance to give Rory and Jess the ending they deserve while staying true to the way the series ended. Still, in the scheme of things, Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano were resurrected from TV extinction and still fans didn’t get to see them kiss. That’s pretty brutal.

Paris & Doyle (1 heart)

Of all the choices made in the course of this revival, the decision to break up Paris and Doyle is the most mystifying. In thinking about what awaited us in A Year in the Life, almost everyone we spoke to agreed that one thing was for certain: Paris and Doyle were a power couple ruling the world in whatever way they’d chosen. While it’s true that they’d both found success in different careers (Doyle was channeling his portrayer’s real life as a TV screenwriter), they were not, in fact, a power couple, but rather they were divorcing.

It always felt really validating that Paris Gellar wound up in the most stable relationship on the show. Paris was the show’s strongest character, an unapologetic force to be reckoned with. She didn’t want to be liked, she wanted to be successful. In Doyle she found a partner who truly got her, and their journey was one of the highlights of the end of the series. While Rory’s story is left somewhat up to interpretations, allowing most shippers to infer something positive if they choose, Paris and Doyle’s is clear in its finality and it fills me with all kinds of rage.

Rory & Paul (1 heart)

Obviously no one ships these two because Paul did not exist in the original series and there was nothing to ship in the revival. But, his inclusion, which was supposed to be a running comedic gag, only served to paint the youngest Gilmore girl as a terrible person. If she had broken up with him by the end of Winter, it could have been chalked up to a bit that didn’t quite land. But to have her entire affair with Logan while nonchalantly forgetting that she’s been leading on a perfectly nice man was grotesque. The added joke that he seemed to know her family well and no one could remember him made the whole lot of Gilmores look like assholes.

Lorelai & Christopher (0 hearts)

The revival took the approach with Lorelai and Christopher that their story had been told in its entirety in the original series. The two did not interact and the only scene in which we do see Christopher is when Rory goes to ask him his feelings on not being a part of her childhood. While there she mentions to him that Luke & Lorelai are getting married, and he acknowledges his own defeat, an exchange that would have made a lot more sense had a decade not passed.

There’s not much to say about these two. Their ship has sailed. It wasn’t disappointing or exciting, it wasn’t anything at all.

Which Gilmore couple did you ship? How are you feeling after the revival? Share in the comments or email us at shippingroompod@gmail.com. Don’t miss our Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life episode coming Friday December 2!

 

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2 comments on “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: A Shipper’s Perspective

  1. Are Paris and Doyle really done, though. In her epic rant in the Chilton washroom she mentioned her period was late. Couldn’t we pretend that a third baby would bring them back together? Maybe the stairs would be too much with a baby so they could all move into Doyle’s new loft and live happily ever after. Not that I enjoy the baby-solves-everything cliche. But it’s better than the heartbreaking reality of a world without Paris and Doyle.

  2. Stormie Nov 27, 2016

    I’m a Logan fan and for me I hated what they did to him. Don’t make him freaking Christopher that’s just not cool with me. Rory and Logan are 32 years old the way they should handle a pregnancy is way different than 16 year olds did. Aside from the great stuff of Lorelei,Rory and Emily’s relationships with each other I would have been better off not watching.

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