Offering a post-Thanksgiving feast of its own, the November 25-launching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is all about giving the people what they want. With each of the four 90-minute episodes covering a season, the Netflix revival of the WB/CW series starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel is, as I say in my video review above, all about seeking new meaning for the characters of the whimsical and fictional Stars Hollow by dusting off old solutions – no more, no less.
However, unlike Amazon’s recently debuted The Grand Tour — aka a tired Top Gear redux — the new Gilmore Girls is comfortable with itself and has somewhere to go besides around in circles.
A dramedy before the hybrid genre term was commonly used, the new version of the banter-driven Gilmore Girls sees creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and EP Daniel Palladino firmly back after being pushed aside in the show’s final season in 2007. Providing both the allure and the stilted quality of GG, AYITL also has a tendency to meander in its first three episodes — though there is a payoff in the closing “fall” episode, and I don’t just mean those famous four words that Sherman-Palladino has long said would end the series.
Yet, like the TV comfort food it is this holiday season, Netflix’s Gilmore Girls has something to munch on for both the devoted fan and the casual admirer. For one thing, there is that series-defining and almost relentlessly seductive repartee – especially between Graham’s Lorelai and her mother Emily, played so tautly by Kelly Bishop. Then there is a flood of cameos, monologues, returning regulars like Scott Patterson and Milo Ventimiglia, Alanis Morrissette references and other idiosyncrasies, and a warm and looming tribute to the now-deceased Edward Herrmann, who played patriarch Richard on the original series.
In pursuit of subscribers and not ratings, Netflix has left nothing out of the Gilmore Girls smorgasbord to attract new eyeballs with a revival strategy that has become a sub-narrative business model of its own. Yes, there are pluses and some serious minuses to such an approach, but with a belly full of food and family squabbles the day after Thanksgiving and a disinclination to watch football or parades, there is no doubt that winter, spring, summer and fall with the Gilmore Girls will feel very cozy to a portion of the audience the streaming service is seeking in the closing days of America 2016.
Take a look at my video review above of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life for more on the return to Stars Hollow. Will you be tucking in on November 25?
This review originally ran on November 22