“Gil­more Girls” re­vival gar­ners back­lash

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Emily Yahr

The open­ing scene in the third episode of Net­flix’s new “Gil­more Girls: A Year in the Life” fea­tures Lorelai (Lau­ren Gra­ham) and her daugh­ter, Rory (Alexis Bledel) sit­ting by a pool in Stars Hol­low, do­ing their usual quick ban­ter. But the snappy di­a­logue turns ob­nox­ious as they start mock­ing their fel­low pool­go­ers.

“Belly alert,” Lorelai mut­ters as an over­weight man passes by. “Holy moly,” Rory echoes. They scoff at a woman in a bikini (“Just go naked”) and then dub a heavy man in a Speedo “Back Fat Pat.” Mean­while, peo­ple drop by to wel­come Rory back to town, since she moved home af­ter a rough patch in her jour­nal­ism ca­reer. “I’m not back!” she re­peat­edly whines to her well­wish­ers, even though it sure looks like she’s back for good.

The scene ex­em­pli­fies the worst parts of “Gil­more Girls,” the ac­claimed WB se­ries that ran from 2000 to 2007: Lorelai and Rory’s ban­ter that could turn cruel and grat­ing; Rory’s blind­ness to her un­be­liev­able priv­i­lege; the main char­ac­ters sim­ply think­ing they’re bet­ter than ev­ery­one else. Al­ready, view­ers are call­ing out this par­tic­u­lar scene: “The ‘Gil­more Girls’ FatSham­ing Scene Was Un­nec­es­sary.”

“About The Body-Sham­ing On ‘Gil­more Girls: A Year In The Life.’ ”

“‘Gil­more Girls’ fans are drag­ging the re­vival for its ‘cringe-wor­thy’ fat-sham­ing.”

While ev­ery great TV se­ries has its flaws, a ma­jor prob­lem with TV re­boots is that they of­ten fo­cus a glar­ing spot­light on all of the show’s ini­tial prob­lems, which ul­ti­mately make for a sub­par view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence — and threaten to tar­nish the orig­i­nal se­ries.

Make no mis­take, the highly-an­tic­i­pated “Gil­more Girls” re­vival, which landed on Net­flix the day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing, was thrilling to many fans, some of whom can’t find a neg­a­tive thing to say. But it has also gar­nered lots of crit­i­cism over the past sev­eral days, from diehard loyal view­ers to peo­ple who never saw the orig­i­nal show but de­cided to watch the re­vival be­cause of all the hype.

The main is­sues mostly in­volve Rory, who started the se­ries as a quiet, brainy in­tro­vert who loved to read and didn’t need a so­cial life be­cause her mother was her best friend. Even­tu­ally, she came out of her shell, and through­out the seven sea­sons, wound up in var­i­ous ro­man­tic en­tan­gle­ments and ca­reer woes as she em­barked on her dream to be­come a jour­nal­ist. Rory’s evo­lu­tion was frus­trat­ing at times, es­pe­cially be­cause she never seemed to rec­og­nize how many ad­van­tages she had, thanks to her wealthy grand­par­ents, and was of­ten deemed “spe­cial” even if she didn’t dis­play ex­tra­or­di­nary qual­i­ties.

In the re­vival, Rory, as many have pointed out, has be­come in­suf­fer­able — a dis­ap­point­ment to the fans that used to look up to her. She cheats on her boyfriend, Paul (Jack Car­pen­ter), and is em­broiled in an af­fair with her col­lege boyfriend, Logan (Matt Czuchry), who is en­gaged. Rory’s ca­reer is in sham­bles and she can’t land a full-time job. Mul­ti­ple crit­ics have pointed out that this is be­cause she seems to be a ter­ri­ble re­porter, one who sleeps with a source and then doesn’t pre­pare for a job in­ter­view at a web­site be­cause she thinks she’s too good for the po­si­tion. (She doesn’t get the job.) As one piece in The Wash­ing­ton Post sums it up, “Rory Gil­more is a mon­ster.”

Other com­plaints in­clude the ter­ri­ble Stars Hol­low mu­si­cal, which in the orig­i­nal se­ries would be a quick scene; in the re­vival (which runs 90 min­utes per episode), it’s a 20-minute gag that goes on and on. Some peo­ple are up­set about the in­fa­mous “last four words” of the show, in which Rory re­veals her preg­nancy and ends the se­ries on an in­fu­ri­at­ing cliffhanger.

Lau­ren Gra­ham, left, and Alexis Bledel in “Gil­more Girls: A Year In The Life.” Saeed Adyani, Net­flix

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