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Gilmore Girls: Oy With The Season 7 Already

Remember Season 7? It's the reason we want a different ending.

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The moment Netflix announced "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" squeals of delight came at me from all directions. Friends texting, posting, emailing, and sending carrier pigeons to tell me that it's happening. It's happening.

We're going back to Stars Hollow

But the power of Gilmore Girls has made us forget: we didn't really like our farewell.

The final season of the show is now infamous for troubled contract negotiations that led creators and showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino to exit the show. From the very first episode of Season 7, fans could tell the difference. Something was off.

I didn't want to re-watch Season 7 this time around. I just KNEW it was going to be THE WORST. But with the new episodes coming, I knew I had to. So I held my breath, grabbed my umbrella in one hand and my Matt Czuchry in the other, and took the leap.

And you know what...it wasn't as bad as I remember. Yes, it clearly wasn't as good as the other seasons, but it wasn't terrible. But why did this season not work? And with the new miniseries coming, what are we hoping for in the installments to come? Here are some of the main reasons Season 7 was not the Gilmore Girls we love, but also why we should all calm down about its terribleness.

Pacing

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Talk to anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of the show and they will tell you one thing: This is the show where the mother and the daughter talk fast at each other. We barrel along at this insane speed only to hit the brick wall that is Season 7. What used to be short, economical yet emotionally heavy scenes became these multi-step conversations that didn't advance the story.

Let's take a look at a scene in the first episode of Season 7 when Lorelei tells Sookie that she broke up with Luke. It takes a full two minutes for Lorelei to even tell Sookie and then another two minutes and twenty seconds for them to hash out why and fully mine Lorelei's emotional state.

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Brava Lauren Graham! But we're already two minutes into the scene and that was a minute of telling us what we already knew: Why Lor had to break it off.

Contrast this with Season 2 Episode 4, when Lorelei tells Sookie that her wedding to Max Medina (Maaaaaaax Medina) is off.

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“You were a good cake, Clyde. I never should have named you.”

This is a one minute and thirty second phone call that still conveys the sadness, frustration, and sympathy that Sookie feels in that moment. It also sets up how the rest of Stars Hollow will find out and puts a very critical eye on Lorelei in how she takes advantage of her best friend.

This is unlike the beginning of the Season 7, which is filled with long tedious scenes as the writers try to fill up time. Nothing changes for the first six episodes of the season. They are "Christopher and Lor in a Relationship" episodes and each one is named after a reason why Christopher is terrible:

"Christopher and the Terrible Voicemail Etiquette"

"Christopher and the Why the Hell Are You Telling Lorelei You Love Her?"

"Christopher and Are You Seriously Going to Just Send Your Daughter Off to Paris?"

and the ever wonderful: "Christopher Randomly Takes Danny Pudi Out to Dinner!"

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Danny Pudi also doesn't know why we’re spending so much time on why Christopher is the worst.

During this episode stretch, Logan only appears in phone conversations and Luke is off in April-Land (We'll get to Luke later. Spoiler: Ugh, April). So yeah, the beginning of this season is extremely tedious to get through because it's all just leading up to the Paris marriage (The city not the person).

Lane

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I am very conflicted about Season 7 Lane. Her story is filled with lots of great moments between Zach and her mom: Lane telling Zach about the pregnancy, pushing bedridden Lane through Stars Hollow for her baby shower. It’s all very fun, but the whole premise is a little sad for me. Lane has sex one time and it's bad and she gets pregnant. And by the end of the season she’s going on tour, but only with the possibility of maybe covering on drums and with two babies in tow. The show tries to spin this in a “Hey! All rock stars have babies!” way, but I always wanted more for Lane Kim. Maybe my prayers will be answered in the future episodes.

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“Hit me! Hit me! It’s my fault!”

Emily (Or rather...no Emily)

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I really can’t remember what happened with Emily in the final season. I’ve just watched it, but I still need to go back to find out what happened with her.

She gets arrested and that’s funny, but nothing really comes from that event. We do get a very powerful scene where Emily breaks down in a hospital gift shop, scared about what she will do if Richard dies (Kelly Bishop you are a titan among mortals), but this plot is just a repeat of when Richard is in the hospital in Season 1.

For a refresher on the Season 1 hospital episode, watch below.

Warning: You will not be able to stop crying.

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“Yes Emily, you may go first.”

Oh god. I wasn't even prepared for that clip. Whew. Alright, compose yourself. Take a deep breath. Have you recovered? Good.

In Season 1, Richard's hospital visit shows us how much Luke cares for Lorelei when he immediately closes the diner and drives her to the hospital. Season 7 is pretty much the same. Luke shows up to the hospital with food for everyone. Christopher comes later. It's like, "Yes. Yes. We get it. Luke is perfect and Christopher is a poop-face. We knew that the moment Christopher rolled into Stars Hollow on his motorcycle and said 'I thought I'd stop by and surprise the Gilmore girls!' saying the title of the show like a complete idiot. Get out of here, Christopher. We're talking about Emily."

There is also an episode where Emily goes to Mia's wedding, which is just a repeat of when Emily meets Mia in Season 2. Oh yeah and there's that one episode when Emily learns how to use TurboTax or something. Great. All I'm saying is Season 7 is bad because there isn't enough Kelly Bishop.

Shall we move on to the crowning jewel of Season 7 terrible-ness?

April

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Those are the eyes of a heartless monster.

Ugggggghhhh April. I think if there were a special cut of Season 7 without April, we would have loved the final season. April is the Jar-Jar Binks of Gilmore Girls.

I guess we hate her because she is the reason Luke and Lorelei broke up. I have to be fair though, April being terrible is not April's fault. It's LUKE that is the problem here. There are whole episodes where Luke is just hanging out with April in a side plot and the only thing we learn is that Luke is a mush mush McBoatface when talking to humans that aren't named Lorelei, Rory, Taylor, or Jess.

Therefore, we hate April because she likes this version of Luke that isn't with Lorelei. Why doesn't she see that Luke is a wandering caveman without Lorelei? Why doesn't she help Luke realize that he needs to be with Lorelei? I don't know how to describe it, but Luke is a dope in Season 7. And any girl who idolizes this dope isn't helping solve the major "Luke isn't with Lorelei" problem. Now let's leave the two of them at swim practice and get to the one shining star of Season 7.

Logan

Confession: I hated Logan when I first watched this show. Hated him. Didn’t we all? I would have preferred Rory end up with Dean. DEAN! I would have rather she ran away with the pile of hair and early 2000s clothing that is Dean. WHAT WAS I THINKING!?

Quiet, Dean fans. You have no power here.

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My initial viewing made me see Logan as this mean rich kid that only caused pain and problems for Rory. He was the worst. Second time around though? I'm digging Logan. He's now #2 in my ranking.

For those wondering about my Rory BF Rankings:

1) Jess

2) Logan

3) Marty

4) Chad Michael Murray,

5) That Yale Daily News Editor with the glasses

6) An empty carton of Lo Mein from Al's Pancake World

7) Paul Anka (the dog)

8) Paul Anka (the singer)

9) ugh...and I guess Dean

Season 7 Logan is wonderfully done and the only bad parts happen in the first episodes when he is away in "London", or what we really know was just the producers keeping Matt Czuchry captive on a set of an office with a London backdrop. I'm serious. Watch the first few episodes. It's like all Logan does is sit in this one office and talk to Rory on the phone. Occasionally they'll put him in a bed and take his shirt off.

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I wish I could offer some commentary on this scene…but I can’t focus…for some reason…

No! No! You love Jess! Don't let Logan steal your heart! Quick! To the most Jess swooning moment you can think of!

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I HAVE MELTED INTO A PUDDLE

(Side note: Umbrella imagery in Gilmore Girls? Is this a thing?)

Sorry Jess. Back to Logan.

Why is Logan so wonderful this season? Because the writers cash in on the promise of a Logan relationship: Rory has to confront her privilege.

My favorite moment of the season happens in Episode 8: After Rory writes a vicious article about a fancy elite party she attended, Logan shines up his stupid suit of medieval armor and gives Rory a glimpse of her own reflection:

“Wake up, Rory. Whether you like it or not, you’re one of us. You went to prep school. You go to Yale. You’re grandparents are building a whole damn astronomy building in your name...you’re not exactly paying rent either.”

At the core of this show lies the constant conflict of wanting to make it on your own vs. relying on your privilege to get ahead. We see this in episode one when Lorelei stands outside her parent’s house, knowing she has worked her whole life to give her daughter everything she needs but has never wanted to rely on her parents to do so. Rory too must balance her Chilton/Yale life against her rough and tumble boyfriends and Stars Hollow public school best friend. These Gilmore girls don’t want to be a part of the privileged world that comes with their name, but they sure do use that world when they need to. It was great to have Rory confront this fact with Logan, the full personification of privilege.

Logan’s path this season also lets us see another side of him. His business venture fails and we get to see a more humble, less indestructible Logan. He crashes and burns, and to rise from the ashes, he separates himself from his father, like Lane had to pull away from her mother, like Jess had to run away from Luke and his mother, like Lorelei had to run away from her parents. Logan starts to look like all the other characters in Rory’s world. It’s no mistake that in the episode after he leaves his father’s employment, Logan gets to walk through Stars Hollow for the first time.

The Ending

The actual final episode, the final words given to let us know how our Gilmore Girls' stories will end, is a little mixed in terms of satisfaction.

Rory's ending fits very well. Rory's story, unfortunately like so many female protagonist stories, is plagued with the question "Who will she end up with?!?" Season 7 screams back, "Rory has bigger dreams than boys! Burn them all! Burn them all to the ground and dance on the ashes!!!" All of these guys were useful to Rory in her journey, but they were not endpoints.

We can't help but feel a little let down by Lorelei's ending though. Lorelei's story has always been about dedicating her life to raising her daughter on her own. But from the moment the series starts, Lorelei has to think about what happens when Rory starts to slip away from her. She built her inn with her best friend, but her friend starts to drift away with a husband and many children. She's expanded her house, solidified the foundation, but it seems like solidifying the person to be with for the rest of her life is always beyond her grasp. Luke is, as we knew from the very first scene, the only man worthy. But Season 7 doesn't give us that. Let's be honest with ourselves though. That isn't Season 7's fault. Whose fault is it? You guessed it: Season 6

Season 6 left a large chasm between our leading lovers, a chasm that would have been tough to bridge over the course of one season. If Luke and Lorelei were walking down the aisle at the end of Season 7 we'd all be shouting "How could Luke forgive her that fast? How could she trust this man who kept pushing back the date? Who invited April? Seriously, get this girl out of here. She keeps babbling on about her rock polisher." So the writers did the best they could without taking any easy way out.

I'm glad the writers decided to take this difficult path. We have the satisfaction of knowing that Luke and Lorelei didn't just push their bad habits under the rug and dive into a shaky marriage. So let's not throw all the blame on those scrappy Season 7 writers. They had a lot of ground to cover. They might have taken some strange paths, but they did what was probably the best they could do to tie up this show.

I am excited for "A Year in the Life". I'm excited to have Amy Sherman-Paladino back at the helm. I hope we finally get the closure of our Luke/Lorelei journey. I'm ready to hear the soft songs of the town troubadour. I'm ready for the conclusion that was promised to us.

But most of all, I'm ready for the first snowfall of the year.

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