Gilmore Girls is great at many things; diversity has never been one of them. But there’s a sense in the Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, that Amy Sherman-Palladino and co. realize they had to make up for lost time.
The first line Michel (Yanic Truesdale) speaks in the revival, for example, tell us more about his personal life than we learned throughout the series’ original seven-season run: “I just don’t understand it. Before we got married, Frederick was more indifferent to children than I am.” It’s hardly surprising that Michel is married to a man — but it certainly took long enough for Gilmore Girls to confirm that he’s gay.
In the second episode, “Spring,” Taylor (Michael Winters) announces the first ever Stars Hollow Gay Pride Parade — then laments that there aren’t enough gay people in town to march in it. “How is that possible?” Lorelai (Lauren Graham) wonders. “We have such cute houses,” Babette (Sally Struthers) adds. It’s not the most nuanced joke, but it does at least allow the show to look at its past failings a bit more critically.
To Gilmore Girls’ credit, the same scene introduces a new character named Donald (Sam Pancake), who could easily turn into the Little Britain sketch about “the only gay in the village,” but is actually pretty charming. It’s also implied that Taylor himself could be in the closet when Gypsy (Rose Abdoo) and other Stars Hollow dwellers push him on the parade issue, wondering if there’s anyone else (wink wink) who could march. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until there’s another season of the revival to see if he ever decides to march alongside Donald. (Michel, of course, would never.)
A Year in the Life doesn’t deserve too much credit for its minor uptick in gay representation, but Michel’s casual coming out is still something to be celebrated — it’s both matter-of-fact and integral to his storyline, as we learn Frederick wants to adopt a child and Michel isn’t exactly a kid person. A parade would be a bit much at this point, but we can give Gilmore Girls a smattering of applause.
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