After sobbing through Richard’s funeral in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’s “Winter,” “Spring” is one of the more uplifting portions of the revival. While this episode deals with Lorelai and Emily continuing to work through their issues, and Rory struggling to find herself, it’s essentially a love letter to the memorable recurring characters and traditions. This episode is great for long-time Gilmore Girls fans and while it isn’t the strongest overall episode, it delivers some great moments.
Stars Hollow: Best Town EVER
The international food festival in Stars Hollow is one of the most “Stars Hollow Moments” Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life gives us. As Luke, Lorelai and Rory wander around we get some amazing glimpses of some fan-favorite characters. Taylor and Kirk are still running around with a clipboard organizing events even after all these years. Michael Winters and Sean Gunn fall in sync with each other instantaneously. Their quarreling is the perfect homage to the original series: “Singapore’s just being a dick. Other than that, 137 countries never got back to me” Classic Kirk. We wish we had a little more of the two of them throughout Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but this scene did satisfy us.
While it’s short lived, Mrs. Kim’s reappearance is the perfect Mrs. Kim moment. While Lane and Rory man the Korean food booth, Mrs. Kim trolley’s by with several choir students. “Mama, the tambourine is scaring them!” “They’ll get used to it, just like electricity at night.” One of the best lines during this entire Stars Hollow event. Alongside Mrs. Kim we also catch glimpses of other characters namely Jackson and the elusive Mr. Kim!
The entire festival transports us right back into Stars Hollow and is one of the lighter moments during the revival. We even get an brilliant re-appearance of the “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” basket bidding. After an opening episode dealing with the emotional weight Lorelai, Rory and Emily have, it’s a great change of pace to just enjoy the crazy, adorable world of Stars Hollow.
The international food festival is a great representation of Stars Hollow, but the town meeting afterwards fails to hit the mark. Taylor presents the idea of a gay pride parade happening in Stars Hollow. The scene falls flat and is just awkward. They mention how none of the gays will march in the parade with Liza Minnelli and then they try to out Taylor. It doesn’t capture the hilarious rhythm that the town meetings usually do. All the characters fall out of sync with each other and it would’ve been better to omit this scene entirely.
In this installment we also hit up the Black & White & Read Bookstore for some classic movie night fun with Luke and Lorelai. Complete with Babette, Morey, Hep Alien and another Kirk short film. If we haven’t said it yet, Sean Gunn’s Kirk is one of the highlights in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. He slips back into the characters and helps us feel right at home in Stars Hollow.
Paris Geller Continues Her Reign
The main highlight of “Spring” is the continued reign of Paris Geller. Rory and Paris go back to the hallowed halls of Chilton for an alumni event. Before starting Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, we were worried we would be able to see hints of Bonnie from How to Get Away with Murder in Weil. Oh how wrong we were. Weil slips back into the iconic characters with ease. From the moment her and Rory touch down at Chilton, the reigning queen of terror is back and we love every second of it.
The juxtaposition of Rory talking to a class vs. Paris is perfect. Rory preaches about the importance of stepping out your comfort zone while Paris just rips right into the students. Besides Graham, Weil becomes her Gilmore Girls character from the moment she appears in “Winter.” If we didn’t know any better, we would think Weil has been locked inside Chilton, unable to leave, for the last 10 years. She is brilliant and elevates this episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
While seeing her spar with Headmaster Charleston about where her donation money goes is a sight, it’s Paris’ moment in the girls restroom that is truly iconic. After giving their lectures, Paris and Rory walk the halls of Chilton. Without any warning Paris spies Tristan (re-cast alert! It’s not Chad Michael Murray). She drags Rory into the nearest bathroom, clears it out and what ensues is a classic Paris Geller rant. Between lying about having stuff in her briefcase to barricading the door by kicking it, Weil is in rare form. Even Paris’ arch enemy Francie enters just to have Paris truly revert back to her 16 year old self.
After the Chilton visit we also catch a glimpse at Paris’ home life in NYC. She is in the middle of a divorce with Doyle (we’re rooting for them and hope they work things out), she has two children and a NYC apartment where the stairs will actually kill you. Paris ended up in the exact spot we envisioned her in. Although, in “Winter,” we never expected her to be running a surrogacy agency, but somehow it makes PERFECT sense. Weil amazes as Paris and further proves her powerhouse status. The fact that we can go from watching HTGAWM to Gilmore Girls and not see any crossover between her characters is amazing. If anything, Gilmore Girls: A Year in a Life solidifies our desire to have a Paris spin off. WE WOULD WATCH IT IN A HEARTBEAT.
You Get a Guest Star, Rory Gets A Wookie and No Job?
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life “Spring” edition continues to surprise us with guest star after guest star. We already mentioned seeing Mr. Kim (still in shock), Jackson, Morey, Francie, Tristan and Headmaster Charleston, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. After Rory finally gets her Conde Nast meeting, she hits the streets to write a story about waiting in line. Yeah we know, Rory isn’t that excited either. This is where we catch a glimpse of Mae Whitman, who played Graham’s daughter in the hit drama Parenthood. Although it’s brief, just seeing Graham and Whitman together will bring a smile to your face.
In this installment we also meet Sandee, a young powerful website editor who desperately wants Rory to work for her. Enter Julia Goldani Telles, who is best known for her work as Sasha in Amy Sherman-Palladino’s other beloved drama Bunheads. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is filled with guest stars and these two are very welcomed in “Spring.”
So, Rory is on assignment covering “waiting in line” in various locations in NYC and drags Lorelai along with her. Some daughter/mother bonding? Sign us up! Eventually Lorelai leaves Rory and when they reunite Rory has slept with a Wookie. Well, not an actual Wookie, but a cosplayer. Her first one night stand. Gilmore Girls: A Year in Life centers on three generations of Gilmore Girls women finding themselves once again and Rory is having trouble.
Rory’s road isn’t one we ever imagined her being on and frankly the storyline is one of the weakest parts of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. She’s sleeping with Logan, she’s having one night stands and can’t find a job she enjoys. While we knew Rory wasn’t perfect (she did sleep with Dean when he was married) it’s very jarring seeing her like this. It’s also a little out of character. Everyone goes through rough patches, but Rory’s character has fundamentally changed. She doesn’t really care about others and is only focused on herself.
This is even apparent when she finally takes Sandee up on her offer and goes to interview at her website, Sandee Says. She is unprepared, walks in all high and mighty and tanks the interview. It’s the most un-Rory Gilmore thing ever. Lorelai points out that life has been very good to Rory so far, but we don’t think this would’ve made her act this way. Yes, she’s only had some minor snags in the road, but this isn’t the Rory Gilmore we know. The Rory Gilmore we know would create pro and con lists, she would plan, and even if it is below her, she would impress Sandee Says. Of course, this fallout leads us to where Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life always wanted Rory to be: back in Stars Hollow.
Lorelai and Emily Sitting in a Tree. T-H-E-R-A-P-Y
Elsewhere in “Spring,” Emily and Lorelai are attending therapy. Yup, you read that correctly. Therapy. There’s a lot to unpack in these therapy sessions. They feature some heartbreaking moments during these sessions. Lorelai recounting Richard’s last moments is enough to make us cry. Graham thrives in the dramatic moments in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and this is one of them.
Kelly Bishop and Lauren Graham slip back into the Lorelai/Emily relationship perfectly in these sessions. While we wish we could’ve had more than just the two of them scowling at each other, we understand there are two more episodes to go. The two play off each other even in the silent moments and it just further proves how well they know their characters and this relationship. There’s a lot of possibilities in these therapy sessions, but some of them just fall flat.
One of the most impactful moments comes when Emily, once again, goes after Lorelai getting pregnant and leaving. Emily lists off all the abuse she has taken from Lorelai over the years. She even mentions a mysterious note that she believes Lorelai sent to her. While Lorelai knows nothing about it, it’s clearly been eating at Emily all of these years. She says, “[The one] with the accusations, the profanity, the abuse. The letter!” In a flash, Bishop is able to channel everything in Emily’s past to deliver this crushing moment between her and Graham.
The “Spring” installment of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life has some inherent flaws. Namely, Rory’s character arc is something we struggle to relate to. Overall, the episode is a great nod to the recurring characters that frequent Stars Hollow and helps set up the next episode “Summer.”