Spoiler alert: This is everything that happens in the new Gilmore Girls Netflix remake. “A Year in the Life.”
Rory Gilmore is 32.
She wrote a piece for the New Yorker, and expects that it will get her jobs for ever and ever, because that’s what journalism majors from Yale are taught to expect. She is flying here and there and everywhere, having martinis in London, writing up book proposals and sleeping with Logan. Logan is engaged to some french girl named Odette, who is odious. No, that’s not true. We don’t know that. She’s probably very nice.
Jess is dead from heroin.
It’s very sad, and it’s all Rory’s fault.
Lorelai is 372 years old, and has been living with Luke for ages, very comfortable and happy, but then she mysteriously talks to her mother, like, cause it’s her dad’s funeral or something, (even gods die), and all of sudden she decides Luke wants a baby.
All Luke really wants is for everyone to stop telling him he’s not good enough. He keeps trying to tell them by fixing everything in sight from lamp posts to faucets to potholes in an obvious cry for help, silently shouting to the world “Look, I fixed it! I don’t need to be fixed anymore!” But no one is listening.
Lorelai drags Luke to Paris Gellar’s babymaking agency, where she sells babies, usually for black market organ donation, but sometimes also to save middle aged relationships. Which is just like, a really fucked up way for Paris to end up. I’m really pissed at them for that. Paris deserved better, you fuckers. Anyway, Lorelai gets distracted because of her narcissism and adult ADHD, and Paris disappears back into the purgatory from which she came.
The town of Stars Hollow is exactly the same. They are all the same age, and doing the exact same thing after nine years, because they are vampire succubi. They prove this later in the musical episode, where they sing about how after waiting for Paul Revere for twenty years in the snow, the townspeople all ate each other and fucked their siblings, and that’s what turns you into vampires. Which actually sorta stands up, logically. That’s later.
The town decides they want to have a gay pride parade, but then they don’t have enough gay people to have a parade, and there’s a very weird, offensive conversation about how the town of Woodbury won’t let them borrow *their* gay people, and why don’t they have more gay people? After all they’ve got cute houses and antique shops! It’s absurd. It’s not like gay people want things like a job market, or public transportation, or decent public schooling. And then someone tries to out Taylor, but it’s like whoa, c’mon, let the dude be whatever he wants to be okay. Just cause your show had to be all “Hide Marcel!” back in the day, (by which I mean 2000? Which still makes no sense to me) doesn’t mean you get to forcibly out Taylor if he’s not comfortable with it.
Sookie is very obviously buried in Jackson’s backyard, but they’re all lying and pretending she went to a farm, like a dead dog. Rachel Ray shows up for like ten minutes, and it’s really horrible.
Rory can’t get a meeting with Conde Nast, which is so unfair, because all Yale grads get meetings with Conde Nast. She meets with GQ and they’re all like “We wanted to give this vague idea for an essay about lines to David Foster Wallace, but he’s dead, so you should try it, which should give you a pretty significant wakeup call about your own abilities,” but Rory just looks at them wistfully and pretends they are shiny plastic singing frogs in suits.
Rory goes to Chilton, and the headmaster says “Hey, why don’t you go to grad school and you can teach here? We’ll give you a job! That way you don’t have to be homeless!” Which is silly, cause Rory has like, seven places to live. But she just looks at him and furrows her brow in consternation, trying to understand why this large shepherd dog in a tie is trying to sell her a timeshare.
Rory’s book deal falls through, because instead of taking interview notes she doodles pictures of talking martini glasses. She’s so sad, because now she doesn’t have any excuse to fly to London on a whim and sleep with Logan when his fiancee is out of town.
BECAUSE RORY AND LORELAI ARE TERRIBLE PEOPLE.
Case in point, Emily Gilmore is, this whole time, having a total and complete breakdown after the death of her husband, and neither of them do anything about it besides occasionally whining about how weird it is that she isn’t acting exactly like she did the whole rest of the time, like, you know, before Richard died.
Rory discovers Logan is moving in with his fiancee, and says fuck it, I’m never leaving home again. So she kills an old man, and becomes an alcoholic, and has her first one night stand at 32, which pretty much sums up every problem I have with Rory Gilmore right there, and she takes a weird “job” for free doing the Stars Hollow Gazette, and then Jess shows up.
No, sorry, he’s not dead, just beefier, from all the happiness he’s been shooting up. He’s doing, like, actual publishing work, even though he didn’t go to Yale, which is miraculous. Did you even know people could do that?
He’s like, “Hey, all you ever do is think about yourself, and your mom is like, the exact same way, so you should just write a book about yourselves, since it’s your favorite topic and no one wants to hire you anyway, because frankly the publishing world is flooded with rich white girls who think they are David Foster Wallace.”
Rory is immediately like “Oh you think I should talk about myself? Weird. How would I even DO that?” But then she starts right away. Because she doesn’t have a real job.
There is a running joke about the 30 Somethings gang, a group of middle class, college educated kids in Stars Hollow who have also had career mid life crises, and moved back home to watch a bunch of tv, and all I’m saying is this show should take a really long, slow careful look at its audience before throwing stones.
Lorelai decides no one has been talking about her enough, so first she flips out on her mom a little because Emily has a guy friend, and how dare she, Dad’s only been dead for the entire gestation period of an African elephant. Then she tells Rory she can’t write a book about her (which is fair, everyone knows you have to wait till your mother dies to write a book about her, but apparently they don’t teach that at Yale.) Then she tells Luke she’s going to hike some long stretch of trail in California that is in some book and movie I’ve never heard of, but I bet it has Reese Witherspoon in it, and I bet Elizabeth Gilbert is on the book jacket. (Oh shit, I just looked that up. Whoa. I was just, like, making a joke. I must have subconsciously internalized that trailer without realizing it.)
Because of “Wilding,” Lorelai gets her contract wish of having half an episode all about her and not at all about Rory, and she has lots of talks with other middle aged women who also don’t know how to hike, but read this book that is apparently an actual, real thing. There are lots of jokes at these women’s’ expense about boxed wine and needing directions, but in the end they all actually go on the hike, which is pretty brave. Except Lorelai, who grew up rich so she thinks paperwork and trail permits don’t apply to her, and she tries unsuccessfully to bribe a park ranger. But like, that’s not how federal parks work, yo.
Lorelai realizes soon she will be old and no one will pay attention to her, so she’d better marry Luke now, before he has any self-realization at all.
As the autumn season approaches and the veil between the worlds thins, Stars Hollow reveals itself as a swirling convergence of evil, restless, undead energy, a place where demons come to corrupt mortals with sweet faces and pretend incredulity. The cute pig running around in every street scene? The one that dies over and over again – in a car accident, on the spit in the middle of the park? Represents the Great Beast, the soul of the sow’s head. The gazebo is at the center of a dark Bed, Bath and Beyond wormhole, spitting up decorative gourds and tempests of ribbons. Sookie shows up from the dead, and fills an entire house with ugly cakes that drip blood when you cut into them. Dean shows up in town with no explanation, just “visiting family” in his demon hunting jacket, on the exact weekend of the infamous Harvest Festival, which also just *happens* to be the day Luke is scheduled to be sacrificed in the middle of the town square to the great witch Lorelai. I mean, get married. I half expected the town to build a giant straw man, but I think they blew their budget on dead dogs and pigs.
The lower demon Kirk tries to warn Luke of his fate, and tells him about how while he was decorating for the “wedding”, the swirling vortex of the gazebo swept him out of control and he saw the glittery intestines of the gods. Luke just laughs him off, but Lorelai, sensing her plans in jeopardy, convinces Luke to sneak out and get married early at midnight, while Kirk lies dying on the floor, having been poisoned with pizza.
After a roiling, blood-filled, night-long orgy of twinkling garden lights, spider mucus glittering in the candlelight, weird Alice in Wonderland references, and marrow-sucking every last bone in Luke’s body, the Gilmore Girls sit in the gray rising sun, digesting and surveying their handiwork. The great century-long, painful birth cycle of the town is over, Lorelai is renewed and reborn in Rory’s uterus, and now the ancient story can begin all over again, leaving hundreds of nice people and publishing agents in its future wake. All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. Therefore, can a “spoiler” really exist? Will the yuppies ever themselves burn in the capitalist fires they have set? When the ocean waters rise and the skies fall, who cares if there is coffee, if it all tastes of ash and the failure of the great human experiment? Do you smell blood? Do you smell snow?
Meanwhile, the real story is how Emily Gilmore ends up in a beach house, with an extended South American family that finally loves her, and volunteering at a whaling museum where she scares other small children with her graphic depictions harpooning sperm whales in the 1800s. And she is happy in a way she has never been allowed to be before. It turns out her life with Richard was a farce of upper class bullshit, her only child is an ancient demon, and she is fucking so much better off without them, because she’s finally got all the money she sold her life and soul for. I guess that was her end game all along. Good for Emily.