Thursday, December 8, 2016

Podcast #96 - SPOILERS - A Year in the Life - Feedback

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is a special SPOILER FILLED podcast about the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. This is our first feedback podcast for all four newly released episodes.

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The next podcast will post on Thursday, December 15, 2016 for our second Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life feedback podcast.


  1. Alright, okay, I see what’s happened here. You chose to ignore my conspiracy theory comment from a previous post because you two want to deny the truth of Rory’s pregnancy actually being an inseminated pregnancy using Paris’s sperm bank. That’s okay; that’s fine. I am unmoved by your exclusion of my comment in the podcast. Nay, in fact, my resolve is redoubled. As so many fine intellectuals before me, I see your marginalization of my view, and the incontrovertible statements from comments ASP has made since I made my comment, as proof that I am, in fact, completely correct.
    I will now double down on my theory, made to you before in haste without a full working out of the details, with a detailed, inarguable exposition on why Rory made the full, adult choice to pull her life out of its tailspin with a pregnancy.
    I will name this conspiracy the Birther conspiracy – a fine name which is clearly inextricably linked to Gilmore Girls for all who hear it. Gilmore Girls, after all, is a show about a woman who has given birth to a daughter, who will NOW be giving birth to a daughter of her own. It is perfect.

    1. The facts of the case I will lay out before you now using a three-pronged attack.
      The first prong is the “narrative” prong. From a purely narrative angle this makes so much more sense than an unexplained pregnancy for the following reasons.
      1) It is a poor storytelling choice to introduce something as consequential and strange as a surrogacy firm, devoting an unusual, very surprising amount of time to this firm, and then end that with ... nothing? If you drop the bait, you must inseminate.
      2) There was foreshadowing for the surrogacy. Strong foreshadowing. The foreshadowing for an unplanned pregnancy for a 32-year-old woman? Zero. So much zero that people are honestly not even totally sure who the father is meant to be. Logan? The Wookie? Paul? You know why they’re not sure? BECAUSE IT IS NONE OF THEM. Follow the signs. Bernard is Arnold.

    2. The second prong is Rory’s particular motivations as viewed through her actual perspective as a 32-year-old woman in 2016, not, as we have complained before, as a 22-year-old fresh out of college.
      1) 32-year-old Rory has one major role model in her life – her mother. Let’s not forget – she initially wanted to write her Harvard essay about her mother. Argue though we may about how effectively the show presented it, there is no doubt that Rory is in an unmoored place in her life. She is struggling, she doesn’t seem to know what she wants or how best to get it. While she herself has never said one word that would indicate how she feels about having children in general, we do see that she is torn between the world of her mother and the world of her grandmother. We know she doesn’t want to be a teenage mother, and she isn’t. But she knows that having Rory was a life-affirming thing for her mother, not a life ruining one. She comes back to the place she feels most at home. She sees Lane living out someone’s version of a Stars Hollow fantasy, with her two kids and her band playing at night – as far as we can tell she is perfectly happy. Meanwhile Rory is rootless, goalless, and drinking. Having Rory was the event that pulled Lorelai into the life she wanted to live. Focus now. She’s not 22. A 32-year-old woman, stuck in that strange transition period where some of your friends are having babies and others are having careers and you’re having neither is IN that particular identity crisis. Weighing the evidence, knowing she needs to make a change, considering what a fantastic ending that would be to her new book, with HUGELY convenient access to a no-muss pregnancy … she made the choice.

    3. The final prong is the evidence the show gives us to point us in this direction. Let’s consider.
      1) The strongest piece is clearly Rory’s behavior with post-coital Logan in that inn or lodge or whatever it was. She stares out the window, which as we all know is what we do when we make a Big Decision. The whole previous sequence with the Eyes Wide Shut Brigade or whatever they are was Rory’s final fling with youthful indiscretions. When she emerges from the other side of that wonderful, young debauched life she finally realizes it makes her feel empty. Young, empty headed rich people spending all their money with no purpose finally makes her feel the way it made Lorelai feel so many years ago. At last she is ready to reject Emily and choose Lorelai. I will repeat it again. It makes ZERO sense for her to be standing in front of the Window of Great Import TM solely to be making the decision to leave Logan. She is not leaving Logan. She is leaving THAT LIFE. Completely.
      2) At some point we see Rory on the phone making an appointment. Ooh mysterious. What is that appointment? There are many interpretations. It could have been making an appointment to confirm the pregnancy. It could have been her making the appointment with Christopher. OR HER MAKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH PARIS.
      3) Let’s discuss the Christopher visit. When was it? After she knew she was pregnant? Most certainly. But is she trying to decide whether or not to involve Logan in the baby’s life? Could be. Or it could have been on the way to the sperm bank, which is probably in the same city that Christopher is in, so she can talk to the only parent she felt she could talk to at that moment about the emotional realities of making a “selfish” decision to parent alone.
      There you have it. You can try to bury the truth, but if 2016 has taught us anything, it is that the truth doesn’t matter.

    4. Nicely done, Susan U! I would only add that she tells this news to Lorelei on her Wedding Day. Would that really be the moment that she would chose to share this information, upsetting the focus of the day from the marriage of L and L, unless maybe it was also contributing to the joy of THEIR day? I think this is a completely valid reading of the ending.

  2. I guess we're not supposed to add even more comments, but whatever, this is in response to what you said.
    My biggest problem with Rory and Logan cheating is that Lorelai isn't at all bothered by it or at least doesn't comment on it. That seemed wrong. But for Rory, I can see that she wouldn't have a problem with it, it's pretty much the same situation we just saw with Dean: She feels entitled to Dean/Logan because she was there first and Dean/Logan assures her it's fine, added to that that she and Logan have this Vegas arrangement and she's older now, I can accept that Rory doesn't feel guilty about it anymore. That's not good, obviously, but I think it works.
    But I'm also probably taking Paul out of the equation here because he was clearly meant to be a punchline and nothing more. I absolutely hate that they made this decision and I was also under the impression at first that she had broken up with him at the end of Winter. And just in general I don't understand either why they kept the Paul thing going for so long and why Odette had to exist. From a story perspective, the situation doesn't make much sense and it only makes everyone involved look like a monster.

    As for Rory's career, I think we can all agree that the biggest problem is that we didn't hear anything about the last 10 years. I mean, Rory didn't move back to Stars Hollow sooner and she didn't starve, so I guess we can assume she had some kind of at least moderate success. If that always came to her as easily as it often did in the original run and she didn't really have to work that hard for it, I can believe that Rory has become lazy and wouldn't know what to do when things suddenly aren't going her way anymore and opportunities don't fall into her lap.
    And so, again, I can accept all of this, even though in order to do this, I have to accept that Rory really is a terrible person with pretty much no good qualities anymore, at least right now. And I also have to do a lot of work to find a theory that makes what they showed us work and that's a clear sign that they didn't do a good job telling their story. There are so many different possibilities and theories and perspectives on everything in the revival basically.
    I mean, I love Sarah U's whole comment above, it really made me laugh, and I think that theory works even though I really don't think that's what they were doing. But if this is really it for Gilmore Girls, I guess it's kinda nice that we can all believe whatever we want to believe, but it also makes me like what they did even less because it shows that it did not work. And it really could have worked, even with a lot of the unpopular choices they made, if they had just put in the work and done a good job actually telling those stories.

  3. Even though I'm not actively reading them, just seeing quotes here and there, interviews with ASP are the gift that keeps on giving. Apparently they were planning on making the wedding a big thing with lots of extras and everything, and then they realized that that would be too expensive and so they cut back on it. Well, *someone* needs to sort out their priorities. There were at least 100 scenes that could have been cut or cut short to save money for this. And wasn't that like the biggest reason for Luke and Lorelai to not already be married, so that we could see it happen? It's ridiculous. Otherwise they could have married at some point in the last 9 years and had some other problems now. That way we would't have to wonder why they never talked about this topic ever, apparently. Though I can believe that, considering the disaster their engagement was the last time, and why screw up something that's working. I have more trouble believing the question of having more kids never came up.

  4. I didn't spend a lot of time on my Rory comments before because I didn't really know what direction the feedback was going to go (although I assumed negatively) but I thought my generally I LOVED IT would have placed me squarely in the "Rory's storyline worked for me" camp. I'm only a year older than Rory in the revival, but it didn't seem to me that she is "too old" to be a complete screw up and mess. Lorelai has always suffered from a little immaturity and arrested development from having to assume responsibility of a child so young, and she basically bypassed the prime of her youth. RORY mothers her own mother so much in the early seasons, she has so much self-inflicted pressure to be the mature one, that it's no wonder she has nothing to fall back on once she gets into the real world. I find it incredibly telling that Rory has no ideas through the whole year. She needs Jess to tell her what to do, and while writing a memoir isn't exactly easy, it's not creative. Rory is just not creative! She has no ideas! She's realizing that she does not have what it takes to be a journalist. Even when she was editor of the Yale Daily News, she was essentially a mini-Emily, ordering other people around. I think Rory, the golden child of Stars Hollow, ending up to be a complete screw up, is a fascinating story. My reaction to the final four words was NO NO MORE MORE I NEED MORE, which probably would have been my reaction either way. So seriously, I liked it.