After many months of anticipation, today finally saw the release of Netflix’s heavily hyped revival of Gilmore Girls, subtitled A Year in the Life. Unlike the usual 13-episode season structure of most Netflix original series, A Year in the Life encompasses 4 episodes that each run about 90 minutes in length, with each episode set during and named after one season of the titular year. With family bonds playing such an essential role in Gilmore’s story, it makes perfect sense that Netflix would opt to put the revival out there just in time for the holiday season.
Contrary to Gilmore Girls’ widely disliked seventh – and originally final – season on The CW, A Year in the Life has been a smash so far with both fans and critics, currently holding an 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With nearly every major original character returning for Gilmore’s revival – along with series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who had no control over season 7 – most series devotees seem to be looking at A Year in the Life as the final goodbye the residents of Stars Hollow deserved the first time, more than a decade ago.
One notable aspect of Gilmore Girls that never failed to amused fans was the show’s bevy of pop culture references, which included subjects as varied as cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, classic Humphrey Bogart film Casablanca, and cult favorite 1980s teen dramedy Heathers. Unsurprisingly, A Year in the Life has proven to be no different, with two snappy references being made to both DC and Marvel superhero films before the end of the revival’s first episode.
Early on in “Winter,” Lorelai (Lauren Graham) has this exchange with Rory (Alexis Bledel) that is clearly a reference to this year’s DCEU blockbuster Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice:
“Lorelai: There’s a debate going on whether to take the phone booth out.
Rory: But where would Superman change when he comes to save our town from Ben Affleck?
Lorelai: I made the same excellent point.”
Later in the same episode, Lorelai makes a reference to the MCU in general, albeit not exactly an overly positive one:
“Lorelai: He’s like a superhero, but his power is you can’t remember him no matter how much time you spend with him. Kind of like every Marvel movie ever.“
Regardless of whether one agrees with the titular Gilmore Girls’ take on the two sides of the superhero movie divide, one things seems pretty clear: the characters’ penchant for poking fun at pop culture hasn’t been at all lessened by their decade spent out of the limelight.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is now available to stream on Netflix.