Since the official announcement that the acclaimed WB series Gilmore Girls would be returning for a limited revival on Netflix with creator and showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino at the helm, fans have been clamoring for any and all news. What do we know so far? Titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the series will consist of four 90-minute episodes; one for each season in a calendar year. In addition to Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as the titular ladies, many beloved characters are set to make appearances, from regulars like Melissa McCarthy’s Sookie St. James to recurring stars like Luke’s daughter April Nardini.
While waiting for the November 25 premiere, there’s much to speculate about as to how the town of Stars Hollow and its inhabitants have fared over the last nine years. Did Doose’s Market, Al’s Pancake World, and Miss Patty’s dance school survive the recession? Did April become a scientist? Are Kirk and Lulu still together? And of course, these questions extend to the rest of the cast: What about Christopher and Gigi, all of Rory’s friends from Yale, and the DAR? Though we still have a few weeks until G-Day, here are 15 Things We Want to See in the Gilmore Girls Revival.
15. The Final 4 Words
When the WB and UPN became the CW in 2006, a number of shows suffered, and Gilmore Girls was among them. Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, producer Dan Palladino, were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract, and the series lasted just one more season before cancellation. Sherman-Palladino has expressed regret that she wasn’t able to wrap things up the way she intended, and revealed that her plan involved an ending with four specific words as the final lines.
For many years, fans have speculated as to what exactly those four words are, and who they’ll be said by and to. Lauren Graham has stated that they’re an exchange between Lorelai and Rory, but beyond that, we have no idea. It seems likely that they’ll be something casual about getting coffee at Luke’s Diner, but we could be in for a genuine, heartfelt mother-daughter moment. Whatever they are, hearing them will be bittersweet, as it will truly mean the end of Gilmore Girls.
14. The Dragonfly Inn Prospering
Lorelai and Sookie’s baby, AKA the Dragonfly Inn, began as a hopeful dream mentioned in the pilot, and grew to be the little inn that could, attracting famous guests and even garnering an offer for purchase from a boutique hotel chain. Though it was doing well in season seven, it wasn’t featured prominently, as there was a larger focus on Lorelai’s romantic relationships. And with Sookie pregnant yet again, the management wasn’t attending to its property as much might be expected.
But Lorelai always prioritized her life with Rory first, work second, love life third. And as savvy as she is, it stands to reason that the Dragonfly Inn has survived, though it likely faced at least a roadblock or two during the recession. In the brand new trailer, we see her still running the inn, but she isn’t as confident about things as she once was. Regardless, we hope that she’ll continue to succeed and grow as a business owner.
13. The Dog Paul Anka
Though Rory and Lorelai’s relationship was the central theme of the show, every mother and daughter go through rough patches. In the beginning of season six, the titular girls weren’t speaking after a falling out regarding Rory’s decision not to return to Yale for her junior year. Feeling lonely, Lorelai impulsively adopts a sheepdog, whom she names Paul Anka, after the singer. Once she and Rory reunite, Paul Anka remains a part of the family, and in one hilarious scene, is shown meeting the human Paul Anka in a dream sequence vividly described by Lorelai.
Lauren Graham herself confirmed that the pooch will appear in the revival, and will be played by the original animal actor. Clearly, Paul Anka is getting up there in years, but hopefully we’ll still get to see him up to his old antics. Maybe he’ll meet a canine named Annette Funicello, and the two will fall in “Puppy Love.”
12. The Life and Death Brigade Grown Up
Book worm and (arguable) goody-two shoes Rory goes off to college, and not too much changes. Until she meets Logan Huntzberger, that is. On assignment for the Yale Daily News, Rory investigates a secret society, and is invited by Logan to learn more about “The Life and Death Brigade”, a group of wealthy college kids who like to test their limits– and spend their families’ money. Though she goes in with a critical eye, Rory soon realizes the good that comes with expanding one’s horizons, not the least of which is her romance with Logan.
Logan’s primary cohorts Robert, Finn, and Colin, show up from time to time throughout the series, and with all three scheduled to return for the revival, this could mean seeing a whole different side to the bad boys. Have they matured, gotten respectable jobs, and maybe even settled down? Or are they still pulling pranks and hosting wild theme parties? Likely, it’s a mixture of the two, but one thing is certain: unless it’s a Yale reunion, there’s definitely a chance that the reason we’re seeing these old college pals get together is to celebrate the marriage of Rory and Logan. Fear not, Team Jess fans — nothing has been revealed, this is only speculation, but it’s doubtful that Logan won’t make some sort of move for Rory’s heart.
11. A Deeper Look at Michel
Lorelai and Sookie’s business partner, Michel Girard, was often a mystery. He was grumpy, short with customers, and quick to complain, but we loved him in spite of this, as he was a sweetheart underneath it all. Outside of his demeanor, his fashion-forward attitude, and his love for his Chow-Chows, little was revealed about his personal life. Every now and then, he would mention a date, but we rarely saw him outside of the Independence or Dragonfly Inns.
A Year in the Life will change all of this. Yanic Tuesdale, Michel’s portrayer, has revealed that we’ll be getting to know his character a little bit better this time around. Though details are of course under wraps, the actor said that he was glad to get some backstory for his character, and that there’s an “arc” of sorts around Michel. As vague as that is, we like to imagine that we’ll learn why Michel is the way he is — like maybe he went to a French boarding school, or his family life wasn’t the greatest. Either way, we know Michel is always happiest when he’s included.
10. The Whole St. James-Belleville Clan
While Lorelai dates and Rory falls into a love triangle with Jess and Dean, Sookie and Jackson were the show’s earliest true love story. They argued passionately about produce, but in the end, they were the perfect pair. After their season two finale wedding, they quickly got to procreating, with Sookie giving birth to Davey in season four, Martha in season five, and another on the way when the series ended.
Though Sookie was hesitant to become a mom at first, she soon embraced her role. Her career was always incredibly important to her, so it’s good to see that she’s still in the kitchen with Lorelai. She and/or Jackson likely had to take some time off when they had three children under the age of five, but in 2016, she’ll have a teen, a preteen, and an eight or nine-year-old, and the pair probably have a rhythm going at this point. Maybe we’ll get to see the whole clan having a meal or just spending some time with their godmothers Lorelai and Rory.
9. A Hep Alien Reunion Show
Rory’s lifelong best friend Lane deserves an entry all her own. The pair went through so much together: high school, boyfriends, bands, jobs… even marriage and twin babies! When we last saw Lane, she and Zack were juggling their boys, but Zack is about to leave to go on tour. Though it was disappointing for the die-hard drummer that she couldn’t join, Lane realized she had to temporarily put her dreams aside.
Now that her kids are nine-years-old, we hope Lane has resumed drumming professionally, as the trailer hints. In fact, we sort of hope we don’t see too much of her, because that would mean she’s off touring somewhere. Or maybe she and Zack are working at a record label, producing music. Wherever she is, we’d like to think that she’s still rocking, and that maybe the couple could even join up with Brian and Gil for a Hep Alien reunion concert, with Steve and Kwan shaking tambourines alongside their super cool parents. Grandma Kim is in attendance of course, and maybe we’ll even finally learn where Lane’s dad has been all of these years…
8. Paris and Doyle
Paris Gellar is a vital part of the ladies’ past. She starts off as the mean girl at Chilton, constantly competing with Rory. The two begin to become friends as Rory shows Paris that they can work together, not against one another. Then, Paris goes to Yale as well, and the two are roommates for most of their years there. And for the last couple of years, we rarely see Paris without her boyfriend, Doyle, the former editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News whose quirk matches Paris’s perfectly.
Post-Gilmore Girls, both Liza Weil and Danny Strong have prospered, with Weil as one of the leads on the Shondaland hit How to Get Away with Murder and Strong making a name for himself as a Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writer, director, and producer on hits such as Game Change, Empire, and the final two Hunger Games films. The trailer only shows a flash of Paris, but we hope there’s at least one scene establishing how the power couple has gone on to conquer the worlds of journalism and medicine. With successful portrayers like Weil and Strong, how could they not have?
7. Dean, Jess, and Logan
Rory’s love life is marked by three men: Her high school sweetheart, Dean; the bad boy that got away, Jess; and her serious college boyfriend, Logan. All represent different parts of Rory’s life, and helped her to grow up and learn things about herself. When the series ended, Logan had proposed to Rory, but she turned him down in order to continue pursuing her journalistic dreams.
It’s been established that all three are returning, but only Jess got a line in the trailer. The way we see it, Rory and Jess fans have a chance: the two have a connection, and though they appear to be just friends, there’s always hope. Logan is probably the safest bet: Rory has dated others in the years since, we assume, but we bet she was never able to completely let go of him. As for Team Dean? Our guess is that he’s just a brief presence in Stars Hollow. Hopefully he’s gotten himself together in the romance department, and he and Rory are able to be acquaintances. Or maybe he’s been too busy fighting demons…
6. All of Star Hollow’ Best
Despite the series’ title, Gilmore Girls is truly an ensemble cast. The town of Stars Hollow itself is a character, constantly evolving and changing with its inhabitants. The colorful townsfolk are part of what makes the show so great, and what keep Lorelai and Rory rooted in their small town life. These are the people who helped to raise Rory, and who threw her a huge party at the end of the series, so their presence is demanded.
It’s been reported that most of our favorites will be back, with Taylor, Gypsy, Babette, and Kirk showing up in the trailer (the latter shown sitting at Emily Gilmore’s dining room table– under what circumstances we can’t wait to find out). The usual trajectory for small towns is that while the world changes drastically, most things stay the same, and we feel that Stars Hollow represents that to a T. That being said, some things must be different, and we’re looking forward to choice moments with each of our favorite kooky characters.
5. How Today’s Pop Culture Affects the Girls
Rory and Lorelai were tastemakers before the digital age. They consumed media the way they consumed food: all different kinds, all at once, and in large quantities. Though they frequently referenced old movies and semi-obscure bands, they also had a lot to say about Britney Spears, Juicy Couture, and Punk’d. The sheer quantity of references, from political to philosophical, was enough to make anyone’s head spin, and there’s no doubt that A Year in the Life will bring more of the same.
After all, the first 30 seconds of the trailer alone address Batman v Superman, Tori Spelling, and two ’90s Lifetime movies, one of which features Spelling herself. We’re giddy with excitement to see what other topical mentions we’ll get: will they discuss Brangelina rumors? Do they follow Chrissy Teigen on Twitter? Are they into The Walking Dead? And because it’s an election year, there’s no doubt that we’ll get a taste of their political opinions, if only just as far as what John Oliver or Stephen Colbert addressed on TV recently.
4. Rory Rediscovering Her Passion
As a millennial, Rory faced a lot of tribulations. She always wanted to be journalist, but after graduation, she began to flounder a bit. This was at a time when the hammer was hovering over the coffin of print journalism, preparing to hit that nail in hard, and Rory turned down a job at a paper in Rhode Island. In the series finale, she accepted a job as a reporter for “only an online magazine” on the Obama campaign trail. At the time that felt like a step down from The New York Times apprenticeship she so desperately wanted, but if she was graduating into today’s digital age, she’d probably have her sights set on The Huffington Post.
In the trailer, we discover that Rory is, like most of us in our 20s and 30s, floundering a bit. “She’s Jack Kerouac, she’s On the Roading it,” Lorelai tells Emily, though Rory herself remarks that she’s jobless and feeling lost. In order to do justice to the character, we hope to see Rory rediscover what it is she loved about journalism, and score a successful opportunity. Or perhaps, as it appears in the trailer, she’ll share her knowledge of literature with future generations. Maybe this will spark the re-entrance of Jess and/or Logan, but ultimately, we want Rory to get back on track, and realize what her dreams are.
3. How Emily is Coping with Richard’s Death
The love story of Richard and Emily Gilmore is an interesting one. When the series began, they were very no-nonsense, but nonetheless seemed fairly happy. After Richard’s job changes and the Pennilyn Lott controversy, the two had a falling out and separated, with the patriarch going to live in the pool house. They later reconciled, renewed their vows, and their relationship became more of a partnership than it had been in previous seasons. Though she initially thinks their marriage is stiff, Lorelai comes to learn that her parents are, in fact, a beautiful example of love.
The passing of Edward Hermann in 2014 left a damper on the Gilmore Girls world. Never a show to shy away from tough issues, the character Richard’s death is addressed heavily in the trailer, with an enormous portrait of him shocking Lorelai and Rory, and an amusing scene where Emily attempts to declutter her life and home. We hope to see Emily coming through this tragedy stronger than ever, and become closer with her daughter and granddaughter, while reflecting on her husband’s memory. What we never thought to ask for was the image of proper Emily in a t-shirt, but we got that, too. It seems like the revival will deliver on all fronts for the Gilmore matriarch.
2. Kirk Finding His Place in Stars Hollow
Throughout the series, Sean Gunn plays Kirk (or once Mick?), an eccentric jack-of-all-trades who struggles to figure out where he belongs in the town of Stars Hollow. He holds many, many jobs in the span of seven years, including photographer, delivery man, inspector, store clerk, dog walker, salesman, party planner, and entrepreneur. Kirk does seem to find happiness with Lulu, his brother’s ex-girlfriend whom he woos in season four, and continues to date through the show’s run. But what about his career?
As mentioned, we see Kirk show up in yet another strange place in the trailer: Emily Gilmore’s dining room table in Hartford. While it’s hard to say what he’s doing there, his presence brings about hope that we’ll see how he’s fared over the years. It’s likely he’s held a few other jobs, but perhaps he’s truly found his calling. We had hopes that Kirk might take over for Taylor as Town Selectman, but as the latter is shown leading a town meeting in the trailer, this seems unlikely. Still, Kirk always has something up his sleeve, and hopefully we’ll get to see him thrive in A Year in the Life.
1. Luke and Lorelai Are Happy Together
While the most important relationship on the show is that of the titular mother and daughter, a close second in fans’ hearts is Luke and Lorelai. The series begins with the two as friends, but their banter and chemistry is undeniable. After years of will-they, won’t-they, the pair finally gets together, only to break up twice during the show. They never officially reconcile, but the series finale brings with it a kiss, and the implication is that they’re back on, for good.
Luke of course shows up in the trailer, chastising Lorelai and Rory for their terrible eating habits as usual, and we also hear Lorelai proclaim that she and Luke are happy, though she doesn’t sound comforted by it (and it appears that the two aren’t married, if only due to a lack of wedding bands). As with many long-lasting relationships, it appears theirs is stagnant, and Lorelai needs to reevaluate and figure out how to bring back the magic, or let things go. It’s hard to imagine that anyone out there is hoping for anything other than a happily ever after for the beloved couple, and if there’s any good in this world, the two will rediscover their love and maybe even marry, at long last.
Did we cover everything you hope to see in your next visit to Stars Hollow? Let us know in the comments!
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be available to stream on Netflix on November 25th.