Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life featured a return for Carole King, who is an MVP for the series - here's her cameo explained. The original series of the Gilmore Girls arrived on The WB in 2000 and revolved around the close friendship between Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel, Sin City). The show was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and became famous for its witty dialogue and great supporting characters.
This includes Lorelai's mother Emily (Kelly Bishop), love interest Luke (Scott Patterson) and best friend Sookie (Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?). The series charted the various ups and downs of the Gilmore girls' friendships and love lives, which were anything but straightforward. Amy Sherman-Palladino stepped down as showrunner for the show's seventh and final season, which is generally considered the weakest. Thankfully, the show returned for a special miniseries in 2016 dubbed Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, which brought back nearly every cast member and was well-received by the fanbase.
The Gilmore Girls theme is Carole King's hit song "Where You Lead," which was also recorded by Barbra Streisand. The theme version of the song was re-recorded by King, with the original romantic lyrics altered to reflect the mother/daughter dynamic of the show; in a nice touch, King also duetted with her own daughter Louise Goffin on this version. King doesn't have much in the way of acting credits, but she's appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows, including Hider In The House, Russkies and a few episodes of the original Gilmore Girls.
Carole King played Sophie Bloom, the owner of the fittingly named shop Sophie's Music. While she initially appeared kind of mean, she later encouraged Rory's friend Lane while she was learning to play drums. King doesn't have a big role to play in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, though her role in episode 3 "Summer" is delightfully meta. She's part of the committee arranging the Stars Hollow musical, which is somewhat cringey. She also offers to play one of her own original compositions for the show - which is really King's own song "I Feel the Earth Move” - but this is dismissed.
At least she didn't play "Where You Lead," which would have been a little too on the nose. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life was a loving ode to the show and the viewers who loved it, so it was only right to bring back Carole King, who also showed a delightful willingness to poke fun at herself.