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How to Make the New ‘Gilmore Girls’ Great


On Wednesday, Netflix released a first look at its latest reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Amanda Dobbins and Juliet Litman — Gilmore Girls experts — broke down the teaser for the show on the latest episode of Jam Session. They were a little concerned with the contents of the clip, and have some notes for how to make sure the show isn’t a flop.

For every episode of Jam Session, check out the Channel 33 feed here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.

Nail the Visual Aesthetic of the Show

Amanda Dobbins: My first reaction — and this is a really weird reaction — I was very weirded out by the HD. I think they both look great; it has nothing to do with how anyone looks, but I was just like, “Gilmore Girls is not supposed to be in HD.”

Juliet Litman: Right, it’s a square experience.

A.D.: Yeah, this is not how this looks. And again, I feel like we’ve talked about this a lot, where fan service is a very common thing these days, but I have never experienced it before, and finally they’re making my shit again. I guess everyone has dealt with this, but I’m just like, “Huh, that’s not how it looked.”

J.L.: Yeah, imagine what it’s like when you’re used to reading Spider-Man and then you see Spider-Man on the screen.

A.D.: I know, now I understand the fanboys’ plight. Now I relate.

Fix the Chemistry

J.L.: I was most upset by the fact that it seemed like Alexis [Bledel] and Lauren [Graham] had no chemistry anymore.

A.D.: Yeah, that was tough.

J.L.: It was sort of like they were at a table read or something … they were at a table in fact, but they were on camera. It just seemed like they didn’t know each other anymore.

A.D.: I don’t want to be the bro who discusses cinematography at length, but again, I would argue that something about the HD made it feel closer and more intimate, and then they aren’t delivering the chemistry and the energy that goes with it.

J.L.: Also, I think I would’ve gone with a walking scene for the first scene. Can’t we get them walking through Stars Hollow?

Have a Plan for Lorelai and Luke

A.D.: Their kitchen does not appear to have changed — no decorations in, what, 10 years?

J.L.: And if Luke and Lorelai have broken up, which is rumored as possible, wouldn’t she have gone through some kind of design overhaul? Purge yourself of your exes.

A.D.: Also, if she and Luke are over for good, then she’s not in Stars Hollow anymore because there are too many memories and she can’t deal with it.

J.L.: Can there be a Gilmore Girls reboot that does not end with them either falling back in love, getting remarried, or — I mean, we’re assuming they broke up, but what’s the point of Gilmore Girls without Luke and Lorelai together? Seriously, I need to know.

A.D.: Yeah, I guess there’s no point. I have to be honest that I was never as OTP about Luke and Lorelai as everyone else.

J.L.: Because he’s so grumpy?

A.D.: They’re both so annoying. … Gilmore Girls is the show that I’ll put on for comfort food in the background just because it’s on Netflix. ... I’ve watched it so many times, and I find that every single time I watch it, Lorelai becomes a little more annoying and Luke becomes a little grumpier. I just become convinced of the “oh, you are just hateful people; please stop talking.”

Get the Fashion Right

J.L.: Another rewatch realization I’ve had is that as we’re both in our 30s, it’s really weird to think about Lorelai being close to our age and having a teenage daughter. And it’s really weird to think about how she was dressing, which I actually think was very realistic. If you had a daughter very young and didn’t really get to experience fashion until you were in your 30s, you would probably wear stuff you wish you had worn when you were 20 and look bad. Which I think is a funny way to interpret her first-day-at-Chilton outfit when she’s wearing the jean shorts and [is] a total mess. But it’s just weird to have been close to Rory’s age when we were watching and now being close to Lorelai’s age. That’s such a weird reversal.

A.D.: Yes, that’s totally true. I have two responses that I’d like to make to that.

J.L.: Please do.

A.D.: The first response is to the clothes, which is just like, wow, what a terrible dresser Lorelai was. Awful.

J.L.: All her shirts were too short.

A.D.: And just weird, bad patterns. They go on at length about how she’s such a great, snazzy dresser, and “What’s the Lorelai style this season?” And the Lorelai style is a nightmare every season; that’s the answer. It’s so bad, and it’s not even like, “Oh, weren’t the 2000s weird and we made mistakes about fashion” bad. It’s just objectively bad.

Coach Up Alexis Bledel

J.L.: One of my main problems with Alexis Bledel — and this is kind of weird, considering how much I love Gilmore Girls — is that I just can’t see her outside of her Mad Men role anymore. For some reason, that really haunts me, and I think maybe it’s because she’s married to Vincent Kartheiser [Pete Campbell from Mad Men], so that lingers on more for me. I actually really liked that arc on Mad Men when she basically played a Bell Jar character who then got electroshock treatment, just like in The Bell Jar, and that really obscures Rory for me. Maybe also because she was better playing Beth on Mad Men than she was playing Rory in seven years.

A.D.: Mmm, disagree. I think she was really bad on Mad Men. I think also most people were bad on Mad Men. I had a hard time divorcing her from Rory. She was just also too blank in Mad Men.

J.L.: She’s not a good actress.

A.D.: No, there’s that. It’s really tough. And it’s going to become tougher as we watch her try to be a grown-up. But I think with Rory, at least, you have the association of when she was a teenager and just cute and didn’t know what’s going on and that’s supposed to be the character. And she was pretty good at that, so I’m willing to forgive her more.

Seriously — Have a Plan for Lorelai and Luke!

A.D.: I was just reading some reports from the TCA panel. Apparently we will get an answer on who Rory ends up with, which I am pleased about, but “not all questions have been answered” about Lorelai’s. So what do you think that means?

J.L.: That’s strange.

A.D.: It probably means they’re going to do more on-again, off-again Luke bullshit to try to extend the series as long as possible. It’s fine.

J.L.: Is Christopher on the show? I always liked Christopher.

A.D.: I think he is. I mean, he sort of has to be, right, because he’s Rory’s dad. Great character. Never should have been married [to Lorelai]; that was a bad choice.

J.L.: That was the worst thing that happened about Amy Sherman-Palladino leaving for Season 7. Because I actually didn’t think that season was that bad except for that storyline. They had that one episode where Christopher and Lorelai go to Paris and they never go outside because they’re jet-lagged the whole time. That was just really silly. That didn’t really work out well.