Saturday, 26 November 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life - SMC Editor-in-Chief's ode to Writer/Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino

by Editor in Chief: Candice Anne Marshall

Fans of the original Gilmore Girls (GG) series know now that the writing and production of American born Director/Producer/Writer Amy Sherman-Palladino as of late has come full circle with the recent launch of the new original Netflix series 'Gilmore Girls, A Year In The Life' (November 25th, 2016). I can speak from experience when I say that we writers create our best work from our most emotive state and our best writing comes not only from a place of passion for the subject, but also from a place of feeling connected to that subject as well. I knew that after watching these series I would be writing the review from an emotive state because that’s just how Sherman-Palladino managed tore-connect to fans after the shows abrupt end in 2007. (A decision that the writer clearly has stated in countless interviews wasn’t one she was involved in making) I am certain that she achieved satisfied victory in the hearts of all GG fans when she created this four-part series titled: Winter, Spring,Summer, and Fall focusing on the lives of three beloved women/icons they have all come to know and love: Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore. Sherman-Palladino went beyond our expectations and extracted the very essence of life by touching on matters of the heart, sarcastic humor, real-life situations, and our own purpose here on earth through these characters. She writes with absolute intention knowing full well that the execution of the Gilmore Girls story will ultimately connect true fans, friends, family and lovers of the show to one another for life.



The Cast of Gilmore Girls at the Netflix Premiere of 'Winter' last week

Well, let's stop for a moment to talk about our beloved Richard Gilmore, a magnificent and powerful presence in the series regardless of his physical absence in the show. Indeed, fans of the late Actor Edward Hermann  mourned greatly upon his passing on December 31st, 2014, less than a year shy of the filming of these new episodes. There isn't a fan on earth who knew his importance throughout series as the powerful patriarch of the Gilmore family. We mourn again in 2016 via the cleverly written script (balanced evenly throughout each episode) lending a true ode to just how deeply Hermann  is honored not just among fans, but also the cast and crew. There is no doubt that the 'acting' and references of how profound his absence is missed comes from an honest place in the hearts of Kelly Bishop, Lauren Graham, and Alexis Bledel, who knew him as husband, father, and grandfather both on screen and off. Their tears in these episodes were real, as are ours.

But let's remember just how long it's really been.....

Our beloved characters have aged (very gracefully!) and circumstances in their lives have changed as a result of father time.Sherman-Palladino has respectfully picked up at present day by not dismissing these important details: Rory is no longer the young woman venturing out into the world we remember and Lorelai is no longer the feisty young mom with a side of 'hip and happening'. These actors have come into their own so to speak: Rory is 32, has come to a crossroads in her life by making the decision to become a serious writer, and is on the precipice of motherhood herself. Lorelai is now settled and at peace with her decision to (finally!) marry Luke and settle into a more secure place in life by understanding her own mortality after the loss of her father. All are a little wiser to the uncertainties that life brings and they embrace these inevitable changes with grace, openness, sarcastic humor(why should that ever change? That is Gilmore after all!), and dignity.

I would be amiss if I didn't also touch on the final and most anticipated scene of this new series: the wedding. of course it was going to be Luke and Lorelai! This has been a moment that fans have been waiting for since the series ended abruptly in 2007 and there is no doubt in my mind that the long standing on again, off again deep friendship of Luke and Lorelai should end in marriage. Again, this demonstrates Sherman-Palladino's understanding of just what closure true Gilmore Girls fans deserved eight years ago by solidifying this matter of the heart and Actors Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson executed this seamlessly. Sherman-Palladino went a step further demonstrating the true character of the rebellious Lorelai we have come to know and love by having she and Luke elope in a deeply moving, magically infused,private, and spontaneous ceremony on the eve of their actual wedding day. This was better than we could ever imagine (seeing Lorelai walk down the aisle in a formal ceremony would have been very un-Gilmore-like. After all, she did runaway from home being 16 and pregnant in the beginning....). Although the scene lasted no more than ten minutes, it was all that GG fans needed to feel completely at peace with the ending of this magnificent series. The moment was made even more intimate by having Sam Philips' song 'Reflecting Light'resurface once again for this special occasion. True GG fans will remember that this song was played during the first intimate moment that Luke and Lorelei shared way back in season four of the series during the dance at Liz and TJ's wedding (reference: 'Luke can waltz!'). There is no doubt that these best of friends were meant to finally unite one day and that day is now. (see below)

Appearances throughout the four-part series by all cast members were perfectly placed throughout the show and as quickly as they entered, they exited, reminding us of our own truths in life: people come and go. Some stay and are in our lives forever. Some are only there for a reason, a season, or a lesson. What Sherman-Palladino achieved through the final execution of this Gilmore Girls story is truth: we honor the people in our lives and our memories of/with them by holding them in the deepest recesses of our hearts always.

I couldn't write this review without also giving ode to the dear people in my own life who have come to mean so much to me during the same time that this series began in 2000 to its final famous 'last four words'(don't worry, I won't spoil it in here, you'll have to watch!). It would be a disservice to this exceptional writer and the actors in this series to focus solely on the fiction of their characters; I believe the intention of this series is for all of us to remember, honor, respect, and connect to what is REAL in our own lives and the similarities in circumstances. There isn't one part of this show that any one of us couldn't relate to: there will always be deep joys and sorrows we come to experience in this lifetime. My hat's off to all the cast and crew who were able to take what Sherman-Palladino wrote and bring us that deeply personal connection in our own lives through their exceptional acting. Therein lies the magnificence and meaning of Gilmore Girls.

Amy Sherman-Palladino with husband Daniel Palladino
From one writer to another, and on behalf of all the fans of the world: thank you Amy,it was perfect.

Smell that?That’s my coffee brewing. I am about to watch it all over again…….

Enjoy the ATX Festival Panel: "Gilmore Girls" 15 Year Reunion presented with Entertainment Weekly (2015) below!

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