Vanina’s review published on Letterboxd:
I agree with everything Sally Jane has written, and yet...
'Gilmore Girls' was my show during my teen years. Because of my Dad's job as a University lecturer, he was always sent 'round offers of house swaps during summer months, and so in 2001, we spent a summer month in Los Angeles on the UCLA campus. It was a pretty magical time, despite my being a 15-year-old sullen teen. We went to record shops on Melrose, where I bought all of the Duran Duran and Japan LPs I could find, I read Andy Warhol's Diaries and S.E. Hinton, we went to LACMA, I ate Pop Tarts and watched the 'Clueless' television series. And one night we got In-n-Out take-away and caught our first 'Gilmore Girls' episode by chance, a repeat of the earlier season.
As the first episode started, I remember being disappointed they were daughter and mother, being more in the mood for a series about friends. But soon I was absolutely hooked. This was the first series I saw about someone my age that presented a young teenage girl as a source of knowledge and quick-fire wit. And even if Lorelais Sr and Jr are the most conceited, self-obsessed, self-congratulating, entitled little shits on the planet... fuck, that felt nice, being fired at with cultural references in those pre-Wikipedia days. Some I got, some I didn't, some I got really annoyed at - and it felt aspirational, being given little hints at what I should familiarise myself with.
Of course, pop culture becomes something of a self-aware accessory in the series, not so much about listening to a Sonic Youth album for its content but rather being able to name-drop it at the appropriate time, but I was given hints about what I could consume in my own way.
So this revival.. I was slightly apprehensive, but it was like a warm bath. Perhaps one that feels over-indulgent, but it was a joy to see old friends again. And old friends they are, the kind you don't really remember why you were friends in the first place, because they are kind of terrible people, and yet you feel comfortable in each other's presence through years of a shared past.
It does struggle with its own self-awareness, as it always has done, the first film especially suffers with its "I'm talking to someone and I'm just letting you guess who it is until there's the great reveal and, wahey, it's that minor character you never cared about!"-spiel, but I liked seeing everyone again and, yeah, I'm struggling with post-grad life myself so I did like how that discussed it.
One thing I'm most concerned with, more than its white privilege (which I'm not excusing in any way but was more than prevalent in the original series and is included in the deal), is the fact that Rory was sleeping with Logan, essentially fulfilling the role of "the other woman" once again, when her sleeping with Dean when he was married was the reason she and her mother fell out for such a long time in the series. This is acknowledged, but no one mentions how harmful this is to any of the characters. The running gag of needing to, but forgetting to, break up with a boyfriend of two years is spectacularly misguided and uncharacteristically awful even for the Gilmores.
Best bits: PARIS, forever Paris. Casting Lauren Graham's 'Parenthood' co-stars. Nods to other Palladino projects. New England Indian summer ('Mermaids' instilled in me a great affection for Indian summers).
Needed more Miss Patty. And I hoped for a happy ending with Logan, he was always my favourite (he was most supportive of Rory, and those rumours about Milo V's off-screen treatment of Alexis Bledel always put me off Jess).
So, yeah, how can you love a series so much when you know pretty much everything is wrong with it. I don't do "hate-watching", but I guess sometimes love is blinding. This was just the right side of "hopeless cash-in".