ONLINE EXCLUSIVE BY HALEY HODGES
“It’s not a show. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion,” senior Tom Scearce said, quoting “Gilmore Girls” to accurately describe his feelings about the show itself.
While the quote originally comes from a Season 1 episode in which the characters describe “The Donna Reed Show”, Scearce and many other fans have been known to apply it to their view of “Gilmore Girls” itself.
The original “Gilmore Girls” is a television series from the early 2000s with a popular and growing fan base. It spanned seven seasons but changed direction when writer and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was taken off of the show due to contract disputes for the seventh and, until now, final season.
The conclusion and absence of Sherman-Palladino for the seventh season became known by much of the fan base as disappointing and left them wanting more, especially the final four words Sherman-Palladino revealed she had always planned on ending the series with.
On Friday, November 25, fans got their revival nearly ten years later in the form of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” a Netflix original by Sherman-Palladino.
“I was very excited, I almost started crying,” Scearce said about when he found out the revival was coming to Netflix. “Once I found out the date a couple of months ago I immediately put it into my calendar. When I found out that the revival was happening I called my mom … because after I watched the show, I told my mom to watch it and she had the same initial reaction as me … then of course she got obsessed.”
Scearce, a public relations major, said he had been introduced to the show his first year at Drake but had protested watching it initially. Once he eventually did watch the originals on Netflix a year later, he said he was hooked.
Scearce was at Drake for Thanksgiving break and said he purposefully scheduled his time so he’d be able to watch the revival on Friday morning.
“I woke up at 8:00 and then I just stayed in my room for six hours,” Scearce said. “The night before, I got a lot of coffee. I got KitKats and Pop-Tarts, a classic ‘Gilmore Girls’ breakfast, and I binge-watched it until 2:00 and then I worked at 2:30.”
While the original “Gilmore Girls” consisted of seven seasons typically with 22 45-minute episodes, the Netflix series was made up of four 90-minute specials that were meant to feel more like television movies. Binge-watching the six hours upon their release on Friday was not uncommon for the growingly impatient fans.
“My mom and I watched the whole thing on Friday when it came out,” said Hannah Olson, a sophomore studying public relations and advertising. “We had a huge bowl of popcorn and a huge pot of coffee and just cranked it out.”
Olson said she and her mom had also stumbled upon a premium channel that was having a marathon of the original show while she was home during Thanksgiving break so they watched it off-and-on until the revival was released.
“I basically watched it twice in the span of the last four months,” Olson said.
Ultimately, the revival led up to the reveal of the last four words, which shocked many fans before quickly fading to black.
“I went through a huge range of emotions. My mom and I were sitting in the basement, it was like 11:00 at night and my dad was sleeping on the couch. It ended and both of us just turned to each other and started screaming,” Olson said. “We let it marinate, we went to bed, and we woke up and thought about it and it makes sense. Everything came full circle.”
The ending has been a popular debate online and among “Gilmore Girls” fans with many coming to the same conclusion of understanding that the bombshell ending was meant to reconnect the show with the premise it was originally built upon, even if fans initially found it shocking and unnerving.
“Everything was great up until that,” Scearce said. “I feel like I went through the five stages of grief in five minutes. I was angry, I was upset, I was bargaining, but once I truly thought about it, it made sense. It came full circle.”
Both Olson and Scearce admitted to feeling strong initial shock and only coming to their place of contentment after later reflection.
“It ended in a somewhat good place, everything was tied up except the obvious elephant in the room,” Scearce said. “Since they close up a lot of it, it’d be hard to continue it … I’m content where it ended, if they don’t make more, I’ll live. I feel like we all want them to make more because we’re hungry for more ‘Gilmore Girls’ but in reality, it needs to be put to bed at some point.”
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is now streaming on Netflix for any fan who wants to pursue their Gilmore-filled lifestyle.