A question for the late twenty- and thirty-somethings out there: have you ever considered what your teen-aged selves might think of your life right now? Would they be impressed or disappointed at the people you have become?
The movie Dirty 30 (Lionsgate, 2016) dares to touch upon this topic when the about-to-be-30-year old protagonist receives a package from her old high school containing a letter she wrote when she was sixteen, addressed to her 30-year-old self, time-capsule style. Predictably, the woman was nowhere near close to living the life her teen-aged self envisioned: her own business, a few children, and a great guy who adores her. Yes, it’s a terrible movie with a burned-out premise, but it did make me think about what would have been in my own letter. It was something I suspect we have all done at some point in our life – not write a letter, exactly, but thought about what the younger versions thought about our current selves.
When I learned about the upcoming Gilmore Girls reunion episode on November 25, I thought about writing a season-by-season retrospective about my favorite episodes, story lines, and dialogues. I know the series by heart after having watched each episode in all seven seasons at least five times throughout the last 16 years, so I probably would not need to do a whole lot of reviewing.
The plot seemed linear enough during the first season. The pilot episode aired when I was nineteen and in the middle of finishing my journalism degree. Understandably, at the time, I identified strongly with the shy but ambitious Rory Gilmore, who, along with her effulgent mom, was working overtime to secure her spot at the prestigious Harvard University, on her way to becoming the next Christiane Amanpour. One of my favorite episodes in the series was “The Road Trip to Harvard” (Season 2, 2001), when Rory finally gets to visit Harvard and sit in her first college lecture. I loved it so much that I decided that I would do just that one day, and I did, about a decade later.
But the show’s story took so many twists and turns that I would not have foreseen when I first started watching it. Quite surprisingly, despite her spontaneous and whimsical nature, Lorelai’s storyline was very predictable. She wanted her own inn, she got it. She had chemistry with the diner owner, she married him in the end. It was actually that of mild-mannered and level-headed Rory’s that had my head spinning at times. Wait, did Rory just decide that she wanted to go to Yale instead of Harvard? And did she actually agree to have her arch nemesis Paris Gellar as her roommate the whole time? Oh wait, did Rory really just drunk-dial her ex-boyfriend, and then promptly lost her virginity to him while he was still married to someone else? And when she graduated, did she really turn down her dreamy boyfriend’s marriage proposal so that she could pursue her journalistic dreams on Obama’s campaign trail? Ok, maybe that last was part was a little predictable, but you get my point.
And so instead of doing a blast-from-past review of my favorite 7 years in TV, I decided to write a prediction article for Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life instead. These predictions are mostly around where the characters would be at the start of the new episode, and not where the story will take them. I have managed to avoid cast interviews and similar write-ups in order to have an untainted version of my own.
This, folks, is my Gilmore Girls version of the aforementioned time capsule “letter to my older self”, because in a little over a month, we’ll find out which has come true.
- Lorelai is no longer married to Luke, but they remain the best of friends. This is probably more wishful-thinking on my part that anything else. I still haven’t forgiven Luke for taking his relationship with Lorelai completely for granted while focusing on being a good father to his long-lost daughter April. To be quite honest, he is not good enough for her. In fact, none of the men she dated in the series measured up. She should just stay single, rich, and fulfilled. Speaking of rich, she has now expanded her business with Sookie, having bought and restored the Independence Inn, as well as still maintaining the Dragonfly.
- Rory is engaged, and working for a major news agency in New York City. She was never a small-town girl anyway. In the reunion episode, she might have an existential crisis where she would have to decide whether to stay in New York, still close to her hometown, or work abroad in the frontlines of where news is happening. Doing so might mean leaving her fiancé in the US and venturing out on her own. In the end, he might just leave everything in New York to follow her around the world.
Despite my efforts not to view or read spoilers about the upcoming reunion episode, I have spotted screen caps of Rory speaking in front of what appears to be a high school class. I hope she was just invited for a speaking engagement and not actually a high school teacher, because that would really suck. But who knows, it might just be one of those plot twists that will send us reeling.
- We know actor Edward Hermann passed away two years ago, so we will not be seeing Lorelai’s father in the new episode. I am interested to see how the writer plays that one out. Richard and Emily Gilmore were such big parts of the show that it’s hard to imagine a reunion episode it without the two of them. I think they will portray him as having passed on too. Emily will of course still be the epitome of grace as a widow. She might end up meeting another man – as I remember it, when she and Richard and briefly separated and she started dating other men, she did fairly well, and had a few options. I think she will be traveling extensively, and coming home only during the holidays to be with family.
- I did not like how the story ended for Lane. I don’t how it happened that Rory’s spirited and rebellious married her washed-out band mate (as good a guys as he was), and promptly got pregnant with twins. Twins. So I think Lane will be one of the biggest surprises in this episode. She will have it all – a doting husband, loving family and a career in music, probably producing, or even managing a band. I do hope we’ll still get to see a little of Mrs. Kim.
- I don’t know for sure if Sookie will return to the show, and if she does, to what extent. After Gilmore Girls, actor Melissa McCarthy became a household name with Mike & Molly, and a few comedy movies which did fairly well in the box office. If she does return, it might just be for a short cameo. Sookie will definitely still be married to Jackson. They will have five kids and two restaurants, and she will still be best friends with Lorelai.
- The town hall meetings are a character on their own. There will definitely be one in this episode, and we will see the usual oddball characters – Jackson, Kurt, Babette and Ms Patti. I hope Dean makes an appearance too. He seems like country boy at heart, and so he might just be still in town. Wouldn’t it be awesome if he and Rory ended up reconnecting again?
There you have it, my list of predictions for the highly anticipated return of the high-powered mother-daughter tandem of Stars Hollow. I’ll end this article with the only teaser trailer that I’ve allowed myself to watch:
Are you excited about the new Gilmore Girls? What are your own predictions? Share them below and let’s all open our time capsule on November 25.