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Beloved classic disappoints

photo from Netflix

Olivia Summons, Staff Writer

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Change has arrived in the world of “Gilmore Girls.” Let’s just say the years have not been kind to the characters in the series, which is available for streaming on Netflix following a Thanksgiving weekend release.
The first episode initially showed promise with 30-year-old Rory’s return to Stars Hollow. The opening seemed to reiterate the sparkling relationship between her mother Lorelai and her on-and-off boyfriend Luke Danes. But, much to fans’ dismay, a dry and scripted revision takes the place of the once lively discussions among these characters.

For me, Rory’s original strong work ethic and positive attitude toward conflict were inspiring. Disappointingly, she has downgraded to an unemployed woman facing a mid-life crisis. Her interactions with Lorelai seem lackluster, leaving me tempted to abandon the cast and their fictional small town in Connecticut.

The original series featured a recurring theme of success. Lorelai was a rebellious teen who had Rory when she was unmarried and unprepared. SPOILER ALERT: The revival series shifts this original positivity and shows Rory’s integrity decreasing further: losing her job, having a regretful one- night stand and getting pregnant by an unknown father. FURTHER SPOILER ALERT: The fourth episode of the new series puts Rory Gilmore in the same position as her mother was years before. Were there no more original ideas among the show’s writers?

Despite these let-downs, this new iteration of “Gilmore Girls” does contain moments of blissful reminiscence. All members from the original series united again. Among those returning are townspeople like quirky Kirk Gleason, played by Sean Gunn, and Sookie St. James, the charming chef played by Melissa McCarthy.

Any fan will fondly recall scenes from the original series where Rory’s grandfather, played by Edward Herrmann, provided comic relief and consoling advice. Herrmann was not able to be a part of the reunion (he passed away Dec. 31, 2014). But the cast paid a sentimental and heartwarming tribute to Herrmann in the second episode of the revival.

While there were some sweet spots, and I appreciate the 90-minute length of these new episodes, expectations soared too high for this revamp. The moments of sweet nostalgia couldn’t outweigh the strikingly unnatural banter and the loss of a role model, Rory’s spunky adolescent shoes are just too big to fill.

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