12 Things to Know About the ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival
After a nearly a decade off the air, Gilmore Girls fans can now experience another year in the life of mother-daughter duo Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel)—coffee, fast-talking, romantic ups-and-downs and all.
The cast recnetly shared a few secrets about what fans can expect in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which premieres Friday on Netflix.
The cast is able to embrace how important this experience is.
When Graham read the original Gilmore Girls pilot, “it was the time I connected most strongly to a piece of material, and I was dying to do it from the first words,” she told reporters. “To get to do it again, to come back with a sense of appreciation for the fans and to get to be in the moment and know how lucky you are was a real treat.”
“It was almost as if no time had passed,” David Sutcliffe (Christopher) adds. “When you’re making a show, you have a lot of long hours, you don’t always have an appreciation for what you’re doing. It’s nice to come back together and fully appreciate what the show is and what it meant to us and the fans.”
Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai are together…for now.
In the years since fans saw the off-on couple, the duo have settled down. But avoiding certain big topics in their relationship puts them at a crossroads when the show picks up. “We’re figuring out our next steps,” Patterson previews. “It’s a minute and day at a time. And me with my classic patience, gritting my teeth.”
Things were considerably smoother when Patterson first walked into Luke’s Diner after all these years. “It was spectacular,” he says. “It just seemed better. It seemed fresher, newer, better materials were used. It seemed bigger and better and the floors were soft. They really did a great job. Hundreds of people spent months on the sets. You walk on the sets and you see the winter, spring, summer, fall—it makes our job easier, because we believe it. This is the place, and I really feel like this guy.”
And Caesar (Aris Alvarado), Luke’s ever-present chef, is still around. “The same old same old banter with Luke,” Alvarado says. “The same old chemistry.”
Where will Rory’s career take her?
As Rory figures out what she’s going to do with her life, Alex Kingston’s mysterious new character offers the youngest Gilmore a unique opportunity. “My character gives Rory a run for her money,” Kingston teases.
How will Emily (Kelly Bishop) cope without Richard (Edward Herrmann)?
As Emily copes with the loss of Richard—who died a few months before the revival starts; Herrmann passed away in 2014)—she’ll lean on members of the DAR. “My scenes were with Kelly Bishop; she could not have been more generous; not have been more gracious, welcoming, savvy, smart,” says Gilmore newbie Carolyn Hennesy (Tori), who plays a member of the organization. “And the fact that not only Emily lost her husband, but we all lost Ed Herrmann. Watching Emily and Kelly navigate those waters…it brought so much richness to her character.”
Christopher’s relationships remain a struggle.
Though Christopher’s relationships with the Gilmore women has been quite the roller coaster ride over the run of the series (including his brief marriage to Lorelai in Season 7), and the revival will be no different. “I think all of Christopher’s relationships with his family, that part of his family, is always going to be a struggle,” Sutcliffe says. Earlier in the original show’s run, “I didn’t like the struggle; I wanted it to work out,” he allows. “But now I love it. It provokes so much feeling in people.”
One minor disappoint for Sutcliffe? He wasn’t in Stars Hollow. “My [stuff] took place in another location. That was a bit of a bummer.”
The series will (finally) explore Michel’s (Yanic Truesdale) personal life.
Though the Dragonfly Inn has had some personnel changes in the past decade, Michel is “still working with Lorelai,” Truesdale previews. “But he’s definitely at a crossroads personally and professionally. Mainly, we’ll learn much more about him, who he is [in] his personal life.”
Kirk (Sean Gunn) and Lulu (Rini Bell) have expanded their family.
Though the duo are considering having a baby, in the meantime, “there’s an animal motherhood situation,” Bell laughs. “I didn’t get to meet my animal child. I’m pretty devastated. [But] I did see my animal child and fall deeply in love because it’s a pig.”
And Kirk is still hustling around Stars Hollow, taking on multiple new (and revisiting a few former) jobs in the new episodes. One particular job brings him into the Gilmore’s traditional Friday night dinners. “Kirk doesn’t have a great history of going and doing what he’s supposed to do,” Gunn allows. “You can imagine it’s some sort of tomfoolery that gets him there.”
But experience did allow him to share rare screen time with the Gilmore matriarch. “That was my favorite part of it: I so rarely got to work with Kelly Bishop,” Gunn says. “I love her work, she’s so good.”
The Life and Death Brigade is back!
The notorious secret Yale organization makes its presence felt in the Netflix episode. “The only thing I’m allowed to say is the Life and Death Brigade has probably the most whimsical, wonderful, swoop in, in a storyline that has ever happened in Gilmore Girls history,” Nick Holmes (Robert) says. “I think the stuff we shot was just so whimsical and Gilmore and wonderful and I’m thrilled to see it myself.”
Miss Patty’s (Liz Torres) girls have grown up.
Miss Patty is still hard at work, teaching dancers in Stars Hollow, but “the little girls grew up!” Torres says. “I had a class with real ballet dancers. It was like all the girls had grown up. I’m so grateful for Amy for giving me that moment.” And though the dancers were new to the show, “in my mind, they had grown up, and they were doing [fancy moves]. In my mind, I was so proud that she was a great teacher.”
April (Vanessa Marano) gets a decidedly less dramatic arc.
Luke’s daughter—whose existence surprised him, and led to fractures in his relationship with Lorelai—will have a controversy-free arc this go-round. “It’s all very happy,” Marano promises. “It’s not a dramatic relationship with anybody. I want to do something happy on Gilmore Girls! I don’t want to break people up.”
In the decade since the show went off the air, April has grown up, as well. “It’s funny, because the path that she is on is the path I was hoping she would be on,” Marano says. “She’s also in a weird place, too, where you can be on the right path for you, but you’re still finding yourself. That’s April.”
“She’s some comedic relief,” she continues. “Which is funny, because I always felt her personality was a lot of comedic relief, but it got buried in a lot of drama, because she may or may not have been responsible for breaking up a major couple. All of that aside, she gets to be very funny, which I was excited about.”
The show’s history was never too far from the cast.
In addition to bringing much of the cast back together (and filming on the same sets), reusing certain costumes allowed for unexpected nostalgia. “When I got the overalls back on, I felt like no time had passed,” Rose Abdoo, who plays mechanic Gypsy, says. “We had a jacket that Gypsy wore, and I put my hand in the jacket and the sides from 2005 from the episode where Luke and Lorelai broke up and [the town was split]—that scene was in the pocket. That was overwhelming…To see that rolled up little script that many years later—that was an emotional moment.”
Could the show come back again?
Though the revival will include the much teased final four words, some cast members aren’t entirely convinced this is the end of our time in Stars Hollow. “I never know what the future holds, especially these days,” Keiko Agena (Lane)—who was there when the Stars Hollow signs were put on the set and when they were taken down— says. “And especially because I never thought this would be possible. I know all of this love is completely unexpected and totally appreciated.”
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, now streaming Netflix