3 Reasons Why Melissa McCarthy and the ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival Needed Each Other
Our long national nightmare is over. Melissa McCarthy will be on the Gilmore Girls revival.
McCarthy broke the news during a taping of Ellen, which she was on to promote her new movie The Boss.
Fans of Gilmore who have been awaiting the Netflix revival, currently in production, are breathing a sigh of relief. The return of their beloved series just wouldn’t be the same without the presence of Sookie St. James, master chef and best non-daughter-buddy of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham). So, even though we may get just one scene of Sookie over the four 90-minute movies, that will be enough for fans to feel that the comeback is complete (sans the late Edward Herrmann, of course, which is going to be pretty depressing to deal with).
The minor kerfuffle that developed around the question of why McCarthy wasn’t going to be on the new Gilmore—creator Amy Sherman-Palladino at first said that the movie star was too busy, then McCarthy said she wasn’t asked, yada, yada, yada—was becoming a bit of a distraction to a production process that should have just been generating good news and warm fuzzies. So, now that McCarthy is on board, AS-P is probably sitting in her office with her husband and writing partner, Daniel Palladino, saying, “Thank god that’s over.”
But let’s not discount why the news should be good for McCarthy, too, despite the fact that her profile is exponentially bigger than it was during the show’s 2000-07 run. Let’s explore why Gilmore and McCarthy need each other.
The show needs Sookie’s sweetness.
Despite the fact that McCarthy’s career surge over the last five years has mostly been due to her incredible physical comedic skills, people tend to forget that Sookie and most of McCarthy’s early characters were more sweet-funny than fall-down funny. Sure, Sookie bumbled and stumbled, but she was also a great shoulder for Lorelai to lean on, and her marriage to produce maven Jackson Belleville (Jackson Douglas) was one of the sturdiest relationships on the show. A tossed-off sentence about an unseen Sookie working as a sous chef in Paris or something like that would make the show feel incomplete.
McCarthy needed to keep her humble superstar rep intact.
McCarthy is like most actors who have found stardom mid-career, after a decade or more of supporting parts and guest roles: She never forgot where she came from. Despite her exploding movie career, for instance, she was loyal to the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly and was heartbroken when it was cancelled (at least she was in public statements). And, as much love as she gave to Sookie and Gilmore before and after the revival was announced, this mini-dispute may have damaged that reputation a little bit.
However unfairly the characterization would have been, some fans might have gotten the impression that McCarthy felt she was now too big for the show that gave her her start. It’s likely why she took pains to say that no one had asked her, even if that made AS-P and her people look like they made a mistake to assume she was too busy. Now, all of that will be forgotten by the time the show debuts.
Sherman-Palladinocan now get on with the business of making the Gilmore revival great.
As I noted, Sookiegate was a distraction, one that AS-P didn’t need. Fans are super-eager to see the folks from Stars Hollow again, joined by Bunheads star Sutton Foster in a new role, but have to be wary that this revival won’t work. Recent history hasn’t been on the side of the creators bringing their shows back; the revivals of Arrested Development and The X-Files got middling-to-scathing reviews, for instance.
Gilmore‘s fan base is just as loyal as the fan bases of those shows, and as Warner Bros. found out during the show’s “lost” seventh and final season, will voice their displeasure loudly. Only now, they’ll use social media instead of blog recap comments, which will make the disappointment seem even more intense. So, with Sookiegate out of the way, she can just concentrate on making up for lost time, and ending the show the way she wanted to end it before she left after Season 6, including those famous “final four words” she has talked about since at least 2004.
Since we all know you’re happy with McCarthy coming back to Gilmore Girls, let us know in the comments what you think Sookie is doing these days and what she’ll be doing on the show.