Six Things The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival Can Do To Fix The Show’s Horrible Mistakes
#1: Stop everyone being weirdly homophobic.
Last month Netflix finally confirmed they’re making everyone’s dreams come true and reviving Gilmore Girls for a new, four-part series. Not only does this give us all a chance to go back to Stars Hollow and find out what nonsense our old friends are up to, but it also offers an opportunity to remedy some of the horrifying events that have already happened to them.
There are a lot of things I really want from the new series: a shirtless homoerotic fist-fight between Dean and Logan, or as The Toast’s Mallory Ortberg theorised, Emily Gilmore’s late-in-life lesbianism, but let’s just focus on fixing up the tragedies first. I’m not saying they rewrite history — although I personally don’t think season seven should even count as canon *deep breath* — but showrunners do now get the chance to retroactively correct some injustices.
Here are just a few:
The rise and fall of Lane Kim is the greatest tragedy in Gilmore Girls. One could say it’s almost Shakespearian in its juxtaposition between expectation and horrifying delivery — and delivery is definitely an intended pun.
As Rory’s best friend, Lane provided a fascinating side story to the main drama. Growing up under the repressive regime of Mrs Kim’s Christian Korean household, it was hard not to root for a young girl who just wanted to play rock music without being excommunicated from her family. In many ways, Lane’s story was a parallel to Lorelei’s life: an alternate universe in which she stays in the Gilmore household, doesn’t get pregnant at 16, and her mum is less of a high society snob and more of a super religious Korean woman.
As the years pass and Lorelei almost gets married about 400 times, we watch as Lane starts drumming for the excellent Hep Alien and dating boys in secret. Then, when it all comes out, she’s thrown out of Mrs Kim’s house. But surprise! Somehow Mrs Kim and Lane are able to come to an understanding and their two dramatically different values systems are reconciled. Lane is free to date Zach, the dopey lead singer of her band, play music, and tour all with the help and grudging approval of her mother. It’s a miracle! Then Lane and Zach get married after Lane finds that she’s inexplicably absorbed some of her mother’s puritanism and decides to not have pre-marital sex.
This is where season six delivers its harsh injustice. Lane and Zach finally, finally have sex on their awful honeymoon, and it’s bad. It’s sad, because in so many ways she’s been looking forward to this for her whole life, but instead it’s uncomfortable and there’s sand and she’s turned off by the whole experience. This is nothing too new for a first-time story, but then, before she can even try again, she becomes pregnant with twins. She’s like… 21 and pregnant with twins. She had sex once, and is pregnant with twins. No more rock music. No more sex. She’s stuck in the same tiny town she was born in. With twins. It’s a goddamn nightmare.
So here’s how we fix it: Zach becomes a stay-at-home dad. He’s a deadbeat anyway so it’s not like he was going to get a good job or anything. Lane can then reunites with her excellent band and becomes a famous drummer. She spends her time making lots of money on tour. She meets rock stars and interesting people and travels all over the place. She also has a rotation of casual lovers in various cities, none of whom make her accidentally pregnant. When she visits California she can even hook up with Dave aka Seth Cohen aka Adam Brody.
2. Let Michel Discover His True Self
Now, a person’s sexuality is their own business. I hate that kind of nosey evangelical prying into people’s lives where, for one reason or another, a person is decided to be closeted and the mob decrees they should come out. I also particularly detest the lazy stereotyping that leads to this kind of claim — just because Michel is a confirmed bachelor, loves dancing, and is an insane Celine Dion fan, does not mean he is a secret queer. I am queer, and I like none of those things. Well, Celine Dion is pretty amazing.
That said, can we pleeeeeaaaaaaase have one queer person in Stars Hollow? Pretty please? This show is lousy when it comes to representation, and honestly, despite everything I just said, Michel would be great. Slyly hinting at it in later seasons doesn’t cut it. It makes it worse. It makes it seem unmentionable. It shouldn’t be taboo. Also, Michel turning up to the inn with a fabulous, dapper older man who dotes on him would be the best storyline ever:
“Lorelei,” he says, gesturing towards the silver fox. “This ees my lover, Lord Jeremy Gaycharacter. Eesn’t he handsome? Now we must run, we have booked a spin class.”
“Oh,” she says, wide-eyed, clutching her mug of coffee looking towards Sookie with a frozen smile.
Not only would this actually give Michel a real storyline, it would also force Lorelei to confront the thousands of mildly homophobic statements she makes throughout the series. Peach coloured shirts aren’t gay, Lorelei. Only people are gay. And also some dogs.
3. Have More Than One Black Person
This one isn’t hard. Apart from Michel (who is French) there are no credited black characters on Gilmore Girls, and certainly no African Americans. There is no reason for this apart from an awful systemic racism at the heart of network TV culture.
This is also the easiest goddamn thing to fix in the entire world. My nomination is for the new series to feature an African American guy as Rory’s new paramour. That’s basically it. There’s no real need or reason to flesh this out further. It’s just simple representation. Maybe she met him when she was working on Obama’s campaign? Or, you know, literally anywhere else. Some free ideas: a street, a coffee shop, an aquarium. Perhaps he is a nice person. Perhaps he is not. Oh, the many options. Maybe he is Donald Glover?
4. Revenge For Sookie St James
Oh dear. This one is going to be harder because Melissa McCarthy hasn’t actually been asked to be a part of the revival for some godforsaken reason, but let’s just hope and pray. Sookie is another remarkably fecund woman on this show, and after her second accidental (but not exactly unexpected child) she orders her husband, Jackson, to get a vasectomy. When I say ordered, I mean she basically ambushed him at the hospital with two large orderlies and marched him into surgery.
Originally I was horrified at this. I hate the idea of anyone having ownership of another person’s body, even married couples, or maybe especially married couples. But I later found out that a vasectomy isn’t a permanent operation like I thought, and it was a fairly reasonable request for Sookie to retain ownership over her own fertility.
Long story short, he didn’t go and get it — which I suppose is his right — but then he lied to her, and knocked her up again. That is definitely not his right, and is frankly goddamn horrifying. What a horrible garbage person.
It is very clear that Jackson needs to accidentally geld himself with pruning shears in this new season.
5. Complete The Arc For Christopher Hayden
This is the one that conflicts me the most. Unlike a lot of people, I like Christopher. I think he’s handsome and funny, and I find his relationship with Lorelei to be quite convincing.
I think they take the relationship way too far in season seven — like everything in season seven, it becomes farcical — but he’s everything that Luke isn’t. He’s fun, he communicates, he understands Lorelei. Sure, he’s sometimes massively over-sensitive like every other man on Gilmore Girls. But when he does something bad, he gets over it. He looks like a puppy that just got caught eating a block of chocolate, but then he actually understands and moves on.
But there’s another reason for all this praise: he has a damn good arc. Christopher left Lorelei to raise Rory on her own as a 16-year-old teen mum. A lot of that was her decision and yes he was a 16-year-old boy, but still, he left. Throughout the series, he starts atoning for that. He gradually makes amends, working with greater levels of maturity. And then, he’s left as the sole parent of his new daughter, Gigi (or GG, short for Gilmore Girls?????). Finally, he begins to understand a fraction of what Lorelei went through, and what makes her so strong and amazing. He has finally matured enough to be an adequate companion for Lorelei (but never her equal)!
Unfortunately, then his random grandad dies and leaves him a few million dollars completely invalidating that whole learning experience. Now he just shoves money at a host of childcare support.
I have no real idea how to fix this, but the best idea I can come up includes him being shipwrecked on an island for about three years with two or three toddlers. Here, he has to somehow feed them and raise them while waiting for rescue, also maybe some wealthy game hunters come to the island and hunt him for sport. That’ll do.
6. Kill April Nardini
April Nardini was introduced in the sixth season as Luke Dane’s surprise love child, which is exactly as lame as it sounds.
April Nardini is often credited as the moment that Gilmore Girls jumped the shark, stealing the focus of the show from the established characters for an easily digested soap opera style storyline. A lot of this backlash could come from the fact that her main role is also breaking up Luke and Lorelei, a pairing that many fans — much like the residents of Stars Hollow — were rabid about. She’s also a bubbly pre-teen girl, which is a fairly easy character to hate. On a side note, I have just realised this entire article may be about my horror of ever having children. Anyway, MOVING ON.
I have a weird relationship with the character of Luke. He annoys me. I find him to be a giant baby. I hate baseball caps. But I actually love him in the show. Perhaps he annoys me because he’s such a buzzkill and I recognise that in myself. Sometimes I lie awake at night, knowing that with only the smallest wrong step in my life, I could end up as a Luke.
But he really didn’t need a goddamn lovechild. It’s a stupid storyline, and it’s a weird double-down of his earlier arc where he ends up raising his surly yet beautiful nephew, Jess. The great thing about this storyline however is that it has THE EASIEST FIX KNOWN TO MAN. The entire reveal of April Nardini is based on the fact that she, a 12-year-old scientific prodigy, does a DNA test for a science fair to discover who her dad is. It ends up being Luke… but nobody actually checks.
In the revival, please please please let her need a blood transfusion or a new leg or something and then Luke tries to donate his blood/leg and the doctor’s are like “sorry dude, looks like you shouldn’t rely on pre-teen science, she is not your daughter. According to our records, her father is the Zodiac Killer.” Simple. Solved.
The Gilmore Girls revival series will premiere on Netflix some time this year.
Patrick Lenton is a writer of theatre and fiction. He blogs at The Spontaneity Review and tweets inanity from @patricklenton.