When we last saw Rory and Lorelai Gilmore it was 2007 and the fast-talking mother-daughter duo were chatting over late night coffees at Luke's Diner. The final episode of Gilmore Girls (or so we thought) aired at a more hopeful time, when Barack Obama was on the cusp of becoming President, and Rory was about to depart on the campaign trail, following the candidate as a budding journalist in the press pool. She had an anxious excitement upon her departure—"I'm like, panic-attack nervous," she told Lane as she left Stars Hollow on her last-minute assignment.
Meanwhile, Lorelai and Christopher's marriage had just ended as quickly as it began, and it became very clear that despite him being a jerk, Luke is the one meant to be with Lorelai. "I just... like to see you happy," he tells her in the final moments of the episode.
Now, nine years later, we're getting four new 90-minute episodes of the show (hitting Netflix this Friday, November 25). When its return was announced late last year, my immediate excitement was followed with dread, assuming the preserved-in-the-past version that viewers remembered fondly was far preferable to a zombie revival this late in the game. I was recently granted access to two of the four episodes, however, and am happy to report back that it's FINE. Totally serviceable, delivering a comforting dose of saccharine we all need right about now. The show is actually exactly the same, right where we left it, dusted off and sprinkled with new pop culture references.
The revival's easygoing familiarity is hard to resist, even if it doesn't come off as special enough for a celebrated 4-episode return. The new episodes play out like average episodes of the show when it ran, not like a television "event." It really is exactly the same show, though, so if you loved it the first time around, you'll love it now—thanks in part to almost every single cast member, big and small, returning. This includes everyone from Gil (and all of Hep Alien!) to Kirk (complete with a new short film) to GAZEBO (still so picturesque) to Paul Anka (the dog) to all of the townspeople and main players. And all of those people have exactly the same flaws, perfections, and insecurities they had the last time you saw them.
We reenter Stars Hollow in Winter (the four episodes each represent a different season, starting there). While the 2016 election season proved to be a goddam nightmare for us in the real world, its results able to shatter whatever hope Rory witnessed following the Obama campaign all those years ago, it hasn't broken through the snow globe that is Stars Hollow. Since it was filmed before the results came in this year, it allows you to step into a better time and huff the nostalgia for a while. The show is fueled by real-life references, but the T word is never mentioned—instead, we get banter laden with Brooklyn-speak: Lena Dunham, Cronuts, Uber, Roy Choi, David Chang, Goop, Marie Kondo, and so on.
What's Rory doing now? Where's Logan? Are Luke and Lorelai married? WILL LORELAI EVER BE HAPPY? What is happening in Stars Hollow after all this time? I signed something saying I wouldn't tell you... but I wouldn't want to tell you anyway. The show will hit Netflix the day after Thanksgiving, and it's going to be the perfect comfort programming to binge for hours that day. Why spoil that? I will tell you that there's a brief, insignificant moment where you'll see a glogg stand in Stars Hollow—so if you want to theme it up, make some mulled wine for your viewing party.