April Barbe

I recently took a trip. It was a short trip, and I didn’t have to pack a bag for it. But I traveled so far, I could see worlds I once knew and new places I had always dreamed of going.

For fans of the popular former TV show “Gilmore Girls,” the day after Thanksgiving was a day to rejoice! On Nov. 25, Netflix released four new hour-and-a-half episodes titled "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" set nine years later (the original show ended its seven-year run in 2007).

Several of my friends binge-watched the six-hour event, with lots of junk food nearby, as required by “Gilmore Girl's” rules. I watched the four episodes during the course of three days, soaking it in a little at a time.

I will try not to include too many SPOILERS for my “Gilmore Girls” reading this. However, let me set the mood.

As I walked through the streets of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, it was as if I was home again. The streets were still calm, and the faces were friendly. The coffee was hot, and the burgers were juicy. I could almost smell the fresh flowers at the Dragonfly Inn, as the smell of Chinese food hung in the air at “Lorelai’s” place.

I let the past nine years of my life melt away as I re-entered the modern Mayberry-like town of Stars Hollow. It was truly like a warm hug from an old friend.

Beginning with classic witty banter between mother and daughter, “Lorelai” and “Rory Gilmore” (played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, respectively) started things off perfectly.

The fragmented sentences referencing old times and pop culture made my heart immediately smile. Business was the same as usual, despite an influx of laptop users, at Luke's Diner, and at first it felt like nothing had changed.

But every trip has its bumps in the road, and I soon discovered that this ride was not going to be an easy one.

First of all, let's have a moment of silence for Edward Herrmann who played the stoic “Richard Gilmore.” Herrman died Dec. 31, 2014. His death is written into the new season. (Silence)

... Now, a round of applause for actress Kelly Bishop who did an outstanding job with a difficult storyline. She embraced the role of a grieving widow and showed the positive life and family connections that can come after the death of a loved one. (Applause)

So, if you can't tell by now, I come to you somewhat distraught. “Stars Hollow” was a safe haven for so many years, but after watching the new episodes, it feels like even it cannot escape life's troubles.

Returning to the show at the age of 32, “Rory” has seemingly been floating through the world of journalism. She has seen some success as a freelancer, but she can't seem to find a place to fit in.

The problem I had with this was that she was traveling constantly between Stars Hollow and London. It was a little confusing, and I'm not sure how a few freelance jobs allowed her the financial means to travel so much, but I digress.

Many familiar faces graced the screen in the return of the popular TV show. My favorites was “Logan,” but I've always been on Team Logan. As pretentious as he is, I always felt he pushed “Rory” to do big and great things. And he always let her do her own thing, but he was also very protective of her.

We also saw “Rory's” ex-boyfriends, “Jess” and “Dean.” And she brought a new face to the scene, but he seemed to only be an afterthought ... she kept forgetting about him!

While I am on Team Logan, I didn't care for the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) he was cheating on his fiancée with “Rory.” I understand that “Rory's” now-more worldly lifestyle was necessary for the plot, but I found it very depressing. In her own mimicking words she “coulda been a contenda!”

OK, let's talk about a good relationship. Although, it took forever, (SPOILER ALERT) “Luke” and “Lorelai” finally have their day. For me, that was the one good thing about the new season. “Lorelai” finally got what she wanted, and it came with a fairytale twist, too!

Speaking of husband and wives, anybody else annoyed by the sudden cameo of “Mr. Kim?” He was an old toothless Korean man! That was not necessary. I think we accepted that plot hole a long time ago!

It was nice to hear “Hep Alien” again though! Albeit, depressing that they are still playing in their living room ... seriously?

My favorite “Gilmore Girls” star to see was “Paris Gellar.” She was exactly the same! Her storyline was very believable, and she did a great job reminding us why we loved her so much. Great job, Liza Weil.The quick cameo by now-successful screenwriter Danny Strong as “Doyle” was also cool. Melissa McCarthy also appeared (way-too briefly) as the lovable “Sookie.”

And for those who also watched Graham in her TV show “Parenthood,” her co-stars Mae Whitman, Peter Krause and Jason Ritter made cameos in two different episodes of the new “Gilmore Girls” offering.

There were many great performances, and it was fun to see everyone again.

However, there were a couple of scenes that could have been left out.

The biggest unnecessary scene was a Stars Hollow musical. Honestly, I had to fast forward through a little of it. It was long and tedious.

A few of my friends also did not care for the Death Brigade's march through town with “Logan.” I agree that it wasn't needed, but I actually found it entertaining. The lighting and choreography of the skit was very nicely done. Plus, again ... Team Logan.

I won't spoil the end for those who haven't had a chance yet to watch, but I will say this:

We all have our journey. Some journeys are easier than others. Some are fun. Some are sad. Most are complicated, and that's exactly what the journey of the “Gilmore Girls” is – a complicated tale of mothers and daughters who go through life's ups and downs together. And that is why, despite my disappointment about some of the journeys, I will always be a “Gilmore Girls” fan.

In omnia paratus! “You jump. I jump, Jack.”

April Barbe is the editor of the Progress; however, she is also a part-time screenwriter.

She has written and directed three short films and served as a casting director.

April has also worked as a production assistant, co-producer and publicist on feature films in Texas.

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