Netflix’s hotly-anticipated “Gilmore Girls” revival series, “A Year in the Life,” won’t premiere until November 25, but fans are already anticipating the mythic final four words that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has had planned for the end of the show since its original run.
During the show’s Television Critics Association panel on Wednesday, Sherman-Palladino addressed concerns that some spoiler-hungry watchers might skip to the end of the series and ruin the surprise for other viewers on social media. “It would be great if people who wanted to see the last four words first got some therapy before it aired and got rid of those inclinations,” she said, noting that the build-up to those final four words is “a journey. It’s going to mean a lot more if you’ve taken the journey, it’s going to mean a lot less if you flip to the last page first… I would hope people would want to take the whole trip.”
Sherman-Palladino and her husband, fellow writer and executive producer Dan Palladino, declined to address the future of the show beyond Netflix’s four 90-minute installments, although star Scott Patterson noted, “who knows, it could keep going and going and going, as long as we all go to the gym and stay in shape.”
“This is what it is right now,” Sherman-Palladino insisted. “We put these together, we told these stories, and now we throw them out to the universe.” She said that the revival series wasn’t a response to Season 7, which was produced without the involvement of her or Palladino.
“This is its own thing, when we left ‘Gilmore,’ we left ‘Gilmore.’ There was no Netflix, and when Netflix decided to storm the world and take over overnight, we thought what a great opportunity to delve into a different form, to tell stories in a different way,” she said. “It wasn’t about how we ended, there was no grand master plan. [On Netflix] we could do a billion minutes, because we have a lot of words; you’re writing not to commercials or to sell tampons or soap… you’re writing just to tell stories, it was such an exciting challenge in form.”
Palladino agreed, “When it hit Netflix, a whole new generation of people started talking to us about the show, and I don’t think we would’ve wanted to bring back anything that resembled a traditional series… Four 90 minute chapters, taking place over the course of a year — in the old days, there would’ve been no outlet for this.”
The creator and stars addressed the controversy over Melissa McCarthy’s involvement, when it initially appeared that the “Ghostbusters” star wouldn’t be able to appear in the series due to scheduling and took to social media to say that she hadn’t been invited back.
“We love her; we always knew – amongst us and amongst her, we knew we were going to figure it out,” Sherman-Palladino said. “Everybody wants everybody to hate each other. It’s an age of ugliness and how do we stir up bad feelings, and it got this weird sheen on it.”
Star Lauren Graham revealed that McCarthy came to film “on one of our last days, and it was incredible,” admitting that if for some reason the scheduling hadn’t worked out, “we would’ve felt a gap in what we were trying to do. We had an incredible time and it just made it perfect — even more perfect than it already was.”
Graham and her fellow Gilmore girl, Alexis Bledel, agreed that revisiting Lorelai and Rory felt like “no time had passed.”
“It was easy, it was joyous, it was fun, it was exhilarating, it was the old show, there was no sense of having to resusiciate something,” Graham said, admitting that she didn’t have any trouble slipping back into the Gilmores’ rapid-fire dialogue. “It’s my favorite thing to do, it’s my favorite part of this show.”
Rory and Lorelai’s love lives have always been a key part of the show, but the actresses weren’t allowed to give away any specifics on the panel.
“She does have a love life, not all the questions have been answered,” Graham said of her character’s romantic journey. “In the wake of losing Ed [Hermann, who played Richard Gilmore and died in 2014], it was also part of our story that we were telling, how everyone’s recovering, and that gave the show a depth and emotional complexity that just felt like ‘here’s the show grown up’ that plays into all the choices the characters are making. In dealing with that, she makes some decisions [romantically].”
Bledel confirmed that all three of Rory’s former paramours — Dean (Jared Padalecki), Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) and Logan (Matt Czuchry) — will reappear, and “it was great to work with all of them. All of people’s questions will questions will be answered, but we can’t answer them today.”
Rory and Lorelai haven’t changed much, Sherman-Palladino promises, but there has definitely been a shift in their dynamic with time. “The s–t in your family never gets worked out, but that’s what’s so great about family… you’re never gonna run out of conflict, even as you evolve,” she said. “What was cool about writing for these two, it wasn’t a high school girl and her mom, it’s two women… they can have cocktails together, they can sit and drink and talk about s–t. Family, for a writer, is the gift that keeps on giving.”
For Sherman-Palladino, the most monumental change was the way that the revival came about. “I feel like we got to do it together… This time, we would talk and we were all in contact, it felt like we got to sit and say ‘do we want to go on this journey together?’ For me, there will be nothing else in my career like what we got to do.”