Rory and Lorelai have returned for the Netflix Gilmore Girls revival, and so far the jury is divided. We asked our writers to comment on the new season, and their responses ranged from nostalgic to disappointed. Here’s what they had to say:

WARNING: SPOILERS

The most impressive aspect of Gilmore Girls is its ability to effortlessly extend beyond the confines of the television screen, something I realized when I burst into tears during my morning commute down College Street thinking about Richard Gilmore and, by extension, the late Edward Herrmann.

I originally started watching Gilmore Girls when my sister discovered that I’d been avoiding my high school cafeteria during lunch. At the time, I didn’t have any friends and was scared of eating alone.

“Rory Gilmore ate lunch alone,” my sister said. “In the show, she sat by herself with a book, a Walkman, and earphones.”

So I did too, and I ended up wanting to learn more about the elusive Rory Gilmore.

The original Gilmore Girls provided characters with nuanced depth, complexity, and humour unparalleled by anything I have experienced on television. My nostalgia for the series extends to the whimsy and romanticism of small town life, emotionally-engaging plot lines, and well-grounded characters that have been my personal source of inspiration. Experiencing Rory’s contagious ambition and determination is the reason I attend the University of Toronto today.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, like myself, is older and more mature than the original series. It feels like a much-needed response to the original series’ optimism and charm. Where Rory’s transition from adolescence to adulthood informed most of my investment in the original series, watching the three title characters deal with hardship and adjustment in the midst of adulthood is especially emotionally-resonant with me today. As a student currently going through a postsecondary school slump, it was especially important to watch Rory go through a similar experience in being unable to find passion and success in her career. The development of Emily and Lorelai seeking emotional catharsis in the wake of Richard’s death, as well as Rory’s personal struggle, are pillars of the revival and reminiscent of what made the original series compelling.

One of the biggest criticisms of the revival is its lack of conclusion, especially involving Rory, who is revealed to be pregnant in the final scene. I choose to view this as more a feature than a bug. Gilmore Girls is not a densely plotted narrative with a defined introduction and conclusion. Throughout its run, it flowed like real life, defied most narrative conventions, and stayed effortlessly relatable and resonant with its audience. Though we won’t necessarily see them unfold, we are still left to believe that these characters’ stories continue. And that’s okay.

— Avneet Sharma

Any Gilmore Girls fans hoping for closure from the Netflix revival got everything but. The infamous last four words creator Amy Sherman-Palladino had always planned for the series, in which Rory tells her mother that she is pregnant, left me in awe. That final scene leaves ends untied and the future of many characters up in the air. Although, in a funny way, with those words the seven season mother-daughter tale came full circle back to where their story began.

From old friends to exes, Rory’s past comes back in a big way to play a significant role in her future plans. The series begins with eagerly anticipating a new man in her life. I was disappointed with Paul, the boyfriend no one remembers, who is ultimately as irrelevant as the excessive musical number. However, her unexpected return to Logan definitely adds desired plot twists and intrigue, including the perfectly executed Life and Death Brigade return scene soundtracked to the Beatles’ classic. Also, as someone who’s always rooted for her relationship with Jess, his return came at the perfect time with the exact advice Rory needed to hear.

As for the other Gilmore ladies, it seemed to me that their stories take the back seat of the revival; however, they are appropriately closed. Emily, after creating a dramatic kerfuffle only she could, settles in her new life path, with Lorelai also finding her place finally being married to Luke and expanding her business to something that would’ve made her father proud. The Netflix special most importantly kept true to the show’s charm and humour, adding modern gags like Luke’s false Wi-Fi passwords and the ‘thirty-something group.’ Following the loose ending, my future hopes for the series absolutely include a possible movie or at least the release of Rory’s must-read book.

— Sasha Rakkar

I can accept most of the dumb stuff that happens in Gilmore Girls simply because it is Gilmore Girls, and there was plenty of dumb stuff to accept in A Year in the Life. Gilmore Girls is the television equivalent of comfort food; I hear Carole King’s voice and my brain turns to mush and honestly, I’m okay with that.

I have a lot of strong opinions about the revival’s handling of various characters, subplots, and handling of situations, most of which are negative, but at the end of the day, I still really liked the revival. Why? Because it took me back to the place of comfort and simplicity, which is all that I ask for when it comes to the show.

I think the reason so many people love Gilmore Girls is its nostalgia-factor. I, for one, have so many memories attached to watching the series — and I was a late adopter too — that I can only imagine how meaningful this revival would be to someone who grew up with this show.

I thought the anticipation surrounding the revival was only going to serve to let people down when they tuned in and saw that Rory wasn’t with their favourite guy or their favourite character didn’t have a good enough plot, but ultimately, that proved to not matter.

Rory is still a brat, Lorelai is still impossibly annoying, Paris and Emily are still the best characters ever written, and the suitors are all still mad dreamy. I didn’t really care what I was watching, I just cared that I was watching it; it made me feel the same way as before, and I was back in Stars Hollow.

— Elspeth Arbow

Those who know me are likely familiar with my under-the-breath comments, my sarcasm, and the lightning speed at which I seem to do everything. A significant portion of that can be attributed to the influences that shaped how I grew up. I spent a large amount of time during my middle school years watching Gilmore Girls, and to this day I continue to believe it had a strong transformative impact on me. Lorelei and Rory speak their own secret language, a rapid-fire banter peppered with pop culture references and twisted little inside jokes — their method pervaded my own teenage perceptions of the world and the manner in which I expressed myself to others.

Watching the Gilmore Girls revival was an uncanny experience, an eerie mix of nostalgia and self-reflection. I found my mind wandering back to my middle school days, longing to connect with Lorelai and Rory in the same ways as I had when I was younger. At the same time, as I saw how the characters had grown since I had come to know them, I could see a little bit of myself reflected within them. Lorelai’s reluctance to settle down reflects my own skepticism about love and relationships, while Rory’s seeming lack of direction toward her once-solid career aspirations reflects my deepest fears. I did not grow up in small-town America, I did not attend private school, and I am not at an Ivy League college. Nevertheless, the Gilmore universe connects to me on a personal level and somehow makes me feel as if I am a part of it.

— Teodora Pasca

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