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Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was a little emotional at Friday’s Los Angeles premiere for the show’s highly anticipated revival, but it wasn’t entirely for the reason most would expect.
“If I happen to get emotional, it’s just the impending apocalypse, don’t worry about it,” she told the crowd. “It will pass in four years.”
But even post-election fatigue couldn’t dampen the spirits in the room at Westwood’s Fox Bruin Theater at the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In addition to the nearly 25 new and returning actors in attendance, Sherman-Palladino and her husband, executive producer and director Dan Palladino, were joined by throngs of die-hard Gilmore Girls fans who had waited at least four hours to score a coveted seat at the premiere screening.
“Thank you all for being here and for giving a shit,” said Sherman-Palladino. “It’s always nice because you walk into Warner Bros., and then you walk into Netflix, and you do a big tap dance, and you say, ‘They’re gonna come!’ And then you think, ‘What if they don’t come?!’ “
Sherman-Palladino later teared up as she thanked the cast, specifically her Gilmore girls: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop. “Frankly, without this cast, you can write anything you want, but if that person isn’t there to make it real, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
The revival comes nine years after the original series, which aired first on The WB and then later on The CW, was canceled in 2007. The beloved family drama gained a new generation of viewers when all seven seasons became available on Netflix in October 2014, and talks started with the streamer about reviving the project after the cast reunited at the 2015 ATX Television Festival and were, once again, met with fervent fan reaction. As Sherman-Palladino said, “Netflix, thank you for taking over the world.”
Netflix vp content Cindy Holland referenced the show’s beloved theme song when discussing the company’s early meetings with the Palladinos. “We happily said, ‘Wherever they lead, we will follow,’ ” she recalled.
The Netflix revival will roll out Nov. 25, consisting of four 90-minute installments divided into seasons, beginning with “Winter” and ending with “Fall.” Sherman-Palladino praised the freedom Netflix provides when discussing the new chapter. “[It’s] being able to veer off into left field a little bit more than you can do when you’re on network TV, and, luckily, they didn’t stop us. They still might; it hasn’t happened yet.”
However, for the many beloved Stars Hollow residents who were in attendance on Friday, there was one notably absent face: Edward Herrmann, who portrayed Richard Gilmore for all 154 episodes of the original series. The actor died in December 2014, before the ATX reunion and talks for the revival even began.
Herrmann’s daughter Ryan Herrmann was in attendance Friday to pay homage to her father and what she said he called his “second family” on the show. “It’s bittersweet,” she said. “Just to see how the show has continued to just revive itself among new generation that weren’t even born when it originally started, its pretty incredible.”
Herrmann’s presence is still felt heavily in the four new episodes as the Gilmore women deal with the character’s death. “I have to say, it is incredible the way that they’ve honored him,” she said. “A lot of times people just get written off or they pass away and that’s it, but the way that they wrote him into all the episodes, it just says a lot about him.”
With less than a week before the four new chapters are released, questions already have begun about whether there will be more new Gilmore Girls beyond A Year in the Life. Sherman-Palladino and Palladino, who wrote, directed and exec produced all four new episodes by themselves, are keeping that door open.
“It takes a journey,” said Palladino. “There is some closure, but life goes on, so there’s no neat wrap-up in everything that we ever write, whether it’s Gilmore Girls or any other project because life is …”
“Messy,” interjected Sherman-Palladino.
— Kate Stanhope (@katestanhope) November 19, 2016
Following the screening of the first episode, “Winter,” guests including Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, Jason Ritter and Virginia Madsen made their way to UCLA’s Dickson Court for the afterparty. The Festival of the Four Seasons, which will continue throughout the weekend at UCLA, included pop-up versions of Stars Hollow favorites like Luke’s Diner and Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe, where guests enjoyed coffee and desserts including, yes, Pop-Tarts, in addition to themed cocktails including The Rory and Miss Patty’s Founder’s Day Punch.
— Kate Stanhope (@katestanhope) November 19, 2016
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix on Nov. 25.
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