The highly anticipated Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is a few steps closer to fruition.
In addition to unveiling the premiere date and first promo for the forthcoming four-part event series, the executive producers and stars of the beloved series came to the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour Wednesday to discuss the revival.
“It was literally like no time had passed,” star Lauren Graham said. “It was not difficult. It was easy. It was joyous it was fun. It was exhilarating. It was the old show. There was no sense of having to resuscitate something. It was just like it was meant to continue.
“It just feels like such a perfect fit,” she continued. “I can’t believe I got to do it again.”
After months of speculation, Netflix officially ordered the four-part revival in January. Titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, the project is separated into four 90-minute installments called “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall.” The revival picks up eight years later after the season seven finale, which aired in 2007.
Scott Patterson praised the ATX Television Festival, which hosted a reunion for the show in 2015. “Fans were lined up around that venue all day in 100-degree heat,” said the actor. “ATX really drove it home to all parties involved that it could work.”
Added executive producer Dan Palladino: “We never would have thought to bring this back.”
The revival has been particularly sweet for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and Palladino. The two left the series at the end of season six over a contract dispute and did not return to write what was the series finale. The result was a final seventh season that loyal fans as well as critics found to be subpar compared to the rest of the series’ run. The revival allows the pair to write the final four words they had hoped to end the original series with, but were unable to.
“It really is a journey leading up to the last four words, and I think it’s going to mean a lot more if you take the journey,” Sherman-Palladino said. “I would hope that people would want to take the whole trip. It’s worth it.”
Part of the premiere date reveal Wednesday was that all four installments will be released on the same day, something Sherman-Palladino said she was against.
“I told them I was going to hang myself from a shower curtain if they put them all out,” she said jokingly. “They said, ‘Can we help you with that?'”
Sherman-Palladino said her main concern was that certain viewers would skip to the famous last four words and spoil it before other viewers had made it to the final scene.
“It’s such a journey and it’s such a build to the last four words,” she said. “However, you don’t always get what you want. … But the good outweighs the bad in the sense that it is a wonderful place to be able to create things and do things in a different way. So, shower curtain will wait.”
Otherwise, Palladino praised Netflix, saying the format was exactly what he and Sherman-Palladino pitched. “I don’t think we would have wanted to brought back anything that resumed the traditional series,” Palladino said. “Netflix was really open to a new format.”
As for the content of the new installments, a big part will be the passing of Richard Gilmore, written in following the death of the actor who portrayed him, Edward Herrmann. Graham said the series will show the character’s journey to recover from that loss that “plays into all the choices” the characters make. “One of the aspects of the show that felt the same but different but in the wake of losing Ed, which was and still is a great loss for us personally, it was also part of our story that we were telling,” she said. “That gave the show a depth and emotional complexity that just felt to me like here’s the show grown up. … Through dealing with that, [Lorelai] makes some decisions.”
Minus Herrmann, many others will return including Melissa McCarthy, who filmed a brief cameo after early reports surfaced that she had not been asked back for the revival. “We knew that we were going to figure it out. It just took on this weird life of its own,” Sherman-Palladino said. “It’s an age of ugliness and how do we stir up bad feelings and it got this weird sheen on it.”
Graham said it was easy to fall into a routine again with her TV BFF: “Had that not happened, it would have felt a gap in what we were trying to do. The fact that she got to come almost near the end and we had an incredible … it just made it perfect, even more perfect.”
So will this revival lead to another revival somewhere down the line? “This is its own thing,” Sherman-Palladino said coyly about the possibility of more episodes. “This is what it is right now. We put these together, we told these stories and now we throw them out to the universe.”
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life launches Nov. 25 on Netflix.