For fans, the Gilmore Girls revival means getting the ending that series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino always intended. It means finding out if Luke and Lorelai get their happily ever after or if Rory ends up with any of her exes. And, of course, it means finally hearing those final four words. But for the actors, returning to Stars Hollow was about more than just getting answers.
“When a show ends, I never expect it to come back around,” Milo Ventimiglia tells EW. “I accept it and I move on. For me personally, it’s less about stepping back into Jess’s jacket and more about, I get to speak Amy and Dan’s [Palladino] words one more time. That’s the stuff that’s exciting to me, where I get to play a scene with Scott [Patterson] or a scene with Alexis [Bledel]. The audiences want something story-driven. For me, it’s a reunion.”
This time around, because of the scheduling of it all, the cast had more time to prepare for their return to Stars Hollow — which hadn’t changed much, by the way. “It was really surreal to step back into it because there were certain things that seemed like time had kind of stood still,” Bledel says of returning to set.
Patterson adds: “It was like coming home, but to kind of a new and improved Stars Hollow, actually. It was prettier. Luke’s diner seemed bigger. I know it was the same size, but everything seemed newer and brighter. Everything seemed to sparkle.”
The set wasn’t the only thing that sparkled. Now eight years removed from the show that started it all, the cast was able to really appreciate what it was they were doing (and also not stress as much). “It was actually more fun and more relaxed shooting the revival than it was when we originally shot so many years ago,” Keiko Agena says. “The vibe was celebratory, and I think everybody that was involved was happy to be involved and happy to work hard to bring a product that we hope people will really like and is worth all of the attention.”
That’s the big question: Will Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life be as good as fans are hoping? Has all the hype been worth it? Well, if all we have to go on is the chemistry on set, Matt Czuchry doesn’t think fans will have a problem. “[Filming] was a really unique feeling in terms of it felt, on one hand, like this is completely brand new, but we had never left,” Czuchry says. “The chemistry is there. It’s the right timing, and there is magic to be found within these stories, and I think fans will feel that when they see it.”
Watch EW Reunites: Gilmore Girls here now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS, and Android devices.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix on Friday, Nov. 25.