Plus: Alexis Bledel says answers are coming about Rory's love life
After announcing a premiere date and revealing a trailer for the upcoming Gilmore Girls revival on Wednesday, stars Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham joined series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino on stage for their TCA panel, during which they discussed what fans can expect when they revisit Stars Hollow.
According to Graham, a revival had been a topic of discussion since the day the show wrapped filming on season 7. (Sherman-Palladino famously left the show, along with her husband, executive producer Daniel Palladino, at the end of the sixth season.)
“We’ve been talking about it since the day the old show ended,” Graham said. “The first step was: Is there willingness? If we could make it happen, would we?”
Yet, when it came time to actually film the revival, it wasn’t easy to get the band back together. “Literally until the night before we were filming, I don’t think we had everybody,” Graham continued. “We’ve been talking about it for so, so, so long. That was part of the relief and joy of actually getting to do it. It’s almost like it just worked out the way it was supposed to.”
Sherman-Palladino added: “This is its own thing. When we left Gilmore, we left Gilmore. There was no Netflix. When Netflix popped up and decided to storm the world and take over, we thought what a great opportunity to delve into a different form, to tell stories in a different way using beloved characters we loved. To get back in a room with these three actors and go at it again but in a completely different way. It wasn’t about how it ended. There was no grand master plan.”
And when it came to reinhabiting the character of Lorelai Gilmore, Graham says it was a welcome challenge — if she would even call it a challenge. “It was literally like no time had passed. It was not difficult,” she said. “It was exhilarating. It was the old show. There was no sense of having to resuscitate something. It was meant to continue.”
Graham said that returning to the fast-paced dialogue was a welcome change following her time on NBC’s heartfelt Parenthood. “It’s my favorite thing to do,” she said of the show’s signature dialogue. “It’s my favorite part of this show. I was actually craving this structured, slightly more theatrical, elevated [speech]. It just feels like such a perfect fit. None of that was challenging.”
In terms of story, the revival is simply the next stage of life for Lorelai and Rory. “It’s not a story about a little girl anymore who is in high school,” Graham said. “It’s a story about a young woman and the struggles that she faces.”
Sherman-Palladino added: “You’re never going to run out of conflict. Suddenly, they can have cocktails together. They can sit, eat and drink, and talk about s—.”
Speaking to the love lives of their characters, Alexis Bledel said, “All of [Rory’s] ex-boyfriends make an appearance in these chapters in one way or another. People’s questions are answered by the end of it.”
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As for Lorelai, Graham promised that, “She does have a love life.” However, for Graham, this revival is more about something else. “To me, one of the aspects of this show that felt the same but different, in the wake of losing Ed [Herrmann], it was also part of our story that we were telling was the journey of how everyone is recovering. That gave the show a depth and an emotional complexity that felt to me like here’s the show grown up even more. I mention that because it plays into all the choices the characters are making. Through dealing with that, she makes some decisions.”
Last but not least, the panel touched on the series’ final four words, which Sherman-Palladino has remained tight-lipped about for years. And even now, she encourages viewers not to skip ahead to find out what they are. “It would be great if people who wanted to see the last four words first got some therapy before it actually aired and got rid of that inclination,” Sherman-Palladino said. “It really is a journey leading up to those last four words. It’s going to mean a lot more if you go on the journey. It’s going to mean lot less if you flip to that last page.”
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life hits Netflix on November 25.
— Reporting by Natalie Abrams