The final four words spoken in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” had better be good.
The Netflix revival series has only been a couple years in the making, but the original show’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has known how she wanted it to end since 2006. After a fateful reunion panel at the Austin Television Festival in 2015, the fan reaction was so fervent that the revival had to happen. When the Netflix deal came along, Sherman-Palladino finally got her wish to work those four words into a final farewell script.
Alexis Bledel, as the bookworm-turned-journalist Rory Gilmore, felt the weight of those years and fans’ expectations while shooting the scene, in which she may or may not be the one uttering those final words.
“I felt a lot of pressure to try to get it right, to make it awesome,” she told a group of reporters in late July. “More than anything I was trying to be really focused and really present, just to make sure that whatever I did in the scene felt rooted in my experience of the character and I was communicating something that felt real to me.”
“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” will be released in four 90-minute episodes that correspond to the following seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. The series will pick up 10 years after Rory left to cover the Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. She’s back in Stars Hollow to reunite with her mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and grandmother (Kelly Bishop) six months after the death of her grandfather Richard (Edward Herrmann, who passed away in 2014).
At the Television Critics Association press tour during the summer, Sherman-Palladino acknowledged that Netflix’s binge model of releasing all four parts simultaneously could tempt fans to skip to the end to find out the final four words and then reveal them on the internet.
“You know, 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, because it really is a journey leading up to the last four words,” she said. “And I do think that it’s going to mean a lot more if you’ve taken the journey, and it’s going to mean a lot less if you just flip to the last page. That being said, what can I do? I would hope that people would want to take the whole trip. It’s a fun trip. It’s worth it. There’s peanuts.”
Sherman-Palladino had even implored Netflix not to release the four parts at the same time, to no avail. With the signature hyperbole that tinged the classic “Gilmore Girls” dialogue, she said, “I told them I was going to hang myself from a shower curtain if they put them all out.
And they said, ‘Well, okay. Can we help you with that? Because we have really nice shower curtains here.’… However, you know, you don’t always get what you want. Trust me. I don’t have the ass I want. I didn’t get to put them out separately. It happens. But the good outweighs the bad in the sense that this is a wonderful place to be able to create things and do things in a different way. So, you know, shower curtain will wait.”
Once those final four words are uttered though, is that the end of “Gilmore Girls” forever?
“These four are the story we wanted to tell,” Sherman-Palladino told reporters later in a roundtable. “These four were not set up to be anything other than what they are. Again, in the world of family, in the world of life, it’s never-ending.”
Fellow executive producer Dan Palladino added, “It’s not like, ‘Here come the aliens.’ I can tell you that’s not what it it. It’s not like SkyNet is hovering over Stars Hollow. I can tell you that much. I can tell you it’s very organic, what happens at the end.”
All four 90-minute installments of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” will debut on Nov. 25 on Netflix.