The Warner Archive November 28, 2017 Blu-ray release of the 2016 Netflix series "Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life" warrants a "Oh My Star's Hollow" both from fans of the original 2000-2006 CW dramedy about the adventures of former unwed teen mother Lorelai Gilmore and her currently teen daughter Rory (a.k.a. New Lorelai) in the aforementioned quirky small Connecticut town.
The nicest thing about this very good reboot is that it partially redeems Netflix for releasing the unwatchable "Fuller House." On a larger level, "Gilmore" arguably is no more worthy of additional stories than "Full House" (or "Will & Grace"), but the viewing public is better off for it.
"Life" winning the top "binge-watched" spot on Netflix further verifies that this "Downton Abbey" (i.e., a (mostly) well-done series with something for everyone) is "Must-See."
Having watched episodes both directly on Netflix and on Blu-ray allows emphatically asserting that buying the Blu-ray is well-worth it. The primary issue is that any streaming service can remove any content from the site anytime for any reason. Beyond that, the resolution and the sound on Blu-ray are light years beyond their streaming counterparts. Further, fastforwarding, reversing, and pausing on a Blu-ray are much easier than doing the same regarding streaming content.
The following YouTube clip of the Netflix "Life" trailer" offers an extended glimpse of the specialness of the series.
Much of the success of "Life" is attributable to creator/showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino and virtually the rest of the creative team and the cast being back. A notable aspect of the latter is seeing 13-season "Supernatural" veteran Jared Padalecki abandon his dark, brooding, and violent Sam Winchester persona from that series to play goofy and sweet former Rory boyfriend/first Dean.
Fans of broad (pun intended) crude and physical comedy will be equally thrilled to see "Girls" star Melissa McCarthy show up to play chef/Lorelai BFF Sookie. Folks who are not fans of the reinvented persona of McCarthy will delight in seeing her return to her kinder and gentler roots.
Sherman-Palladino borrows from the larger theme of the changing of the seasons and the dramedy film and sitcom "The Four Seasons" in dividing "Year" into four roughly 90-minute episode that revolve around the aforementioned cycles.
"Winter" immediately starts off strongly with the rapid-fire pop-culture laden dialog for which "Girls" is known. Lorelai greets 32 year-old Rory with a rambling welcome/guilt trip regarding a one-night visit on a break from the hectic freelance journalism career of this Eli.
This episode establishes that a decade has not brought many changes for the eccentric residents of Star's Hollow, who are fortunate to live in a town in which they are loved despite their extreme oddities. Lorelai and long-term companion/grouchy diner owner Luke still live in the awesomely eclectic Victorian house of Lorelai and still have the adorable shaggy dog named Paul Anka.
A nod to the 2010s comes in the form of Luke advancing from banning cell phones in his restaurant to giving patrons inaccurate wifi passwords.
Meanwhile, town leader Taylor still is annoyingly pursuing a project that is designed to better the community; his current focus on converting the area from septic tanks to a sewer system includes relentlessly soliciting horror stories regarding inadequate plumbing systems.
Abrasive man of a thousand failed ventures Kirk is the proud father of a small pig, who is a gift from the town as a deterrent against this excitable boy pursuing his plans to father a child.
A real-life development in the interim between "Girls" and "Life" prompts arguably the biggest change among the supporting characters; the death of Edward Hermann, who pays formal but loving father/grandfather Richard Gilmore in "girls," sets the stage for a series-long adjustment period for widow Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop of "Dirty Dancing") in "Life."
Freshish off the success of a (oft-mentioned) New Yorker article about highly unstable eccentric Brit Naomi Shroposhire (Alex Kinsgton of "E.R." and "Doctor Who"), Rory is spending a great deal of time in London meeting with Shroposhire about a memoir of the life of that woman; these trips provide the bonus of booty calls with Yale-era boyfriend/blue-blood Logan Huntzberger despite Logan being engaged and Rory being in a "its complicated" relationship with hilariously forgettable boyfriend Paul.
"Spring" finds Rory still seeking stability in her life and Lorelai dealing with existential crises regarding the inn that she owns. The elder Gilmore wants to expand the business but literally is hemmed in on all sides; she additionally finds that not even a real-life celebrity chef (sadly not Connecticut-dwelling Martha Stewart) can fill the toque of Sookie in the hotel kitchen.
Adoration of Archive and regard for "girls" make characterizing the almost unwatchable third episode of "Life" as a "cruel, cruel summer" distressing. This one begins with mother and boomerang daughter lounging around the municipal pool making not very funny critical remarks about their fellow patrons of this public facility; reasons that this falls short are that neither reasonably attractive mother nor daughter are cover girls themselves and because it hardly as if they are at a fancy country club that the hoi polloi have invaded. Additionally, "girls" is based on the concept that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way.
"Summer" deserves further criticism for dusting off a sitcom chestnut and beating that concept to death. A town meeting in which Taylor discusses the community staging a play that summarizes the history of the community is amusing and includes the highlight of cast member Sally Struthers of "All in the Family" commenting about "B-List" actors.
The initial scenes from the play are amusing and a proper length; stretching the joke of bad actors performing dreadful material in a minimal budget production joke into at least 15 minutes (and seeming like much longer) is painful. Sherman-Palladino inflicts further harm in milking a subsequent critique scene into dust.
"Fall" nicely gets things back on track; an attempt at a film-inspired journey to achieve inner peace has a new-and-improved Lorelai mend her most recently broken fence with her mother and make peace with Rory following a very meta disagreement. This leads to a big episode ending event that is very true to the "Girls" spirit; the same is true regarding the highly surprising very last line that provides a cliffhanger.
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