2016 has been a wild, wild ride for us all. And we would be remiss if we weren't to acknowledge that there's been a lot of shit that we didn't fuck with this year. So welcome to Complex Pop's annual Week of Disappointment where each day this week, one staffer will talk about their greatest disappointment of 2016.
Y'all, I can't even count how many times I've been disappointed by something this year. Even aside from all the real-life fuckshit that made 2016 singularly awful (we won't even go into that here), I can only think of a handful of movies, TV shows or albums that I truly loved. To be disappointed would imply that I had a semblance of an expectation, and I think at some point this year I learned to stop having high expectations—or any expectations.
But the holiday season fucked me over. I made the grave mistake of getting giddy about Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Netflix's revival of the series, even though I can't even think of a single example of a recent reboot that has impressed me in the slightest. I should have trusted my gut skepticism when I said the first full trailer came off a little too live, laugh, love, a little too pumpkin spice latte, but then the #important critics got their screeners, and I started seeing those tweets and reviews flood in about how the new Gilmore Girls was "worth the wait."
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life isn't the kind of bad you can just smash the mute button on and pretend it never happened, or vaguely blame on reboot culture in general; it's the kind of bad that makes you question your entire life as a Gilmore Girls stan.
And yeah okay, maybe I took it a little personally. I've always identified as a hard Rory Gilmore—even my mother said so on the phone the other day—but what I should have realized (and what my mother meant, because she's only seen, like, very early Gilmore Girls), is that I'm a hard season one Rory. When we finally caught up with her nine years after the show's first finale, we—the fans, the internet—collectively realized Rory Gilmore is actually the worst. She came back to her hometown of Stars Hollow as a more-entitled-than-ever, "I wrote for The New Yorker once," tap-dancing-as-stress-relief freak, still making the worst decisions when it comes to her love life. Not only does she constantly forget about her completely forgettable new boyfriend Paul, but she plays homewrecker to another ex (previously with Dean and this time with the about-to-be-engaged Logan) and at one point, I kid you not, she fucks a dude dressed as a Wookie while ON ASSIGNMENT—that's not just bad decision-making in the sack, it's totally unprofessional. Everything about the 2016 Rory Gilmore storyline made me feel sad and broken. Does Rory Gilmore even have friends anymore? Is she only Stars Hollow Gazette worthy now? And really, her big career epiphany at the end was that she should write a memoir called Gilmore Girls? (A little reality check here, Rory: WHO CARES??? Your life is not that fascinating.)
Aside from the jarring realization that Rory isn't aspirational at all, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life generally left a bad taste in my mouth. Like, I fully blacked out during that Stars Hollow musical number (even though I love you Sutton Foster), and I'm getting major second-hand embarrassment thinking about it again. And even though they made some effort to diversify Stars Hollow and Hartford (did you notice those black students at Chilton??), Gilmore Girls reached new levels of white people corniness this season, including Lorelai Gilmore going full Reese Witherspoon Wild (not only is this incredibly off-brand for the outdoors-hating Lorelai, but girl, I thought we were over this whole running away to find yourself thing) and Rory's old Yale friends from the Life and Death Brigade looking full bourgeois steampunk.
While I did catch some hashtag feels seeing the old cast back together, there was something really... sad... about the whole ordeal. Yes, they delivered on the promise they would be reunited, but they disappointed us with the manner in which they came back. I get especially upset thinking about what Lane has been up to all these years, still playing in her local Stars Hollow-based band while slowly turning into the mother she rejected as a youth. It was funny watching Melissa McCarthy, now the most famous actor in the cast, reprise her role as Sookie, but damn is it just me or is she really bad at designing cakes now? None of the rebellious bad boy vibes that made Jess so enjoyable to watch in early Gilmore Girls seasons remained—and look, I get it, people grow up, but they didn't have to make him completely boring. Also, without any spoilers, can we talk about the last four words that everyone was freaking out about? One, you're calling a back-and-forth dialogue of one to two words each some sort of monumental final four words? Cheap move, if you ask me. And two, those words were so shockingly predictable that I didn't even attempt to call it.
Previously, the mention of "Gilmore Girls" had the power to light up my face, and I would find unadulterated joy in discussing the show with like-minded fans who understood the unique, small town charm of Stars Hollow. But now I mostly feel embarrassed thinking about Gilmore Girls, a legacy tainted by A Year in the Life. I'd have happily rewatched the first seven seasons over and over again without needing to find out what eventually happened to the Gilmore clan. But here I am, now wearing the Gilmore Girls Fan badge in clandestine. Just one of many reasons to be upset about 2016, I guess.