A "Gilmore Girls" reboot is coming to Netflix, as its latest attempt to re-bottle some magic that felt so fresh and bracing all those years ago, therefore begging the question that I am about to answer right here and now: Should "Gilmore Girls" be rebooted?
Almost 10 years later (specifically, almost eight)? The world has changed (no kidding). The world of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, certainly has (no kidding, too). Rory has moved on. Her boyfriends -- including the Big Three, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), Logan (Matt Czuchry), and Dean (Jared Padalecki) -- have moved on.
Lorelai even became (in a sense) Sarah Braverman in "Parenthood."
And speaking of parents, there is the matter here of parents: The fine, durable, important, intelligent and indispensable stage and screen actor, Ed Herrmann has died in the intervening years (in 2014). How will his death impact such a revival? (Kelly Bishop, recently in "Bunheads," would be expected to be part of this, one assumes).
Moreover, the world beyond Stars Hollow -- always a rarefied community, or petri dish, through which the rest of the tumultuous world was filtered -- probably isn't the leafy hamlet of memory, but like all Connecticut towns, embattled over high taxes, and Trump-versus-Hillary questions ... Less quaint. More contentious.
Pop culture, meanwhile, is a worldwide octopus, infinitely more complicated than the pop cultural preoccupations of the Gilmore girls ... After all, they didn't have a Justin Bieber. And what would they make of Kanye? Speaking of whom, what would they make of the Kardashians?
Point here is that what was culturally resonant in 2000 (when "Girls" launched on the WB) is certainly no longer.
Except perhaps for "Gilmore Girls," which remains beloved ...
As noted, Netflix hasn't even announced this yet, but one doesn't wait for the official announcement anymore -- another change from 2007, when "Gilmore Girls" sailed off quietly. Now you wait for those "trade reports." They are the new news release.
Here's what they are telling us: This will not be a full-out series, as TVLine first reported, but four self-contained movies, starring Lauren Graham (Lorelai) and Alexis Bledel (Rory). No word that I'm aware of on Scott Patterson (Luke Danes), Keiko Agena (Lane) or Melissa McCarthy -- who played Sookie St. James, of course.
Of McCarthy: Of all the "Gilmores," she has had the biggest post-"Gilmore" career bounce, and is now a fairly major big-screen star, therefore begging the obvious question: Could budgetary issues loom with the return of Sookie?
The most important detail of all, however, apparently has been resolved: Amy Sherman-Palladino has signed on for this four-part series. As far as fans are concerned, that name is the one they had to see on the dotted line. In a famed, or inflamed, contract dispute with the CW back in the mid-2000s (the WB had folded in 2006, or the year before the series finale, she and husband Daniel Palladino bolted). "Gilmore Girls" was then left under the tutelage of David Rosenthal, who ended up as caretaker and, finally, the administer of last rites.
The seventh season was not considered a high-water mark, but an endpoint; "Gilmore Girls" with Sherman-Palladino and her highly specific voice -- she was one of TV's early true "auteurs" (please excuse the word) who brought such a specific vision and style to this series, that without her, "Girls" really couldn't go on. As a point of comparison, imagine "Mad Men" without Matthew Weiner.
Without Sherman-Palladino, this revival wouldn't even get past the first pitch meet.
So, to my question: Should "Gilmore Girls" be revived?
I'm going to check the "yes" column here. The reasons:
1.) "Girls" remains beloved, and also has been discovered by a whole new generation of bingers, some of whom I have actively encouraged.
2.) "Girls" never really did end -- and as with all human affairs, suggested rich, interesting story possibilities beyond that final scene. What did happen to Rory at CNN? Did she end up getting a better offer from Fox News?
3.) Graham's Lorelai Gilmore really is one of TV's richest and most compelling characters. Surely a four-part series would have plenty of room to further explore and expand on this character, presumably after she's sallied forth in the world at large, without Rory by her side -- these two constantly exploring or prodding the meaning of life and pop culture ...
4.) Netflix has done a good job with these reboots. The network -- sorry, still can't stand the term "streaming service" (what is a "stream" and how does one "service" it?) -- and its benefactor appear to have genuine love for the material they've revived.
The metrics may tell a different story -- and Netflix is not one to share metrics -- but "Arrested Development" was a success, and so was "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp."
The essentials were retained, the stories advanced, the characters revived in a manner that did not suggest they had been revived from the dead.
The lingering reservation among true blue fans, however, may be the same reservation that will face this restoration project: What was the rootstock of our cult love all those years ago? By the time "Development" arrived, or re-arrived, the entire television business had undergone a revolution, and what had seemed so irreverent -- so different -- in 2003 didn't quite feel so different or irreverent in 2013. After all, Adult Swim had arrived in the intervening years.
Same with "Wet Hot," which I preferred to the movie.
But I'll bet there were plenty of fans of the movie who felt otherwise. The 2001 movie had a weird, nostalgic vibe; the reboot went broad. That was the way to go, but the original nostalgic kick was sacrificed.
Can "Gilmore" recapture that old, soft, sweet magic?
Will fans -- both new and original come back?
Does Sherman-Palladino still have a fresh, original take on pop culture and what it means now in a world super-heated by social media and so much else?
Can ... will ... does?
At least it'll be fun to find out the answers ...