Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life premiers on Netflix on November 25th, 2016, but my daughter Sofie and I saw the first episode, ‘Winter’ at the red carpet premiere in Los Angeles last week. I’m here to tell you what to be excited about in the first episode, (don’t worry, no spoilers!) and plenty of insider details for all you diehard Gilmore Girls lovers. And also to report I’ve never fan-girled so hard in my life.
By the way, you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the new Gilmore Girls episodes. They’re hugely entertaining on their own.
I’ve been to movie premieres before, even the fanciest of them (remember when I went to the Cannes Film Festival a few years ago?) and I go to pre-screenings of new movies all the time, but I have never experienced anything like the Gilmore Girls premiere. Let’s just get this out of the way right now:
Okay, now that we’re all here for this, let’s talk.
There’s one lingering question I’ve always had about red carpet movie premieres: once everyone is done with the photos on the red carpet, is there popcorn inside? Candy? Soda? Do the actors actually sit and watch the movie? Do the actors eat popcorn while they watch the movie? What happens when the movie is over? Does everyone go out a secret exit in the back?
You guys, so many hard-hitting questions to answer here.
First of all, this red carpet was amazing. Almost the entire cast of Gilmore Girls showed up for the premiere, and almost all of them stayed and watched the movie with us. Plus, there were bonus celebrities everywhere, and everyone’s outfits were legit off the hook.
Once Sofie and I made it inside, there were ushers handing out popcorn, candy, and soda. Just right there, for the taking.
While Sofie and I stocked up on treats, I tried to play it cool that Brian (Hep Alien, anyone?) grabbed napkins right along with me. Miss Patty and I walked into the theater together. Paris Gellar sat three rows behind me. Gypsy sat two seats down. I fully rubbernecked right up until the movie started and just right there a few rows away, like it was no big thing, were Babette, Rory, Logan, and the rest of the Stars Hollow crew. Sofie and I scoped the place out, all cool like (ha!) and would intermittently whisper to each other, ‘Rory is so pretty and tiny in real life! OHMYGOSH Paris Gellar just sat down right behind us, DON’T STARE, stop staring! She’s right there. Oh wow, she’s aged so well.’
Cool, calm, collected. You can take us anywhere.
Before the screening of the episode Amy Sherman-Palladino, (the wicked smart, eccentric, hilarious creator of the Gilmore Girls) stood at the front of the theater dressed all in black with a jaunty hat and introduced the show, and we were off to the races. The opening credits rolled, there was bated breath, and then I forgot about everything but Stars Hollow.
It was everything I hoped it would be, like Rory and Lorelai have been in Stars Hollow all along moving on with their lives, and we just haven’t tuned in since 2007. It has all the snappy rapid fire dialogue we’ve missed so much, with all the pop-culture references we’ve been dying to hear gossiped about at Lorelai’s kitchen table. It has Lorelai, Rory, Emily, Miss Patty, Luke, and Logan, and oh my gosh I just need Friday to get here already so we can talk about it. Without giving anything away, the show is Gilmore Girls at its best.
Within the first 15 minutes Sofie and I laughed so hard I was embarrassed for us, and then almost immediately we both cried loudly into our popcorn. When anything significant happened we glanced at one another with wide eyes, like we always do when we need mother-daughter reassurance and validation, and then just as quickly turned back to the screen so we wouldn’t miss a thing.
It was so great, you guys, and I was so worried it wouldn’t be. For a few hours on Friday night I completely forgot about life outside of Stars Hollow, and if that isn’t a tribute to the magic of entertainment, I don’t know what is.
After the movie the stars did in fact shuttle out the back exits to waiting cars. What I didn’t know, was that the party we were invited to after the premiere was also the cast party and reunion.
I can’t squeal a second time, so I’ll just do this:
Stars Hollow was recreated at a park in the center of UCLA’s campus and the cast of Gilmore Girls were all there for a reunion and celebration of the show.
We met Luke and Lorelai, Lane and Michel, Miss Patty and Babette and Doyle and Christopher, and we did not keep even a little bit calm.
Actually Sofie tells me it went just fine, and that I was cool, calm, and collected but I blacked out after I bumped into Lorelai on my way to the bar for a club soda.
It wasn’t your standard press meet-and-greet with the cast, it was a legit reunion for all these actors to celebrate the premiere of their work. Everyone was relaxed and catching up with friends, eating sliders and drinking wine while I was melting from trying to stay professional.
I introduced Sofie and myself to Lauren Graham and had to reach across her boyfriend (Peter Krause) to do so, as I told him out of the side of my mouth how much I loved him in Parenthood.
I kept it so cool, you guys, and it took all of the everything I had.
But I didn’t feel cool enough to ask any of the other mingling celebrities to take photos of us, so I took selfies and I ended up with 7 chins.
Lauren Graham (Lorelai) so was delightful and gracious, as was everyone else.
There were too many ‘best’ moments of the night to count, but my favorites from the after party, in no particular order:
- Sitting on a couch with Sofie in a Babette – Miss Patty sandwich (Sally Struthers and Liz Torres) while they caught up and talked about the show. Apparently there was an entire scene in which Babette was featured that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor. Feelings. And Miss Patty, not in character but as the actress herself, called both Sofie and me, “Completely gorgeous, just gorgeous” and then proceeded to tell us a whole story about a man she once dated from Utah. It ended badly, and ohmygosh, Miss Patty plays herself IRL.
- Chatting with Mae Whitman about how much the whole cast of Parenthood really loves each other in real life, and hearing inside details about all the cast members including her besties Dax Shepherd and his wife Kristen Bell, and sharing fashion tips, and how much she loved my jewelry. She’s so cool, you guys. Crazy likeable.
- Grabbing Doyle (Danny Strong), telling him we had “so much to talk about” before catching myself and realizing he was a grown man and NOT Doyle, Paris Gellar’s boyfriend from the Yale Daily News.
- Being too intimidated to ask Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) for a photo, even as I stood 2 feet from her face, because, you guys. She’s even more glamorous and sophisticated in real life.
- But NOT being too intimidated to grab Amy Sherman-Palladino by both hands to thank her for the gift that is Gimore Girls, before she was gratefully distracted by a dazzling, charming Michel (Yanic Truesdale).
Then, on Saturday we went back to Stars Hollow which, was opened up to the (ticketed) public for the day and played around.
You guys, Sofie and I had such an all-around magical experience. It was completely surreal to hang out with the cast of a show we love so much, right after watching them on a big screen in a movie theater, but they were all so wonderful. It was a completely full-circle moment for us as a mother and daughter. We’ve been binge watching Gilmore Girls together on the couch, singing the opening credits theme song in harmony as we share a blanket, for the better part of a year. Just like the Gilmore women, Sofie and I are two smart, strong-willed women living under the same roof, and we’ve had our ups and downs over the years. It’s been pure delight to share this show together and our weekend in Stars Hollow was the cherry on top of the memories we’ve made. I can’t wait for you to see it together with the women in your life. Netflix took a survey, and reported what I know to be true for me and my daughter: 62% of mothers and daughters feel like watching a show together strengthens their relationship. I love it.
// P.S. A big fat thank you to Netflix for sending us on this mother-daughter weekend. I participated in this event as a member of the Netflix Stream team. All opinions and naughty children are, as ever, my own. //
// P.P.S. for all of you who asked, the t-shirts Sofie and I wore to Stars Hollow are Stately Type. You can buy them today and tomorrow for 20% off using code PETITEGG. I am not being compensated in any way for this, I’m just sharing the love. //