Netflix's 'Gilmore Girls' revival: Will it bring you joy?
I should have known Amy Sherman-Palladino would have something to say about Marie Kondo.
Because the Gilmore Girls creator, who never met a scene into which she couldn't squeeze just one more idea, cultural reference, or sight gag, was unlikely to be an acolyte of the decluttering Kondo, author of the best-selling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
On Friday, with the release on Netflix of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, you can see how Kondo, Uber, and other post-2007 phenomena figure in a world in which mother-daughter vaudeville team Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) are free again to trade witticisms for four 90-minute episodes.
Prepare, though, to be at least a little disappointed.
Kondo might advise letting go of things that don't bring you joy, but I'd argue it's sometimes best to let go of the things that do bring joy, if only so they may continue to.
Because of Netflix, we can have more Arrested Development, more Full House -- the second season of Fuller House premieres Dec. 9 -- and now more Lorelai and Rory, but haven't we all seen enough zombie shows to know it's better to let some things rest?
Besides, the only thing harder than returning to a beloved place to find everything changed is arriving to find not nearly enough has.
The problem isn't the frozen-in-time Stars Hollow. The fictional Connecticut town where Lorelai raised Rory always existed in its own dimension. It's a wonder it can be reached by car and not some New England version of the Hogwarts Express.
If all that's been missing from your TV life since Gilmore Girls left the air were get-rich-quick schemes from Kirk (Sean Gunn) and absurdist town meetings chaired by Taylor (Michael Winters), prepare to be overjoyed, even overserved.
For me, it's the main characters who matter, and though they've aged, however imperceptibly, they haven't grown as much as I'd hoped in the years since Lorelai was reunited with Luke (Haddonfield's Scott Patterson) and since Rory, newly sprung from Yale, went off to cover the presidential campaign of some guy named Barack Obama.
In fairness to Sherman-Palladino, who shared writing and directing duties on A Year in the Life with with her husband, Daniel Palladino, the 2007 finale that set up those happily-ever-after scenarios wasn't hers. The couple had left the show before its seventh season, on the then-new CW network.
She was, however, responsible for the Money Is No Object fantasy of the entire series, and that continues, disappointingly, in its Netflix afterlife.
Without giving away any of the several plot points Netflix is hoping will surprise viewers, I can say that over four TV-movie-length episodes, the story wanders into more than one expensive cul-de-sac and that far more attention seems to have been paid to finding something for a legion of returning actors to do than in forming a coherent narrative.
The format -- the equivalent of eight TV episodes in four seasonal chunks -- doesn't serve the material very well and makes bingeing less tempting than usual.
On the plus side: There are some fun developments on the minor-character front (and a few surprising cameos); Kelly Bishop's Emily Gilmore gets to wear jeans; and the late Edward Herrmann, who played Lorelai's father and Emily's husband, gets a richly deserved send-off.
If only I could say the same for the show itself.