SPOILER ALERT: this article contains lots and lots of Gilmore Girls spoilers.
The Gilmore Girls revival has been hit by criticism from many fans concerned at the way Alexis Bledel’s character Rory has changed over the past nine years – but the cast insist they don’t listen to the haters.
It’s fair to say perfect student Rory revealed her less-than-admirable side during the original series: she slept with unhappily-married Dean, she stole a boat, she toyed with Jess’ heart to get back at Logan.
But in Netflix’s revival, a 32-year-old Rory takes things to a new level. She keeps forgetting she’s in a two-year relationship with a nice-but-bland bloke called Paul, brazenly cheating on him with Logan, who himself is engaged to French heiress Odette (“what happens in London stays in London”). Then she has a one-night-stand with a Wookie while researching a story, and her only regret is that he was a Wookie. Poor Paul.
In a panel discussion, moderator Gazelle Emami noted that some viewers have criticised Gilmore Girls characters for being “kind of awful sometimes and a little bit selfish.” Highlighting the plight of Paul, she explained: “There’s been a little bit more of a backlash against their characters this time around.”
But Lorelai actor Lauren Graham is not bothered.
“We don’t pay attention to anything,” Graham responded. “We don’t know. None of us are on the internet, almost at all.”
She added: “I know what you mean, but the show has a sense of humour, and that’s its sense of humour. And I think maybe it feels a little different; Rory’s not in high school anymore, so yes, as grown women constantly forgetting… I just thought it was a funny runner.
“But the whole show has a kind of heightened theatrical quality. I mean, just like Donald Trump, don’t take it literally. But unlike that, to me it was more of a metaphor for, this isn’t the right guy, and this is how they communicate about it, and does it go 10 steps too far? I don’t know, but it was 90 minutes. We had a lot of time to fill.”
Fellow Gilmore Girls actor Scott Patterson (Luke) added: “Paul was a sacrificial lamb, and he knew it! The audience knew it!”
Bledel admitted she had her own reservations about her character – but they weren’t new.
“I think I’m always trying to understand where Rory’s coming from in the choices she makes in her romantic life, because she’s so together and so successful in everything she does, really, until these episodes start,” Bledel said.
“But she’s just so hardworking, and I think it’s an interesting part of her character, but one that I’ve always struggled to understand.
“She always kind of picks people who are very different from one another and who challenge her, fortunately, but who don’t necessarily bring out the best in her.”
Not sure Rory’s callousness can be pinned on Paul this time, though…