Gilmore Girls fans: Before you get too excited about the Netflix reboot, remember this

By Emily Yahr

Alexis Bedel as Rory and Lauren Graham as Lorelai star in the TV show Gilmore Girls.
Alexis Bedel as Rory and Lauren Graham as Lorelai star in the TV show Gilmore Girls.

To say that fans went ballistic with the news that Netflix is bringing back Gilmore Girls is a serious understatement.

The Internet exploded when rumours leaked out a few months ago, and people rejoiced again on Friday when Netflix made it official. The reboot feels especially satisfying because the series ended on such a disappointing note. The creators abruptly exited after a disagreement with the studio, so the lackluster seventh and final season didn't even feel like the same show. Now, there will be closure.

It's all very thrilling - but now that the news has settled in after a few days, it's time to get realistic. Sorry to be the ones to break it to you, but there are a few things you need to remember before you get too excited about returning to Stars Hollow.

This reboot is a business decision.

Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that people take very personally - it's a series that lives deeply with viewers long after they watch. The creators know it, the cast knows it, and more importantly, Netflix knows it, which is why the company licensed the show to stream in 2014 and worked so hard to make this revival happen.

At the end of the day, however, bringing back this show is simply a business decision. As The Washington Post's Drew Harwell reported last year, networks and streaming services love to tap into TV nostalgia for financial reasons.

"Reboots are seen as cheap bets, with often low-risk premises, washed-up stars and built-in cores of superfans," he wrote, pointing out Netflix is on the hunt for new subscribers with splashy programming that viewers can't find anywhere else.

The same goes for the actors, too. Sure, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson and Kelly Bishop have emotional attachments to this show. Hey, Graham almost cried last week when she talked about visiting the set again. But to them, it's also a job. For fans upset that Melissa McCarthy hasn't been confirmed to return - and was the only one absent at the show's reunion last summer - it's pretty telling that she's the only cast member with a lucrative movie career.

This is all to say that if you go into this reboot (which now consists of four 90-minute episodes) expecting to see all the characters again, remember that realistically, the show has to stick to a budget - and that actors have their own financial situations or salary requirements - Or if you think this could be the launch of even more Gilmore Girls, that has a slim chance of happening unless there is money to be made.

The anticipation may be much greater than the actual product.

A scene from the Gilmore Girls TV series.
A scene from the Gilmore Girls TV series.

Remember how excited everyone was for Arrested Development Season 4? The entire cast was back and it seemed like it would be the greatest conclusion ever for a show that was unfairly canceled by Fox many years ago. It premiered on Netflix to much fanfare in 2013.

And then the buzz died. Almost immediately. Some fans didn't even make it through all the episodes. Count on the same thing to happen when Fuller House premieres in a few weeks. Generally, the anticipation is a lot more fun than the actual show, because ultimately it probably won't be everything you hoped for.

On that note, keep your expectations ... reasonable.

No matter how much the writers try to re-capture the tone of the show, and how amazingly the actors have aged, a reboot is never really going to be the same. It sounds obvious, yet it's a common problem with TV remakes. It's easy to have your favorite show frozen in your mind - which makes it all the more jarring when you see the new iteration.

Plus, so much pop nostalgia is about where you were at a certain era in your life, rather than the actual show. Of course Disney's Boy Meets World reboot isn't going to be a great viewing experience: Cory and Topanga may be back, but you're not in your basement watching TGIF and it's not the '90s, so it's just not as fun.

TV revivals have a huge chance of being an inevitable letdown - and who wants that for something that's supposed to be fun? So many things can go wrong with these reboots (whether in actuality or in fans' minds), that the best way to actually enjoy it and not spend your viewing time bitterly disappointed is to simply keep your expectations low.

- Washington Post

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