'Gilmore Girls' bring wit back in 4-part Netflix series

Rick Bentley
The Fresno Bee (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Stars Hollow has been quiet for almost a decade. No quick exchange of witty banter. No late-night mother-daughter chats. No rants about cellphones in the diner.
After seven seasons and 154 episodes of watching the lives of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore unfold among family and friends, "Gilmore Girls" came to an end. Fans wept.
The voices are back on Netflix in the four-part series "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." The story is told through 90-minute chapters — each spanning one season: winter, spring, summer, fall. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel headline the returning cast that features some very familiar faces to fans of the show.
It's been almost a decade, but Graham and Bledel found it easy to slip back into their mother-daughter world.
"It was literally like no time had passed. It was not difficult. It was easy. It was joyous. It was fun. It was exhilarating. It was the old show. I mean, there was no sense of having to resuscitate something. It was just like it was meant to continue," Graham says.
One reason it was so easy to return was that conversations about "Gilmore Girls" never stopped, despite the cast going off to do other roles. That's why both actors signed on to reprise their roles even before scripts had been written.

It didn't hurt that those scripts would be penned by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. The energetic writer and producer, along with her husband Dan Palladino, had left the series before the start of the seventh, and final, season.
One conversation with the fast-talking Sherman-Palladino and it's obvious the rapid fire conversations on the series are of her making. Bledel says slipping back into playing Rory was a breeze because Sherman-Palladino's writing gives an actor all the information they need to play the role.
A simple question to Sherman-Palladino about returning to the sets on the Warner Bros. lot ignites a verbal barrage.
"(Expletive deleted), they changed our Stars Hollow. They got a deal on brown paint. I've never seen so much brown paint in my entire life. I'm like, 'Who the (expletive deleted) doesn't want some color in your town?' There wasn't any red. There wasn't any yellow," Sherman-Palladino says. "There wasn't a posy. There was still the sidewalks that we put in. They're cracked. So we had to go back in and zhoosh up Stars Hollow. We had to rebuild all the sets. I just remember the day that Scott (Patterson) walked into Luke's Diner for the first time, because it wasn't Luke's Diner. It's the 'Pretty Little Liars' are lying in there constantly now. So we had to get the lies out and put the diner back in."
Bledel had a few conversations over the years away from Stars Hollow where Sherman-Palladino told here that she still loved the characters and wanted to explore stories with them.
The actor knows "The Gilmore Girls" is Sherman-Palladino's vision. The only thing Bledel wanted to make sure happened in the new episodes was a reveal that all of the hard work Rory had gone through in those 154 episodes had paid off.
Bledel is coy when she talks about where her character's love life has gone. She does say that all of her ex-boyfriends make an appearance.
For years, both Graham and Bledel have had people approach them lamenting the loss of the program. A major reason for the feeling of loss was the relationship the Gilmore mom and daughter had.
"More people than I would have ever thought said it was the same relationship they have with their mother or daughter," Graham says. "I would think, 'Wow, you must be really cool.' I think people see themselves in the characters more than they don't. That probably has to do at least in part with us being here. Some of those daughters are now mothers and the cycle begins again."

12:01 a.m. Friday, Netflix

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bladel as Lorelai and Rory Gilmore on the return of "Gilmore Girls."