Sunday, October 25, 2015

Paris Geller and the Gilmore Girls Revival

by Kerri Harris, Writing Intern

Last week, news broke that the beloved early 2000s WB series Gilmore Girls will be returning in the form of four 90-minute episodes on Netflix. Since the final season took place without involvement from series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, the announcement that she will write the show’s last four installments has fans hoping for the satisfying conclusion they didn’t get back in 2007. 

The announcement does raise many many questions. How will they handle the passing of Edward Herrmann? Will Rory end up with Jess? Are Luke and Lorelai still together? How will the show fit into today's world? Which cast members will return? Specifically, will we see the now wildly successful Melissa McCarthy--who played Lorelai Gilmore’s lovable, supportive best friend Sookie St. James? Some fans care even more about whether Liza Weil, now on How to Get Away with Murder, will appear as the wonderfully complicated Paris Geller, Rory Gilmore’s academic rival/frenemy.

Source: oy-with-the-poodles-already
Sometimes cruel and intimidating, other times vulnerable and sympathetic, Paris entertained while keeping fans on a sort of see-saw of feelings about her. She insulted almost everyone, often gratuitously, and she always put her professional goals ahead of the few people she actually cared about. For example, she broke up with her boyfriend, of two years, so he wouldn’t influence her choice of grad schools. But, she also worked harder than anyone else and never tolerated sexism. Arguably her most memorable moment was when she broke down over her rejection from Harvard, while giving a speech on C-SPAN.  Shocked and disappointed, after not realizing a lifelong pursuit, she wondered if she somehow caused the rejection by deciding to lose her virginity to her then-boyfriend a couple nights before. In spite of all her previous actions, she is impossible not to sympathize with as she sobs afterward, asking Rory, Am I a slut? In the next season, she quits wondering whether her sexuality is something to be ashamed of, and eventually becomes one of the shows most sex-positive characters.

The friendship between Paris and Rory remains one of the best depictions of teen girl friendship ever on TV. Instead of going from total enemies to inseparable BFFs who always got along, the two gradually warmed up to each other, hated each other again, and continued this cycle. Remarkably, they fought over academic matters, such as who got to be editor of the school newspaper, and never over guys. When the show ended,  their rivalry finally did too, as they graduated from college and went on to their separate career paths, wishing each other the best.

No one knows what the final four episodes will be like, but hopefully they will feature Paris, still married to her college sweetheart, killing it as a doctor, and of course, reunited with Rory. Unique and undeniably feminist, what’s four more episodes of Gilmore Girls without Paris Geller?


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