Spoilers for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life ahead.
Television has arguably never seen a more eccentric, cherished ensemble cast like that of the original Gilmore Girls. It’s the people of Stars Hollow and beyond that make that little hamlet and its surroundings such a rare, idyllic world. Thankfully, series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was able to lure each and every one of them (even Melissa McCarthy!) in for a return to their old stomping grounds in A Year in the Life. After nearly a decade away, here’s what all your favorite characters — plus a few bonus extras — have been up to.
Lorelai Gilmore: Lorelai’s still boss lady at the Dragonfly Inn and, aside from the stress of Sookie’s absence (more on that later), all seems well in her professional life. Her personal life, however, has its kinks to work out: She’s still together with Luke (nine years!), but at a fork in the road and seeking the kind of relationship stability she thinks can be solved with either a ring or another baby. She’s also privately grieving her father Richard — and in therapy for it, as well as the usual issues with her mother — which pushes her toward a journey of self-discovery that can only be found one way: doing her own Wild. (The book, not the movie. Different experiences, duh.)
Rory Gilmore: Young Rory is lost as ever, only now she’s not so young; she’s 32, and fully aware she needs to get her shit together. She’s scored bylines in The New Yorker and freelanced elsewhere, but it’s been an uphill climb. She’s also recently quit Brooklyn, started living a “rootless life” (read: couch surfing), and been working on a book proposal for an autobiography of an alcoholic British eccentric, which frequently has her jet setting off to London for meetings … and also to see Logan. Some things never change! When that book falls through, she moves home with Lorelai and Luke (though don’t say she’s “back”), sabotages an opportunity at a start-up, and takes an unpaid job editing the Stars Hollow Gazette while writing a book about her relationship with her mom called The Gilmore Girls. Go ahead, roll those eyes. Oh, and she’s in a two-year relationship with a guy she keeps meaning to break up with. All in all, it’s Alexis Bledel in Post Grad 2.
Emily Gilmore: A Year in the Life takes the greatest toll on the Gilmore matriarch. She’s still reeling from the death of Richard, briefly attempts to Marie Kondo her life (alas, jeans are not her thing), tricks Lorelai into attending therapy with her, and finds herself totally fed up with high-society Wasp “bullshit.” On the bright side, though, she finds a friend in her new maid, whose entire family Emily unknowingly gave her blessing to move into the Gilmore mansion. Emily’s year is about learning how to be a single woman for the first time in 50 years. In her own, Emily Gilmore way, it means walking out on the DAR in dramatic fashion, selling her house, ghosting on a new boyfriend (!), and moving to Nantucket, where — wait for it — she takes up a job terrifying children at a whaling museum! She now spends her evenings sipping wine by the water. In other words, Emily Gilmore remains the coolest.
Richard Gilmore: In 2014, Edward Herrman, the actor who played Richard Gilmore for seven seasons, died of brain cancer. On the show, as in life, we learn that Richard Gilmore passed away four months earlier from a massive heart attack. In true Gilmore style, his last words were, to the nurses, “Get the hell away from me.”
Dean: Moved on to yet another quaint town: Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he’s living his best suburban life with a wife, three kids, and one on the way.
Jess: Still working at his publishing house, looking good, and living better. He’s also still hung up on Rory — though he’ll never admit it — and is always looking out for Luke’s best interest.
Logan: He’s living in London, working the kind of job that has him making 2 a.m. business calls to Asia, is engaged to a woman who lives in another country whom his father approves of (shudder), and, yep, still sleeping with Rory. He’s also still friends with the Life and Death Brigade and participates in their shenanigans, because no one ever really leaves college.
The Dragonfly Inn
Sookie St. James: Turns out our star chef up and left the Dragonfly Inn to work on innovations in agriculture in the middle of the woods at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill Farms. It was supposed to be a six-month sabbatical, but she’s been gone for two years and no one — especially not Lorelai — is taking her departure well. But not to worry — Sookie always comes home when she’s needed most.
Michel: The good news is Michel’s still the Dragonfly Inn’s star concierge; the bad news is he knows he’s a star — not to mention overqualified and underused — and is considering taking a job at the W Hotel in New York City, breaking Lorelai’s heart at the thought of losing him. But the best news: He and his partner, Frederick, are thinking about having a child. Michel could be a dad! It’s enough to melt even his ice-cold heart.
Luke Danes: Good ol’ reliable Luke is still with Lorelai and, unlike her, completely at peace with where they’re at in life. He has no interest in raising a kid with Lorelai and will marry her if it’s what she truly wants. (He wants it too, don’t worry.) As always, his chief concern has remained running his beloved dinner, bossing around a much-curlier Caesar, bickering with Taylor, and doing it all with that blue baseball cap permanently attached to his head. Cell phones are still outlawed on his turf, but Luke has warmed up to WiFi — only over his dead body will get you the password, of course. One change he resists, however, is franchising his diner, which just so happens to be Richard Gilmore’s dying wish (according to Emily), as evidenced by the money Richard left Luke to finance the whole expansion in his will.
Lane Kim: You will be absolutely horrified to know that while Rory has enjoyed being “rootless,” her best friend Lane has been living the epitome of a rooted life. She’s still stuck in Stars Hollow, still married to Zack (who’s resigned to being a working class stiff), still raising their now practically grown twins, still forced to participate in town events with her mom, and, thankfully, still drumming. Hep Alien lives! Poor Lane, we’re not so sure. At least she seems happy.
Mrs. Kim: Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Kim hasn’t lost her ability to put the fear of God in anyone with just a look. She was last seen terrorizing, er, training a group of Korean FOBs into joining her church choir.
Mr. Kim: There’s a Mr. Kim! He seems not at all emasculated by his wife.
Taylor Doose: He’s still the busybody town selectman you know and try so hard to love. When he’s not busy spearheading failed efforts for the town’s first gay-pride parade (don’t get too excited, he doesn’t come out), he also co-writes an elaborate musical all about Stars Hollow’s strange history. It, like Taylor, is about as kooky as what you’re imagining.
Kirk: Ohhh that we could explain what, exactly, Kirk’s been up to, but that’s probably a better question for his mom. Most recently, he found a way to rip off Uber by starting his own taxi service, Oooober. (Needless to say, it didn’t last.) He also has a pet pig, who co-stars in Kirk’s first short film in 12 years! He premieres it before a screening of Eraserhead dressed in cosplay because it wouldn’t be Kirk if he didn’t. Kirk is also Lorelai’s de facto wedding planner, the job he was born to temporarily pursue.
Miss Patty and Babette: Still the town gossips, still lusting after any attractive men within a ten-foot radius, and still the only women in Stars Hollow we want to get drunk with.
Gypsy: Still working as a mechanic and unafraid to tell you when your car’s a junker.
Jackson: As was always the case, Jackson’s main purpose in life is still playing second fiddle to his wife, Sookie, though he doesn’t seem to mind. We see him at the town’s international food festival selling fresh veggies, because the man knows what he knows.
Paris Geller: Paris was always destined for boss-bitchness, so it should come as no surprise that she now runs Dynasty Makers, a high-profile surrogacy and fertility clinic that counts Neil Patrick Harris among its clients. To say Paris is an unparalleled success would be an understatement: She lives in a five-story New York City apartment, dresses impeccably, has an M.D., a law degree, expertise in neoclassical architecture, and a dental-technician’s degree (and that’s just what’s on her LinkedIn). She’s also still cripplingly insecure, carries an empty briefcase for intimidation (which works), occasionally gets “subtle nips and tucks,” and can still come undone at the sight of Tristan (ever the hopeless flirt). Underneath the ball-busting exterior is a woman who indeed did marry Doyle and had two adorable kids with him, but is now going through a divorce and fears her kids love the nanny more than their mother. So yes, she’s still the best.
Headmaster Charleston: Still lives in fear of Paris’s wrath and thinks Rory is the pride and joy of Chilton, though even he recognizes that she needs help.
Francie: Still a threat to Paris because of the Puff incident. (High school never dies.)
Doyle: Though we’re sure Doyle is as broken up about the divorce as Paris is pretending not to be, Doyle’s now a big-headed screenwriter (a nod to Danny Strong’s Empire fame, for sure) with the keys to Brett Ratner’s pool house, a working relationship with Michael Bay, jeans, and hipster band tees for a wardrobe, and the tendency to still have a meltdown over anyone editing his copy. We always knew Paris and Doyle would be a power couple.
Christopher: He caved like you always knew he would and now works in “the cave” at the family business, where he’s seems miserable, but, hey, at least he’s rich again. He also still hasn’t quite got the hang of this whole father-daughter thing, but he hasn’t stopped trying.
April: Luke’s daughter is now 22 (!), at MIT, and still dealing with debilitating social awkwardness. The poor woman lies about smoking weed, being BFFs with Noam Chomsky, and liking her painful nose piercing in order to appear interesting. She’s even been reading a joke book to better grasp the concept of humor. Bless her! She’s never been more Luke’s progeny than in this moment.
Mitchum Huntzberger: Still a total pompous ass.
Liz Danes and T.J.: Jess’s mom and her husband accidentally got recruited by a vegetable cult with a multi-lifetime membership through their local co-op, as only these two goofs could.
Jason Stiles (Digger): Still lives in fear of Emily Gilmore, but showed up to Richard’s funeral out of respect. (And also for Lorelai, obviously.)