The Internet has officially deemed adult Rory Gilmore, “the absolute worst.” The hard-working, well-behaved, high school valedictorian, Rory that we came to know and love did a complete 180 in the Gilmore Girls recent Netflix revival, and the world is not down for the cause. So I am going on the record in Rory Gilmore’s behalf because from one hot mess to another, I feel Rory Gilmore’s struggles whole-heartedly.
Growing up watching Gilmore Girls, many of us identified with Rory. She was smart, beautiful, had big dreams and fought to turn her dreams into her reality. With that being said, I personally was never Rory’s biggest fan; she was a little too whiney and too much of a goodie two shoes for my liking. However, I am absolutely loving her 32 year old self.
We last saw Rory at age 23, graduating from Yale and off to work on the Obama campaign as a political journalist. She turned down Logan’s marriage proposal to be completely open to her seemingly bright future. Nine years later, we find Rory on a major decent from her usual Rory-esque throne. She’s lost in her career and even more so in her intimate relationships.
Right off the bat we find out Rory has a boyfriend, Paul, whom she has been seeing for around 2 years. But Paul sucks. Rory clearly doesn’t like him; her family doesn’t remember him. Hell even she forgets that she’s dating him. Paul is the guy she settled for. Clearly Rory has had some real love in her life (see Dean, Jess and Logan), so it’s no wonder Paul is so irrelevant. Yes, Rory should break up with him that’s for sure, but to give her a little slack, her life is falling apart. She’s been meaning to break up with him, but if you didn’t know, breaking up with someone is hard. Haven’t we all put off a break up before so that we didn’t have to be the one to yank the off the Band-Aid first?
But then just when you thought that was it, we find out Mr. Logan Huntzberger is in the picture as well. They are casually hooking up every time Rory is in London—even though they both have both have significant others, one of which is Logan’s fiancé. This one is a little harder to justify for my girl, Rory, but again if Rory wasn’t held to the highest standard there would be no problem here. See Carrie Bradshaw and Big in Sex in the City and Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy. Didn’t we give them a little leeway when they were cheating with each other? We gave them a little more than leeway—we romanticized it.
Can’t we let Rory be the bad girl for like a sec?
She’s clearly going through some things (the recent death of her grandfather, her transition back home, etc.) so let the girl live. Do you, girl.
Next on the on the ever-collapsing list that is Rory Gilmore’s life is her career. We find out that she had a piece published in the New Yorker, which is UM, AMAZING! As a fellow writer, that is the holy grail of publications, but we can gather that it was some time ago and that she doesn’t have anything stable going on right now. On the horizon she’s got a potential book-editing job for one very British Naomi Watts, a potential Condé Nast interview, and an Internet publication begging her to come work for them. She has eggs in three baskets, since when is that a bad thing? In the writing industry, the answer is never.
In the end, none of those three options end up panning out and she then becomes the unpaid Editor-in-Chief of the Stars Hollow Gazette. Now, it does seem a little unbelievable for Rory to end up in this position, especially after graduating Yale, working the Obama campaign, and having a piece in the New Yorker. Like… where are your professional contacts at girl? But what that means was that none of those career moves were on her path. She was meant to be doing something else.
To me the fact that Rory had such a promising career and then ends up back at home by the age of 32 doesn’t mean that Rory is a shit person, it proves the inconsistency of writing as a career.
It’s hard out there for people in creative fields. Only a lucky few can actually pay the bills with their art; while the rest of the world is working odd jobs to pay the bills and working on their art in their spare time.
The reason I feel so hard for Rory, is because I truly believe that life is a continual cycle of highs and lows (unless of course you are a master at “The Secret” and can manifest continual highs). But even if you’re the Buddha himself- life is still going to throw you a few curveballs that will hit you straight in the gut.
Rory is in a low phase of her life right now, but it is going to lead her exactly where she is meant to go. If she didn’t go back to Stars Hollow, she would have never ran into Jess, who would have then never given her the advice to start writing her book. Which I believe in my heart of hearts, is going to be her big break. Her JK Rowling moment if you will (JK Rowling got fired from her job and then started writing Harry Potter). If she never went back to Stars Hollow, she wouldn’t have had the night out with Logan and The Life and Death Brigade, and she probably wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, with what might be her very own Rory Gilmore.
So it’s safe to say that Rory Gilmore did not pick up where she left off at season 7. I get that the little girl inside of you who looked up to her is crushed. But just because Rory is struggling her fans are going to completely turn on her? News flash: there is no such thing as a perfect person. The character development of Rory as the golden child to struggling 30-something is actually quite refreshing to see. It’s something that more girls growing up need to be exposed to. So that they can understand that life isn’t always going to go their way and it’s okay if and when it doesn’t.
Sure, Rory’s moral compass is a little screwed up, but she is not the absolute worst like everyone is making her out to be. If she was the same exact person she was when we saw her 9 years ago then I would indeed think she was the absolute worst. Growth is a part of life as is failure, stress tap dancing, and a one-night stand with a guy in a Wookiee costume (if you’re lucky).
At the end of the day, we all have to go with the ebbs and flows of our lives—even if it seems terrible in the moment; you are going to end up exactly where you are meant to be.