New episodes of the TV series “Gilmore Girls,” which aired from 2000 to 2007 and is now returning for original installments, will debut on Netflix on Nov. 25, and appears to be one of the better-reviewed recent revivals of a TV show.
“Gilmore” stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as a mother and daughter living in the small town of Stars Hollow, Conn. Kelly Bishop, Melissa McCarthy, and Scott Patterson co-star.
The series originally aired on the WB, then the CW, and was critically acclaimed during its run. The new episodes will consist of four installments, each with an hour-and-a-half run time.
“Gilmore” joins such hit shows as “The X-Files” and “Full House” as programs that have been brought back years after they originally went off the air. “X-Files” returned on Fox, its original network, earlier this year for six episodes. “Fuller House,” a TV show centering on the younger characters who originally appeared on the ABC sitcom “Full House,” debuted on Netflix earlier this year as well, and a second season will be released on Dec. 9.
While the new episodes of “Gilmore” have not yet been released (all will debut on the same day, in the normal Netflix style), reviews of the program have so far been mostly positive, more so than the revival of “X-Files,” and particularly more so than “Fuller House,” which was not well-reviewed by critics.
Of “Gilmore,” many critics say that there are some faults, but that the spirit of the original show, which was itself admired by reviewers, seems to still be there.
USA Today writer Robert Bianco gave the new episodes three-and-a-half stars out of four, noting that “‘Gilmore’ is not without its frustrations, which means that those who always found the constant babble and the flights of fancy unbearably twee will continue to do so.” Some plot lines disappear or “Get lost in some eye-roll-inducing diversion … Yet for every misstep, there’s a moment from Graham or Bledel that makes you laugh or breaks your heart, or that cuts through the cuteness to ring absolutely true.”
And Bianco believes the new episode model is better for the program, writing that the “more concise package … actually serves the show well.”
Variety writer Maureen Ryan agrees that “maybe it’s a little too much at times – and rapid consumption of the four 90-minute episodes Netflix commissioned is not advised – but when it relies on the notable strengths of its core ensemble, it is television at its most warm and reassuring.”
Emily Yahr of the Washington Post believes that the new episode format actually makes things go on too long, writing that “42-minute episodes were the perfect amount of time before the famously sparkling dialogue and wacky plotlines start to drag – and characters’ flaws go from endearing to irritating.”
But Ms. Yahr writes that fans will be won over. Thanks to “extended time and producers’ creative freedom, it’s a veritable buffet of every ‘Gilmore’ experience imaginable,” she writes. “And for this show in particular, that’s all the fans really care about, anyway.”