I recently re-watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In case you’ve been living under a rock, A Year in the Life is the revival of the original WB show. It follows the lives of Rory and Lorelai 10 years after we last saw them at the end of season seven…when Rory had just graduated from Yale.
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Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life doesn’t portray millennials in a flattering light. Lorelai’s neighbor, Babette, tells the girls about the “30-something gang”… “a group of kids, all about your age. They’ve been to college, then out in the real world, and it spit them out like a stale piece of gum. And now they’re all back in their old rooms, like [Rory].”
Babette later mentions that the boomerang kids (aka the “30-something gang”) are very sensitive and easily “triggered”. It’s quite clear that the writer is poking fun at millennials, who are often stereotyped as hypersensitive, immature, and entitled.
Rory repeatedly tries to distance herself from the “30-something gang”. Whenever anyone says “welcome back”, she insists that she is “not back” (in her old bedroom at her mother’s house in Stars Hollow). It’s ironic that Rory doesn’t want to be associated with these “entitled” millennials – even though Rory acts much more “entitled” than your average boomerang kid.
We throw around the world “entitled” often, but what does it really mean to be entitled? Urban dictionary defines an entitled person as someone “who thinks something is owed to them by life in general; or because they are who they are”.
We often assume that millennials are entitled for one reason only: 1 out of 3 of them live with their parents after college. Does that necessarily mean that they’re entitled?
It’s possible that they don’t feel that the world owes them anything and that they simply moved back home because it was a wise financial decision. Millennials have more student loan debt (something Rory never dealt with, thanks to her rich father) than any previous generation has ever had.
While some boomerang kids may have an entitled attitude, there are also plenty of them who don’t. Rory, on the other hand, displays her entitlement over and over again.
She Feels Entitled to an Amazing Career
During A Year in the Life, Rory never has a steady job. Instead, she submits freelance pieces, works at the Stars Hollow Gazette (for no pay), and works on a failed book proposal with an unstable British woman. She mentions that she doesn’t want to grovel for jobs that she doesn’t even want.
Most of us don’t want to beg for shitty jobs, but we do what we have to do.
For those of us who have student loans and other bills to pay (how is Rory paying any of her bills?!), working a steady job is a necessity. It’s awesome that she ends up following her dreams by writing a book that she feels passionate about, but most of us don’t have the luxury of pursuing our passion full-time.
If this were the real world, she’d be working some lame job during the day and working on her book as a side hustle.
She Feels Entitled to Men
Whenever Rory feels lonely, she goes back to one of her ex-boyfriends…even if the ex is involved with another woman. When Rory went through a dry spell during her first year of college, she ended up back with Dean…despite the fact that, oh that’s right, he was married.
When Lorelai tells her that the affair is wrong, Rory childishly replies “he was my boyfriend first!” Dean eventually leaves Lindsay, and he and Rory give their relationship a shot, but of course it doesn’t last. Rory moves on to Logan quickly and seems to forget about the fact that she destroyed a marriage…all for a third chance at a relationship that had already failed twice.
I had hoped that this was just a youthful mistake and that, 10 years later, she’d be making smarter decisions when it comes to men. Nope! During A Year in the Life, Rory is dating a guy who’s so boring she keeps forgetting about him and can’t even remember to break up with him.
While she’s still with him, she carries on an affair with her ex-boyfriend Logan, who turns out to be engaged. Rory finally ends things with Logan, but it seems to be mostly about her own feelings (she is appalled when he suggests that she stay at a hotel “like a geisha”).
She never seems to give any thought to how Odette (Logan’s fiancé) would feel if she knew that her soon-to-be husband was still sleeping with his college girlfriend.
She Takes Her Privilege for Granted
Rory is privileged in so many ways and seems completely oblivious to it. She went to Chilton (thanks to her rich grandparents), she graduated from Yale (paid for by her wealthy father), and she apparently is able to somehow get by financially without working a real job like the rest of us.
Rory complains about being broke, but doesn’t seem to realize that maybe she should just get a real job…even if it’s one she doesn’t really want. She has the luxury of not having to worry about student loans and could be well on her way to building wealth if she would go get a job.
Instead, she feels she is too good to grovel for jobs she doesn’t actually want. Rory seems unaware of just how privileged this point of view is. She probably isn’t overly concerned about money because if she were to run out of money, there are plenty of people who are willing and able to help. She could borrow money from her grandmother or her dad would just give her some (as he offers to do in one of the episodes).
She also can crash wherever she wants (rent-free) – if she has a fight with her mom, she can stay with Emily, or Paris, or Lane…at one point, Logan even offers to GIVE her a house (which comes with a housekeeper) that his wealthy family apparently never uses.
Rory is privileged in many ways and doesn’t seem to recognize her privilege at all. Logan points this out in one episode during season seven: “Wake up, Rory, whether you like it or not, you’re one of us. You went to prep school. You go to Yale. Your grandparents are building a whole damn astronomy building in your name.”
Rory tries to distance herself from the “30-something gang” as much as possible, but ironically she acts much more entitled than your average millennial.
How do you feel about Rory’s behavior during A Year in the Life?
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Why did the Sherman Palladinos’ turn a wonderful character like Rory into a jerk? When Lorelai was thirty two she was raising Rory and building a career. On the other hand Lorelei is entitled too. Her parents are good enough when she needs money.
Wow. Haven’t seen the show but I hope someone puts Rory in her place! It’s millennials like this that give the rest of us a bad name. We are NOT all the same! Lol
I agree!! Lol