'Gilmore Girls' Stars Respond to Revival Backlash, Defend Treatment of 'Sacrificial Lamb' Paul
By Jennifer Drysdale
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The internet has offered up a lot of opinions since Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered last week, but Lauren Graham says she and the show's cast aren't hearing any of it.
Graham, along with co-stars Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop and Scott Patterson, sat down for a SAG-AFTRA panel and Facebook Live chat in New York City on Tuesday night, where moderator Gazelle Emami noted that some viewers were upset at Gilmore Girls characters for being "kind of awful sometimes and a little bit selfish" in the Netflix revival. "There's been a little bit more of a backlash against their characters this time around," Emami explained, pointing to Rory's boyfriend in the new series, Paul, who is constantly forgotten by not only Luke and Lorelai, but neglected by Rory as well.
"We don't pay attention to anything," Graham said. "We don't know. None of us are on the internet, almost at all. So I know what you mean, but the show has a sense of humor, and that's its sense of humor."
"And I think maybe it feels a little different; Rory's not in high school anymore, so yes, as a grown woman constantly forgetting… I just thought it was a funny runner," she added. "But the whole show has a kind of heightened theatrical quality."
"I mean, just like Donald Trump, don’t take it literally," she explained. "But unlike that, to me, it was more of a metaphor for, this isn't the right guy, and this is how they communicate about it, and does it go 10 steps too far? I don't know, but it was 90 minutes. We had a lot of time to fill."
"Paul was a sacrificial lamb, and he knew it!" Patterson chipped in. "The audience knew it!"
While Graham and Patterson found the humor in the show's treatment of Paul, Bledel admitted that she struggled with her character's decision to string him along. "I think I'm always trying to understand where Rory's coming from in the choices she makes in her romantic life, because she's so together and so successful in everything she does, really, until these episodes start," she shared.
"But she's just so hardworking, and I think it's an interesting part of her character, but one that I've always struggled to understand," Bledel continued. "She always kind of picks people who are very different from one another and who challenge her, fortunately, but who don't necessarily bring out the best in her."
Bishop, too, said she was surprised at the turn her character, Emily, took in the Netflix show. "In the first seven years, never -- and this is the most amazing thing about Amy Sherman-Palladino -- I never had a moment where I thought, 'She wouldn't say that,'" she explained. "Now strange things start happening to Emily, as you might have noticed, which is really fun, because she was so severe and so structured… Now this character is going off in a very wild way."
ET caught up with Bledel and Matt Czuchry at the Gilmore Girls premiere earlier this month, where they defended their characters' shocking relationship.
"It did surprise me," Bledel confessed. "And I think it's a little uncomfortable for [Rory] even though she's kind of putting on a brave face that she's fine with it. I think she's actually not that emotionally connected to it. I think she's kind of just going through the motions at this point when we pick up with them."