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Beloved ‘Gilmore Girls’ makes return to Stars Hollow

November 25, 2016

Four little words.

Will they change the way fans view “Gilmore Girls”?

Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has waited almost a decade to finish her beloved dramedy the way she intended all those years ago when she first created the show.

She and her husband, director/writer Daniel Palladino, left the show after a contract dispute following its sixth season, and other producers took it over for its seventh and final season in 2007.

Now they and almost everyone who ever appeared on the show (it seems) are back for four 90-minute films, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” streaming today on Netflix.

In your typical TV revival, old and aging favorites reunite for another lap around a familiar track and an even more familiar script. No, you’re not going to hear Lorelai say, “Oy, with the poodles again.”

The story is propelled by the 2014 death of actor Edward Herrmann, who played Gilmore patriarch Richard.

The grief his survivors — his wife of 50 years, the regal Emily (Kelly Bishop), impetuous daughter Lorelai (Heather Graham) and brainy granddaughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) — feel both binds them and separates them, forcing them to come to new understandings with each other and themselves.

Emily’s behavior alarms her daughter. She commissions a painting of Richard so big, it can probably be seen from Mars. She decides to declutter the mansion. She even wears — gasp! — jeans.

Bishop is just so authentic as a widow finding her way that she deserves an Emmy.

Some things, of course, will never change, and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sherman-Palladino’s dialogue still races, stuffed with pop culture references. The Gilmore girls still have appetites to rival sharks and they never gain an ounce. Luke (Scott Patterson) remains a grump in a baseball cap. Remember how much of a nightmare we all thought teenage Paris Geller (Liza Weil, now on “How to Get Away with Murder”) was?

Paris today makes that Paris look as cuddly as Paul Anka (the dog, not the singer).

The first movie, set in winter, starts four months after Richard’s death but flashes back to the funeral. Lorelai once again manages to get on her mother’s bad side. (Team Emily, people.)

As the movies progress, you see more of the wacky Stars Hollow residents you love. Kirk’s (Sean Gunn) newest business venture goes astonishingly poorly.

Have you ever wondered what a Stars Hollow musical might look like?

Try deranged.

Melissa McCarthy’s career has had the trajectory of a shooting star in recent years, but her appearance as Sookie is a welcome affirmation to the bonds of friendship at the heart of the show.

Jess’ (Milo Ventimiglia) innocent suggestion to Rory precipitates a major conflict between Rory and Lorelai.

About those four little words:

Not a spoiler, not a hint about who says them or what they mean.

But after hearing them, you might be disappointed.

You might be outraged.

And you might think: “Gilmore Girls” could never have ended any other way.

You’ll definitely want another chapter.

Maybe that was the master plan all along.