They say one of the best signs of success as a fiction writer is when the reader wants to know what happens to the hero and heroine long after the author writes the words THE END.
When the reader still needs to know what happens next to her now beloved characters, the writer knows she has created something memorable and real. We want them to get their happily ever after but it has to make sense. A tall order.
That’s why the Gilmore Girls reunion was so interesting to watch and was the source of endless discussion and speculation for me and other fans.
And that’s why the current hit TV show This is Us turns the whole notion of happily ever after on it’s head.
It doesn’t hurt that Milo Ventimiglia is an integral part of both of these series either.
With The Gilmore reunion, most of the questions that were percolating for about 10 years since the series’ abrupt ending were answered.
Did Loralei finally get her happily ever after with Luke? Yes!
How would Emily Gilmore deal with widowhood? In her own inimitable, cranky style.
And Rory? Was she now a world famous reporter ala Christiane Amanpour as had always been her goal? And what about her love life?
Aside from leaving the door open for a further Gilmore series or reunion, Rory’s current life didn’t ring true to me at first. An unplanned pregnancy at 16 is one thing but at 32? Returning to Stars Hollow with her career in tatters? Rory? But under the premise that thirty is the new twenty in professional and personal lives, it made some sense.
But still, I kept wondering could a girl who grew up as Loralei’s daughter turn out like Rory? The answer is yes. And the writers succeeded. I care about the characters. I want them to find their happily ever afters. And the ending was believeable if ironic.
The genius of This is Us, aside from the stellar cast which includes Mandy Moore and an amazing Milo Ventimiglia, is the non-linear format.
This causes us to speculate endlessly about events in the past, present and the future which influence our now beloved Becca, Jack, Kate, Randall, Kevin not to mention William, Toby and Beth. Every week we wonder how the people and events of their lives mixed with the essential elements of personality affect them and their decisions and by natural extension, us.
Are we the products of nature or nurture? Did our parents screw us up? Can we rise above our screwed up parts to find happily ever after?
I’ll keep watching to find out. And I’m sure long after the series is over I will still care about all of them. The writers have succeeded. And that’s just my nature.