“Gilmore Girls: Jess Was Too Good For Rory In The End”
Despite starting out as an immature troublemaker during the original run of Gilmore Girls, Jess Mariano’s (Milo Ventimiglia) maturity and growth in the Netflix revival Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life proves he may be too good for Rory (Alexis Bledel) after all. While she used to be a caring and mature bookworm during her high school days, Rory seems to have devolved into an egocentric person in the sequel to the television series, which takes place ten years after the events of Gilmore Girls.
Jess Mariano first premiered in season 2 of Gilmore Girls as Luke Danes (Scott Patterson)’ rebellious nephew. While book-smart, Jess was never academically motivated, often skipping school and causing minor trouble for the people of Stars Hollow, including stealing garden gnomes and creating a fake crime scene outside of Doose’s Market. When he and Rory dated during their senior year of high school, he was often criticized for not being good enough for her, not only because of his immature attitude, but because he treated her poorly while they were dating. However, after the revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life debuted on Netflix, it became pretty clear that Jess might actually be too good for Rory now that he’s moved passed his teenage troublemaking phase.
In A Year In The Life, Jess proves that he’s grown up into a caring and mature adult by acting as a source of positivity for his friends and family. While he used to write off his mother as a neurotic and unreliable mess, Jess returns to Star’s Hollow to rescue her and his stepfather TJ (Michael DeLuise) from joining a vegetable cult. While he and Luke used to have a rocky relationship, Jess becomes Luke’s confidant in the revival, helping him work through his relationship problems with Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and picking out a suit for his wedding. When Jess bumps into Rory, he also acts as her advisor, giving her the idea to write a book about her life. While Jess makes an effort to connect with those around him, Rory, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to truly care about the people in her life and is distracted by the failings of her career.
Throughout Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, Rory gets fired from her ghostwriter position with Naomi Shropshire (Alex Kingston), struggles to find a steady position in journalism, and carries on a questionable affair with her ex-boyfriend Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), who is currently engaged to another woman. With her adult life in flux, Rory seems to take it out on her loved ones by consistently making poor choices that hurt those around her, including her mother Lorelai Gilmore. When Rory decides to write a book about her mother’s life, she does so with the sole interest of furthering her own floundering career and pays no mind to her mother’s wishes despite Lorelei’s disapproval of the idea. Apart from disregarding her mother’s feelings, Rory’s relationship with Paul (Jack Carpenter) perfectly sums up the character’s egocentrism, since Rory becomes so self-centered that she consistently forgets she has a boyfriend.
Apart from his growth in A Year In The Life, Jess showed signs of maturity as early as Gilmore Girls season 6, episode 18, “The Real Paul Anka.” When Luke visits Jess in Philadelphia, he is running a small publishing company with some friends, has written a short novel, and pays Luke back the money he owes him. Within the same episode, Rory avoids talking to Logan about the problems in their relationship and tries to use Jess to get back at Logan for cheating on her. This episode in season 6 shows that while Jess is growing up and making amends with the people he’s wronged in his past, Rory is using other people for her own means, and continues to do so ten years later in A Year In The Life.
While it’s insinuated at the end of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life that Jess is interested in dating Rory again, Rory appears to have some soul-searching to do before reaching Jess’ level of emotional maturity.
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