Fans were stunned to find Rory Gilmore with a floundering career in journalism during Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. When fans last left her at the end of 2007, she was poised to take on the world, or, at the very least, the campaign trail. What happened between 2007 and 2016, when the revival was released on Netflix, wasn’t explained in great detail, but it was clear that Rory’s career hadn’t exactly panned out. Was it really all that shocking, though? Amy Sherman-Palladino may have hinted at Rory’s future failure several times during the show’s seven seasons.
Rory Gilmore was indecisive
Journalists who focus on hard-hitting topics have to be decisive. They have an instinct, and they are comfortable following that instinct. That was not a personality trait that Rory possessed. Sherman-Palladino proved that fact time and time again.
Rory couldn’t choose between Dean and Jess during her high school career, and she had a difficult time picking a college. Later on, Rory panicked about deciding what job she should take. She was not someone who could make an instant decision. Rory needed a ton of time to think through every option that was presented to her.
Rory folded under pressure
Rory was not great under pressure. While her mother, Lorelai Gilmore, insisted she was wonderful and brilliant, Rory was prone to meltdowns when things didn’t go here way. In season 1 of the series, she freaked out when she arrived late for a test and wasn’t permitted to take it. In Season 5, she lost it entirely when Mitchum Huntzberger told her she didn’t have what it took to be a journalist, and in season 7, she unraveled when her time as the editor of the Yale Daily News was up.
While those instances don’t necessarily make Rory a bad person, it’s clear that Sherman-Palladino was trying to paint Rory as someone who didn’t thrive in a fast-paced, decision-driven environment. That is precisely the type of person who probably isn’t cut out for a career in hard-hitting journalism.
Rory, herself, worried if she had peaked in high school
When Rory joined the Yale Daily News she appeared to be on the right path, but her time at the paper started a little bumpy. When she was simply trying out for a spot on the team, Rory had a piece that didn’t make it into the paper. Doyle, Rory’s editor at the time, told her that the article was a “yawn,” to which she replied that she spent a ton of time researching the piece. She eventually rebounded and earned a spot on the team, but her first idea pitch was also a failure.
Rory was still young when she joined the paper, but it can be argued that Sherman-Palladino was subtly showing fans that Rory maybe wasn’t cut out for the field that she dreamed of working in since childhood. Rory may have had a knack for well-researched content, but her instincts regarding what would interest the reader appeared to be a bit off.
Multiple people suggested she wasn’t cut out for journalism
Longtime fans of the series have pointed out that Rory was very rarely reprimanded by her mother. Her grandparents similarly indulged her. For several seasons, Rory was presented as a person who never did anything wrong, and never failed at anything. That’s why it was rather startling when someone pointed out that maybe Rory wasn’t cut out for something she wanted.
Throughout the series, three different people expressed surprise and concern about Rory’s career plans. First, Headmaster Charleston appeared confused by the disconnect between Rory’s personality and her career aspirations. A couple of seasons later, Jess Mariano suggested that journalism seemed too “rough” for Rory. Finally, Mitchum Huntzberger told Rory that she was excellent at anticipating people’s needs, but didn’t have the spark he looked for in future journalists.