‘Gilmore Girls’: Rory Gilmore Floundered Because No One Ever Told Her She Was Wrong

Catching back up with the Gilmore Girls in the Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, fans didn’t really expect to see overachieving Rory Gilmore completely lost. When the revival aired in 2016, Rory was supposed to be in her 30s, and, considering her smarts and her Yale education, one would think she’d have, at the very least, a successful and stable career. That didn’t happen, though. Rory had a troubled love life, a nearly nonexistent career, and nowhere to live instead. While hiccups are expected in any young adult’s life, fans note that Rory’s inability to find success might have something to do with the fact that no one in her life ever told her she was wrong.

Lorelai always stood up for Rory, even when it was clear Rory was the problem

Lorelai Gilmore set out to be the exact opposite of her mother. She was lenient and focused intently on being her daughter’s friend. The relationship was heartwarming in a lot of ways, but over the years, it became pretty evident that Rory lacked the guidance and discipline that she needed. Lorelai took every opportunity to stick up for her daughter when, in reality, she often didn’t deserve it.

Lorelai freaked out at Chilton when they wouldn’t let Rory take an exam because she was late. Later on in the series, Lorelai insisted Rory didn’t break up a marriage when she slept with her then-married ex-boyfriend, Dean Forrester. Lorelai even tried to pin the yacht stealing incident on Logan Huntzberger, even after Rory made it clear it was all her idea. Lorelai kind of did Rory a disservice by showing her there would always be someone else to stick up for her. That doesn’t really work in the real world.

Richard and Emily Gilmore enabled Rory to do absolutely nothing for months at a time

Lorelai wasn’t the only person in Rory’s life who was happy to praise her, even if she didn’t deserve it. Both Richard and Emily Gilmore insisted on treating Rory like everything she did was perfectly normal, even when it was the opposite of normal. Take the yacht incident, for example. Neither Richard nor Emily felt the need to ask Rory to explain her actions. Instead, they just took her in and allowed her to sit around for several months.

Rory had exactly zero plans for her future, and Emily and Richard acted like that was entirely rational. Were they afraid to anger Rory? Who knows, but it’s safe to say that the duo would have never treated Lorelai the same way. They certainly wouldn’t have let the yacht incident go without so much as a conversation. They were still salty about Lorelai’s teen pregnancy, two decades after Rory was born.

Did everyone overestimate Rory’s abilities?

Rory was smart. She was organized and seemed to take her studies seriously. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be a success once you are out of the structure of academia. That seems to be what happened with Rory. She may not have been as talented and bright as everyone thought. Instead, it’s possible that Rory was just really good at following directives.

Rory’s failures as an adult could be linked to the fact that, maybe, her abilities were overestimated mainly by the people around her. In the end, it seems likely that Mitchum Huntzberger, who told Rory she didn’t “have” it, was right all along. Rory had a lot of skills and could have been highly successful in many fields if only her family hadn’t spent decades overestimating her abilities, and feeding into her dreams of being a well-respected journalist.