This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Gilmore Girls" is back — and count me among those who are all-but-ecstatic about it.

(The four-part, six-hour event "A Year in the Life" begins streaming Friday at 1 a.m. MT on Netflix.)

I loved the show from the beginning. When it premiered in October 2000, I wrote that it was "great." It remained great for the six years that series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino ran it. Until she left in a contract dispute.

It was the ultimate family show about an untraditional family. Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) was a smart, funny 32-year-old who raised a smart, funny 16-year-old daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). Rory's birth ruptured Lorelai's relationship with her wealthy parents, Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (the late Edward Herrmann), and "Gilmore Girls" centered on the dynamics of this fractured family.

Way back in 1990, before the show premiered, Sherman-Palladino told TV critics, "You want a show to stay on 5,000 years, pick a family show. Those are the richest areas in the world. I think those are where the greatest stories come from. It's the greatest, complex relationships.

"As a writer, to really get something good and interesting and deep and screwed up and fun and heartwarming and evil all in the same thing, you can go to a family. … It's a matter of what is sort of a timeless show that I want to be deeply, deeply involved in for the rest of my life."

It hasn't been 5,000 years or even the rest of her life, but 16 years is a long time in TV. Not every show could pull this off.

But going back to "Gilmore Girls" is like going home.

No spoilers here. I wouldn't do that to you. And not just because Netflix made me agree not to before giving me access to the four TV movies — "Winter," "Spring," "Summer" and "Fall" — in "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."

The narrative picks up nine years after the show ended, gradually revealing what has become of the major characters.

And the minor characters are back in force. Pretty much everybody in the magical town of Stars Hollow returns, at least briefly. It doesn't feel like a reunion, it feels like we've been away and we're rejoining old friends.

There's drama. There's comedy. There are more than a few surprises. Including the final scene.

The only thing I'll tell you about the famous Final Four Words that Sherman-Palladino always intended to use to end the series is that they made me and my two daughters gasp.

OK, I'll tell you one other thing. The more I think about The Final Four Words, the more I admire Sherman-Palladino. It's a great ending. It made me re-evaluate not just "A Year in the Life" but the original series.

But once you find out what The Final Four Words are, don't tell anybody. Don't put them on social media. Don't be that person.

"Gilmore Girls" fans deserve to experience "A Year in the Life" for themselves. It's great!

Scott D. Pierce covers TV for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.