Every idiotic career mistake Rory makes in the ‘Gilmore Girls’ reboot

In "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," Rory Gilmore bombs an interview after showing up unprepared.
Source: Saeed Adyani | Netflix

Weeks after Netflix released its highly anticipated four-episode "Gilmore Girls" reboot, titled "A Year in the Life," on Black Friday, many loyal viewers remain exasperated by the way its protagonist Rory Gilmore handles her journalism career.

The show portrays the now 32-year-old character to be flighty and irresponsible, not just romantically (we've seen that before), but also professionally.

At the end of the TV show's final season on the CW, a purposeful Rory turns down a marriage proposal to get on a bus and report on then-candidate Barack Obama. Many viewers cheered the scrappy, 22-year-old Yale grad for seeking fulfillment by pursuing her dreams. Like showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino, many viewers weren't Team Dean, Team Jess or Team Logan: They were Team Rory.

In this reboot, though, set 10 years later, Rory seems to have forgotten everything she learned, and she's picked up some new bad habits, too.

Here is a list of every career mistake Rory makes in the "Gilmore Girls" reboot.

1. She’s a freelancer without an anchor client.

Rule No. 1 of striking out on your own is to make sure you have some steady money coming in that can help cover basic expenses while you pursue other exciting but less certain endeavors. That way, when a client unexpectedly kills a project, as Rory learns that clients are wont to do, you won't be left unable to cover the cost of rent (or new underwear).

2. She spends unearthly amounts of time and money flying across the Atlantic ineptly putting together a book proposal about an absent-minded alcoholic.

First of all, once you realize a collaborator has a drinking problem, you should stop meeting her for work in places that serve martinis.

The larger problem is that Rory has no idea how to put together a book proposal. That's fine! Everyone has to learn somehow. But instead of asking a mentor for guidance, or even doing basic internet research, she goes about it the worst possible way: Rory chooses a chaotic subject, is unable to impose any structure on her or on the project, spends like she already has an advance when she does not and then complains about the chaos until it defeats her.

Rory's book idea could as easily, and far more affordably, come together over email or Skype. But of course, that wouldn't have let her frolic illicitly with her engaged ex-boyfriend, which is the real reason she keeps going to London.

3. She calls an editor to pitch a story.

Seriously, what does Rory have against email? Respect people's time. Send the messages. Don't call.

4. She agrees to work for free for that editor, even though she’s broke and not actually excited about the story.

Professionals, especially ones 10 years into their careers, should not work for free — particularly when they don't have a very good reason or a very clear plan.

5. She falls asleep while talking to one source she’s interviewing for that story.

Not cool. If your source is so boring you can't stay awake while speaking with them, your readers won't want to hear from them either. Move on.

6. She then sleeps with another source.

Really? Do you want to end up like Zoe Barnes from Netflix's "House of Cards"?

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7. She shows up to a job interview with Sandee of the up-and-coming website SandeeSays embarrassingly unprepared.

"Sell me," says the CEO.

"Sell," repeats Rory, frowning, as though unfamiliar with the concept. "OK, we're selling?"

A minute later, after flopping around like a fish that's landed in the bottom of a boat, she admits, "I didn't have a pitch prepared."

It seems that the only thing that Rory did to get ready for the interview was shower. It's a good start, but even when you look like Rory Gilmore, you have to be able to offer something besides clean hair.

8. When Sandee asks Rory to come up with some pitches for the articles she would write for the site, Rory can’t.

"Stuff about the world," Rory says vaguely, "and culture. ..."

Yes, Rory has bylines in more established publications like The Atlantic, The New Yorker and Slate. Yes, Sandee has been pursuing and flattering her. But thinking you're too good for the potential job, and that a lucky outfit is all you need, will never get you hired.

Staff writing jobs, the kind that come with salaries and benefits, are scarcer than palm trees in Connecticut. And Rory must need benefits: What has she been doing for health insurance?

Conde Nast isn't hiring, Rory, and SandeeSays is. Focus.

Candidates at job interviews are expected to explain why the hirer should take a chance on them. Your goal is to appear likable and familiar, to discuss your relevant skills and to make a compelling case for why you would be the right person to help the organization meet its goals.

You have to bring your best self to an interview. That could include a copy of your resume, a portfolio of your work, some opinions about what the company has done well in the past and some ideas about how you could help the company to do even better in the future.

Showing up empty-handed and, worse, empty-headed is a waste of everyone's time.

9. When Sandee calls Rory after the interview, Rory throws a tantrum.

Of course it hurts when someone you think is beneath you, who has been pursuing you, rejects you. Rory's disappointment is natural: She had thought getting this job offer would be easy.

But Rory's reaction to being disappointed is unprofessional. She could have used the opportunity to apologize to Sandee or to ask for an opportunity to freelance for a while in order to prove herself. Instead, here are some of the many things she says in response to an actual CEO she just interviewed with:

  • "What? You basically promised me the job was mine."

  • "Are you high?"

  • "You got my hopes up. For a job I didn't even want!"

  • "You wasted my time."

Rory doesn't burn that bridge by accident; she sets it on fire and dances among the flames. This is arson and, especially in a small, gossipy world like online journalism in New York, it is a crime that ought to send Rory straight to Millennial Jail.

10. Rory impulsively takes on the editorship of the Stars Hollow Gazette.

In doing so, she once again makes a choice without having a plan; she takes on a project she isn't particularly enthusiastic about; and she agrees to work for free, even though she's still supposedly broke.

Possibly the only smart career move she makes over the course of the entire show is to give up the overpriced Brooklyn apartment she seems to have been living in by herself. And she makes that choice off-screen before the show starts.

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