Gilmore Girls Revival: Why Sookie & Dean Are Hardly In A Year In The Life


  • Melissa McCarthy’s character, Sookie, only has a brief appearance in the Gilmore Girls revival, disappointing fans who wanted to see her comedic chemistry with Lorelai.
  • The decision to minimize McCarthy’s and Padalecki’s roles was due to scheduling issues and their successful careers outside of Gilmore Girls.
  • The miscommunication between the show creators and McCarthy’s team led to conflicting reports about her availability for the revival, but they cleared things up in time for McCarthy to make a cameo.

2016’s Gilmore Girls reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, brought back most of the original cast for the Netflix miniseries, but why did viewers see so little of fan favorites Sookie and Dean? The four-episode Gilmore Girls revival brought back most of the show’s original cast but earned the ire of some fans for altering the characters. Of course, not every actor was able to put in an appearance in the revival, and some had their screen time compromised by promising post-Gilmore Girls career commitments, thus, the Melissa McCarthy Gilmore Girls reboot issue.

Melissa McCarthy’s Gilmore Girls character Sookie St. James and Jared Padalecki’s Dean Forrester were two prominent Gilmore Girls mainstays who barely put in an appearance in A Year in the Life. Although both actors do show up in A Year in the Life, they’re both only in the revival very briefly with a single scene each and a rushed explanation for their absence throughout the rest of the Gilmore Girls reboot. This was mostly down to scheduling issues, as both McCarthy and Padalecki have gone on to impressive careers since their tenure in Stars Hollow.

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Why Sookie & Dean Are Missing From The Gilmore Girls Revival

Melissa McCarthy Wasn’t In A Year In The Life Due To A Misunderstanding

Sookie is in A Year In The Life, but only briefly. The decision to minimize McCarthy and Padalecki’s roles to cameos in the Gilmore Girls reboot, creating the Sookie Gilmore Girls issue, is more acceptable in Dean’s case. Although Jess gets a bigger role in the reboot and Rory’s later love interest Logan is a major character, Dean wasn’t around much in later seasons of Gilmore Girls. Dean was written out long before A Year in the Life, so if anything, Rory’s stilted supermarket niceties are a relatively nice send-off for the underwritten figure. Plus, Padalecki’s then-ongoing commitments as co-lead of Supernatural made a bigger return impossible.

Sookie’s part in A Year in the Life is a disappointing letdown for viewers who hoped to see her reprise her superb comic chemistry with Lorelai.

The Gilmore Girls’ revival Sookie absence was felt much more, since McCarthy was a main character in the original Gilmore Girls. Controversially, McCarthy later said that the creators didn’t reach out to her about reprising her role, despite the showrunners claiming she was too busy to return to the part. That suggests she might’ve been willing to make time for a larger role, despite Melissa McCarthy’s movie career reaching greater heights since. It appears the Melissa McCarthy Gilmore Girls reboot issue was a misunderstanding since the creators and actor cleared things up in time for McCarthy to cameo in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.

Sookie’s part in A Year in the Life is a disappointing letdown for viewers who hoped to see her reprise her superb comic chemistry with Lorelai, as the more minor Gilmore Girls character Michel ends up with more screen time than the formerly central Sookie. While it’s understandable that the creators of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life had to work around McCarthy’s other obligations, it’s a shame Sookie received a worse send-off than an early love interest was offered.

What The Gilmore Girls Producers And Melissa McCarthy Said About Sookie In A Year In The Life

There Are Different Explanations About Why Sookie Didn’t Return Properly

Lorelai and Sookie Hugging in Gilmore Girls

There were conflicting reports from Gilmore Girls head Amy Sherman-Palladino and actress Melissa McCarthy about just why Sookie wouldn’t be in A Year In The Life. Sherman-Palladino initially said that McCarthy wasn’t available, while McCarthy initially said that she was never asked to participate. Between McCarthy’s team and the Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life producers, it seemed as though some miscommunication occurred.

When asked whether Sookie would be in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life by TV Line, Sherman-Palladino explained, “The thing I have said [to her team] is ‘Look, if Melissa is available and has an afternoon free, I’ll write her a scene… even if just for a cameo – we would be totally game.’” Sherman-Palladino was eager to include all the original series characters if possible, according to the interview.


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Though she talked freely about writing in a cameo in interviews, the producer also explained in the same interview that no storyline was even planned for Sookie in A Year In The Life because of Melissa McCarthy’s busy filming schedule for other projects. She told reporters, “[Sookie] was a character we knew we could not count on in terms of story because [Melissa] just simply wouldn’t have that sort of time to carve out for us.” Leaving McCarthy out of the revival series didn’t sound like an intentional snub, but rather a lack of timing.

Before Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life arrived on Netflix, McCarthy did get asked about the series by reporters while promoting her movie, The Boss. McCarthy explained to E!, “I don’t think I am,” when asked if Sookie would appear in the Gilmore Girls revival because, at that point, she wasn’t sure if she would still have a chance to appear. She further explained, “I didn’t actually get asked to do it. But I think they thought I was busy, and then by the time it did come up, then I actually was.

McCarthy did, however, voice her excitement for the revival as well. She proclaimed herself “thrilled” about the revival, and that she would love to get the chance to play Sookie again for Gilmore Girls. “That was seven years of my life and it was really great. I was proud of that show.

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Sookie talking to Lorelai in the kitchen on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

If Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life wasn’t likely to be the last time audiences will ever get to visit Gilmore Girls‘ Stars Hollow, McCarthy’s very minor appearance as Sookie wouldn’t feel so disappointing. However, Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life was a limited series that won’t be getting a second season any time soon, so the reboot’s first run was the only shot to send Sookie off with style just like everyone else.

This makes McCarthy’s cameo and the Melissa McCarthy Gilmore Girls reboot issue even more of a let-down, as it was really just a brief waste of both her talent and a beloved character that will never get the chance to develop further. The rest of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life may have been charming enough, but this Gilmore Girls disservice is still glaring – this didn’t provide the Sookie Gilmore Girls reunion that fans deserved.

Sookie And Dean May Have Dodged A Bullet

The Negative Reception To The Survival May Not Have Been Reversed By McCarthy’s Presence

Sookie St. James Pointing in Gilmore Girls

In the end, the Melissa McCarthy Gilmore Girls revival debacle may have worked out in the Bridesmaids actress’ favor, as A Year in the Life wasn’t that well received. The same goes for Jared Padalecki’s Dean. Neither Dean nor Sookie missed out in the Gilmore Girls revival. Unfortunately, A Year in the Life was lambasted by critics and viewers alike. The Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life ending garnered substantial criticism. Rory’s character in particular wasn’t treated well within the reboot series, and her ending was laughably out of character for the once ambitious journalist.

It’s better that McCarthy and Padalecki stayed away, as first off, their presence would not have made the journey any better. Instead, all it would’ve done is attach the two actors to a sinking ship. All in all, Melissa McCarthy and Jared Padalecki dodged a bullet by bowing out of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, as their presence wouldn’t have changed anything.

  • Gilmore Girls Netflix Winter Poster

    Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Aris Alvarado, Sean Gunn, Frank Gallegos, Keiko Agena, Matt Czuchry, Yanic Truesdale, Kelly Bishop

    Release Date:


    Comedy, Drama

    Story By:
    Amy Sherman-Palladino

    Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino

    Streaming Service(s):

    Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino

    Amy Sherman-Palladino


    Season List:
    Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – Season 1