As if 2016 as a year wasn't bad enough already — Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States only a month ago, in case you've already forgotten/blocked it out/Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Minded yourself — Dec. 7 was the cherry on top of the year: That aforementioned president elect, Trump, was chosen as TIME’s Person of the Year for 2016. Of course, this isn't at all an endorsement of Trump on TIME's end: being named Person of the Year means that an individual has had substantial influence over the past year, not necessarily positive influence. And, although the country is completely divided on their feelings towards Trump, there’s no denying that he made a massive impact on the U.S. — and, really, the world — during 2016. Trump wasn't the only influential person named in TIME's 2016 list: The magazine also released their list of Top 100 influential people in 2016, and I can’t help but notice one influential person missing in TIME’s lineup.
I’m sure you are flabbergasted by that statement — I mean, who could be missing? From Lin Manuel-Miranda to Bernie Sanders to Leonardo DiCaprio to Hillary Clinton to Caitlyn Jenner, it seems like TIME was able to snag everyone super important in 2016. But they did — and honestly, her absence hit me hard when I was reading over the list. Given the point of this TIME tradition — dating back to 1928 — was for TIME to highlight people who made an impact during the past year and made history, it only seems fitting to include the following influential person:
Even if you don’t recognize this person, you likely know who she
is. Why? Because she created that little show, Gilmore Girls, that the internet is flipping out over. Yeah, this is Amy
Sherman-Palladino in all her glory.
Now, hear me out, here: although Sherman-Palladino wasn’t in the spotlight as much when compared to the cast members, she was influential to millions of Gilmore Girls fans throughout the world in 2016. She was able to help millions of fans escape from a crazy election season and rest of the horrors of 2016 by bringing the small town of Stars Hollow back to the forefront of pop culture, in which the biggest problems included debating the installation of sewage systems and collecting the rotten Easter eggs in the town square. The return of Gilmore Girls in the form of Netflix's limited series Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life gave people a sense of hope as they watched Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) work to achieve their dreams, work out family issues, and create a home that was inviting to so many within their town… and of course, to millions of viewers watching the town on their television screens and laptops around the world.
Sure, the new series Gilmore
Girls: A Year in the Life was released this November, but the internet has
been going bonkers about Gilmore Girls since the revival announcement dropped in January 2016. Not only did the revival allow Sherman-Palladino end the show in the way she wanted to (since she wasn't involved with the seventh and final season of the original series), but it brought a sense of unity back to the internet that I honestly hadn't felt in a really long time. Gilmore Girls fans of all ages were going crazy with excitement, and we all had each other for both support and long-winded debates about this magical little series. Sherman-Palladino bringing the show back gave us a place to escape to, at least for a while.
Fans were talking crazy theories on the show since the revival announcement, especially when Entertainment Weekly released exclusive photographs on set for the new show in mid-2016 — especially when it came to what those final four words were, the sentence that Sherman-Palladino had reportedly had in mind to end the series from the moment it started in 2000. Of course, I won’t spoil the last four words in case you haven’t seen the revival yet, but they too gave the Internet something to talk about when they were revealed. In fact, it seems the conversation around Gilmore Girls increased by tenfold when the series dropped on Netflix the day after Thanksgiving — hundreds of websites were covering this twist ending, including The New York Times, Vogue, Vox, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and even TIME. Sherman-Palladino's little series about a sweetly close mother-daughter duo in the most charming tiny town there is was dominated the conversation for weeks, and it's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
It may not be politics-related or factor into bigger conversations about the future of our world, but Sherman-Palladino deserves recognition for bringing Gilmore Girls back to the world at a time when many fans needed it most. She took people to a place that made them feel comforted and loved, even as the real world seemed it couldn't get any darker or cruel. The world needed Sherman-Palladino this year, and so does TIME’s Top 100 Influential People of 2016.
Images: Giphy (2)