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Tag Archives: 00s fashion

TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 2

24 Aug
N.B. Since the Gilmore Girls revival is just around the corner (squee!), we decided to speed up our discussion of the show. Here are our thoughts on the entirety of Season 2.
img_4114-1Emma: So it has been a while since we last talked Gilmore and we return with the rest of season 2 as with the announcement of when all new GG will hit Netflix (November 25) I realized I don’t have a lot of time to catch up on 5 more seasons. Where we cut off last time is actually a good breaking off point (we watched the first four episodes of S2) as it covers the summer of Gilmore and these shows tend to start back with the new school year. Episode 5 is where we return and it also happens to be Rory’s first day back at Chilton and the introduction of another terrible love interest for Rory.

Before I get yelled at regarding Rory’s terrible love interests this opinion might change, but so far I am very eh on Jess. However, he is already better than Dean who I still think is The Worst and his behavior in these episodes does little to alter this title.

All I knew about Jess before his introduction is that he is played by Milo Ventimiglia and that he IRL dated Alexis Bledel. The Luke connection was a surprise and it turns out that Luke’s sister can’t handle her son at the moment so ships him off to Stars Hollow. That is enough to make anyone crabby especially as Luke’s place above the dinner is a studio apartment with not a lot of space for uncle and nephew. It would be fine for a couple, but this is not a great living arrangement. Jess smokes and steals, but I barely get a hint of actual bad boy. It is also posturing, back chatting and taking a beer from Lorelai’s fridge without anything to back it up. On the scale of teen bad boys he barely registers and he’s no Ryan Atwood (who is actually really sweet/from the wrong side of the tracks).img_4074The one thing Jess has going for him is he really likes books and instantly has a connection with Rory based off this (although he pretends to know nothing at first as some kind of flirting dumb boy shtick). Rory is intrigued by him and while things are fine(ish) with Dean to start with when she meets Jess it seems like something else altogether. Their chemistry grows throughout the season and of course I am wondering when they got together IRL.

Not that Jess is the only ‘bad boy’ in her life as Tristan is still around at the start of the season until The WB’s started their next phase in their quest to make Chad Michael Murray happen and “Run Away, Little Boy” marks Tristan’s departure as he gets the classic ‘shipped off to military school’ ending so he can go be terrible on Dawson’s Creek (where I first encountered him). Graduating school to go to college and he somehow sleeps with both Jen and Joey.

“Run Away, Little Boy” actually helps highlight the worst of Dean as he insists on sitting in on Rory’s rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet. This is for a school project, a school Dean doesn’t go to and Rory is Juliet with Tristan being her Romeo. This brings up a lot of old resentments and Rory talks to her mom about whether she should tell Dean about her Tristan kiss. Lorelai is firmly in the no camp as all it will do is cause pain. It doesn’t matter as Tristan tells Dean about that night and it all kicks off. Tristan gets booted before the performance and Paris has to play Romeo just as my notes were crying out for. So long Tristan, we hardly knew/cared about you.

What were your initial impressions of Jess? And did you change your mind as the season went on?img_4102Julie: I was in the same camp as you regarding Jess. I only knew who played him (and even that only because I watched the first season of Heroes and remember the fact that he was on Gilmore Girls was a THING), and that he had dated Rory IRL. Did he also date Hayden Panatierre or however you spell it? Am I remembering that wrong?

Anyway, my biggest memories of early days Jess was that his character felt like such a cliché. He was the “bad” boy who liked poetry. I found that kind of annoying and a little manic pixie dream boy. Without the manic. My feelings about Jess did evolve over time, but I never did feel he was really right for Rory.

I did like his relationship with Luke, though. So much of the early seasons is Luke learning how to deal with other people, so the fact that he ended up having to share his apartment with a high school kid was made for drama. And it also gave him something to talk to Lorelai about (and to fight with her about) because she knows about raising teenagers, though Rory is not your typical teenager.

Dean, yes, is terrible as always. I’ve seen so many “Who’s Rory’s best boyfriend?” posts over the past few months, and I’m inclined to say no one. While Lorelai has had a bevy of worthy suitors (Max, Christopher, Luke, ROON), Rory has had garbage. For the most part. We’ll talk when you get to Logan, whom I had no idea existed until I watched this show myself. It was always Dean and Jess. What about Logan? I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on him.

I do love that season two really started to understand who Rory’s true love interest is, however. We all know that’s Paris.img_4109Emma: Yeah we pretty much knew the same amount about Jess including who he dated IRL (and yep Hayden Panatierre was also on that list) and he definitely feels like a version of a MPDB. Holden Caulfield is definitely his idol and I’m glad he also gets called out for this BS. But Rory of course like his whole version of no one understanding him and he is different enough from Dean to be seen as really interesting. Rory, the writing notes in the pages of your books is an instant cause for dismissal and yet this causes her to moon even more. Dean has always tried to get into the book thing and yet this is not his passion.

I think this is one of my issues with Dean is he always tries to make out that he is a good guy, but he also complains a lot about letting Rory do the things she wants. I also think we’re meant to think Dean is a good guy, but so much of what he does is passive aggressive and the underlying lack of trust/jealousy is pretty much everything that is wrong with the nice guy trope. See also Noel Crane (although I would take Noel over Dean any day). The car accident is a perfect example of this because instead of asking Rory if she is okay after reading her letter he instead double checks that Jess is really gone.

In terms of Rory’s love interests so far it is very much Jess > Dean but urgh it is not much of a competition. I am looking forward to Logan and I only know there is a Logan because he is played by Matt Czuchry of Good Wife fame (to me).img_4093Jess is more palatable with Luke even though a lot of the time he is being a bit of an ass to him, but it does give good back and forths because they are both just as terrible at saying what they feel beyond a few words at a time. I am surprised it took so long for Luke to look for a bigger place for them to live in because this situation looks like a nightmare. Putting a sledge hammer through the wall looks like a lot of fun and it is always enjoyable when Luke goes up against Taylor.

One thing I do find really interesting about this whole dynamic is Lorelai as she digs Dean as a boyfriend choice and is pretty anti-Jess (for good reasons) and it also throws a spanner in the works with Luke. They have minor disagreements and then the BIG disagreement and I can’t believe that we reach the end of this season without so much as a smooch between the pair. LOTS of flirty banter and pretty much everyone around them spelling out what we already know, but this is one hookup that is getting dragged out for all it is worth. To be honest I don’t mind that they haven’t got together yet as it is still relatively early and the whole Christopher stuff is interesting enough. How do you feel about how the whole Christopher thing played out?img_4104Julie: I just realized that Dean reminds me of Scott Eastwood. (I was just reading Lainey during breakfast.) He keeps insisting he’s one thing, when really he’s another. Like, if he tells us enough times that he’s a good dude, that will make it true. The difference between Noel and Dean, I think, is that Noel never tried to hold Felicity (or Hannah) back. He seemed to like being with a smart, driven, talented woman. That’s what drew him to Felicity in the first place. Dean appeared to only like Rory at the beginning because she was cute. And he probably perceived her as a “nice girl,” too.

Okay, Christopher. I love Christopher. I was, like everyone, very Team Luke right from the start, probably because that’s what you’re supposed to be. It’s Luke and Lorelai, not Chris and Lorelai.

But kudos to this show for making Lorelai’s competing love interests (FOR THE MOST PART, foreshadowing future bogus love) so compelling. Max was a delight, and he would’ve been a great choice for her. And there’s just something about Christopher. He’s adorable, first of all, and, while he and Lorelai are a little toxic together because their upbringings are so similar, they get each other. And I think it’s romantic that Rory’s parents could end up together, happily. Christopher doesn’t feel like a concession. He’s not a Paulo or a Julie, filling time until Ross and Rachel can get together. He’s an actual, bonafide alternative to Luke.img_4113But then Sherry comes in and gets all knocked up. That device, at the time, felt very forced, but I think, in future seasons, it ends up working. This show does not drop stuff. Christopher is going to be a full-on dad now, for the second time. And where it goes from here is compelling. It’s too early in the show for Luke and Lorelai to get together, but it’s also, in a lot of ways, too early for her and Christopher as well.

How about the supporting stories? What did you make of Sookie and Jackson?img_4096Emma: The Dean comparison is so spot on and you’re right that Noel didn’t hold his love interests back. He is definitely better than Dean (even if he did stalk Tyra – to this day that storyline still mystifies me).

And I love that you talk about Christopher as more than an almost ran because there is very much a sense that he could be the one for Lorelai, even if Luke is the long term plan. They have so much history and flirty chemistry combined with the whole Rory of it all. The writers also did a good job of drip feeding Christopher and how much time he was spending with them from Rory’s formal introduction into society to the more serious side when she was in the car accident. It was important to re-establish his involvement in their lives beyond just a quick hook up on Lorelai’s old balcony a la old times like in season 1.

We know the heat is there, but the other stuff is just as important and we also know that Christopher can be pretty flaky. Not that his flakiness is all him; he did try and settle down with Lorelai but hey they were 16 and that was too soon. Now he has a Sherry (who I was not a fan of thanks to her “we don’t have to be friends” chat with Lorelai) and things are going great until they’re not. That’s when the big thing and seeming commitment between Lorelai and Chris happens, but then surprise pregnancy alert and he doesn’t want to miss out on being a dad again. Which is understandable but probs terrible in the long run.img_4117Seeing Lorelai so happy and then so crushed in the finale is super sad, but then again I also want her to get with Luke. But also at this point they’re not really talking. Bad times with dudes for Lorelai.

Supporting stories wise I do like Jackson and Sookie, but it’s all pretty much conflict free, which is fine but also makes me less invested. Yes there is the moment where Jackson hints at wanting to move in together and there’s a gender flip with how this pans out but generally they seem pretty solid. I do like the Lorelai/Sookie friendship and I’d like more of that. They had more of an argument to do with Lorelai freaking out about their new inn idea and what has happened with that plan? They have become rather silent on the matter.

The town as a whole still seems equal parts crazy and fun and I am so here for any Luke versus Taylor battle. Any standout town moments for you in season 2?img_4115Julie: I forgot about Noel stalking Tyra! How did this devolve into a Felicity discussion? Everything always comes back to Felicity–and Tyra!

I do love how much the town is fleshed out. It feels like there are so many stories bubbling just below the surface–Gypsy, Kirk, Taylor, Miss Patty. Any time the town has to get together is great for me. And Taylor and Luke are the best frenemies. Taylor is so insufferable, I love it.

I’m also way on board with Lorelai and Sookie opening the inn, but I do kind of get why the subject gets dropped. It feels real–just like how Lorelai’s possible suitors feel real. It’s a big step for the two of them, who are comfortable in their own jobs for the time being. Opening the inn seems like the obvious next step, but I totally see why it would take them a while to pull the trigger.

But Luke and Lorelai do need to kiss already.

Favorite moments? Looking back through the episodes, there weren’t a ton of moments that stuck out for me. I did love Lorelai’s graduation and her parents’ reaction to it. They are really proud of her, deep down. I also love, love, love the idea of the picnic lunch auction. I feel like that could be an entire YA book I should write 🙂

I also liked the Bracebridge dinner, because who doesn’t love a good bottle episode? I would’ve liked some more inappropriate hooking up to have happened, but oh well.

What about you?img_4099Emma: They so need to kiss and just as they get closer something or someone always happens. A lot of my notes when it comes to Luke and Lorelai do just say KISS. It has not worked so far.

They are pretty much a couple as it is, but without the extra fun stuff and I’m glad that everyone in the town can see that they are clearly into each other. The only two people who aren’t willing to totally admit it are Luke and Lorelai. This is why there big argument after the car crash is such a big deal because they have been edging closer and then Jess comes between them. Lorelai has been iffy on Jess since the start and this just supports all her biggest fears and the fact that Luke has been a bit too lackadaisical in delivering any kind of parental discipline doesn’t help.

I wouldn’t say this is a favorite moment as such, but the crash (which we don’t see – budget reasons?) is a huge turning point for Rory and Lorelai. It underscores just how terrible Rory and Dean are as a couple because she clearly is into Jess and Dean is more concerned that Jess has gone than asking if Rory is okay. Rory isn’t completely innocent in all of this, but Dean is still the worst. Also I am so here for Rory showing just how imperfect she can be when it comes to matters of the heart. After all, everyone fucks up sometimes. The writing is on the wall for Dean and Rory from the fact that she doesn’t notice her missing bracelet for two weeks, her spontaneous (and skipping school) trip to NYC (amazing how easily she finds Jess) to kissing Jess at Sookie’s wedding. This doesn’t sound like a relationship that will last.img_4100I also really love the Bracebridge dinner episode and it is the most Stars Hollow bottle episode. It also brings the whole Richard and Emily rift to a head and I think it was really interesting to see such a strong relationship wobble and that it addresses what happens when you retire. Routines are disrupted and Richard questions his worth. I’m also really glad this wasn’t a two episodes and resolved arc. It actually went deep and the best teen shows can handle problems that don’t just relate to the teens. I never considered that they would break up, but it did take these characters to some unexpected places. What did you make of this turn?

Another Emily and Lorelai highlight is their trip to the spa which includes all the ups and downs of an Emily and Lorelai extended hangout. They argue, they have fun and old shit gets brought up. And it always seem fresh and interesting the way they do it.

As you mention the graduation is a highlight (even if Seth MacFarlane plays the worst dude) and underscores so much of what is so compelling about Lorelai and her parents difficult and yet loving dynamic.

There are so many Stars Hollows events and they somehow get even more random as the season progresses, but the picnic is fun and I would definitely read a YA set at something like this.

Any Lane or Paris thoughts? Also any standout early 00s outfits or old references? David Letterman’s stalker, “Anne Heche crazy,” and the Emily the Strange sticker Lane puts on Rory’s cast are ones that spring to mind.

Oh and Kirk’s black and white experimental film starring Mary Lynn Rajskub is AMAZING.img_4111Julie: I do love that the writers don’t make Rory perfect in her romantic choices. It almost seemed like they were going that way from the start–her hooking up with “nice guy” Dean, but she is kind of a mess when it comes to guys, and it gets worse before it gets better, I will say.

She could so easily be a wet blanket goody-goody, but somehow they do manage to give Rory a bit of an edge. I appreciate that.

I love all the Richard and Emily stuff. Shows so often neglect to think about older couples and their evolving relationships, but retirement is such a big step, especially when one partner has been home alone for years and the other has defined himself by his work the whole time. It’s also really interesting to see how it affects Lorelai and, in turn, Rory. I can imagine Lorelai’s position, like, “Crap, I have my own stuff to deal with and now I have to babysit my parents.”img_4107Spa episodes are always great–see 90210 and Designing Women. Throwing women together like that, so vulnerable is great. Also, I adored the scene at the bar and Emily’s reaction to someone thinking she’s still a hot piece. Good for Emily.

The writers never know what to do with Lane. I wish she’d get a better storyline than “I really like this guy, but I know my mom will approve, so no.” Right now she feels like she only exists to serve Rory’s story, and only when necessary. Paris, on the other hand, is a treasure, and actually challenges Rory to be better/try new things.

As far as fashion goes, the spaghetti strapped bridesmaids dress was very close to one I wore around the same time–and never wore again, which was what I was promised!img_4101Emma: Lane does get totally short changed and what was that brief cheerleader moment which has since been dropped?! I get showing that they have grown apart and I’m cool with Lane being a cheerleader, but I can’t imagine Mrs Kim would be thrilled with this and also don’t just forget this was a thing.

And yeah Paris is great as and I love all these socially awkward moments like how she hasn’t had mac and cheese. That whole night with Rory when she flunked (got an A-) a test and covered for Rory by saying she was into Jess was a delight and I’m looking forward to more of this.

The other thing this season has is a wedding and when planning such an event (which is now a month away for me – eek) you can’t help but focus on this stuff when it comes up on a show you have been watching. So slight anxiety because of Sookie’s planning, but also it is fun seeing someone else’s fancy day. In the end the wedding was kind of the set piece for the burgeoning relationships and how they might fall apart. And for Emily to point out a pity invite.img_4077I have definitely done my bridesmaids good – no spaghetti straps and they can definitely wear their dresses again (and not feel bad).

Oh and when Lorelai mentioned she was 32 I paused because that means she is younger than me (at this moment). Minor freak out.

Clothes wise there is the usual mix of bad/slightly baggy jeans and Lorelai animal tees. Also I realised I might be slightly sympathetic to Jess as he wears a lot of similar things to the boys I was friends with in 2001. Like he was in the band Incubus.img_4116Julie: Oh, yeah, that cheerleader thing lasted a minute. They did it for one episode, and that was it. It felt like the writers were throwing stuff at the wall, but that storyline happened not to stick.

I’m not currently in wedding mode, but I do love a good wedding or prom on a TV show to get the drama going–putting all the players in the same place to Make Things Happen. Kind of like a bottle episode. Apparently I’m a sucker for forced social interactions.

Off GG topic, but I based my bridesmaids’ dresses on Liza Minelli’s wedding to David Gest. I let them all pick whatever black dress they wanted. It was like a fashion show. Not sure if any of them ever wore the dress again, but that was on them, not me.

 

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

Hi, there! Like Julie’s writing? Buy her new YA novel, THE SOUND OF US, right here!

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TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episodes 16-21

21 Apr

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.16-1.21
“Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Things,” “The Breakup: Part 2”, “The Third Lorelai,” “Emily in Wonderland,” “P.S. I Love You,” & “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”
Original Air Dates: Mar. 8, 15, 22; April 26; May 3 & 10, 2001
Gilmore Girls 1.17 Lorelai and roryEmma: We have a lot to cover as we’re going to be discussing the last six episodes of the first season of Gilmore Girls and a lot happens. So I figure it is best to kick off with the love story that I am least interested in or rather the love interest I am least interested in and that is Dean. In the first of our six episodes “Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers” Rory and Dean have hit the big three month anniversary. 3 months is a big deal when you’re a teen (and even as an adult) and especially if it is your first relationship – pretty much all my teen relationships fizzled at this point – and it is especially telling that Rory does not even realize they’ve hit this point. Dean goes ALL in with a fancy dinner and then a grand gesture.

First he shows her a car that he has bought for her and that he will be restoring. This is a very thoughtful gift, but also too, too much at this early stage. He leap frogs the too much when he tells Rory he loves her. Rory was not expecting this because it is too soon and then he is a complete brat when she doesn’t say it in return. This is the point where I realized that Dean really isn’t the dude for Rory because while it must suck to lay your heart out and not get the same in response don’t be a total dick in return. My notes for this point in the episode simply says “Dean is an asshole” and I am sticking with that as he goes after Rory’s relationship with her mother as a reason for why she doesn’t say “I love you” back. No Dean, it is because you are the worst. Yes I know Lorelai worries later on that she has maybe stunted Rory’s capacity to love a guy, but nope, nope, nope.

I didn’t realize how angry I still am about Dean’s petulance in this moment until I was rereading my notes. Nice turtleneck, bro.

So Dean and Rory break up and Rory goes through an expected whirlwind of emotions where she tries to not be the mopey girl even though some moping is incredibly healthy and all it takes is for Tristan to lay one on her for the tears to hit because who wouldn’t cry after that? Okay probably Paris. Other stages include a very grumpy Rory and one that sees her argue with her mom and flee to her grandparents’ house much to Lorelai’s dismay.

What the latter does is bring up all the Lorelai and Emily tensions which continue to simmer and provide Gilmore Girls with a deep, deep well of material that is one of my favorite parts of this show. But before we get to that, what say you about Dean?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Deam and RoryJulie: So, pulling off the bandage of lameness first, huh?

Oh, Dean. Dean is terrible, and I give the GG powers-that-be a lot of credit for making him kind of objectively terrible. On paper, he seems like the perfect boyfriend, the perfect gentleman. He’s kind of quiet and sweet and simple, and maybe he might be good for some other girl, but not for Our Rory. I think Dean has his own expectations of what their relationship is supposed to be. He’s all in. He’s a Real Romantic, which is supposed to come off as swoon-worthy, but really comes off as kind of try-hard and too much. Rory, to her credit, is feeling out the relationship, navigating the initial months with her first boyfriend, not putting too much pressure on the thing, but for Dean it’s true love or nothing.

I wonder if Dean was expecting more from the car than just a little making out, which, ew.

I do think Dean’s right that Rory’s relationship with her mother has influenced her outlook on boys. Her mom fell in love at age sixteen and wound up with a baby. That’s not lost on Rory. She’s a smart girl. It’s going to take a lot for her to open up (ew, no pun intended) to someone.

I always love everything with Lorelai and her mother, and the ways her mom uses these Friday dinners to her advantage are always great. There’s so much formality and procedure involved with each dinner. They always start with drinks in the living room, then advance to dinner in the dining room, and a post-dinner aperitif in the living room. The writers (and Emily Gilmore) always find ways to play with this form. (And I definitely wonder about the drunk-driving coming out of these nights. I hope everyone eats A LOT of food at dinner.)

In this episode, Emily brings in a man for her daughter. Lorelai hasn’t had a serious boyfriend in a while, and Emily wants to help (in the form of a terrible, boring date). What do you think about Lorelai’s love woes? She’s pining after Max, which, did that seem out of left-field for you? It was for me. They’d spent the past few episodes playing up her past with Christopher and teasing stuff with Luke, and then all of a sudden…Max Medina is the one she’s dreaming of. Did that ring true?Gilmore Girls 1.17 fightEmma: Dean is definitely someone who would describe himself as being a nice guy.

I get what you/Dean/Lorelai are saying about Rory’s outlook on love and I do think it is more to do with what Lorelai was like when she was 16 rather than what Lorelai is like now. Repeating her mom’s ‘mistake’ is definitely not on the getting into Harvard plan. One thing I do find interesting is unlike her mother she runs to the house in Hartford when things go to shit as it represents warmth and safety to her, whereas for Lorelai it was everything that was stifling her.

The Max stuff does come out of left field and this is not a woman who has been pining. Yeah she’s just had a crappy set up date situation but I don’t buy this sudden Max shift. I think they just remembered that they need some romantic tension and Max makes sense as an opposition to Luke. I do love that her dad is totally with her on lame this other guy is and I’m glad things have been resolved since we last saw them.

Everything Luke and Lorelai makes so much sense to me, but they are keeping at this super slow pacing and it’s not just Lorelai that gets a love interest from the past acting as a Luke barrier because Rachel is back! And Luke is surprisingly chill about it considering how angry seeing Lorelai in her hoodie made him. Like they just slide back into coupledom without a hint of tension and that I don’t buy either.

Luke holds Rachel at a distance and in a way I think he is going through the motions as he expects her to get bored and leave again. Plus he is also fine with this because he is beyond into Lorelai even if he can’t admit it at first. Lorelai for her part befriends Rachel and is also reluctant to acknowledge any kind of feelings for Luke even if it is clear to everyone else. Including Rachel.

What did you make of the return of Luke’s ex so quickly after Lorelai’s first love has also been on the scene?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Lorelai and RachelJulie: Dean is totally an “I’m a nice guy” nice guy. Exactly. And then he’d mansplain all sorts of nonsense.

Yeah…this part of season one feels like a bunch of filler, a lot of getting from A to B. Sometimes shows really do benefit from shortened seasons. That said, I wish they would’ve mentioned Max at least once in the episode prior to this one. The moment was just, like, “I’m Lorelai, I’m completely hung up on someone.” And I thought, oh, it has to be Luke or Chris. But then it was Max. I really do like Max, but I think he was shoehorned in here.

Obviously I knew we’d see Rachel again (just like I knew we’d see Chris at some point), but I thought maybe she’d make a big entrance in the finale or something. But here she is, flitting back to Stars Hollow, out of nowhere, which can’t make Luke feel too comfortable.

I some ways, she’s just a vehicle to get Luke to recognize his feelings for Lorelai, which is great. They’re adult humans who should recognize how perfect they are for each other. It’s amazing that nothing has ever happened between them before, like even accidentally.

I will say, though, that even though we know Luke and Lorelai are OTP, the show does a pretty good job of making the relationships on the way to their probable pairing seem real and natural. Luke is a hermit bachelor who needs a training woman in his life so he can be ready for Lorelai. That’s all Rachel is. She’s that and she’s a way for him to deal with his past nonsense.

Going back to Rory for a second, since we’re on the breakup episode, how about Stars Hollow’s reaction to her and Dean splitting up and then Rory kiss with Tristan?Gilmore Girls 1.17 Tristan and RoryEmma: I did jump ahead with Lorelai and Luke and while we’re on the subject of Luke I love how protective he is of Rory even if it is a bit much that he gets into a vague scrapping match with Dean. As Lorelai points out he is a grown man and Dean is a teen boy. Living in a community like this would be a lot and especially when it is someone who is as beloved as Rory is. Patty gets it when Lorelai tells her to spread the word about mentioning Dean because who wants all those comments and prying on top of feeling like shit?! Even if Rory is trying not to feel like shit. Kirk doesn’t get it because of course he doesn’t.

So the big party and I’m so glad they laid the seeds of this event in the previous episode. It is also just as ridiculous as I hoped it would be and I’m sad there was never the chance for a Gilmore Girls/Gossip Girl crossover (GG squared) as Paris versus Blair would be so much fun to watch. Madeleine (thanks to my notes I now know which one is which) has also invited Dean because he’s hot but of course the breakup has happened and so Rory takes Lane instead, which I am all for.Gilmore Girls 1.17 Lane and RoryLane happens to meet a Korean guy she actually likes and is mad at herself for being attractive to a guy her parents (she says parents but I assume she means just her mom) would approve of. She resists at first but the offer of dancing is too much to say no to. Oh and side note – while the fashion of this period is BAD, the music is much better. If Paris didn’t race out of the party at the earliest she could I have a feeling that the Rory/Tristan situation would have been very different but alas Paris hates parties and she is a very unlikely school queen bee. She’s got all that power but hates social events and I find this whole hierarchy to be fascinating.Gilmore Girls 1.17 partyBecause it has already been established that Rory always has a book with her it doesn’t come as a surprise that she find a quiet nook to read in to get away from the party. Tristan who has been having girl problems also does the same and this is where things get messy and my notes are all caps NOOOOOOOOOO for several lines. Rory cries and runs out; kissing a terrible dude reminds her of her breakup and the wallowing can commence.

In the next episode Rory apologizes for crying and suggests he take Paris out on a date. This is never going to end well and it doesn’t. I get what Rory is trying to do and I love their bonding over what Paris should wear so I guess we should be thankful Tristan led to this moment. But he’s also the reason they go back to being non-friends and I am far more upset about this than the Dean breakup.Gilmore Girls 1.21 ParisJulie: A GG/GG crossover would be amazing! There’s still time, especially since Netflix is reviving the Gilmores. Maybe Blair can stop by.

Minor spoiler (can you spoil a lack of information?) I’m on season seven now, and I still don’t know a thing about Lane’s dad. Okay, I know exactly one thing, but I don’t know what happened to him or where he is. I’m guessing we’ll never know. Unless this is something they decide to explore in the new series. Lane’s dad: Where the hell?

I love Lane’s cute Korean boyfriend, Henry, and I think it’s fitting that she would balk at dating him simply because her mother would approve. Rory may be Lorelai’s daughter, but Lane is her teenage soul sister. I think it’s pretty masterful how Lorelai and Lane are basically dealing with the same issues, but those issues manifest themselves in different ways. Their mothers both want/wanted them to fit into their particular societies — Lorelai rejected her mom’s social climbing and Lane is rejecting her mother’s cultural/religious demands. Lane is lucky to have Lorelai around, to talk to and to go to bat for her.Gilmore Girls 1.18 Rory and ParisTristan-wise, ew. He’s the worst, but good for Rory for kissing a horrible dude. She’s been too perfect up to now, so I love that she had a moment of complete stupidity. Tristan is a douche and he’s been spoken for by Paris and Rory has only been separated from Dean for a minute.

The setup between Tristan and Paris had “bad idea jeans” written all over it, but I like that we got some real Paris/Rory bonding out the situation. And, as obnoxious as Tristan was for telling Paris about him and Rory, it’s probably for the best that it came out now. Soon, both girls will hopefully be rid of Tristan.

Nestled among the whole Paris/Rory/Tristan nonsense, we met Richard’s mother. What did you think of Trix, and how much did you love her throwing Emily off her game?Gilmore Girls 1.18 Gilmore ladiesEmma: Rory was definitely trying to do good with that date set up and also relieve a bit of guilt for having smooched Tristan as she knows that Paris is way into him. The getting ready stuff was really cute and this episode also reminded me that water bras were a thing that existed at one time. What was with the early aughts?

This is a really big friendship step as they not only discuss Paris’ date/what she should wear, but also the whole Dean stuff. I am looking forward to when they get over this big Tristan hiccup.

Random observation but the fact they are studying the feudal system gave me so many flashbacks to school. Not that we had to do a project like this or come in on a Saturday (thankfully).

Ah yes the third Lorelai (who goes by the name of Trix) and I love how much it causes Emily to spiral. Her mother in law is no fan of Emily and Richard seems blissfully unaware of how shitty his mom is to his wife. Everything Emily does is not good enough and even though I adore Emily like her daughter I am enjoying seeing her being put under the same level of scrutiny as she puts everyone else under.gilmore girls 1.20 breakfastThis includes making sure she has all the gifts she has stashed away for years on display including a very ugly coat stand she regifted to Lorelai.

Trix is very particular and she also drops a huge money bombshell which causes Emily to spiral even further. The money is for Rory and it is a HUGE sum ($250,000) covering college tuition and much more. It would be surprising that Rory hasn’t met her grandmother prior to this but she lives in London and up until recently Rory and her mom have spent very little time with any extended family. Trix wants to make up for lost time and missed birthdays with this generous offer and I didn’t think Lorelai would accept such a huge fund from a relative as she has pretty much done everything by herself up until Chilton.

But she is very grateful for Trix’s offer and it makes sense to secure Rory’s academic future through this trust and if Lorelai had a point to prove to her mother with how she has brought Rory up then she has certainly done this. Emily is upset that Lorelai is more than happy to take this offer and this is linked to what this money might mean for the future of the Friday dinners. Money is how Emily got her daughter and granddaughter back in her life and if Lorelai no longer needs her for this then she fears they will stop coming by. Money means freedom; freedom to choose what to do but also freedom from spending time with them.

If Emily told Lorelai about why she is so against the trust I think Lorelai would a) understand and b) reassure her mother that they will still see them. This is where the lack of communication between the pair comes into play and it is something we see strongly in the episode that follows. Instead Lorelai calls her mother ‘petty, controlling and mean’ and my heart breaks with how at odds they can be when if they simply said how they felt then they could work through things. But then they wouldn’t be showing their ultimate WASP behavior. In the end Trix withdraws her offer and everything is back to where it was.

“Emily in Wonderland” really gets to the root of the Emily/Lorelai relationship strife and the ‘Emily won’t listen and Lorelai won’t talk’ description is super accurate. Rory’s Stars Hollow tour starts off well with Emily borrowing some sneakers as her heels won’t do for all that walking, but it turns sour when Emily sees where Lorelai lived with Rory when she was a baby opening old wounds in a fresh way. What did you make of Emily’s reaction and can they ever get over this painful moment from their past?Gilmore Girls 1.19Julie: The mother/daughter relationships, in all their permutations, are my favorite part of this show. (Also waiting for Luke and Lorelai to just kiss already.)

The Trix and Emily situation is such a fraught mother-in-law relationship. In some ways, yeah, it’s kind of great to see Emily spin her wheels with Trix, but at the same time it’s hard to watch this character, who we have a much deeper relationship with than Trix, not be able to get the upper hand at all. Trix is just as manipulative and conniving as Emily, but she has the advantage of Richard’s unrequited love. Emily, whose entire life revolves around Richard, can’t say anything for fear of upsetting him, so she just takes beating after beating.

The Rory trust fund thing is an obvious power grab, and I completely get Emily’s reaction. Trix is beating her at her own game, and it truly seems like she’s giving the money to Rory for the express purpose of annoying Emily.

Emily’s insecurity does feed right into “Emily in Wonderland,” where Emily gets a taste of life in Stars Hollow. I love her interaction with Mrs. Kim, because the two of them are fairly evenly matched, and they also play the twin roles of “overbearing mother” on this show. They are one in the same, Emily and Mrs. Kim.

Rory taking Emily to see where she grew up is heartbreaking. There’s so much there there. You can see the wheels turning for Emily. Because she wasn’t a more supportive mother to Lorelai, her granddaughter was raised in a shed. Because her relationship with her daughter was so strained, Emily missed this entire phase of her granddaughter’s life. She had no idea this was how they were living. She missed it. There’s a lot of regret and sadness there, even if Emily plays it off as appallingly disgusted.

In this episode, we also get the return of “Roon,” whose name I always thought was spelled “Rune,” probably because of Harry Potter. “Roon,” makes more sense because it’s probably short for “Rooney.” He’s notable for being the only man who can resist the charms of Lorelai Gilmore. He’s now working at the inn and living in the Lorelai’s old shed.

We also get more Luke and Rachel and what is possibly the most overt acknowledgement of Luke and Lorelai’s attraction for each other so far. What did you think of Lorelai’s advice to Luke. Were you screaming for her to just kiss him already?Gilmore Girls 1.16 Luke and LorelaiEmma: It’s crushing when Emily sees their first home as she takes this not only as a reminder of how much she missed, but it also as the physically embodiment of how terrible her relationship was with her daughter when she needed her most. All of Lorelai and Rory’s memories of this place are good; to them it isn’t a shed but their first home and a loving one at that. No matter how unhappy Lorelai was with her family, in this place she was happy. I’m sure there were terrible, fraught moments but this far away from that time the only memories that remain are the good ones. The opposite of how Emily feels when she sees it.

Emily is pretty reactionary so her answer to seeing this is giving Rory her own room at her house which is why she wants to know whether Rory likes the Backside Boys. Emily is of course clueless regarding this kinda stuff and Rory is much more into indie music over pop, but it is very sweet and she even fills the room with flowers. Lorelai thinks there must be an ulterior motive, but I actually think this one comes from a very genuine place. And it does happen to come in handy in the next episode.Gilmore Girls 1.19 new roomIt leads to another argument and this exploration of this very deep rift is one of my favorite things about this show. They aren’t just going to suddenly be fine because that is not who these characters are.

In her trip around Stars Hollows I also very much enjoyed how much Emily got on with Michel because that also made perfect sense.

It’s kinda weird that Rachel wants Lorelai to talk to Luke for her because by this point she must have already sensed something is up, but either she has and she’s ignoring it or she hasn’t and girl needs to put her camera down. And yes there was plenty of yelling at them to kiss. Just do it already. In fact I just looked at my notes and I’ve written “goddamnit you guys” at this scene.

I believe that Lorelai believes she is giving good advice because at this point she is in heavy denial about what they are to each other. I like that in general there is no animosity between Rachel and Lorelai as that would have been the easy route, but I never really considered Rachel to be someone who would stick around as she has guest arc written all over her. She’s fine, but I don’t have any other feelings about her other than that. Did she provoke a greater reaction in you?Gilmore Girls 1.19 Emily and MichelJulie: Another GG mystery for me (along with the whereabouts of Mr. Kim) is Michel’s personal life and sexuality. I think he mentions dating a woman once, but that’s it. It’s left pretty ambiguous after that, and I like the idea of Michel having this whole life beyond Stars Hollow that no one really knows about. And he and Emily are perfect for each other.

As far as Rachel goes, she barely existed for me. She was simply a vehicle for Luke and Lorelai to start considering their feelings for each other. She was obviously never going to stick around, and there was really not much all that dynamic about her, for all of Luke’s pining in the past.

Sticking with the rest of Lorelai’s romantic story, it’s Luke vs. Max for the rest of the season (Where for art thou, Christopher?). Rachel thinks Luke should open up to Lorelai about his feelings, which he doesn’t even know he has yet. Max is feeling insecure because Lorelai hasn’t told anyone about him. He wants to get married because…he wants more of a commitment from her? I guess that’s it. The whole thing moves a little fast. She doesn’t want a half-assed proposal. She wants the real deal, so Max gives her a ton of daisies in the Independence Inn.

Also happy and in love are (barf) Rory and Dean, which, really, since her other option was Tristan, is the lesser of two evils? Ugh. Rory needs some better love interests.Gilmore Girls 1.20 Paul Frank[Ed note. the above Paul Frank pajama top is the most quintessential bedwear of the early aughts and I am very jealous of this] 

Emma: Rachel is very much there to get the plot moving, which is a shame as I thought the actress did a good job with the material she had. Luke knows she isn’t going to stick around and so do we so there is no attachment there. Because Luke doesn’t seem to have strong feelings either passionate romance or passionate anger because of the way they broke up it was pretty much a non-starter.

My issue with the Max stuff is tided into what we have already discussed and that is the sudden nature of his return. They are dating again and as has been the pattern with them in the past it is complicated due to Rory, his job and timing. This all comes up while Rory is off at her grandparents’ house and Lorelai is distracted for good reasons. In the following episode they somehow go from actual dating for real this time to this semi-proposal and woah this is far too fast to be a good idea.Gilmore Girls 1.21 flowersPart of Max’s reasons come after an encounter with Luke in which he senses the vibe that everyone other than Luke and Lorelai can sense. He thinks they are exes or at least something has gone on between them, but Lorelai reassures him that they are just friends and Luke just likes to fix up her house out of the goodness of his heart. It is by this point that Luke has been forced by Rachel to admit that something is there and I was expecting a big gesture of some sort from him to put a spanner in the Max daisy works, but alas he did nothing (yet). This finale felt like it was missing the cliffhanger aspect; the classic who will Lorelai pick and even though the final scene between Lorelai and Rory was cute, it also lacked that something extra to hold you over until the next season starts three months later. Or in our case when we can stick in the next DVD.

One of the topics covered pre-proposal is the matter of if they slept with anyone while they were apart. They both did and while that has got to hurt a little on both sides, I don’t think either of them can be mad at the other for not wallowing alone. Lorelai’s hook up has a lot more weight as there is history there and Lorelai makes sure she points out this fact. This is a very weird time to propose, but Max goes for it leap frogging so many other dating steps.

With Rory her Dean feelings turn into anger; anger at her small town, at her mom, at everything and she flees to her brand new bedroom much to Emily’s delight. I like Rory and her grandparents scenes and the breakfast discussion with Rory in half pajamas/half school uniform is a lot of fun. Her argument with her mom wasn’t on the full on screaming at each other scale, but it is easy to see how Stars Hollow could feel suffocating.

Winning Dean back is very much on the agenda for some reason and this includes going to his house and inadvertently making his sister cry and stalking his place of work. Dean is definitely better than Tristan (who doesn’t even know that PJ Harvey is a woman), but yeah he is still nowhere near a Ben/Noel/Pacey or even Jordan Catalano on the lusting/dream boyfriend scale. But apparently they are also in love. Hmm.Gilmore Girls 1.21 Max, Lorelai and LukeJulie: The writers definitely gave short shrift to both Rachel and Max, the latter of whom I really do like. I think the actor is quite charming and Max has/had the potential to be an asset to Lorelai’s life. But he’s marking time, obviously. He’s not OTP, so every scene with him feels a little wasteful. Like all of Ross’s wives and girlfriends on Friends 🙂

The proposal is certainly way too soon, and comes from a place of insecurity about Luke, so that’s never a good thing. Jumping into marriage to mark one’s territory is probably not the best reason to do it.

The lack of cliffhanger thing is one of the great parts of Netflix, one season flows seamlessly into the next, which is a good thing, Gilmore-wise. The show, as you’ll discover, doesn’t follow the usual pattern of “season ends in May, next season picks up in the fall.” Oftentimes, the next season picks up right where the last one ended, and we get a few “summer” episodes before we see Rory going back to school, or whatever.

One thing I really love about Rory is that she’s the product of her mother, but she’s also willing to let herself be influenced by her grandparents as well. She doesn’t have the same history with them as Lorelai, so she’s much more open to experiencing the Hartford Gilmores’ lifestyle. She doesn’t automatically reject everything they give her. She doesn’t see them as trying to butt their way in. She just likes being with her grandparents. And I completely love her relationship with Richard. She softens him up so much.

But, yeah, Dean. He’s back. Again. And it sucks, because Dean sucks.

What did we miss?Gilmore Girls 1.18Emma: I don’t have much to add other than some general season 1 feelings and those feelings are positive. When starting a show that is this beloved it can be letdown, but Gilmore Girls lived up to those sentiments and this is a really good first season. Occasional certain storylines are dropped and then picked up out of nowhere, but that is as much down to the 20+ episode structure as anything else. The important stuff like the Gilmore ladies dynamic is super strong throughout and I’m really excited to see how this progresses. Same with Luke and kissing.

While Rory’s love interest situation is on the eh side, her lady relationships from her mom and grandmother to her friends are my fave and I hope Rory gets back in with Paris soon. The dramatic display on the steps by Paris and her minions was rather wonderful and so very high school.

I’m also excited to hear they don’t do the usual lack of summer set episodes. I’m always bummed out when pretty much every teen show/and show skips those few months of story.

I am also excited to venture further into the early aughts and see what other terrible fashion we have in store. There will be many.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

 

TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episodes 7-11

3 Mar

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.7, 1.8,1.9, 1.10, & 1.11
“Kiss and Tell,” “Love and War and Snow”, “Rory’s Dance,” “Forgiveness and Stuff,” & “Paris is Burning”
Original Air Dates: Nov. 16, 2000; Dec. 14, 20, &21, 2000; and Jan. 11, 2001

Gilmore Girls 1.09 Emily and LorelaiEmma: We’re covering 5 episodes this time and A LOT goes down in this run and both Lorelai and Rory are in the early spells of their relationships. Rory is experiencing lots of firsts with Dean and Lorelai is also on the first time thing in that this is the first relationship that is directly impacting her Rory bubble. It’s something we’ve mentioned before but we’ve come into the Gilmore lives at this huge transitional moment when it is no longer just Rory and Lorelai and this means plenty of mistakes will be made and shit will go down. And go down it does.

This is a really good selection of episodes as we’re not of the introductory phase and fully into the Stars Hollow world. In fact they did a very good job of introducing the characters and place without it ever feeling forced, but there is always that initial finding of feet in both the writing and acting and we are definitely passed that.

Prior to this bunch my episode highlight was Rory’s Birthdays and this was also the one that gave me the most emotional response. I wondered if that had anything to do with having my tooth pulled impacting my reaction and thanks to Rory’s Dance I can categorically say that nope this had nothing to do with. Another occasion of the Gilmore ladies fighting and other occasion that made me sob. Now I’m thinking any episode with Rory’s name in the title will make me cry. A theory to be tested.

The relationship dynamic between these three women is fascinating and with each moment that Emily and Lorelai break down the walls of their past something then happens to erect them again. This time Emily gets to perform some very maternal duties like taking care of her sick daughter or rather injured daughter as Lorelai has hurt her back after an incident while making Rory’s dress. There’s still plenty of snark and answering back, but also a level of understanding/compassion that we haven’t really witnessed before. That is until Rory accidentally pulls a move from Lorelai’s teenage years with her own Rory twist (falling asleep while reading).

So much has probably been said in heated moments between Lorelai and her mother that mirrors this momentum, but this feels like the first time it has got this personal in a long time. It all comes back to Lorelai’s teen pregnancy and there’s a deep feeling of betrayal on both sides. For Emily it is these years left out in the wilderness with the holidays standing in for the only family time and Lorelai has years of feeling rejected and not good enough to fill many more arguments like this.

Where this one differs to the last blow-up is that Rory also lets her mother have it and we’ve seen Rory and Lorelai fight before but never like this. And even reading back my notes from this scene has got me a little teary. So good job guys.

What did you make of this argument?Gilmore Girls 1.09 gilmore ladiesJulie: This is the thing that I love most about Gilmore Girls (and, hi, I love it so much that I’m already on Season 5): the relationships. Every conversation, every interaction, is layered with the past. It’s not like The Walking Dead or something where no one ever remembers anything that happened the week before. Lorelai remembers her past and so does Emily. And you have to feel for both of them. I understand Lorelai’s point that her parents weren’t there for her the way she needed them to be. I get that with Emily there’s always something calculating below the surface. But she’s been hurt by Lorelai as well. She’s not a straight-up villain, by any stretch.

Lorelai has always been “the cool mom,” but in a good way. I think she definitely ended up with a good kid, so she’s got that going for her. Rory is a saint, basically. I’m not sure how much of that is nature vs. nurture. There is a lot of Richard (i.e. levelheadedness) in the girl, even if she didn’t grow up close to her grandfather. As Rory gets older, Lorelai is going to have to start dealing with the kinds of things that drove her apart from her own mother. It’s one thing to seem to be cool with everything. It’s another thing all together to actually be cool with it.

I love/cringed at the conversation between Lorelai and Dean while watching the movie. She is completely right that the town is watching his and Rory’s relationship, and good for Dean for standing up to her. Bad for Dean for keeping Rory out all night, even accidentally.

I was so glad that they didn’t brush the overnight in Miss Patty’s under the rug. Everything on this show has a ripple effect, and in this case it was that it brought up some old feelings about Lorelai’s teen years. I figured Lorelai would be pissed at Rory for staying out late, but the reasons why she was upset were so much more nuanced. There are a million layers to everything — on the base level, she was simply worried about her daughter’s whereabouts; then she was worrying about what she might be doing, which had to have brought back flashbacks to what she herself was doing at that age (worrying about history repeating itself and all that); and, in a somewhat childlike way, it made her mad that Rory got her in trouble with Emily.

So that kind of covers the ladies. What did you think of the romantic interests in these episodes?Gilmore Girls 1.09 Rory and LukeEmma: It’s fun seeing things that were clearly just Rory and Lorelai activities evolving into their expanding circle. So movie night becomes a weird not quite a date night and like you I cringed/adored Lorelai’s chat with Dean. I’m impressed that he didn’t bail after this as it would be enough to scare off a suitor who isn’t all in. He stands up to Lorelai and he agrees to go to the Chilton dance even though he has to wear a suit and doesn’t really like to dance. He’s pretty great at the moment and yet I’m only lukewarm toward him and Rory.

I wonder if I’d seen this when it was on if my opinion would differ and if I’d find him and his quintessential teen boy hair super dreamy, but he’s maybe a little too perfect. There’s not much heat and they certainly have cute flirty banter, but it is too early in the game to call him the one. He is certainly no Ben Covington/Pacey Witter/Jordan Catalano.

He handles Chilton well including Paris’ minions who are instantly nicer to Rory when they see her cute (and tall) date. Well one of them tries to come onto him, but that’s as nice as she’s been so far. Somehow Dean doesn’t punch Tristan even though Tristan provokes him in a way where you could easily justify a mid dance brawl. Good restraint there. Dean is of course a far superior choice to old squinty eyes Tristan. And then there’s the falling asleep moment giving cause for town wide gossip and he still wants to be Rory’s boyfriend. How do you feel about Dean?

Now last time I was also not all that crazy about Max I found him a bit too slick and he’s still got that in him, but they do have nice chemistry even if there are MANY obstacles in their way. First comes Lane as she’s been hanging out in an empty Gilmore house after her accidental and very public hair stroking. Then there’s the rules that Lorelai set up long ago where her boyfriends and Rory are in very separate boxes but Max is already in Rory’s life as her teacher and so this all gets messed up and then there’s the breakup turned kiss which ends up in a ‘taking a break’ sitch after Paris tells the whole school that Rory’s mom kissed a teacher. Lots of complicated emotions with this one.Gilmore Girls 1.09 Rory green sweaterJulie: I am definitely with you on Dean. He’s cute and sweet, but he’s way too perfect. He’s more Noel than Ben, but I think he and Rory have less chemistry than Felicity and Noel did. Noel and Felicity’s first and second kisses are two of the best kisses in all of television. Maybe it’s because they get together so early, but I was never invested in Rory kissing Dean, except for me being all “Yay, Rory, get some.”

Then the fact that it’s Dean vs. Tristan at the school dance is even more whatever because neither Jared Padalecki nor CMM do it for me, hotness-wise.

Now, hotness-wise, Max Medina does do it for me. That’s how I know I’m old. I’m waaaaay more interested in Lorelai’s suitors, which is probably appropriate and I should be proud of myself. The one thing I will say about how the show handles Lorelai’s loves is a little scatterbrained. We don’t always get to *see* Lorelai fall for the guy (you’ll see this later–one minute she’s interested in one guy, the next minute she’s OBVIOUSLY been thinking about another, who comes out of nowhere–It’s hard to explain). Like, she and Max have a nice time together at the coffee shop, she plays it cool, and then she’s obsessing over her answering machine. I figure it’s because she’s so cool and guarded and the only person she’ll allow herself to get goofy with is Rory.

But, yeah. The whole thing with Max is doomed to fail anyway. Who else are you loving in Stars Hollow right now?Gilmore Girls 1.10 Lorelai, Luke and EmilyEmma: There’s another Lorelai love interest we haven’t mentioned yet this week and he’s a character who is becoming much more than a source of grumpiness. Although his grumpy is also pretty fun. Luke as we’ve mentioned before is clearly end game for Lorelai and right now I think the feelings are much stronger on Luke’s part.

We’re also learning some stuff about Luke beyond how much he hates town cheer, Sookie behind his counter and cell phones in his diner. For one we get to find out about his dad and that his diner used to be his shop. His death clearly hit him hard and it means he’s a really good source of comfort for Lorelai when her dad has his health scare.

I also really enjoy their many back and forths; their chemistry is really great and I’m looking forward to when it happens. Hopefully their first kiss is more Noel/Felicity than Rory/Dean.

And I think you’re right about the Lorelai romance scattiness. She definitely guards her heart and her space with Rory in equal measure and I think what happened with Rory’s dad when she was younger had a lasting impact and it’s like she’s scared to fall for someone like that again.

What did you make of Rory keeping those photos of her mom and dad as love’s young dream? I’m sensing we might be meeting him soon or at least this is something that will come up in the near future.

While we’re on the subject of love – the stuff with Emily and Richard at the hospital crushed me in part because it was so well acted and also the double meaning when Emily tells Richard he can’t go first as real life circumstances means the Gilmore Girls revival is going to be Richard-less and that’s all kinds of heartbreaking.Gilmore Girls 1.07 rory, Luke and LorelaiJulie: And there’s the part where Lorelai sees Dean for the first time and says he looks like Christopher. She has to be going through so many emotions with her sixteen-year-old daughter now dating a guy who reminds her of the dude who knocked her up (and who hasn’t been around). There has to be a whole lot of worry about the uncertainty of what may come.

At least Lorelai does have some good friends around to keep her going. Luke is someone whom I like more and more the better I get to know him. He is just as guarded as Lorelai, in his own way; but even if they’re lacking in the romance department, he is such a good friend to her. And Sookie is delightful, if a little manic.

The scene with Lorelai’s parents in the hospital did choke me up, especially knowing that Richard won’t be around for the reboot. I love that this show doesn’t short change the “adult” relationships either.

What did you think of the fashion in these eps? Rory’s dance dress is so pretty and she looked really cute in it.

Gilmore Girls 1.09Emma: Sookie is definitely still a little on the too much side for me, but I do like her relationship with Sookie and her burgeoning romance with Jackson even if I want to burn his denim dungarees. That is not a good look, dude.

I love the dress Lorelai made Rory and it is the kind of style that is pretty timeless. I also loved that she originally paired it with boots and stuffed a tea towel down the front while she was eating. This is the aesthetic I am going for when it comes to my wedding. Also it says a lot that I have picked out what flats I will be wearing for the evening/dancing portion of my wedding before any other item of clothing. Priorities.

The reaction to her dress was also great with Emily thinking Lorelai had ditched the homemade idea and Paris’ minions giving her praises. I especially enjoyed the one (names I have not remembered yet) who was trying to think of anything her own mother had made and only coming up with some really disgusting soup.

Currently I am obsessed with Lorelai’s iridescent blue eye shadow, which I’m pretty sure she has worn in every episode and is giving me all the flashbacks to bad 00s makeup. I had a similar color that I wore a lot that came in a squeezy tube by Clinque. I also had it in iridescent purple and that was also bad in retrospect. This gets added to my list of terrible fashion/beauty things from the aughts. See also Lorelai’s leather jacket. Leather jackets were very bad back then. Chokers continue to be a thing and once again I want to ask why? Oh but Rory does have a mighty fine selection of sweaters that Felicity would definitely be impressed by.Gilmore Girls 1.09 LorelaiThe Paris/Rory relationship also continues to flit between animosity and some kind of sympathy putting them fully into frenemy territory. Paris continues to like Tristan – again with the why? – and she suffers not one but two moments of social suicide. First she outs her own date as her cousin that her mom paid and second there’s a whole lot of gossip about her parents’ divorce. And yet she retains her status as Queen Bee thanks to Lorelai smooching Max at school. Rory doesn’t let this go and confronts Paris about her asshole behavior. This is one of my favorite things about Rory; she always calls Paris out on her shit.

How do you feel about the Rory/Paris stuff?Gilmore Girls 1.07 Rory and LorelaiJulie: Eating and dancing are the most important parts of a wedding! Comfort is key, and I think you should definitely take your dress cues from Rory Gilmore.

Yes, Lorelai’s leather jackets are problematic. But girl can really rock a pair of low-rise, boot-cut jeans. She almost–almost–has me thinking those should make a comeback (are they yet?). I did a lot of eyeshadow colors back in the day, but blue was never one I could pull off. I’ve still managed to convince myself that purple eyeshadow works on me. No one has told me otherwise, and I plan on carrying that look into my “old broad” days.

Paris is kind of an amazing character. She’s frustrating (and I, too, don’t get the Tristan thing), but she and Rory challenge each other, which is good. Things tend to come easy for both girls, school-wise, so I like that they’ve become each other’s rival. I’m not sure Paris is actually queen bee. I’m guessing that all of these kids have gone to school with her forever, and her antics basically no longer register with them. They just let Paris be Paris. Rory, who’s new, actually deals with, listens to, and challenges Paris. It’s an interesting relationship, especially because Rory’s friendship with Lane seems so solid and drama-free.Gilmore Girls 1.11 Paris and RoryJulie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

For a more in-depth look at the Christmas episode “Forgiveness and Stuff” check out this guest post by Kari Peperkorn Marlowe from the TV Ate My Wardrobe “Festive Rewind” series.

TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episodes 3-6

28 Jan

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.3, 1.4,1.5, & 1.6
“Kill Me Now”, “The Deer Hunters,” “Cinnamon’s Wake,” & “Rory’s Birthday Parties”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 19 & 26 and Nov. 2 & 9, 2000

Gilmore Girls 1.06 birthday girlEmma: As we’ve got a whole lot of seasons to get through (especially in comparison to our previous endeavors) we’re going to be discussion more episodes than the usual two and I think at this early stage it particularly makes a lot of sense as they can be split into two groups – school problems and grandparent problems. There’s some overlap between the two with Rory’s birthday party being the best example of this, but so far it has been alternating between these two areas; episode 3 has Rory bonding with her grandfather over golf much to Lorelai’s dismay and episode 4 is all about Rory struggling at Chilton. This early on it works in establishing not only conflict, but also finding a point of entry in creating a solid relationship between characters who have barely connected at any point in their lives. With Rory at Chilton it is a classic fish out of water story as she has gone from a school where she was the smartest person and her economic status didn’t matter to one where her academic competition is mean girling her. Rory is not typical Chilton material which makes her standout whereas at her former school she didn’t appear on too many radars.

Rory is very much cut from the same cloth as a Felicity Porter, Lindsay Weir or Angela Chase in that she is also a pretty sweet kid but she has some fire in her. She is very much her mother’s daughter so when she isn’t allowed to take the test instead of slinking away she has an outburst that made me like her even more standing up to both Paris and the super skeezy CMM. Part of this is probably sleep deprivation related but I love that she stood up for herself like this. And while Rory does let things stew before she reaches this point (the same can be said for all the Gilmore women) and it does have a habit of coming out at the worst possible time (see her birthday party) I’m really enjoying seeing how she deals with conflict that is being dealt at all angles.

The complicated relationship between the three generations of Gilmore ladies is what I find really engaging right now from the passive aggressive sniping between Emily and Lorelai to Lorelai coming to terms with having to share her daughter with the parents she found it hard to communicate with on any levels. There are so many layers and years of hurt to wade through and it is enthralling. Rory’s birthday is the episode that a) had me sobbing (possible tooth removal related/maybe not) and b) blended Rory’s Chilton anxiety with the complicated Gilmore family situation. There is so much hurt coming from both Lorelai and Emily, but they are both far too proud/stubborn to unburden their pain without a big blowout and Rory is caught in the middle as the catalyst for why Lorelai left home. I just find this whole dynamic fascinating.

What do you make of all this? Are they balancing the two focal points well?

(ed. note – the facial expression on that background actor is A+)

Gilmore Girls 1.06 EmilyJulie: Well, I’ve been enjoying Gilmore Girls so much that I haven’t been able to limit myself to watching it in small chunks. I finished season two last night, in fact. I’m a Gilmore Girls junkie!

In our first discussion, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how I felt about Rory, specifically Alexis Bledel’s performance as Rory. My fears are gone. I’m all-in on Rory and all-in on Bledel’s performance. She strikes me as a girl who is trying to imitate her mother’s cadences in some ways, while at the same time trying to find her own footing. In the first few episodes, we get the sense that Rory’s greatest influence on her life is her mother, and Lorelai likes it that way. In “Kill Me Now,” Rory takes her first steps toward a relationship with her grandfather, and she (and her mother) realize that Rory may have a lot more in common with him than anyone suspected.

On the surface, this show feels like simply a too-slick, fast-talking show, but it is so, so, so stinking much more than that. The relationships! Oh, my god! All of them are so fully realized and so complex. The mother-daughter dynamics, father-daughter, Rory and the Chilton kids, Rory and the kids from Stars Hollow. It’s all fantastic.

In “Cinnamon’s Wake” and “Rory’s Birthday Parties” we get to see the both the town and the Chilton kids fleshed out a little bit. Part of the reason this show works so well (both emotionally and humor-wise) is because of the characters that fill out the settings. At first, I thought the minor characters were a little too much, but I’ve grown to love them. The show reminds me of Parks & Rec, what with its fully realized town with all the history and baggage and relationships therein.

Speaking of relationships, these episodes introduce love interests for the two leads — Max and Dean. What do you think of these guys? Are they worthy of the Lorelais?

Gilmore Girls 1.05 Rory and DeanEmma: Wow! You really have got into it (I’m blaming the big stack of books I got for Christmas and the Mr Robot catch-up for my not so stellar effort).

The Rory/Richard relationship is an interesting one because there’s no pretense between them and it doesn’t have the same built in complexities of Emily and Lorelai rubbing off on her. I get the sense that Lorelai has never really had that much of a relationship with her father either because he was away on business a lot or there is no shared common ground between the two. Rory instantly gets that one step closer to him because of her academic interests and because she agrees to try out golf in “Kill Me Now.” Not that Richard is all that happy she will be interrupting his Saturday leisure time. Except she is not only a hit with his friends – who are kinda the worst and who he seems quite tired of – and she gets all the gossip while she is in the sauna earning a Peyton Place reference. I think Richard is genuinely taken by his granddaughter’s ambitions even if she can’t hit a ball properly and the talk of Fez comes up once again in “Rory’s Birthday Parties.” Upon googling Fez I found out that Cristiano Ronaldo was on holiday there recently.

There’s a lot of different emotional levels that Rory has to hit in these early episodes and already Alexis Bledel is nailing the different directions she is being pulled in and I wonder if being slightly inexperienced is actually helping her portrayal of keeping up with this balancing act. Her relationship with her mother already feels so lived in from how close they are to the ridiculous fight over the borrowed sweater and who has bigger boobs.

I can definitely see the Parks & Rec comparisons and at first I found the neighbors and their cat story to be too much, but as “Cinnamon’s Wake” continued it still remained all kinds of ridiculous but I also found it far more endearing. Especially the whole scale of the house and how tall her boyfriend/husband is. I am also so here for Emily reacting to Lorelai going to a cat wake but not one of a family member she hasn’t really ever interacted with.

This town is larger than life and filled with lots of kooky customers, but they have done a good job of making them more than just caricatures. This a community that supports each other, but will also tell you when your outfit is a bad choice. If it didn’t have that bite of hilarious honesty it might get too saccharine.

So love interests ahoy and I already think Lorelai can do better as this dude is far too slick for my liking. Luke is obviously for the long term (and Emily can totally see how he feels about her daughter in that two second ice interaction) and the dating one of Rory’s teachers seems like a natural path. I don’t see Max lasting for too long.

Dean is a whole different story and he has longevity written all over him. For starters he has that super cute boy appeal, he seems nice and he has the most late 90s/early 00s teen boy haircut ever. Perfect bangs to hide behind. Rory likes him, he likes Rory but she is really nervous around him and it’s clear she hasn’t had too much (if any) experience with boys. Which is why it comes as such a shock to her mom when she sees Rory with Dean outside getting a very thoughtful birthday present. I do have a feeling there will be heartbreak and conflict in the future.

The other potential love interest I guess is CMM’S super skeezy and extra annoying Tristan. Really, he is the worst. Rory has no interest in him, but Paris does and things begin to thaw when Paris realizes that Rory does not want to be her love rival for CMM’s affections. And they oh so civilly agree that Harvard is a big enough school for them both to attend.

What did you make of these relationship developments?

Gilmore Girls 1.06 iBookJulie: Ah, see, I liked Max right from the start. He’s definitely slicker than Luke, but he has a good rapport with Lorelai. One thing I really like about this show is how honest they are about Lorelai’s dating life. She’s freaking Lauren Graham, and the men on the show do notice that. But she’s Rory’s mom first, and you do get the sense that she’s put her own personal life on hold while Rory was growing up. Now that Rory’s older, Lorelai’s starting to take steps toward serious dating. I can only imagine how tough that must be, to walk the line between “my daughter is my best friend” and sheltering Rory from that part of her life.

But, yeah, Rory doesn’t need Lorelai as much anymore. She’s got Dean with the floppy late ’90s/early aughts hair. I’ve never gotten the Jared Padalecki “thing” before, but he’s super cute on this show. I can understand how the women who grew up with him as Dean on GG followed him to Supernatural and never stopped talking about him.

Dean of course feels “long-term” here, and that makes sense to me. Rory feels like a “long-term” girl. She and her mom don’t let people in easily and they’re going to make sure Dean’s gonna stick before they let him into their world.

Speaking of Rory and Lorelai and Dean, I LOVE how the writers have thrown this wrench into the mother-daughter relationship. Lorelai got pregnant when she was Rory’s age. Now there’s a Dean. Lorelai obviously doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes of her own mother, so how is she going to navigate Rory’s dating life without fretting that Rory could end up like Lorelai?

Also, Paris. I love Paris. She can do so much better than CMM. Everyone can.

What else do you have to add?

Gilmore Girls 1.06 Rory and ParisEmma: The Lorelai dating stuff is great and while I’m not here for Max at the moment they do have good back and forth banter, which is very much the tone of the writing on this show. I like that we are joining Lorelai and Rory at a time where just the two of them and everything that has made their relationship quite insular is being opened up to all these other relationships/outside factors.

Dean definitely fits the ideal cute boy on a teen show thing and I’ve never seen the appeal with Jared Padalecki, but I’ve never seen Supernatural either. But it definitely makes sense for why he is such a heartthrob and it would have been like if Joshua Jackson had done Fringe straight after Dawson’s Creek. Okay, Joshua Jackson is still very much a thing for me.

I hadn’t even considered the whole Lorelai being worried that Rory will fall head over heels and make the same mistakes thing and this is another case of layers on top of layers. For every aspect of Lorelai being a cool mom (and not a COOL mom) there are going to be cases where she is going to resort to the types of parenting she would see more in line with Emily. This is about to get juicy.

Paris is someone who I also adore and I was hoping they would make the traditional journey from enemies to frenemies to besties. As long as Lane can come along for the ride.

Gilmore Girls 1.03 Rory and LorelaiFashion wise the early aughts continue to prove just how awful they were for style taking all the worst aspects of the 90s including chokers on both Rory and Lorelai (Lorelai’s one had some kind of belt clasp in “Kill Me Now” at the world’s creepiest wedding – although I did adore the mother of the girl twins and how little fucks she had left to give). Rory’s golf hat (which I wrote about here) was a fave for all the Carol connotations and I also appreciated Lorelai’s B-52’s tee. The bracelet Emily gets Rory is very much like all the plastic jewelry I adorned my arms with (although none of it ever lit up) and those party dresses are very much of the time (and they can stay there). And just like Felicity, Rory got an iBook Clamshell. The WB laptop of choice (and once again I am very jealous).

Small moments like Lorelai telling Rory the story of her birth at 4.03 am feels like something she does every year and I like that even at this early point in the show they know their strengths in this relationship and the storytelling.

What do you make of Sookie? I know we discussed her last time and they’re still alternating between her being more of a human being with this super kooky side. I like what Melissa McCarthy does most of the time but sometimes it comes across as a little too manic/hyper. The stuff with Luke was very funny and I can definitely see them winding each other up in the future.

Gilmore Girls 1.06 Sookie and EmilyJulie: It’s hard to talk about Sookie and Luke now that I’ve seen so many episodes. Short answer: I love them. Melissa McCarthy is a bit manic in this role, but Sookie does settle down after a few episodes.

That bracelet Lorelai said Rory would love seemed like something Rory would never wear to me. Was this Lorelai trying to sabotage Rory’s relationship with her grandmother? Plot twist!

From the relationships to the people in the town, I love how this show feels so LIVED IN. You really get the sense that everyone on screen existed before they filmed the pilot and we’re only just now getting to know them. I adore it.

Gilmore Girls 1.06 shoppingEmma: I am glad however, that Emily did not go for the guitar purse. That would have been true sabotage from Lorelai.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “The Graduate” & “Time Will Tell”

14 May

Felicity, Episodes 4.17 & 4.18
“The Graduate” & “Time Will Tell”
Original Air Dates: Apr. 24 & May 1, 2002

Felicity 4.17 graduationEmma: The big mystery from these two episodes is not how Meghan can send Felicity back in time, but how she managed to get away with copy that dissertation and a one sentence ‘oh yeah that was fine and now we are graduating’ explainer. Some time has passed since the last episode as Ben is out of hospital and yep they are all graduating. A LOT happens over the course of both and while I have an itch to jump ahead to time travel there is also a lot to unpack in “The Graduate.”

We open with Noel and Felicity in a cab with Noel asking us if Felicity is okay, it isn’t blatantly blatantly obvious but it is using JJ’s favorite Alias in media res narrative device as I suspected and as we discover later in the episode this is just after Felicity and Ben have decided to part ways. Felicity tells Noel she is okay and there’s also a voiceover talking about how ‘this isn’t how it was suppose to end’ and the latter, it turns out, is part of a tape letter to Ben. The triangle even though it has leaned heavily one way for an age now is coming back into focus.

The scene cuts to Ben and Felicity in bed talking about graduation, how she managed to get a pass for that art class (not the essay of course, still huh) and that the safety net which has kept them together will be gone. Ben ends up proposing in a semi spontaneous way (he mentions how he’s been thinking about it since the hospital) and this very much feels like a way to reassure Felicity rather than something they should actually be doing. She doesn’t say yes straight away and for once she is thinking rationally about Ben but when Ben gets a call about Lauren going into labor, Felicity changes her unsure answer into a yes. Oh, Felicity.

Ben goes from super into this idea to being a little distant when he returns from the birth of Andrew (his dads name – I feel like this was not something I knew). This is classic Ben as he wants to please/save everyone. The Arizona debate returns and he somewhat assumes that Felicity will just come with him now that he put a ring on it. I mean he didn’t even do that part yet.

To make things even more stressful for Felicity her parents are being their usual overbearing selves but for once her dad makes a good point that she is always following Ben. Things get even more fraught when Richard (of course it is Richard) spills the details to Papa Porter that Ben is not only a baby daddy but that he is moving to Arizona and Felicity is going with him.

In this episode there is so much going on that it is hard to keep up with all the huge decisions/breakups that take place but one thing becomes very clear and that is without the safety net and with Ben’s new family responsibilities it means things are over for Ben and Felicity (well sort of). It is sad and they share one last night together, which felt like one of the most realistic things this show has done in a while.

What did you make of everything happening all at once and how graduation is suddenly thrust upon us?

Felicity 4.17 Ben and FelicityJulie: Yes, this show has completely lost base with reality. For me, watching these two episodes was basically just two hours of, “Huh?”

One of the more unrealistic things that happens in “The Graduate” is Felicity managing to pass that art history class without any sort of repercussions beyond failing the paper. However, I suppose it’s a blessing that this storyline is disposed of so quickly. Because I COULD NOT with it.

The quick proposal, while misguided, did feel pretty real to me. It’s so college — things are ending, you’re just jumping into adulthood, getting married seems like the next step, the right step. Ben and Felicity want to hold onto each other and their relationship and their NOW, though this seems like the (wrong) way to do it, especially considering all the reasons this is an awful idea (she has a job in New York, he has to move to Arizona to be with his kid, etc.)

This episode (and the next) confirmed for me why I think Ben is not great, Bob, for Felicity right now. And Mr. Porter does sum it up: She’s been following Ben for four years. I love that she actually does throw that knowledge at Ben. He needed to hear it, because of how true it is. I think he very much expected Felicity to accept his proposal and follow him to Arizona, because that’s what she does. I don’t think it was intentionally malicious on Ben’s part, but I also think it proves how little thought he gives to what Felicity herself actually wants.

Other things about “The Graduate,” before we get into the more WTF time travel episode, 1) Elena was basically nowhere. There was a scene where she and Javier say goodbye to Felicity, but I don’t think they’re ever in the same frame together, and I wonder if she was acting with a Keri Russell stand-in. I’m trying to make this into a whole Kalinda/Alicia thing. (And then considering what they do to her character in the next episodes…somebody on the Felicity writing staff hates Elena.) 2) The med school reset. We just spent two whole years with Felicity proclaiming art as her life and now, all of a sudden, she’s back on medicine. And Ben has followed her to Palo Alto for school, so I guess he’s finally the one following her, but at the same time it feels like him horning in on her life. Go be with your baby, Ben.

Anything to add on “The Graduate?”

Felicity 4.17 ElenaEmma: I mentioned this on Twitter particularly in the relation to the second episode but these episodes feel very OC season 4 – the writers are having fun because they know that it’s pretty much dunzo. I’m enjoying the pure what the fuck aspect while also raising my eye own at the same time (I’m not actual raising my eyebrow because I’m not so great at that).

One thing I did feel about the graduation was how much it tapped into the finality of it all and even though you’re going to stay in touch with some people, this is it for the no responsibility part of your life. It also made me a little teary because that’s how I get about these things and I still panic about all the things I haven’t done since college or what I should have done at college to improve my position now. Basically I had a lot of fun and could have done a bit more prep work for career. And unlike Ben I didn’t just decide to be a doctor in my third year.

The scene that got me the most teary was not between Ben and Felicity, instead it was between Meghan and Felicity and this is the one that felt the most real to me. But urgh with the lack of Elena, this along with The Good Wife debacle is the greatest mystery of our time. And then the thing that Broad City mentioned happens (more on that later).

This episode could easily be a series finale as everything is tied up so neatly in the final Dear Ben montage. This comes after what turns out to be an IMPORTANT conversation between Noel and Felicity at the airport and we join them in the cab scene that starts the episode. At the airport (is he in the departure lounge? It looks like 9/11 definitely didn’t happen in this universe) she asks him if he ever thinks about the two them ending up together and he clearly lies that he never has. Even without the confirmation in the following episode it is a certainty that Noel only thinks about them as a couple (even if he is good at pretending otherwise).

It’s all lovely and then some super twee version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” kicks in and I couldn’t stop laughing. We then cut to 6 months later and the montage of what everyone is up to followed by Ben making his grand declaration and joining Felicity in Palo Alto and yes it really is his turn. I am still very much Team Ben at this point and even though he makes the biggest fucking mistake in “Time will Tell” I still can’t help but want him and Felicity to end up together (I have thoughts on this storyline, many thoughts).

What they seem to be doing is manoeuvring characters and their motivations so that we can have one final love triangle situation. Do you agree that there are some shenanigans that go down that are rather contrived just so we can end up with one last Team Ben vs Team Noel hurrah?

Julie: The airport thing is ridiculous. What plane ticket did Noel buy in order to get past security? This show was filmed in 2002, immediately after 9/11. But, as you also suspect, I’m beginning to think 9/11 didn’t happen in Felicity World. Also, time travel is possible. Also no one has killed Richard yet.

I’m going to jump into “Time Will Tell” here because it’s hard not to. I’d LOVE to know what was going on in the writers’ heads when they came up with this concept. I’m guessing that it’s A) a who-the-fuck-cares OC move because the show is ending and B) a way to undo a lot of the negative character stuff they created during this season. I think they realized they had made MISTAKES and had done several of their characters a disservice and this is their way of taking a mulligan. Or maybe it’s a way to prove to the Team Noel people that Team Noel was always a bad idea, so shut up, whiners.

So, yeah. There is time travel. Felicity is in Palo Alto with Ben. Six months (or more, maybe a year?) have passed since graduation. Elena is DEAD. I repeat: Elena is DEAD. She got hit by a car outside of med school. (I see, time travel story-wise why they did that. It’s a way to prove to Felicity that she has really traveled through time. That said, what a shitty ending for Elena’s character.) Also, Noel is getting married and Ben is cheating on Felicity. She catches him kissing a study buddy in the med school library. What the actual fuck, Ben? I actively hate him for this. I have forgiven a lot, Ben-wise, but this is an out-and-out dick move. And Felicity blames herself, because of course she does. She says she’s been hard to live with because her BEST COLLEGE FRIEND JUST DIED. Ugh. Ben. So much anger right now. Talk to your girlfriend, Ben. Don’t just start kissing the first skank who seems like she’s more fun to be around.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…Felicity breaks up with him and heads to New York solo for Noel’s wedding. He’s marrying Zoe, which, gross. Noel flirts with Felicity, she flirts with Noel. She starts to wonder if the two of them should’ve dated back when they hooked up the first time. And this is the writers’ way of exploring the thing that they didn’t do back in the beginning of the season. Meghan sends Felicity back in time and gives her a chance to try Noel on for size.

I’ve said many words. What is your reaction to this beginning of this episode?

Felicity 4.17 FelicityEmma: One quick thing to mention about “The Graduate” as it was directed by Scott Foley and I always like it when shows let their stars have a go at directing. For some reason he was very into shooting through half open doors. Which I’m sure is his slightly labored way of graduation being like opening a door or something like that.

From what I can tell this is six months after the six months and everything is terrible for Felicity – Elena is dead (what?) and Ben is a dirty cheater, plus Noel is getting married to Zoe. First up Elena got shafted so badly this season, but luckily for us it’s not all over for Tangi Miller as she’s still alive in the past. Now this is what prompted Felicity to pull away and I just don’t believe what happens next, even the time travel is more believable. Ben cheats on Felicity and while I guess this isn’t outside the realms of possibilities the very public smooch is ridiculous. Your reaction/feelings toward Ben is more than understandable, I’m just in denial and hope there’s some way out of this dumb as fuck move. Also the conversation where she finds out it has been going on for a month is such a gut punch for her.

What this does give us is a heartbroken Felicity crying on the phone to Meghan in double denim – not of the red variety – and Meghan getting to be the best get a grip friend Felicity needs right now. First she makes sure no one else knows about the breakup as Felicity insists she doesn’t want to overshadow the big day – why Noel? – and then she sets to some revenge spells. The first one is trip spell (and works) and Meghan’s mystical track record goes back to season 1 when she put the group photo back together wrong.

After Ben shows up and makes things awkward (of course he does) Felicity gets drunk with Meghan revealing how she thinks she made a mistake with who she chose after the big roof night and she would do everything differently. As I mentioned earlier there is stuff I would probably do differently during college but sadly I don’t have a friend with mystical powers. I love how Meghan comes across as a really confident and yet terrible witch; somehow she sends her drunk/heartbroken friend back through time so she can do just that.

This is where things really get fun and this is a storyline I’ve been waiting for since we started season 1; it’s even more ridiculous than I expected and I’m so glad it’s for more than one episode. First there is the slightly orangy hue to denote that we are in time travel land and then there is the whole Felicity is aware and everyone else thinks she’s insane. This gives Keri Russell a chance to flex her comedy chops as last time was so tortured whereas this time Felicity gives no fucks and it’s the best.

Even though she’s set on Noel this time and she is so mad at Ben she has a couple of moments where she feels pangs towards her now ex. This makes sense and it also pits Noel versus Ben in a way we have not seen before. It’s like the playing field has only been leveled for Felicity and everyone else is spinning around her orbit. Some things stay the same as Tracy and Elena still break up but this time it’s before they make it to the venue meaning Sean and Meghan probably won’t get married either. Ben gets wasted after he has failed his first test so it looks like his medical career might not progress all that far. Also Ben does not have his super hot short hair like he had at the start of the year, this makes me sad.

What did you make of this sort of more assertive Felicity and the whole time travel plot?

Felicity 4.18 Meghan and FelicityJulie: I think my biggest beef with the Ben cheating thing is that it’s just so blatantly cruel. They have been through so much, they’ve overcome so much, and this seems completely mean. It’s one thing to kiss someone while drunk in a drunk bar. It’s another thing COMPLETELY to make out with your study buddy in the middle of the afternoon in the library. For a month. That’s premeditated dickery, and that’s a deal breaker, ladies (I’ve been watching a lot of 30 Rock.)

Though, maybe it’s totally realistic, which, fine, (guys are dicks even when they promise not to be dicks), but I hold Ben Covington and his feelings for Felicity to a higher standard, especially if this is who she’s going to choose over Noel or herself.

Good call on Ben’s long hair! Felicity’s hair is back to being curlier again, but Scott Speedman wouldn’t get a haircut?

After all my ranting up there about Ben, you’d probably think I’m squarely on Team Noel here, but no. I think what this episode did highlight is that maybe Felicity and Noel are better as just friends. I don’t think she’s hot for Noel, nor he for her. I think she likes the idea of being with Noel, but I don’t see them working long-term.

That said, I don’t think she and Ben work long-term either. He’s the hot guy she’ll always remember fondly, but he’s not so great for her, life-wise.

I’m interested in the Butterfly Effect of this time travel. Tracy and Elena don’t end up married (and Donald Faison doesn’t even have to show up for a cameo). Meghan and Sean probably don’t end up married either. I wonder if Lauren will end up pregnant or if Noel will end up seeing a shrink. Or if Elena ends up dying. Or if Felicity will decide not to wear two denim pieces together.

Which do-overs do you hope to see?

Felicity 4.18 Felicity and MeghanEmma: The cruelty and their long history is why I don’t buy the cheating happening in this manner and for all the mistakes both of them have made in the past this feels completely out of character. And of course I really hate Claire because it is a huge dick move as a friend of Felicity’s to pull this level of shit.

One reason I guess they didn’t cut Ben’s hair is when they get back to the present it might be harder to explain his sudden buzz cut.

I agree with you about Felicity and Noel and if there is anything this show has taught us over the last few seasons is how good they are as friends. I did enjoy seeing her all super into them being in a relationship together whereas he was obviously freaking out over Ben finding out and Felicity being so open about everything. This is very out of character for Felicity but as she is the one reliving this time over again she knows how it will play out. The hickey came into play but this time she gave no shits about covering it up with an endless stream of turtlenecks and it was refreshing to not go through the same tortured feelings (even if they are the more realistic).

Felicity’s decision making process falls into two camps – impulsive and labored – so we are getting a whole lot of the Felicity who came to New York for a boy. This decision is still romance based and we never did get to see a great deal of single Felicity which is a shame. I guess they figure in this genre of TV it works better if there is a love interest at all times but I think plenty of us also enjoy the “I choose me”  option.

In this time of crisis Felicity turns to several other people for support; Meghan as the one who cast the spell and who has no idea what Felicity is going on about while scoffing at the very idea she would marry Sean, Dr Pavone who tells Felicity that she needs to forget about doing the right thing and asks her what she wants and then Sally via tape. The latter makes the most sense to me as Sally is who Felicity could spill her inner most thoughts to and as we near the end of the show I am glad this device makes a reappearance. I was never that fond of the responses (sorry Janeane Garofalo, I still heart you) but I liked how it avoided the standard inner thoughts voiceover.

One thing I wondered is if Ben’s dad is going to die in this new timeline? That’s one major rupture if it happens. And it would be nice if none of the Lauren stuff happens. What I am interested in is how they are going to proceed with this whole thing and if everything ends up being worse in this version what does that mean for Felicity? I don’t want her romantic decisions to be the burden of not just her life but everyone else’s. It is fun that we get to see both versions of who she chose and in a way I wish they had gone back even further to when she chose Ben over Noel at the end of season 1, but the logistics of doing that coupled with how much distance there is from any of those stories might not have made much sense.

I’m pretty sure Felicity would wear double denim in any universe, this is sadly a mistake she is doomed to repeat.

Is Felicity stuck here or is she going to end up waking up hungover on the day of Noel’s wedding?

Felicity 4.18 double denim Julie: If ever there was a girl who needed to step back and “choose me” for a minute, it’s Felicity. The best thing that could come from this time travel thing would be for her to realize at the end of it, after first choosing Ben and then Noel, that who she really needs to choose for a while is Felicity. This is a girl who has, in the blink of an eye, gone from one guy to the next and from one college major to the next. She was staying in New York one minute, going to Arizona the next, and Palo Alto a few seconds later. What does Felicity really want? Now’s the time to figure it out.

I guess Felicity “has” to be aware that she’s time traveled, but I would’ve liked to have seen everything in the Noel Storyline play out without her knowing what will happen, if that makes sense. There’s too much “Future Felicity” meddling here. She’s too aware of the whole situation. I, like you, wonder if Ben’s dad will end up dead in this timeline. Maybe Choosing Noel is the darkest timeline. It makes me want them to do a Community-style thing where they choose every possible choice — from choosing herself to choosing that cute art guy she blew off.

I’m thinking this is all a dream and she wakes up hungover in the apartment, very Dorothy Gale, with a new outlook on life. What do you think?

Felicity 4.18 rooftopEmma: If there was to be a fifth season it should definitely be a Wild kind of situation where she takes a big long hike to get away from the dudes in her life. Even when she moves coasts things still catch up with her so maybe the wilderness is the next step. One reason why I really love this character is because she has made mistakes and messed up on more than one occasion but you’re right when you mention her motivations and what drives her sometimes gets muddled.

Okay now I definitely want an every timeline kind of situation. I do think that we might end up in the darkest timeline and I’m guessing Elena is still going to die regardless (sob). I love the road not traveled trope or the It’s a Wonderful Life playbook if you will. It’s fun and gives us a look at how things could have been. The only thing better is the whole body swap thing (and I wish they had done this with Ben and Noel at some point).

I have a feeling she will also wake up with a raging hangover and a big case of WTF, but I can’t wait to see how it pans out and how it impacts the end of the series.

Another thing that pleased me greatly was seeing Meghan in her old attire. So much leopard print bedding! Oh and Felicity’s ruffled shirt from her graduation gave me so many early 00s bad fashion flashbacks. The start of this decade really is the worst for clothes. It was also a big reminder of how close Felicity graduated to when I did (I was two years later) which is perhaps another reason why it felt so real. College really was forever ago now.

Do you have anything else to add?

Felicity 4.17 bad shirtJulie: I don’t remember a lot about my first S4 Felicity viewing (I spent most of this season POSITIVE that Meghan was going to get pregnant. I guess there’s still time), but I have a vague memory of what actually happens at the end and I think you’re right about it not ending well for Elena. Which makes sense, considering how they’ve treated her so far this season.

And now you have me longing for a S5 where they go full Family Matters and do crazy things like body swapping and robots and all kinds of nonsense. Let’s kickstart it!

I shudder to think about early aughts’ fashion making a comeback, though you know it will. That’s how this works. Even ’70s hair came back. Kind of. I’m not sure Pete Campbell’s combover will ever be in style. But, you never know.

Emma: I am so happy the ’70s have come back, I will not say the same for the aughts. It’s funny how nostalgic I am for the ’90s, but everything from my early 20s conjures up less fond fashion memories.

I would definitely contribute/co-found that kickstarter.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

TV Rewind: Felicity, “Kiss and Tell” & “Raising Arizona”

16 Apr

Felicity, Episodes 4.13 & 4.14
“Kiss and Tell” & “Raising Arizona”
Original Air Dates: Mar. 27, 2002 & Apr. 3, 2002

Felicity 4.14 doorEmma: The baby drama continues as Ben moves from his original position of “I don’t want anything to do with this kid” to maybe moving to Arizona to help raise the baby over the course of two episodes. As we both predicted Ben doesn’t stick too long with the hands off approach which causes a whole lot of strain with Felicity as she finds it hard to talk to Ben about this predicament and old wounds are opened in the process.

Felicity has spent a lot of this season feeling lost particularly with what she’s going to do after college. Her worries in this department get solved rather conveniently this week, which leaves just the personal clusterfuck looming over her. The art world is not for Felicity. Shocker I know and after Noel starts going through the course guide to see if there’s anything that jumps out he strikes gold very early with architecture. It’s lucky zoology isn’t Felicity’s secret passion. It actually makes a lot of sense that Felicity would be drawn to this and as Noel points out it combines her creative sensibilities with her science background. But it still feels too easy particularly as she gets involved with a project which has instant success as soon as she signs on.

There are of course complications as the guy she has to work with is super mopey abut a recent breakup, he then doesn’t tell her what she is supposed to do which renders hours of work as useless and then he tries to kiss her at the random party they are throwing. Adam has misread Felicity as she hasn’t mentioned Ben, but it is also highly inappropriate as he’s her supervisor and really the dudes on this show find it really hard not to cross that line. Also Felicity is wearing a rather hideous satin shirt in this scene which isn’t really relevant to this discussion but I felt it needed mentioning.

It’s a little awkward between them but I don’t think he’s going to try anything like that again and unlike some of the other creeps on this show, Adam seems well meaning.

One reason this new venture is so good for Felicity is that it’s a distraction as Ben’s repeated assertion that nothing will change is far from reassuring – the more he says it the worse it makes her feel. It’s such a messy situation and I can understand why Felicity pretty much shuts down especially as they’ve only just got back together.

What did you make of Felicity’s actions post big reveal?

Felicity 4.13 Felicity Julie: If everyone followed Noel’s advice, everyone would be an architect.

I’m with you that this all seemed to come VERY easy. Architecture is not necessarily something you can just jump into, even if you’re George Costanza. I don’t think Noel’s wrong that it’d be a good fit for Felicity, but it’s her senior year of college. This feels a little late. (As did Ben’s pre-med 180). Think of how much trouble and time she would’ve saved if she’d have just gone through the course catalog two years ago.

Adam seems like a decent guy, but he’s still in that same mold as the guy she met in the art studio (what was his name again?). They’re both dippy and bumbling and dorky. The kiss moment was unfortunate, but I can’t completely fault him. He was in a bad place. And she invited him to the party, and she said she’d have a drink with him, and he didn’t know she had a boyfriend. Also he stopped when she told him to, so all-in-all, a fairly stand-up guy. I’ll give him a pass on the boss thing, too. He’s only a year older than her and they seemed to be collaborating more than her working under him.

I, however, loved Keri Russell’s reaction to him kissing her. It’s was the best moment of WTF. Solid acting on her part.

The fashions in these episodes, since you pointed out her satin shirt, were not great, Bob. From Zoe’s ombre mohair sweater to Felicity’s baggy jeans, these clothes had early-aughts written all over them. Felicity’s hair, however, looks great. Zoe’s? Not so much.

As far as Felicity and Ben go, man I felt for her during these episodes. She’s the one who’s been dragged into this mess. It’s such a bizarre place for a 21-year-old girl to be in. She’s not even out of college; but she just got back together with this guy, with whom she feels she could have a future. And he’s going to be a dad. It’s just too much. And she has no one to talk to about it. You can feel the stress wafting off of her. Javier’s busy with Meghan. Noel’s off-limits. Elena’s nowhere to be found. And all she wants in her life right now is a little stability. The one constant she thought she had, Ben, is no longer so constant.

Obviously, we’re not surprised that Ben is manning up to take care of his kid, but how did you feel about his journey from absentee father to possibly moving to Arizona?

Felicity 4.14 WTFEmma: Keri Russell does have an excellent reaction face and while this jumps ahead to a conversation I’m sure we will discuss in detail later on when Ben basically blames her for this entire thing (because if she hadn’t slept with Noel then Lauren would not have been a thing) her reaction is incredible as it is pure “Are you fucking kidding me?!”

I maybe screamed a little at those baggy jeans because I definitely had a pair, Felicity’s red jeans also made a reappearance but luckily this time she did not pair them with a matching jacket. And you’re right, her hair does look great. I wonder if people were pissed that it isn’t as curly as her pre-chop hair.

The lack of Elena is really bothering me, we get a smidge of her in these episodes (it would appear she is still with Trevor, who by the way is in my bad books for planting the seed with Ben that Noel is trying to get with Felicity) and she is one person Felicity really needs at the moment. I kind of like that the party was for no reason because that’s what you do at college, but really I need more of Elena than a brief hello.

Like you I really feel for Felicity too, like it’s a super shitty thing for Ben to deal with after a long list of super shitty things and it keeps on piling on when Lauren tells Ben she’s moving to Arizona. Her reasons for going are good and after all she was having this baby alone up until Ben changed his mind. Her priority is this child, but I also can’t help but understand why he is so desperate to get her to stay. Ben is trying to do right by everyone which means he ends up doing right by no one. From his own experience he doesn’t want his child to experience the same absentee father, but if he moves to Arizona will he end up completely resenting Lauren anyway and maybe impacting his relationship with the child?

Arizona becomes a source of contention as he asks his professor (who he now has a father/son relationship with) whether he can transfer. When Noel hears an answer machine message (this device again) and mentions it to Felicity it causes old wounds to be opened when Ben accuses Noel of involving himself in their business so he can drive a wedge between them. The way they made up in the Christmas episode was too easy and I don’t mind that conflict resurfaces here because it makes sense that it would.

Later on Ben walks in on Felicity and Noel hugging in her room blowing things up further. Which leads me back to the remark I mentioned about where Ben blames Felicity for everything. It’s shit and an awful thing to say raising the question of whether Ben can ever move on from this. They look like they might be dunzo, but Noel steps in and tells them both to stop being so ridiculous and I for one cheered at this moment. This triangle has always leaned much further in the direction of Ben and Noel earned this moment to tell them how dumb they are. Do you agree with what Noel said?

Felicity 4.13 satin shirtJulie: Things are so messy right now. I think they will be able to get past this eventually, but maybe the two of them need a break, like a real break, for a while. I think it’s very important for Felicity to figure out for herself what she wants to do with her own life.  The “easy” answer would be to follow Ben wherever he needs to go right now, but I don’t think that’s good in the long run for her. That’s kind of what her mother did, in a way. Her mother got pregnant and put the rest of her life on hold so that Felicity’s dad could go to med school and become a doctor. For Felicity, it would mean giving up the great architecture opportunity with Adam in New York to follow Ben to Arizona (and, gross, who wants to live in Arizona?)

They are both dealing with some really heavy stuff here, but I’m, honestly, not on Ben’s side in this instance. This whole season for him has been about him making rash choices without taking any time to consider Felicity’s feelings. He got upset with his dad a few episodes ago for being selfish in his relationship with Ben’s mom, but Ben is kind of doing the same thing to Felicity. He jumped into pre-med without considering her feelings, and now he’s making major life decisions without consulting her. They are not partners at this point, and she could consider living her life as such. If things are meant to work out, they will, but Felicity should not put her life on hold for Ben.

I’m also peeved at him about the Noel stuff. How long is he going to keep punishing Felicity for what happened? I get that he might not want to be BFF with Noel, but he needs to let go of the anger. Besides, I have a hard time believing he and Felicity would have made it through the fall without a breakup. They were headed in that direction. Maybe they’re only together now because Felicity slept with Noel and the whole thing forced them to deal with the fact that they weren’t doing well as a couple.

I’m still trying to figure out how/where Team Noel will come back into play, because I’m pretty sure it does. At this point, I don’t think Felicity would EVER consider hooking up with Noel again, because that would certainly mark the end of her relationship with Ben. Besides, he has Zoe, which, gross.

How are you feeling about Noel’s life choices in these episodes?

Felicity 4.14 Noel, Ben, FelicityEmma: I hadn’t even considered the parallels with Felicity’s parents but your spot on here and in a roundabout way she is teetering on the edge of making the same choice/mistake without being the pregnant one. If Ben were to go to Arizona I can’t see Felicity going with him at this point even though they are both prone to making impulsive choices. I think this is part of why they are so great and so terrible for each other in equal amounts.

Another Ben thing I wanted to bring up is how easy he is to influence first with Trevor stirring the Noel pot and then with Sean suggesting he plays the “I can keep you in this state” card which is all kinds of ick. Ben is skeezed out by this and then yep he semi plays the card. Gross dude.

The only point that had me thinking that anything could ever happen between Felicity and Noel again is how she wistfully looks at him with Zoe at the end of “Kiss and Tell” but I read this as being envious of their relatively uncomplicated relationship. They’re in the beginning part so everything is fun. Or is it?

Zoe gets all funny about their relationship pretty damn quick including being really unreasonable in a meeting at work and then attempting to hide their relationship. I get the latter point because work and personal life mixing is complicated but she’s so obvious in her attempts to hide it that they’re clearly dating. So it turns out that she fell for someone hard and they didn’t feel the same way. She thinks it sounds dumb and Noel falls even harder because somehow he has found a girl who not only looks like one ex but also fits his own sorry love story. The big difference here is that Noel did not end up in the hospital. It’s already so dramatic that I can’t see this ending well.

At least for Noel things at home are okay again and like you mentioned I really can’t see how they are going to pivot this love triangle back the other way. And I really don’t want them to either.

Others are having relationship drama including Meghan and Sean with more super irritating bickering. I thought we were done with this. I was wrong. Did you care just as little as I did by this next chapter in the Meghan/Sean saga?

Felicity 4.14 baggy jeansJulie: Before we move on from Ben, I want to point out how way harsh it was for him to look that little brother kid in the eye and then walk away. Oh, Ben. I am much disappoint.

As far as Zoe goes, I think I’m predisposed to hate anyone on this show who dates Ben or Noel, so obviously she gets a no from me. Also, I can’t figure out at all what he sees in her, or why she’s special. Other than the fact that she’s blond and cute. There’s no there there.

I really did not care about anything anyone who’s not Ben, Noel, or Felicity was doing in these episodes. The Megan/Sean stuff might have been interesting if a) it didn’t feel like a retread of things we’d seen before, vis a vis the sexy calendar shoot or b) if the writers had the balls to break the two of them up. I loved Meghan and Sean together at first, but now they’re just boring. There’s a ton of story to mine in a relationship between two people who marry so young and are still in college with actual roommates, but the Felicity writers are not digging anywhere deep enough.

I feel like Meghan and Sean should also be having an “oh shit” moment like Felicity. Meghan’s graduating, she doesn’t have her family fortune to fall back on. Sean is an “inventor” with no visible means of income. How are they going to live? If she actually wants to start pursuing acting, then the show should get serious about her pursuing acting. The way her theater class and the commercial auditions are portrayed in this show are comical. It’s as if no one on the writing staff has ever met an actor before.

And then there’s Elena, who basically doesn’t exist anymore. I wonder what the story was there. Was she working on something else? Did the writers just lose interest in her? Did Tangi Miller do something to piss them off? Because it’s ridiculous how little she has to do as a full cast member. Also, where’s Richard?

Felicity 4.14 triangleEmma: Oh yeah that was a really cold moment from Ben and I’m surprised they were waiting for him at the end. And of course he suggests basketball. Hopefully this kid won’t break his finger.

The Meghan/Sean story is so eye roll worthy in how repetitive it is and it’s probably a bad sign that I didn’t care if either of them ended up cheating on the other. If they did it would feel like a change in the bickering cycle at least. It is a complete retread of everything we have seen before and the shoe cover idea was indeed the dumbest. And your ideas of what they could do with this pairing sound far more interesting. If they did split it would put Meghan back at Felicity’s which I am all for.

Javier and Meghan’s acting storyline was essentially the comedic interlude for all the heavy shit which is going on right now and it was fine, but yeah it does come across like the writers are spinning their wheels with this pairing. The trying to hug moment was a delight thankfully.

Other disappearing cast members also include the two annoying roommates. I’m not sad they’re absent but it’s like they never lived there in the first place. And yeah I have to think Tangi Miller maybe had other commitments. Like you it is really just Felicity, Ben and Noel who are compelling at the moment and I’m really missing Elena’s presence.

Felicity 4.14 Meghan and JavierJulie: Ha! I totally thought the same thing about Meghan and Sean. Just cheat on each other already. Break the cycle, kids.

I don’t have much to add here, but right now I feel like Felicity in Season 4 is one of those shows that would’ve benefitted from a shorter episode order. TV today has it right. 10-13 episodes is the sweet spot.

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

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