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Tag Archives: Christmas

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.

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New Girl 4.11 “LAXmas” Review: Love Actually and All That

10 Dec

New Girl Christmas episodes* tend to be a chaotic affair and “LAXmas” continues this trend switching out the multiple parties of season 2 and inserting travel plans. Ah yes the traveling over the holiday season frenzy that is usually further hindered by the weather and in this case a storm is majorly delaying almost everyone’s flights. Winston and Nick are traveling back to Chicago, Cece’s mom wants to hand deliver a card to Matt Lauer and so she is on the same flight as Schmidt who is returning to Long Island. Coach is attempting to get some ‘me time’ and instead of going back to Detroit he has booked a vacation to Hawaii. Taking the next big relationship step is Jess as she has been invited to London to spend Christmas with Ryan and his family; cue all the anxiety.

* There was no Christmas episode last season, most likely as a result of New Girl’s post Super Bowl slot in January. New Girl is very good at the holiday themed episodes and so I’m glad to see them back with a strong outing this year.

New Girl 4.11Holiday episodes (and particularly Christmas ones) function in a variety of ways; by addressing the larger issues in a heightened and most likely schmaltzy way, pop culture comes into focus by making fun of movies like Love Actually followed by their own slightly skewed Love Actually moment and because there is a single purpose (on this occasion getting on multiple flights) the obstacles are going to keep coming. Switch out the string of festive parties from “Santa” back in season 2 and there are still the same new boyfriend/girlfriend anxieties, just with different suitors (Julian Morris takes the position of both Olivia Munn and David Walton in this episode as everyone else is single or in Nick’s case it has only been a one episode thing so far and he’s already pretty content, that will change).

Guest stars pop up along the way to help, hinder and skeeze with Billy Eichner’s beleaguered airport worker Barry turning from snark and sass at Jess’ attempts to get Nick and Winston on their flight to new BFF when she gets hit on by the super creepy Santa (played by Saved by the Bell’s Dennis Haskins, no I can never look at Mr Belding in the same way after this proposition). Eichner doesn’t do the whole screaming bit and this is the most sedate I have probably seen him; it would have been easy to go for that route but it sets this character apart from his Parks and Recreation and Billy on the Street style and I hope Barry is a return fixture. The withering looks he gives pretty much everyone give me so much life and this character instantly feels part of the New Girl universe. Barry helps Jess out in the end by getting Winston and Nick on their flight and in first class seats (and in a win by karma the super sleeze from the first class lounge is the person bumped, plus some other random guy); however there is more in this airport saga.

Jumping to the first class lounge and another of the creepy dude characters with Barry Bostwick turning from Schmidt aspiration to a reason to leave the luxury that Schmidt craves in one indecent proposal. Schmidt has decided this season that his millionaire dream is still tangible and while he might pretend he is from Manhattan (with a view of defecating Central Park horses) his inner Long Island will come out under the right circumstances. Invoking all things Billy Joel is pretty much the best amount of Schmidt nonsense “New York. Long Island. Billy Joel” and is the perfect exit statement to this scenario. Schmidt doesn’t tell Cece exactly what was said, just that he had disrespected something important to him – Cece’s guess is Daniel Craig’s tailoring – and I’m really liking how New Girl is dealing with this relationship. Cece tells Schmidt she really likes being his friend and he returns this sentiment, yes something romantic is likely to happen in the future, but I appreciate how they are slowly rebuilding what was previously fractured by Schmidt’s infidelity.

With each mention of Coach’s niece in Detroit, it becomes clear he will definitely ditch his alone time super sweet Hawaiian vacation and go back home to his family. No matter how crowded it is, plus the inevitable family squabbles that will take place there are certain things better than lying on the beach. Even if last week’s clip of Coach’s sisters cutting off their own hair was mildly terrifying. And as Coach finds out airport phone charging stations are a nightmare of different appliances and battery needing desperation.

In fun airport hijnks Winston and Nick set about getting on their flight by trying to scare off other people with tickets with Winston going all in with his fake baby and Nick doing things like ripping up tickets that would most likely get him arrested (or at the very least detained), but hey it is Christmas and his “Debbie, don’t start with me, you’re in a mood” was enough hilarity to negate the plausibility of it all. Also pretty sure Nick would get in some kind of shit for his not turning his phone off, ignoring the flight attendant and then getting off the plane shenanigans but like I said it is Christmas and they need their Love Actually moment.

Jess gets the Ryan related fear thanks to the photos of his Downton Abbey style house – Barry is a fan of this show even if he knows it is a soap opera – and his super moody looking family. The McDuck amount of money is one factor and there is too much pressure, so Jess bails. Or at least she tries to and as is traditional with the Nick/Jess pairing advice is given with a bit of pep and reassurance and all is well. This is what was missing when they were a couple last season and it is why I’ve got the Nick/Jess warm and fuzzy feelings again. As I have already mentioned in previous reviews, I really don’t think they are right for each other at this moment but their strong connection is undeniable and it works best in a personal crisis such as this.

Taking the rushing through the airport cliche and cutting to the super slow cart followed by hugs and love declarations as She & Him’s version of “God Only Knows” starts up is more than enough to leave me warm, fuzzy and very satisfied with this festive outing. Oh and Jess when you tell someone you are no longer coming a) at least end the text with one ‘x’ (that was cold) and b) mention you got on the flight in the end.

New Girl 4.11 Jess and BarryNew Girl Style Watch

This Equipment sweater almost made the Wish List after Mindy wore it (instead I went for this LBD from the same episode) so I am glad I get to showcase it here as it is sweater plaid heaven. And if you want something on the less splurge scale then you can pick up Jess’ duck phone case for the very affordable $4.99 here.

Festive Rewind: My So-Called Life “So-Called Angels”

10 Dec

It’s TV Ate My Wardrobe’s first festive season and to mark this occasion we are hosting a very special rewind series. What this means is that we will be featuring a whole host of guest posts and in the spirit of the holidays we have asked a variety of writers to discuss a festive episode of their choice. These will be appear on the site over the next couple of weeks and there’s an eclectic mix including teen dramas, science fiction, animation, comedy, drama and more to get you in the celebratory mood. Or to at least give you plenty of suggestions of TV to watch over the break.

Today join me as I discuss the My So-Called Life episode “So Called Angels”

MSCL ep15 church

As with Halloween and Thanksgiving, the festive period gives teen dramas an opportunity to explore the wider themes of impending adulthood; Halloween can enhance the exploration of who the characters are and want to be through costume and as with Thanksgiving, Christmas opens up the idea of what a family is. Family can mean many things and the extension of friends as family is an important component.

My So-Called Life heads into “Very Special Episode” territory with “So-Called Angels” as Rickie is beaten up and kicked out of his house; the opening scene is Rickie bleeding into the snow and it’s a very bleak intro to a festive themed episode. This is another thing about the holidays and TV drama; bad things happen and the resolution tends to be a happy one after a series of trials and tribulations. MSCL deals with a wide range of issues in this outing including teen homelessness, religion, privilege, prejudice, holiday related depression and domestic abuse. It’s one of the cheesier episodes thanks to the presence of an actual angel (more on that below) and a well telegraphed message, but at the same time it’s a Christmas episode and so sentimentality is expected.

MSCL ep15 angela phone

Angela has new boots and these become a symbol of the things that people have and don’t have. This goes from sibling jealousy to conversations with dead people; for a show that is grounded in reality there are two episodes in which Angela talks to the dead (the other being Halloween). Singer Juliana Hatfield (cue raspy, sad sounding music which you can hear below) guest stars as a girl who died on the streets because of the cold, a girl who appears to both Angela and her mother to impart an important message. Angel Juliana Hatfield tells Angela that her good boots were stolen and now she can’t get warm. This conversation is all about showing the vast socioeconomic difference between Angela and this girl, Graham has already emphasized how warm Angela’s boots look. Angela leaves her boots for Angel Hatfield and they must be magical as Angel Hatfield manages to wear them even though she is dead. Yes I am only questioning the logic of this aspect.

MSCL ep15 guitar wingsJuliana Hatfield is a guardian angel of sorts for Rickie; she’s there to show Angela where Rickie has been sleeping so she can come to his aid. It’s a Wonderful Life is the quintessential guardian angel Christmas movie and as MSCL’s production company is called “Bedford Falls” it all makes sense. Angel Hatfield is also there to dish out some words of wisdom to Patty; Patty who is wary of Rickie because she doesn’t know him in the same way she knows someone like Brian Krakow. Angela and Patty get into a fight about the Rickie situation and Angela turns the tables exclaiming that “This girl [Juliana Hatfield], she could be me.”

Patty can’t reconcile this comparison until she meets our guitar winged visitor. This is where the episode takes a sharp turn cheese avenue, but it’s also the point where the misty eyes kick in. I’ve seen this episode countless times (it is part of my present wrapping watching playlist) and the tears hit at the same point every single time. I am a sucker for heavy handed comparisons that layer it on with emotions. That’s right Angela could be Angel Hatfield. If that wasn’t enough the combination of the choir and Patty embracing Rickie in the church sends me over the edge.

MSCL ep15 helpline

The B story of the episode is on the lighter side, even if Brian Krakow is on the verge of tears thanks to his feelings of perpetual loneliness. It’s ok because Sharon has enlisted Rayanne to help with the help line (in the all important bathroom location – those who read the This Was TV MSCL posts will know how much I love this) and she distracts Brian by turning his plea for help call into something to distract him. Denying us the future chronicles of Sharon and Rayanne is one of the many reasons why I’m still bummed out that this is a one season show. This plot is an extension of the friends as family notion and the only person alone in the montage is Jordan Catalano, who I assume is lighting a candle for Rickie.

While the Rickie situation has been solved in the short term and he won’t be sleeping in an abandoned building for Christmas there is still a long way to go. The episode ends of a hopeful note and yet it doesn’t suggest that it’s all tied up in a bow; this is why My So-Called Life can indulge in fantastical elements because the next episode will face up to the reality of the situation.

Julie Hammerle

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