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Tag Archives: Teen TV

Teen TV Halloween Episode Round-Up

26 Oct

Halloween is fast approaching and whether you have parties to attend over the weekend, I’m sure you can slip in a few old TV episode faves to celebrate this creepy time of year.

Sitcoms have long delivered on the Halloween theme hits with Brooklyn Nine-Nine upping the game every year; culminating in a very funny and heartwarming 2017 entry. Yes, I was crying by the end of it. But the genre that I keep returning to AND rewatching is teen TV from the ’90s. Because of course. Last year I wrote about nostalgia and looking back at these episodes.

I’m looking at you My So-Called LifeFreaks and GeeksFelicity and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Below is a collection of articles I have written and team-up conversations about this particular topic and these shows. This is the ideal time for teen characters to experiment and most of adolescence is trying to figure out who you are. On Halloween you can explore that in a more explicit and overt manner. Ghosts come in many forms and it is also fun to look back at what was big in pop culture during this time. Costumes choices can be from a very specific window of time and there are some looks that never go out of style during this spooky season.

But if you need costume inspiration that is more 2017 than 1998, I also have you covered in this department.

My So-Called LifeMy So-Called Life uses the holidays to indulge in the supernatural from dead students that are very similar to Angela’s crush—Jordan Catalano—to angels at Christmas. I have written about MSCL a lot and the impact this show had on me when I was a teen cannot be measured in words (even though I have tried). It is surprising that I haven’t gone as Angela for any Halloweens so far and right now with all the ’90s inspired clothes in stores would be the perfect time. But alas, this year I have other plans.

For Halloween costume tips from the MSCL Halloween episode head here and for a discussion of everything about this episode go back in time to This Was TV.

Freaks and GeeksCapturing the awkward transition between childhood and adulthood is something Freaks and Geeks does better than many and in its third episode “Tricks and Treats,” Halloween is the perfect example of this. Whether it is finding out that there is a cut-off age for trick-or-treating or succumbing to peer pressure; this episode has it all. Plus Bill dresses up as the Bionic Woman and he is so pure. We must protect Bill Haverchuck.

I wrote about Freaks and Geeks using this holiday as a way to portray the push and pull that is indicative of being a teenager here. And for This Was TV, I did a deep dive of this episode with regular teen TV team-up partner, Julie Hammerle. Come for the Freaks and Geeks chat and all things pop culture references from 2013 (I see you Red era Taylor Swift).

Update!

I couldn’t not include this A+ TBT from Busy Philipps. 

Felicity Also early in Felicity’s run they give us a Halloween episode—it helps that October is near the start of the school year—and this one is fraught for a number of reasons; Felicity and Ben are robbed at gunpoint, which brings them closer together before pushing them apart. Felicity gets wasted and ends up throwing up in Noel’s lap, thus providing my go to Twitter cover photo for this time of year. There are also a good range of costumes and this brings me to my second Halloween costume tips post via teen TV from the ’90s.

Once again you can head to This Was TV for an in-depth chat about this episode and this isn’t Felicity’s only foray into Halloween shindigs. They head back to that well in season 4 and while it isn’t as noteworthy, there is a pre-Americans wig moment for Keri Russell and the episode is called “Boooz.” And for some reason, I still find that hilarious. You can read our thoughts about this episode on this very site.Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

The first Buffy the Vampire Slayer Halloween episode is in my Top 10 (maybe even Top 5) for this show. It is pivotal for a number of reasons and gets called back to on numerous occasions (like whenever they need anything military training related). And it also captures those awkward teen feelings as well as any of the other shows mentioned above. These are no After School Specials; instead pointing to insecurities and how this holiday can help put those feelings aside. Or magnify them.

Willow’s costume—or the one that Buffy wants her to wear—is the most ’90s, ticking all those nostalgia boxes and I wrote about that here. But don’t head to This Was TV for a team-up chat as we never did get to doing one for Buffy.

I keep returning to these episodes for a number of reasons; part nostalgia and part because they stand the test of time.

Happy Halloween, everyone! And if anyone dresses as any of the above characters please send me pics.

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TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 3

13 Sep

img_4257Emma: Season 3 is a big year in the Gilmore house as it is Rory’s final year at school, there’s a boyfriend switch-up and Lorelai has a lot of work and some romance stuff going on. And she finally kissed Luke… Or rather Lorelai dream kissed Luke in the opening scene of this season and I screamed even though I figured it wasn’t really happening.

There is plenty to talk about and it might seem like a strange place to start but I’m going to skip to the end because I was thrilled to see that it didn’t finish on a romantic cliffhanger or moment of devastation like last season. It was about everything Rory and Lorelai had achieved personally and as a mother/daughter unit. There was no way a dude was going to overshadow Rory’s academic success and Lorelai’s new and huge business purchase. Dreams had just been realized and no matter how much I want Luke and Lorelai to have a non-dream kiss, this finale was far more satisfying for focusing on the women. Jess called, but didn’t derail Rory or her success. She got to unload on him without having to hear his lame excuses because he is too much of a coward to give her any. And they wouldn’t suffice anyway.img_4205I realized when Rory decided on Yale that I have an emotional reaction to Rory’s academic success and I got teary when Lorelai found out that she was valedictorian and I got to sob levels during her speech. I love romance and all those kind of things that come with teen shows but ultimately the things that resonate with the likes of Rory Gilmore, Angela Chase, Felicity Porter and Lindsay Weir are the personal victories that don’t involve boys. The boys are just the bonus. Maybe not for Rory as Dean is the worst and so far Jess isn’t much better. But Dave can stay (although I’m guessing he won’t because of The O.C.).

What did you make of watching Rory’s final year at school and her decision to go to Yale over her original dream school?img_4220Julie: I loved the college switch-a-roo. I don’t know if that had been the writers’ plan all along, but I suspect it was. There would’ve been different drama if Rory had chosen to go to Harvard–being farther away from her mom, oh, and closer to her dad, who I think is still in Boston? But with her going to Yale, it sets up all this drama with the parents, which is marvelous. Of course Richard and Emily love that Rory is going to Yale, and it certainly has to burn Lorelai’s britches that her daughter is following in her grandfather’s footsteps. This whole situation makes her dad so happy, and that is never on Lorelai’s agenda.

I’m so with you about seeing the teenage girls accomplish things for themselves and not because of a boy. Rory’s graduation was all about her and her mom, and I definitely got teary. Lorelai getting to see her daughter accomplish so much while about to embark upon this new phase of her life where she won’t need her mom so much, EMOTIONS.img_4258And yay for Rory getting out of Stars Hollow. She needs to meet some new guys. Cast a wider net. I think Dave is nice for Lane, but what did you think about the whole “I’m a drummer!” storyline? I feel like that came out of nowhere. We’ve known all along that Lane likes music, but we had no idea she could actually play. And it felt kind of farfetched, like, “I’m gonna be a drummer!” even though I’ve never drummed in my whole life.

I think I needed to get that off my chest. It really bothers me.img_4250Emma: The college thing felt to me like it was maybe always planned for logistics, but I love that Yale didn’t come into play until this season. The trip to Yale underscored everything that is still fragile in Lorelai and her parents’ relationship and shows once again that Richard is more than just a sweet grandfather. It’s a sneaky move and it was good to see Rory explain exactly why it was so shitty. She is not her mother and she would’ve gladly taken this meeting, but to not let her prepare and just spring this on her sucks. Bad form, Richard.

The Yale trip is fun up until that point as we find out more about Emily and Richard’s courtship (there was another woman!) and see them a little giddy. Plus Lorelai gets to bond with her mother over skirt fixing solutions and everything is lovely until Richard pulls his “oh look where we are” meeting.img_4222For Lorelai as we saw last season there is a pang whenever college comes up as this is her path not taken. Rory is her everything, but she still wonders what could have been. Everyone thinks Harvard is still the one, but the pros/cons list says otherwise and rather than go against her parents, Lorelai puts those differences aside. It is a huge step in the compromise column and really the person that matters here is Rory. And of course there are still big bumps in the Lorelai/Emily relationship with the loan repayment.

The girl in a band thing is fun, but yeah it would’ve maybe made more sense for her to go the Almost Famous route of music journalism. She could’ve still met Dave this way and it wouldn’t have felt so out of left field. It is another case of them not being entirely sure what to do with Lane. Although I did love her brief change of hair colour. The doing something drastic to your hair with dye is an ultimate teen rite of passage. Lane also ticked off the getting drunk and vomming box this season and I liked how not crazy that house party was. Well until the fight. It looked like a lot of our parties, which is never the case on screen as they are always so big and so loud.

Sex chats came into play this season and it is interesting to see how Lorelai navigates this stuff. What did you make of this?img_4223Julie: Yeah, teenage sex hasn’t really been an issue on the show to this point, even though Rory has had two boyfriends (one very long term). Her thing with Dean always seemed kind of chaste. The two of them didn’t seem to have much romantic chemistry. They hardly ever seemed to be alone together, and the few times they were alone either ended in fighting or with them surrounded by other people.

But with Jess, there’s more heat. He’s a “bad boy,” and he seems way more experienced than Rory. That said, it appears he’s cool with taking things at her pace. So, yay for Jess on that.It has to be a big relief for Lorelai (who finds out about her daughter’s virginity status after accidentally overhearing a conversation between Rory and Paris), that Rory is not there yet. As cool as she is, and as cool as I’m sure she’d be with her daughter becoming sexually active, there has to be a part of her that’s like, “Please let us get out of high school,” since she’s the one who wound up pregnant at sixteen. I love that she wants to keep the lines of communication open with Rory, and asks Rory to please tell her whenever the sexing happens.img_4248Now, the unlikely one who has had sex is Paris, and I think they handle this pretty well. She’s very matter-of-fact about it, and when she first talks to Rory she sounds like they were safe, it was good, no big deal. But then her rejection letter comes from Harvard, and she deals with that by blaming the sex on some level–like she, Paris Gellar, could only have one of those things, not both. I think there are just a lot of emotions she’s dealing with, and I kind of like that they make Paris a basket case about sex, because of course she’d freak out. She freaks out about everything.

What did you think about Paris’s sexual escapades?img_4206Emma: The Rory/Lorelai chats about sex are great because even though they are super close there is still that super awkward vibe that comes from discussing this subject with a parent. Rory is very aware of her origin story and there is a sense that she doesn’t want to follow her mother’s path even if what came of it is really great. A subject that Lorelai has trouble navigating when she is asked to give a talk about being a successful business woman at Rory’s old high school. She doesn’t suggest getting pregnant at 16 is a good life plan, but she definitely got a good end of this deal. Lorelai rarely gets flustered and it doesn’t help that Luke is there to witness this display.

Lorelai wants Rory to be upfront and I get that so the initial part of the Paris/Rory convo is terrifying followed by quick reassurance. I also think she is very proud of how Rory responds to the Paris reveal and she sounds both like a teenager and good friend. Paris is typically Paris and I think part of the meltdown that follows comes from her belief that she isn’t worthy of being loved. Which sucks and is completely not true, but the environment she has grown up in can’t have helped with how she sees love. Her best friends are guy crazy and are never short of dates whereas Paris lusted after Tristan and was left with a solitary kiss and no further interest. In fact in the first episode of this season Rory is the one who tells her that she just got asked out on a date by Jamie.img_4228The speech meltdown made me all kinds of sad because of course she would equate romantic happiness with the Harvard rejection. It is like a version of the horror movie thing where if you sleep with someone then you are going to get killed. But this time it is with the college of her dreams. Jamie is also the thing that comes between Rory and Paris; not in the traditional way but because of a student government power battle and Francie might be least favorite character so far. I like her less than I like Dean (so that is saying something). Despite these fallouts the Paris/Rory relationship is strong and Rory is the one who helps pull Paris out of her funk. Paris is a high level of intense and yet Rory knows exactly how to bring these levels down and I can’t wait to see this friendship develop even further.

Back to Rory and sex because it does look like she is edging there as things were getting hot and heavy with Jess. As you mention with Dean it was always pretty chaste and the chemistry between Rory and Jess is undeniable (maybe because of IRL stuff slipping in *phrasing*). Rory is edging there and the house party was the almost point. But rightly so Rory tells Jess to stop (and he does) because of things like the door not being locked and because Jess is clearly distracted. This leads to an almighty fight between Dean and Jess which trashes half the house and pretty much spells the end for Jess and Rory. Also Dean has now proposed to his girlfriend which is pretty much the dumbest way to try and get Rory’s attention and he is the worst.

While we’re on the subject of sex, what did you think of the flashbacks to young Lorelai and Christopher?img_4236Julie: Dean is terrible, and his new fiancee should RUN far, far away. And then Dean should chase her and get the hell out of Stars Hollow.

I’m glad that Rory stops things with Jess before they go any further. She deserves better than a party hookup in an unlocked bedroom. And I think Jess knows that. As “bad” as he thinks he is, I really don’t think he’s even remotely that bad.img_4242I think we can all agree that Rory and Paris are OTP, especially during this season. Maybe it’s a little unbalanced: Paris seems to need Rory more than Rory needs Paris, but they’re really two sides of the same coin–the good girls with big dreams. As far as the speech goes, I feel like the YA publishing community would pooh-pooh Paris’s handling of it–she’s slut-shaming herself; she’s Paris Gellar, guys shouldn’t matter–but I thought Paris’s reaction was painfully real. By her account, she should’ve been a shoo-in for Harvard. She’d done everything right. What was the one thing she did “wrong?” She slept with her boyfriend. It was like karma and tempting fate, and I think she was just looking for an easy explanation.

As far as Lorelai and Christopher go, I loved the flashback episode with Rory’s conception and birth. We got to see so much here–how her relationship with Emily has been strained all along, how her parents handled the situation as best they could while Christopher’s didn’t, how everyone was worried about his future, even Lorelai. And then to bookend it with Chris’s new daughter, Gigi, tears. He’s going to be there for this kid from day one, unlike how he was with Rory.

Speaking of pregnancies, how about Sookie and Jackson?img_4240Emma: My main gripe with the Lorelai flashback is down to the actress playing Lorelai as she ended up irritating me. It’s a hard line to play with a character that is so quippy and self aware and sadly she was no Lauren Graham (a tall order for anyone). I loved seeing Emily in late eighties attire and it was fun seeing the foundation of all this drama. It did also break my heart a little for Lorelai’s fractured relationship with her parents and the difference between Christopher now and then.

It is also interesting how the Christopher stuff kind of fizzles, which I guess makes sense now that he has another kid and Sherri while being sweet also seems like hard work. Also organizing a birthing party sounds like a really terrible idea. Lorelai also has another flash from the past with Max coming back to town and the two share a couple of awkward moments and a kiss. There is still chemistry there but a lot of this feels like the writers stalling until something happens with Luke. Same with Alex who (as Lorelai even said) just fizzled. He was fine, but nothing spectacular. And the actor has gone on to crazier things with Zoo (I need to catch up but l love this bonkers show).img_4213One other potential suitor who really didn’t last long was Jon Hamm with a bad haircut. Lorelai liked him (well who wouldn’t) until she found out how dull he was and this caused all kinds of issues for Emily as he also happened to be the son of one of her society friends. Awkward. This has been one of my favorite guest star spots so far.

Luke meanwhile also has a new love interest and she happens to be Taylor’s lawyer. I don’t see this going the distance particularly as Nicole has picked up on the strong Luke/Lorelai vibe. Plus they haven’t really crafted much of a character for her. Also I figured that when they got the extension in Luke’s apartment he and Jess would at least have their own rooms, but nope.

Ah yes, Sookie is pregnant which is lovely but not a surprise. I do find Jackson to be a bit much on occasion including his reaction to the pregnancy news especially after his whole wanting a crazy amount of kids thing. I get the back and forth bickering is part of their thing but sometimes it is a lot to deal with.

The other big Sookie news involves Lorelai and their inn dreams. What did you think about the progression of this storyline and the maybe convenient fire at their workplace?img_4229Julie: Yes, with the stalling! It’s kind of fun seeing Lorelai out and dating, but the writers are VERY slow about getting her and Luke on the same page. The Max thing feels like a bone thrown to the Max-Lorelai truthers. (They’re out there.) She did sort of dispense with him quickly, and there was nothing wrong with him. Max Medina is great!

Alex is fine, too, actually, and I love seeing Billy Burke in stuff. (I watched every episode of My Boys, one of those Chicago shows–like The League–where I’m not sure if the writers have ever been to Chicago.) And I know I squealed (and probably tweeted) about Jon Hamm making an appearance. This was the kind of one-off journeyman actor role he apparently did a lot before landing Mad Men. Since it was JON HAMM, I went in expecting a lot of out of that character, but he didn’t really get a chance to sparkle in any memorable way.img_4225I CANNOT with Nicole. While Lorelai gets some decent suitors, Luke is stuck with this lawyer chick and there really is no there there. She appears only to be a vehicle for change for Luke–he starts thinking about new places to live and new menus. And she certainly feels threatened by Lorelai, so she can kindly step away from the show.

I agree on Jackson. While this show his heightened in its language, the actors tend to bring a lot of groundedness to the roles. With Jackson, maybe we just don’t get to see him enough, but he’s often too much. I can buy him stressing out over the new baby and him not having the reaction to the pregnancy that everyone assumed he’d have, but it felt more schticky than real. Asking a chef to get rid of her knives for a baby who won’t even be moving on its own for a while? Stop.

That fire was very convenient, but I do love that the ladies are talking about their own inn now. And I like how the show deals with it realistically. There’s a lot to consider here–Lorelai is about to be paying for college, Sookie is about to be a mom. Is this best time? How do they work it financially? What will happen to Michel?img_4212Emma: A lot of the time I want to tell Jackson to chill the fuck out and that hit new heights in season 3. I think my favorite Jackson moment came in the season finale at the graduation when he’s chatting about the Chilton building with Luke. More of that Jackson please.

The cause of the fire itself is also never really explained with a suggestion it was maybe electrical. For some reason I thought they might do an arson thing and blame Jess. Regardless it did lead to some good moments including Lorelai realizing the severity of it and what could have been if they hadn’t got everyone out. A very near miss. And it does help with their future plans except it scuppers their chances of getting the inn at first as both Sookie and Lorelai lose their jobs and can’t afford their new inn.

I find the way they deal with money issues on the show to be pretty realistic particularly with things that can cost a lot like education. Money is one of the major sticking points between Lorelai and her parents and you can tell what a relief it is for Lorelai to pay them back for Chilton. And of course Emily sees this repayment as the ultimate fuck you; it wasn’t a loan in her eyes and it was also the only way she could guarantee seeing them on a weekly basis. The problem here is that Emily shouldn’t have to make an arrangement like this, but she also thinks that it will go back to the lack of contact they had for all those years before Chilton.img_4245It is another case of both Emily and Lorelai refusing to listen or talk to each other; ultimate stubborn WASP behavior. Lorelai has been on her own for so long and she clearly hates being indebted to her parents in this way so it is the ultimate irony that paying that money back means she can’t pay for Yale (as financial aid is no longer an option). Rory then makes her own deal and she has less qualms about these strings than her mother ever did. I feel bad for Rory as she is very much in the middle of all this and tells both her mother and Emily how ridiculous they are being. After relatively smooth sailing the Gilmores are back to uneven territory.

While we’re on the subject of the Gilmore ladies, have you seen the photo EW posted yesterday from the new series? I’ve been trying to avoid everything but this one was all over my Twitter feed yesterday. It is crushing and instantly made me tear up (this sound vague as I’m not sure you’ve seen it).

img_4218So what about standout episodes? The first one that springs to mind is the 24-hour dance event that saw the end of Dean and Rory and was also peak Stars Hollow events. I love that Lorelai ends up asking Rory to be her partner and all the drama. Even if Dean is the worst. Plus there is Dave and Lane adorableness, Kirk dominating and forever Lorelai/Luke flirting. The four Thanksgivings was also super fun and if anyone can get through that much food it is Lorelai and Rory. Also Jess getting beaten up by a swan was pretty magical even if it did put Rory in a difficult position because he wouldn’t tell her what happened. Emily appearing all super chill with Rory about Jess and then going off at Lorelai is peak Emily.img_4238Julie: I totally haven’t seen the new Gilmore Girls picture. Somehow I managed to avoid it. Yay for being too busy to stalk social media!

I find it really interesting how comfortable Rory is straddling the line between her mother and her grandparents. She, obviously, does not have the same qualms her mother does about their money and owing them anything. It’s much easier being a granddaughter than a daughter, I suppose.

img_4219Standouts for me–I also really liked the 24-hour dance. I love when the whole town comes together, especially when Kurt is there and feeling competitive. I actually loved the stuff with Sookie and her old friend. It’s nice to see Sookie being recognized as the hot piece she is. Luke helping Lorelai with fishing, and Lorelai busting his balls about the new menus–there’s such an undercurrent of “You let HER change the menu” there. I liked the progression of Rory and Paris’s friendship. And I like that Dean has a new girlfriend, so he can finally MOVE ON.img_4216Emma: The dance episode also gave us some A+ 1940s style attire and hair from Rory and Lorelai, which I am so here for. Which brings me to my next important question; any notable fashion moments?img_4252For me this show continues to showcase how terrible this period was for jeans. So many bad jeans. And for some reason Jess travelled to see his dad dressed like he was auditioning for Grease: Live ten years too early. Gilmore Girls features a lot of dudes wearing bad leather jackets.

I’m sad we didn’t get the full Rory prom experience because Jess is the worst at going to school so we missed out on fancy gown fun. But I did love seeing Emily trying on outfits for Rory’s graduation and how sparkly her final choice is.

img_4256Julie: Now that you mention it, Rory’s lack of prom dress was a bit sad for me. I am firmly in the “more dresses” camp. Whenever a show can give us more dresses, it SHOULD.

I’ll add, too, that while I’m staying away from new Gilmore spoilers, I saw the show on the fall calendar in Entertainment Weekly, and I am SO EXCITED.

 

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

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 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!

TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, Season 2, Episodes 1-4

6 Jun

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 2.01-2.04
“Sadie, Sadie…,” “Hammers and Veils,” “Red Light on the Wedding Night” & “The Road Trip to Harvard”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 9, 16, 23Gilmore Girls 2.04 Harvard hatsEmma: We’re back! And we’ve taken a much longer break than I intended and this has been in part to do with how busy this last month has been. But my excuses aside, I am very glad to get back to talking about all things Gilmore.

When we last talked Lorelai had been semi proposed to by Max with a buttload of flowers in a scene that if you have the sound off plays more like a horror movie than a rom com. Luke realized he had feeeeeeeeeelings for Lorelai (well, duh) and Dean and Rory declared their love for each other (snore). And we pretty much pick up the action right where we left off, which is rare for a show of this kind as they tend to do the skipping the summer to coincide with the air date.

The first episode deals with Lorelai’s proposal choice – does she want to marry Max or not? Well we know the actual answer to that by the end of episode 3, but right now she is swept up in the romance of it and getting to experience something she hasn’t necessarily considered would be something she would experience. We see her peaking at wedding magazines and the grandness of Max’s gesture also goes some way in getting her caught up in this moment.

Gilmore Girls 2.01 bridal magazinesOther big news in this episode is that Rory is in the top 3% of her class, which isn’t really a surprise but it does lead to a very awkward celebratory dinner. Rory is allowed to bring a friend and instead of making the sensible choice with the soon to be departed Lane or evening trying to make up with Paris this way, she chooses Dean. Which also makes sense seeing as they’re back together.

What this does is give an insight into the kind of father Richard maybe was when Lorelai was younger because boy does he not like Dean (I get you, Richard), but even Emily is taken back by how rude he is. So what this feels like isn’t so much a snapshot of what Richard was like when Lorelai was young, but rather a reaction to what happened with Lorelai and Christopher. And Lorelai says as much explaining that Rory is the great white hope of the Gilmore clan and Richard just had a vision of the ghost of pregnancy past. It doesn’t excuse Richard’s rudeness, but it does explain it and I love that we get to see this side of him every now and then. He’s not just the fun grandpa.

 How did you feel about the season 2 premiere?
Gilmore Girls 2.01 Gilmore dinner

Julie: I do love that the show jumps right back in after the season premiere. More shows should do summer episodes, like 90210 did back in the day. Those were the best.

Since we’re in season two, it’s time for the writers to start getting deeper with the characters, and the one they start with this year is Papa Gilmore, Richard. He is such an interesting character to me. There’s a lot more nuance to him than I think we saw during season one. He’s not just the bumbling grandfather. He’s not just the mean, rich daddy. He feels like a real character who has real emotions, even if those emotions sometimes get overlooked by the women in his life, who are so deep inside their own heads that sometimes they forget about him. In a lot of ways, I think he sees Rory as a do-over, or maybe he sees her potential success as a way to make everything right. If Rory can grow up to be amazing, maybe he can finally get over Lorelai getting knocked up when she was a teenager.

But I am CERTAINLY Team Richard when it comes to dealing with Dean. He read that guy perfectly from the start. Go back to your hole, Dean.

Now, the Lane thing. I’m not sure what all this was about. Do you know? I’ll spoil it for you (because the actress coming back for the Netflix series)–Lane doesn’t stay in Korea forever. (Did you already know that? Does she come back in the first four episodes?) It’s such a weird thing and has no real repercussions. Was Keiko Agena not available for part of the season? Were they trying to write Lane out, but decided against it? They really have given Lane short shrift so far, and she was starting to take a back seat to Paris at this point, so I’m just wondering.Gilmore Girls 2.01 Richard and EmilyEmma: I agree very much on the Richard thing and it is interesting to see how both Emily and Richard view Rory as their second chance. This is a lot of pressure to put on a teenage girl, but it is natural that they will see this as their time to correct their parenting mistakes too. And I agree with being Team Richard on the Dean front and in the next episode Dean gets annoyed at Rory because she wants to concentrate on her extracurricular activity to help get into Harvard and not hang out with him. I would much rather build houses with an angry Paris (who is still upset about the whole Tristan stuff).

Dean is the worst.

And Lane returns in episode 4 and it transpires that they bought her an open ended ticket to save money as they didn’t know exactly which day she would be back. Which is what I figured and for someone so smart Lane’s fears that they were sending her to Korea seemed way over the top. But hey at least she got some good bootlegs out of it. But you’re right that it does seem a little out of nowhere.

At the end of the first episode Emily finds out via an invite from Sookie to the engagement party/wedding shower that Lorelai is engaged and it goes down as well as expecting and the tears in Emily’s eyes shows exactly how hurt she is by hearing about it second hand. What I love about this relationship is that it could easily feel like they are having the exact same fight on repeat, but it never does and they somehow make each new deep cut as raw and different as the one before it.

Gilmore Girls 2.02 Lorelai, Max and EmilyHere it feels like Emily maybe viewed their relationship as much stronger than it used to be, which is true and yet there is still a rift in how much Lorelai thinks she can tell her mother. When Lorelai does tell her in “Hammers and Veils” Lorelai takes Emily’s reaction of indifference about seeing if they’re free that weekend as confirming her worst fear. Instead this is Emily acting out about being told way after everyone else. This is meant to be a huge moment in a mother/daughter relationship and all it does here is bring out the worst in both of them. Emily is mean and Lorelai reacts with anger and it takes a huge blowup fight like this for either of them to admit exactly how they feel. For how good the Gilmore’s are at talking they are also terrible at explaining their actual feelings.

Lorelai wanted to feel good about this engagement and it is why she didn’t tell her mother as Emily’s words have a huge impact no matter how much Lorelai pretends otherwise. Which is why I am so glad they have the veil trying on moment, which includes a very Emily criticism swiftly followed by the touching tiara offer. Yes I cried because I always do with this pair.

What did you make of this new falling out/making up between Emily and Lorelai?

Gilmore Girls 2.01 Lane

Julie: Yeah, the Lane thing was too short to be any big deal. It was weird. It’s not like we would’ve noticed if Lane were to have not been in two episodes. That’s not out of the ordinary for Gilmore Girls. Poor Lane. She deserves better. Like, maybe she should’ve been building houses with Rory and Paris! (And talking to cute Henry.)

As Lainey says, “Girl shit is the best shit,” and that’s what we get a lot of between Lorelai and her mother. But all of this goes so deep. I think there are several levels to Lorelai not telling her mom about her engagement — 1) The most basic, she has been estranged from her family for so long, they are not her first stop with good news. It was an honest oversight. 2) She subconsciously wanted to stick it to her mother, to make her feel bad, to reinforce that she and Emily are not close. 3) She knows her mom is a walking truth bomb, and she figured Emily would question her motives for marrying Max. I think it’s all of those things. There is so much depth to this relationship.

I pin most of the blame on Lorelai here. It would’ve have been very easy to just tell her mother about the engagement, and it would’ve saved everyone a lot of pain and trouble. Then, on a whole other level, by not telling her mom, Lorelai was able to start planning her wedding without her mother’s interference, which is not nothing. So messy! Which is why the moments of affection are so gut-wrenching.

Speaking of second thoughts about Max…”Red Light on the Wedding Night.” Did you see this coming?Gilmore Girls 2.03 Rory, Lorelai, Max

Emma: It was definitely an easily avoidable situation and I agree that the ball was very much in Lorelai’s court and with every step forward they take something else causes them to revert to their original positions.

One thing I did love is the bachelorette party in “Red Light on the Wedding Night” which pretty much underscored what I figured would happen; the wedding would not go ahead. Over cocktails Emily tells a super romantic story about how excited/nervous she was to marry Richard and that she tried her wedding dress on every night in the lead up. It’s a great insight into Emily and Richard’s relationship and now I want a prequel series of young Emily and Richard. What this does is tap into Lorelai’s biggest Max fears in that she isn’t actually all that in to him. This is made even more apparent by her phone call to ex Christopher mid party when everyone thinks she has sneaked off to call Max.Gilmore Girls 2.02 Luke and mini bridesIf this wasn’t a bad enough sign well then he still doesn’t have house keys and yeeeah this is one doomed relationship. It all happened so fast and while I’ve grown to like Max they do not have half the heat/chemistry of Luke and Lorelai. It is also worth mentioning that my notes from this episode include in all caps KISS ALREADY. This is after Luke has made the wedding chuppah and they have a moment while discussing the notion of the right person. The right person is standing in front of you, Lorelai.

For some reason Dean gives Max a lesson in all things Gilmore ladies. Another sure sign that this relationship is doomed and this time jump from the last episode would feel jarring if I didn’t already know that Max and Lorelai are not going to go the distance.

What is harsh is that when Lorelai flees with Rory in tow is that she hasn’t discussed any of this Max. Instead she is doing what she tends to do and that is run and while I’m so up for a Gilmore road trip she should probably tell him first.

Were you as certain as I was that the relationship with Max would be dunzo?Gilmore Girls 2.03 Emily

Julie: Ooh! I love the prequel series idea. Maybe after the new Netflix series.

Did you think the Christopher call was out-of-the-blue? I did, but now I think I get it. He’s the guy Lorelai calls when she’s stuck, when she doesn’t know what else to do. I think there’s some thing safe for her about Christopher. Maybe it’s because she knows he’ll always be there, in some way, no matter what, since he’s Rory’s father. Calling Luke would mean, whoa, taking a big step, but calling Christopher is like taking a walk down memory lane.

The one I feel for most in the Max/Lorelai messiness is Rory. It was kind of shitty for Lorelai to jump into an engagement so quickly (with her daughter’s TEACHER), when she wasn’t sure. Plus, Max is great to Rory and they seem to get along so well.

To be honest, though, I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen between Lorelai and Max. I mean, I knew they must break up at some point, but I didn’t know if the show would pull a Friends and actually have them get married. The way Lorelai handled the actual breakup was terrible and childish and really highlights how she still does have some growing up to do. Max deserved better. He was a total stand-up guy.

Now, Dean, on the other hand, Rory could leave him in the middle of the night and we’d all be fine.

What have we missed?Gilmore Girls 2.03 Rory pagerEmma: I figured she was going to ring Luke, but as you mention there is so much more there there. With Christopher it is the safe option and I also think she knows he will tell Rory and Rory will ask why. She’s dealing with her cold feet in a very long way round and this also matches how she bails on the whole thing.

There is all this talk of Lorelai running away from situations and this is the first time we’re getting to see her do it on a big scale. In a way she’s been a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy as this is exactly what she said would happen and it has. It’s no good marrying someone you don’t want to marry but there are ways of calling things off and this is not it. Rory is always Lorelai’s number 1 priority and it’s why she didn’t want to date Max in the first place, but she committed and now there are consequences and a random road trip is maybe not the thing to do. Rory calls her on her shit pointing out that they made plans – they made space in the closet – and it’s not just Lorelai in this relationship.

I am very much Team Rory when she confronts her mom in the very intense B&B about the running away and I get that they need mother/daughter boundaries but Rory is spot on here.

During this trip they do drop in at Harvard and this is pretty great. Rory gets all excited about learning and Lorelai gets wistful about the life she could’ve had. Instead of wallowing she instead decides to go all in on the inn she wants to open with Sookie. What did you make of this college visit?

Gilmore Girls 2.04 HarvardJulie: As horrible as the Max situation ended up being, at least Lorelai seems to have learned something from the situation. She can’t keep running from life. Life goes on, no matter what. The people she should’ve graduated from college with have moved on. Eventually Rory is going to move on, too. Lorelai needs something just for herself. So, I love that she talks to Sookie about getting a move on with the inn.

I can’t imagine how surreal it must be to visit a college with your high schooler and know that he or she is going to leave you one day. I know I’ll be excited about it on a lot of levels, but I also totally get Lorelai’s wistfulness regarding the passage of time — her baby is growing up, and has she, Lorelai, accomplished everything she’d hoped to have accomplished by now. And in her case, since she never went to school, what did she miss out on? How is she going to be able to be there for Rory when college is completely foreign to her?

And now Lane is back and Lorelai has a chuppah in her front yard.Gilmore Girls 2.03 Lorelai and LukeEmma: There are so many layers to this college trip and unlike on The Sopranos no one gets killed. First of all there is the Max avoidance and then there is the growing up of Rory and what Lorelai didn’t experience. It also made me realize how Rory and Felicity Porter would be the ideal crossover besties.

It’s nice to take a moment to escape Stars Hollow as while I really like that town it can get super claustrophobic at times. As claustrophobic as the Cheshire Cat. I also love that Lorelai told Sookie to tell Miss Patty about the engagement getting called off because it would be the quickest way for everyone to find out and it works. Luke doesn’t find out until the next time Lorelai rings Sookie and his super shitty mood suddenly turns into being nice to Kirk and giving everyone free coffee.

When they get back and Rory sees Lane this gives Lorelai the chance to go see Luke, which she does and yep those feelings are back. And now I’m wondering when something will happen. It’s been a slow burn and I’m guessing it will still be another good 8/12 episodes before a smooch. At least.

I also love the moment when Emily finds out the wedding is off as it is far less devastating than when she found out about the engagement. At first Emily thinks Lorelai has eloped and she’s mad because she got a new dress and then when she finds out the real story her first thought is returning the gift, which is so Emily Gilmore. It’s a playful exchange between the two and I like this lighter dynamic.

There’s a lot of the usual aughts bad fashions but one thing I noticed was Lorelai’s Porn Star tee which is so 2000/2001. Any standout outfits for you?

Gilmore Girls 2.02 LorelaiJulie: This was a much safer trip than when Meadow went looking at schools. That’s one thing missing from Gilmore Girls–the threat of violent death. Perhaps that’s something the writers can add into the new Netflix series.

I could totally see Felicity and Rory hanging out. And I could DEFINITELY see Noel the RA hitting on someone like Rory. In fact, I think he’d actually work better with Rory than with Felicity. (But Rory would totally go for Ben instead.) Now I’d like to see this crossover universe. Where’s my Gilicity fanfic?

One thing I do love about this show is the cluelessness of both Luke and Lorelai. They’re standing right in front of each other, but they’re both too chicken to make the first move. It could (and should) get old, but for some reason it doesn’t. At least not totally.

That porn star T-shirt was so of the period. Everyone was wearing inappropriate, dirty stuff on their person in the early aughts. I had a tee that said “Hamme(red).” Which was fun because of my last name, but also advertising potential drunkenness. I also appreciated Lorelai’s pug tee and faux necklace tee.

I’m pretty sure I wore to Lilith Fair basically the same thing Rory wore to build a house. It was an attractive time.

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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

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 12-15

17 Mar

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.12, 1.13,1.9, 1.14, & 1.15
“Double Date,” “Concert Interruptus”, “That Damn Donna Reed,” & “Christopher Returns”
Original Air Dates: Jan. 18, 2001; Feb. 15 & 22, 2001; and Mar. 1, 2001

Gilmore Girls 1.15 Christopher and LorelaiEmma: Major development time on Gilmore Girls and I’m jumping to the last of our four episodes this week as it’s the juiciest (although my favorite of the bunch is the Bangles featuring “Concert Interruptus”). Rory’s dad Christopher comes to town for the first time and feathers are ruffled. We’re getting more of an idea of the whole how Lorelai came to Stars Hollows and it turns out that Christopher has never been here before and the town loses their shit when he does. Considering their lack of chill when it comes to special occasions this is also not a surprise especially as the Gilmore ladies are highly regarded in this close knit community. So as soon as Christopher’s credit card is declined in the book store it was clear that Lorelai would find out from someone who is not Rory.

Christopher also causes major ripples at the other Gilmore house and not because Emily and Richard don’t like him (quite the opposite) but as a result of years of things that have been left unsaid and this perfect boiling point of unloading. Christopher’s parents Straub (what?) and Francine haven’t seen Rory in years and clearly have no desire to get to know their granddaughter or the reason why their son didn’t go to Princeton. They are super shitty to both Lorelai and Rory so I totally applaud Lorelai’s George Bush comments (his face really is too tiny for his head) as an impetuous way to get an immediate rise from them. It quickly descends here despite Emily’s best attempts to keep things WASP levels of civil, but sometimes things need to be said and this is one such occasion.

Even though she gets asked to leave the room, Rory is going to be more than aware that the shittiness is indirectly because of her, but thankfully in one of the episodes most touching scenes Emily makes sure that Rory knows that her existence is not part of the failure list. It is also important that Emily is honest about what an ass Straub (seriously this name) was being. While Emily has this lovely and honest moment with her granddaughter, Lorelai has a difficult conversation with her father.

Gilmore Girls 1.15 Ricahrd and StraubRichard has defended the honor of his family kicking out Christopher’s parents for what they have said but this doesn’t lead to a happy all the hugs moment with his daughter. Lorelai thanks him for this and he points out that she doesn’t need to be protected and what comes next hit me just as hard emotionally as the very real arguments between Lorelai and her mother. He lets her know the devastating after effect of her leaving, that Emily couldn’t get out of bed for a month and how they didn’t deserve the years of being treated like lepers.

Up to this point it’s been clear that Lorelai left because she had to, but they didn’t kick her out and this is very much a story of two sides. I can completely understand and support why she left because that environment was probably incredibly toxic especially as they encouraged the “proper procedure” of Lorelai sacrificing potential future happiness by marrying Christopher back then. But still Richard’s words have a lot of emotional weight and these scars run so deep.

So Lorelai retreats to her room and as a result of everything that has gone on and because it’s Christopher they end up sleeping with each other in a very forbidden teenage love kinda way, but with slightly less awkward. Only slightly mind. Emotional vomit everywhere.

Was Christopher what you expected? And how do you feel about this whole evening at the Gilmore residence?

Gilmore Girls 1.15 balconyJulie: Christopher!

I knew we’d be seeing him at some point, but for some reason I thought it wouldn’t be for a while. I figured the writers would exhaust everything they have, then bring in Rory’s dad somewhere around season four. But here he is, right smack dab in the middle of the first season.

I assumed that Christopher would be a huge, terrible jerk, and he’s not. He’s adorable, first of all. David Sutcliffe is so perfect looking. He’s cute and unthreatening and he and Lauren Graham look great together. They’re the picture-perfect couple. And you can kind of see why Emily would’ve been okay with the two of them marrying at sixteen. He’s got good breeding. He fits the mold.

But he’s not this slick, perfect guy either. He’s got his own issues and he’s still maturing. I’m not exactly sure why he didn’t go to Princeton (unless he just didn’t get in). I mean, Lorelai never needed him to take care of Rory. They didn’t stay together. Why didn’t he just get his education and become something other than an oft-failed businessman? That side of Christopher I just don’t get. But oh well. The important piece is that he hasn’t been around for Rory, for the most part.

This episode does such a good job of showing how deep the histories and rifts are on all sides. Chris’s parents resent Lorelai and Rory (and to some extent their son). Richard and Emily see Straub (ugh) and Francine as the kind of family they always wanted their daughter to marry into, though Chris’s parents do not feel the same way about the Gilmores (which I also love, because the Gilmores, while they see themselves as part of the upper crust, are just an insurance man and his wife. They can’t have as much money as a lot of folks in their circle).

The history between Christopher and Lorelai is great, too. These people are obviously attracted to each other, and you get the sense that they’ll always be The One for each other. It’s great and true and messy.

And Richard and Lorelai. wow. He has always come off as the bumbling and aloof father, but here we get to see how deeply Lorelai hurt him (by hurting her mother), and how much she really doesn’t know/hasn’t been close to her father.

Caught in the middle of all of it, is poor Rory, who is a complete dear.

Well, I know how you feel about Chris’s parents’ names, but how do you feel about Rory’s dad himself?

Gilmore Girls 1.13 more Lorelai bad fashionEmma: First of all I think you are so right about the Gilmores not being quite as wealthy as their friends and they seem more new money than long legacy (unless I’ve missed something). They can afford fancy vacations but only travel to Paris every other year. And always in the fall (this whole convo made me laugh so much) and while they have a place they rent on Martha’s Vineyard they really should have bought somewhere but that is serious $$$. I also did love how happy they were when a place came up even if it was due to a death and I can very much believe that these places get snapped up this quickly. They are so giddy.

With Christopher I get why Rory is so excited to see him and why Lorelai is so wary. Not only with protecting her heart but protecting Rory from her dad who seems very flaky. Which is more the reasons why he didn’t go to Princeton, but Lorelai is the perfect person for his parents to blame in this situation. I get that he’s trying and does want to be involved in Rory’s life but I was only lukewarm to him as a character and in part I blame the recent Luke flirtations for this.

I love the way Lorelai explains her feelings for Christopher as it’s such a simple and powerful thing – first love that resulted in a Rory. It’s messy as hell too and I can see why she rejects his proposal. They also do a good job of leaving the door more than open.

Gilmore Girls 1.14 Luke and LorelaiBack to Luke and between the chick escape and the painting plans he really is the lead in every Lorelai story. There is of course the initial mix up with the reason why Lorelai called him over and she is mortified that he might have thought it was something else. Mortified because she hasn’t yet confronted what might be occurring here. But everyone else can see the signs all over every flirtatious and banter filled conversation. Emily does not seem to approve either, which bummed me out as I’d hope she would be able to see beyond his diner owning status (a very good status tbh).

Sookie explains why he might have thought it was a booty call although I’m with Lorelai on this one and the phrase booty call feels very early aughts. Sookie also fills in the gaps for Lorelai after Luke loses all chill at seeing Lorelai in the hoodie he dropped off for the rummage sale. He’s not mad because it is ugly (which it is) but because it belonged to his ex and the woman who broke his heart.

In a somewhat contrived explanation Lorelai wonders why she’s never heard about Rachel with Sookie explaining it was when she was newish to town and Rory was 11. Like Rory at 11 was a handful. Anyway Stars Hollow was too small for Rachel ad Luke didn’t want to leave so end of Luke and Rachel. As with Christopher I have a feeling Rachel will come back to town at some point and probably just as Luke and Lorelai are getting closer to kissing.

I don’t mind that nothing has happened with Luke and I’m enjoying the slow build, but also I would like smooches soon. I am a complicated shipper.

How are you with this relationship? And also once again Lorelai’s dating issues are far more interesting that Rory’s and I am very much in the urgh Dean camp at the moment.

Gilmore Girls 1.14 RoryJulie: I think you touched on something here. I’m not sure if the Gilmores are new money. (I’m pretty sure at least Richard isn’t. You’ll meet his mother later.) But Emily might be? I’m on season seven already and I don’t think we know much about her background other than that she went to Smith…or Brown…?

Anyway, they kind of act like new money when they look down on other people. This has just been my experience, but when I used to teach in a very wealthy area, I found that the “old” money people were a lot more chill than the “new” money. I’m sure that’s not always the case though. I get the sense that Richard and Emily are always trying to be more upwardly mobile and the fact that Lorelai went and got knocked up and didn’t get married, killed a little bit of that dream for them. There’s a lot of restlessness in Emily and Richard, and I just think, when is enough enough? You have a great granddaughter, your daughter is happy and doing well for herself. Be proud of how well she’s done. This would solve, like, 85% of your manufactured problems.

As far as Luke goes, I call shenanigans on Lorelai not knowing that Luke was dating a Rachel. That said, I wonder how long Luke has had the diner and how long he and Lorelai have been palling around. If it has been several years already, which I’m sure it is, that is one SLOW build of a relationship. Very slow. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled, “Kiss her!” at my Kindle. Maybe I’m still yelling it now in season six. I’ll never tell. 🙂

You mentioned Dean, so I guess we should go there. He’s so…meh. The whole “a woman’s place is in the house” thing doesn’t completely jibe for me, and it feels like it comes out of nowhere. It feels very manufactured for this one specific episode. Though maybe it speaks to deeper issues within their relationship. Regardless, Rory is too young to even be having this conversation with a dude and Dean is too young to be having these opinions.

Speaking of love lives, what do you think of Sookie and Jackson?

Gilmore Girls 1.12 Sookie and JacksonEmma: I definitely get what you mean regarding the status thing and I think it can vary. Sometimes new money folks are far less flashy especially if they have come from nothing, but it can also swing the other way. There is definitely this aspect of keeping up appearances and doing things the ‘right’ way so Lorelai’s journey is very against this type. It was so shitty when her job (which is a good one) is looked down upon because it’s in the service industry. At least her credit card doesn’t get declined (low blow on Christopher who was an innocent in this whole exchange, but still).

With Luke it feels very much like they’ve been doing this for a long time which I guess is one reason why there is trepidation and even a hard time at acknowledging actual feelings. But I definitely yelled “kiss him” several times. Especially when they were hiding behind the counter in such close proximity. I like that Luke is peeling away his layers by revealing things about his dad and why he has kept the diner the way it is. I also love that he is the town’s resident grumpy dude because this town really does need that.

That whole Donna Reed storyline did feel very contrived and also had me saying huh a whole lot. Rory’s dressing up all 50s (and I’m sorry Lorelai but that dress is far better than your red pants/red jacket combo – also made me think of that Felicity outfit horror) and then making a big old fuss about making dinner ended with a bit of a whimper really.

Gilmore Girls 1.12 Lorelai bad outfit Gilmore Girls 1.12 LorelaiI get that the point was Dean realising that this isn’t want he wants, but I also thought Rory was doing it to point out just how BS this unrealistic ideal is, but I didn’t really get that in the end as it seemed like she enjoyed the whole charade. I would have preferred more Lorelai and Rory replacing the dialogue while watching old episodes of The Donna Reed Show. It’s cool that Rory found out about Donna Reed’s behind the scenes work on her show, but really shit that it was uncredited. Because the 1950s/1960s).

Also choosing salad (especially a salad that looks THIS terrible) over pizza is a sign that Dean is not the dude for Rory.Gilmore Girls 1.14 shit saladDean also has terrible friends and even if Todd is someone Dean hangs out with because of school. I will excuse Lane’s terrible taste in dudes here because he does have a Travis from Clueless vibe in his look even if he is the most boring guy when he starts talking. As with the pizza/salad thing I also find it hard to trust someone who has no opinions about music. I do love that Lane has all the opinions about music and a CD collection to rival my own even if I thankfully didn’t have to hide mine under the floorboards. Lane is great and deserves way better. I find the stuff with her mom and how it conflicts with Rory’s relationship with her mother to be done in an interesting way.

Mrs Kim could easily be this stereotypical strict parent and it certainly walks a fine line, but there is more to her than fearmongering and I found her conversation with Lorelai to be rather sympathetic. She’s just being the overprotective mom and really both Lorelai and Mrs Kim want the same for their children, they’re just coming at it from very different experiences. I also appreciate the mom code and Lorelai’s insistence at sticking to it. And of course there is no way Lane was ever going to that concert.

Ah yes so Sookie and Jackson are adorable even if I still want to burn his denim dungarees. The double date with Rune is fun to watch because Rune is the utter worst and is so incredibly rude about the incredible gorgeous and perfectly tall Lorelai Gilmore. Thankfully Jackson picks Sookie over his terrible cousin and these two are very much ON. It’s cute and relatively drama free right now.

We’ve covered the guys, now what did you make of the potential Paris/Rory friendship?

Gilmore Girls 1.13 Rory and ParisJulie: I agree about Mrs. Kim, and sometimes I do wonder if she veers into stereotype territory. I guess I don’t find it that problematic, because she is a complete character in a lot of ways. She’s just really, really strict, and I do enjoy the specific ways she strict — with diet and the whole Seventh Day Adventist religion (which we in the US recently got an education on thanks to Dr. Ben Carson).

I do like Lorelai’s “relationship” with Mrs. Kim. It must have been difficult for Lorelai to make parent friends while Rory was growing up. When my son started school, I was one of the “young” parents and I was in my mid-thirties by that time. When Rory was starting kindergarten, Lorelai was only twenty-one. I do love that she takes the parenting code seriously, and that she respects Mrs. Kim’s authority over her daughter’s wishes even if she doesn’t agree with Mrs. Kim’s parenting (and sees how it can backfire, based on her own experience as a teenager).

I wonder where Lane’s dad is. I assume he’s dead, but it’s never stated (that I remember). Why isn’t Mrs. Kim out dating? I’d love to see that episode. I’d love to see her on a date with Rune.

Rune is terrible, also what is that name? We get Straub and Rune in these four episodes. It was funny to see one man not charmed by Lorelai. I’m assuming she doesn’t get that reaction a lot.

I like Sookie and Jackson together and I’m glad the writers didn’t drag this romance out forever, like they’re doing with Lorelai and Luke. We need at least one couple who is happy and in a real relationship. Rory and Dean can’t be the only ones!

As far as Paris and Rory go, I love them. I love Paris. She’s the best and the worst. Rory is good for her and Paris is good for Rory. They provide each other with great competition, and they’re both at the same level socially. Their other Chilton friends, whose names I can’t remember offhand, are fun and cool and pretty nice to Rory, but they’re way out of her league. And I don’t think Rory even wants to be in their league. Nor does Paris.

In some ways, at least in these early episodes, I think Paris is the great love of Rory’s life. What say you?

Gilmore Girls 1.13 schoolEmma: I think if they didn’t have these moments with Lorelai then Mrs Kim would be a lot more of an issue in how they’ve written her and as you mention she is a fully realized character and not just someone who is there to yell at Lane.

Like you I love Paris and Rory and even though you have seen further I am also willing to say that Paris is the great love of Rory’s life especially as the start of their relationship bears all the hallmarks of a classic Harry/Sally antagonistic streak. Paris is still experiencing a bit of a shitty home life because of the divorce and I suspect because her mother is terrible. When pondering what her mom would do if she had gone off in the city she posited that her mother would send someone to come get her rather than do it herself. Lorelai is of course a very hands on mother and this whole experience is incredibly illuminating for Paris and she calls this the best night of her life and I completely believe her.

Instead of mocking Rory and Lorelai for their home or the fact that Lorelai was 16 when she had Rory, Louise and Madeline (I now know their names but can’t tell you which one is which) instead think Lorelai is the coolest. Even when she comes and drags them out of Brandon Roth’s party they still seem to think she is pretty cool and I was worried they would throw back Lorelai’s own wild teen days in her face. I am glad they did not.

I also really liked the fact that Lorelai saw this as an opportunity for Rory to make friends out of her frenemies with pizza, Pop Tart platters (is this show sponsored by Pop Tarts?) and a trip to New York. Instant cool mom hall of fame.

Also I am still in shock that the actual Bangles played because I just assumed we would see them go into the concert and then the after. But hey revivals are big business after all.

This is the point where Paris is now seeing Rory as someone who isn’t trying to steal her clever girl crown or the guy she is crushing on and Paris you can do SO much better than Tristan. But I also get why she likes him because history is important and so was that kiss clearly (even if she knows it was for a dare and my heart breaks for Paris even more at this). Paris ends up splitting the debate portion with Rory and this is a big deal and sign that they are now friends. This is the Rory relationship I am looking forward to seeing more of. So much more than any of those boys she will end up dating.

Anything else you would like to add?

Gilmore Girls 1.13 Pop Tart PlatterJulie: Everyone needs to STOP with Tristan. He’s worthless. Paris would be so bored by him after five minutes.

Regarding the Pop Tarts, it’s great that the show acknowledges how ridiculous it is that Rory and Lorelai eat all that garbage, but still maintain their figures (and their complexions, and their teeth). It’s completely implausible, though. Those ladies have terrible diets.

The show does a great job of illustrating how Lorelai’s parenting has been affected by her own teenage years. She knows that the Mrs. Kim tactic doesn’t work. She knows she has to let Rory make mistakes sometimes, but I love that she did stop the girls from hanging out with Superman. She’s kind of the perfect mom, really. Tough, but fair. And fun.

But those low-rise, boot cut jeans, though.Gilmore Girls 1.14 pizza and saladEmma: The clothes are so bad and I can’t believe we all wore stuff like this and didn’t realize. I think Rory gets off a little easier, but oh boy most of Lorelai’s outfits give me so many horror filled flashbacks. The cut and style is just so eh and don’t get me started on her silk shirts.

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, “Pilot” & “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton”

10 Dec

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.1 & 1.2
“Pilot” & “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton”
Original Air Date: Oct. 5 & 12, 2000

Gilmore GirlsJulie: There are certain shows you love so much that you envy people who haven’t yet seen them and get to experience the shows for the first time. I know I felt that way about Breaking Bad and The Wire and the first season of 24. I’m feeling that right now with my son, to whom I’m reading the Harry Potter books (we’re on Prisoner of Azkaban). I’m always like, “You are the luckiest person in the world! You have no idea what’s to come. I wish I were in your shoes.” But at least I get to experience it vicariously through his eyes.

Maybe some of our readers are jealous that we’re Gilmore Girls virgins.

Going into the pilot, I knew very little about the show. I knew Lorelai and Rory were mother and daughter. I knew Lorelai had Rory at a very young age. I knew there was a Paris. And a Luke. That’s about it. I actually thought the show took place in North Carolina for some reason.

Let me just say that two episodes in, I am HOOKED. I’m actually going to have to force myself not to skip too far ahead, because all I want to do right now is binge watch Gilmore Girls. I’m here for all of it — the mother/daughter/mother/daughter stuff, Luke shipping, the private school bitchiness, etc. I’m even here for the snappy dialogue my husband so maligns. It works for me. Probably because Lauren Graham is everything. I may have a tiny huge crush on her right now. I want to be her. I want to wear Daisy Dukes to drop my kids off at school. (Maybe I will, but no one will know because they’ll be under my parka and snow pants.)

Before we get into the episodes, what is your history with the show and how did you like the first two episodes?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 Rory and LorelaiEmma: Judging by the response to the Instagram photo I put up saying I was about to start watching this show for the first time and my Twitter mentions I can safely say that there is that kind of ‘you’re so lucky reaction.’ The reunion at the ATX TV fest this year was huge on my TL as was the announcement that they’re doing a revival and it’s nice to watch a show that means a lot to so many. Plus I have a friend who has been trying to get me to watch for forever because he knows how much I adore teen shows. And because of this my hopes for Gilmore Girls are set to high and these first two episodes do not disappoint.

As with you my knowledge of the show is very thin – I know there are several guys in Rory’s life who I know from other shows like Matt Czuchry, Jared Padalecki and Peter Petrelli (who Alexis Bledel dated IRL) and that there is debate over who she should be with (isn’t there always?). And I knew about her mom having her at a young age and that they don’t have your typical TV mom/daughter relationship.

The fast paced snappy dialogue was also something I was expecting as I’ve seen the longer than normal script length referenced before. But really it’s a pretty clean slate. Like I didn’t even realize Chad Michael Murray was in this being as skeezy and squinty as always. The WB and CW REALLY wanted to make him happen.

Count me in too and I am so ready to watch a show that focuses on a mother/daughter relationship of a different kind (it made me think of Jane the Virgin in this respect) and I already love how much it embraces both humor and emotion. Making jokes is how these ladies deflect and this makes them my kind of women. And the private school stuff is also right up my street.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lauren Graham in all that much (I still need to see Parenthood) but yep I also heart her. It’s is also instantly believable that Alexis Bledel is her daughter as the chemistry is there. Rory feels very much like a Felicity, but with parents of a different kind and I think they would definitely be besties (Rory’s actual bestie is pretty great and I’m glad she’s still around even though they’re at different schools).

It also gave me so many flashbacks to 2000 from Macy Gray to a whole lot of ill fitting baggy jeans. I am looking forward to reliving fashion disasters of this decade.

So we’ve covered what we knew going in, how did you think it did in setting up who everyone is/the vibe of the town?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 jorts and plaidJulie: I’ve also never seen Parenthood. Maybe after Gilmore

It’s funny that we’re watching this right after Felicity, so we can pick up where we left off, fashion-wise. I’m loving Lorelai’s short-skirt business suit. Though, I went to Catholic school and no way would we have worn our skirts as long as Rory wears hers. I’d be rolling that thing up and down all day.

I also knew that Melissa McCarthy was in the show (pre-superstardom). She’s cute here, as usual, though her character, of all of them, seems a bit thinly drawn right now. The clumsiness is already wearing thin, considering we don’t have much more to go on with her at this point. She seems to be a capable chef, though, and I’m sure we’ll see more of that as the show progresses. (And I’m already shipping her and the peach delivery guy.)

Luke, the owner of the diner, has a great contentious rapport with Lorelai, but that also seems like too much at times. And I’m not sure how I feel about the writers hinting at a romance already in episode two. Let it simmer, guys! We feel the tension. We know where this is going. No need to draw attention to it at this point.

I did not realize that was CMM bugging Rory at Chilton. What a jerk. I suppose that’s par for the course with Chad, though.

The other relationship I’m totally digging so far is Lorelai’s with her mother. It’s so heightened, yet so real at its core. I live only a few blocks from my mom and dad. I love it for so many reasons. They are always around to help out. But. They are always around to help out. I will always be their baby. They are always ready with loving advice or suggestions. Sometimes it’s welcome, and sometimes it’s like, “I’m an adult! Let me be.” I really felt that in all of Lorelai’s interactions with her mom.

How are you liking the town of Stars Hollow?

Gilmore Girls 1.01 Gilmore ladiesEmma: Timeline wise this does feel like a natural post-Felicity watch even though we’re going back to high school, although the weighting of the characters puts the adults as equals in terms of storylines. It will be nice in that respect rather than Felicity and Ben’s parents showing up to add more drama. I am all for parents being just as integral and Lorelai is just that.

The Sookie is super skittish and clumsy thing did get a bit much in the pilot and I get that they have to ham it up for the pilot but that was one fire too far. The peach thing was better and I like the dynamic she has with Lorelai. Hotel employee wise I also liked how everyone is a little brash from the harp player to Michel and I maybe laughed quite a lot when he was asked by the old ladies where to find the best antiques. It is the kind of thing that also might get tired pretty quick so hopefully there is more to him beyond French sass.

It does feel like a very lived in town even if it borders on small town quirky – do places like this exist? I do like cake so I’m glad there’s a good bakery. Miss Patty is my fave town person so far especially her threats about Harry Potter. I also found it surreal to see her smoking because it seems to recent for that to be okay.

What I liked about Lorelai and her relationship with her parents is that it’s difficult because of all of them; they didn’t kick her out when she got pregnant and that’s not why they’re estranged but there’s definitely this aspect of her feeling like she didn’t live up to their expectations. Yes she’s achieved so much and her stubborn streak is part of why she is so estranged from them and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops now they are very much back in their life. And not just for the holidays.

The Luke stuff is early and I’m with you on it being unnecessary to push it this early. And yeah they don’t want to not be able to go back there – those chilli fries looked so good.

What did you make of Rory?

Gilmore Girls 1.01 Rory and DeanJulie: Oh, my god, that Harry Potter moment was my favorite. The dialogue on this show is really very sharp.

Since it’s early, I’m willing to give most of the characters a pass. All of the supporting characters are their own most dominant trait right now. Mrs. Gilmore is 100% nag. Mr. Gilmore is just a bumbling dad who falls asleep at the dinner table. Sookie is clumsy and distracted. And Luke is a total sad sack. I mean, right now I don’t even want him and Lorelai to get together. He’s too depressing. Lighten up a bit, Luke.

As far as Rory goes, I don’t love Alexis Bledel’s line reading. I kind of figured that going in based on the little I’d seen of the show before. She’s cute and she looks like she could be Lauren Graham’s daughter, but she’s not the best actress. I’m sorry if that hurts people’s feelings. Maybe she gets better. Maybe I’ll get used to her.

I do like the character, though, and I love that she first tries to help Paris and then stands up to her in class. She’s a tough cookie. I appreciate that.

What’s your take on Rory? Are you excited to see high school through her eyes?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 Rory and ParisEmma: Lorelai is definitely the one who feels the most fleshed out so far, but as you say it is fine at this early stage for the supporting cast to have such broad characteristics. I kind of like Luke’s grumpy demeanor, but he is not love material at this point. I was also kind of surprised that Rory’s dad is still on the scene or that they know what he is up to at least. I don’t know why that surprised me or what I was expecting (a lot of shows tend to kill of the young dad), but I expect he will show up at some point.

So I quite like Rory so far and I quite like Alexis Bledel in general as she’s very non-offensive, but Rory also has a bit of fight in her thankfully. I just checked her IMDb page and this is her first role (aside from an uncredited part in Rushmore) and she definitely comes across as pretty green. So I think she will get better. I also just remembered that she’s married to Pete Campbell IRL. Matt Weiner sure loved casting from teen shows of the 90s/00s which is exactly how I would cast a show.

What I like about the whole Rory high school set up is that she isn’t just a poor student going to a fancy school a la Ryan Atwood; instead there is money in her family but also SCANDAL. So it is a fish out of water tale with a twist. And because she isn’t afraid to ask questions or confront others like Paris and CMM about the whole Mary thing (ugh). I am so ready for boy drama and rich school politics.

One other thing I’m wondering is if the town is going to have a dark side or maybe I’ve been watching too much cable drama. It all seems to lovely at the moment to be real. Which, considering how the real world is right now I’m kinda ready for a whole lot of pleasantness with a big side order of passive aggressive and bitchy comments.

Gilmore Girls 1.01 LukeJulie: My scant knowledge of this show does include the tidbit that Rory’s dad does come back into the picture at some point. When? I have no idea.

Matt Weiner is all of us. I think you’re right about Rory, too. She’s not bad. She’s just not on par with Lauren Graham yet, who is stellar. It’s a lot to ask of a girl taking on her first acting roll. She’ll get there, I’m sure. And I love her and Vincent Kartheiser together. I think they even have a secret baby now and everything.

There are, what, seven seasons of this show? I’m anticipating we’re going to see all of it — from class wars to romance to town mysteries. I can’t wait!

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.

Felicity Covers the Entertainment Weekly Reunion Issue

8 Oct

Are you Team Ben or Team Noel?

The hashtag allegiance signifiers popped up all over Twitter after the unveiling of the new Entertainment Weekly reunion issue featuring the love triangle at the heart of Felicity. I didn’t watch Felicity when it first aired, but this show has been the focus of our TV Rewind series and discussion posts that started two years ago on This Was TV. There was definitely a yelp of happiness when this cover photo first popped up in my feed yesterday.

FelicityGood, right?! The hand placement alone has me all a fluster.

Back when I first started watching Felicity I discussed the notion of love triangles before Twitter and so it was fun to see a hint of what social media would have looked like if it had been around when the show first aired. My timeline is obviously just a small sampling, but it was fairly split down the middle between the Ben and Noel fans. The AV Club’s Carrie Raisler summed it up rather well “Guys don’t let #TeamBen and #TeamNoel tear us apart. We can all be #TeamScotts.”

The trio appeared in a pre-taped video this morning on The Today Show (updated to include the interview) with Keri Russell calling Felicity a “good sweet story” and Entertainment Weekly has released another fun shot and an interview excerpt from the issue.

So many feelings. Also these pajamas are super cute.

ew-felicityNice Dean & DeLuca mug props too.

For more from the reunion issue head here and it will be on newsstands tomorrow (October 9). And for all of your episode by episode Felicity chat needs head to our TV Team-Up section.

Watch the ATX Television Festival Dawson’s Creek Pilot Script Reading

7 Jul

The fourth ATX Television Festival took place last month in Austin, Texas and my Twitter timeline was wall to wall ATX, which is a great way to vicariously enjoy the festivities but sadly lacks the real life interactions, panels, cocktails, karaoke and barbecue. Yes there are no queues in the scorching heat and yet there are still high levels of FOMO.

[Source]

Thankfully on the ATX YouTube channel they have been releasing various full panel videos and yesterday they went ahead and uploaded the one I have been waiting for; the Dawson’s Creek pilot script reading. The all-star cast includes Tim Riggins aficionado Mae Whitman as Dawson – oh yeah they gender flipped some of the roles – Dawson’s alumni Kerr Smith as Jen (which is pretty much the most perfect thing and he is working the silver fox thing) and Grandma Saracen herself Louanne Stephens as Grams.

It has been a while since I last saw the Dawson’s Creek pilot but it feels pretty much burned into my brain from the VHS recording I watched on repeat and after recently finishing Felicity, a Dawson’s Creek rewatch is a big temptation (plus inexplicably I have somehow never seen the final episode).

For now there is this ATX version. Enjoy!

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