Sure, Gilmore Girls is the best show ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. These are some significant problems I have with the show, the things that make me roll my eyes, get super-frustrated, or complain to Alex.
1. The Logan Years. I get that Rory had to date a rich asshole. What I don’t understand is why it had to take up, like, 4 seasons. She could’ve been sleeping around, which would have been way more interesting.
2. All of the extras are terrible. Maybe this is only so noticeable because all of the main actors are so fantastic (seriously, when is Lauren Graham going to get more respect?), but, Lord, I just cringe every time some Inn guest or Luke’s customer stiffly delivers their lines. Children are the absolute worst. Insufferable.
3. The April storyline. Nope. Sorry. I will never, ever, like this. April was like a cartoon character who smashed everything that was good and pure about Loralei and Luke. I will forever hate her.
4. A real lack of minorities. This made sense in Stars Hollow, as small towns do tend to be predominantly white. And yet Stars Hollow somehow managed to have many more minorities than Yale. Just about every website I’ve found that lists this sort of thing puts Yale’s percentage of white students at around 40%. You’re bogus, Gilmores! Seriously, couldn’t one of Logan’s rich, asshole, white friends just as easily have been black? Couldn’t Rory date an Indian guy? Couldn’t she maybe accidentally bump into an Asian student in the hallway? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
5. Not enough Marty. This should’ve been a bigger plotline. You know it. I know it. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s top hat knows it. I’ve included a newer picture of Marty because looking really good is the best revenge.
6. Lane got the shaft. First off, Dave was the best boyfriend and nothing ever lived up to him. I actually grew to really like Zach, though. I mean, clearly this is the ideal date (they also ordered pizza, in case you don’t remember):
But you cannot tell me that getting pregnant with twins and staying in Stars Hollow was even remotely okay for Lane. It wasn’t. She got pregnant after having terrible sex one time on a beach! That isn’t fair!
7. The drunk driving. Why was everyone always driving drunk? I never noticed this until Alex pointed it out, and now I can’t stop noticing it. Loralei downed multiple cocktails at Friday night dinners, and you can try to tell me she ate a lot, but whatever. She’s a petite woman. She had to be buzzed. Logan was basically perpetually toasted and always driving. In one episode, Luke goes golfing with Richard, gets drunk, and calls Loralei. Despite the fact that he tells her he’s drunk, she tells him to drive himself home. Her advice? Drink coffee. LORALEI GILMORE. DID YOU MISS YOUR HIGH SCHOOL’S ALCOHOL EDUCATION CLASS BECAUSE YOU WERE HAVING RORY? There is no excuse. Amy Sherman-Palladino owes me a PSA about drunk driving.
If there’s one thing that unites all of us, it’s our love of Gilmore Girls. Young or old, male or female, gay or straight (or middle-aged, transgendered, or bisexual), we can all agree that the witty banter between Loralei and Rory is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Since it is one of my goals to Always Be Talking About Gilmore Girls (ABTAGG), I’m staring a new feature…I’ll be recapping/mostly just rambling about selected episodes of Gilmore Girls. Not in chronological order or any order at all, really, other than just picking my favorites. Also, these aren’t going to be recaps in the traditional sense, in that I’m mostly just going to talk about how much Dean sucks. And I mean, what’s better than a recap of a show that went off the air years ago? You guys, I already feel like we’re all on the same sofa, watching Gilmore Girls together! It’s a really big sofa. Without further ado, A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving.
Watching the theme song by myself makes me feel simultaneously comforted (like I’m covered in a warm sepia blanket) and alone, because I miss having a strong male presence to sing the sassy background vocals. If you’ve never experience this, then you’ve never watched GG with Dan or Alex. I feel bad for you.
To start with, we’re treated to one of those classic frenzied-Sookie-in-the-kitchen scenes. She roots through garabage! She points angrily! Then Emily shows up and force-invites Loralei to Thanksgiving dinner like a total guilt-tripping B, even though this will be Loralei and Rory’s fourth Thanksgiving dinner.
So Rory’s at Chilton and, oh my God, Madeline and Louise. I loved them. One of the things GG did right was not villianizing its sluts. They are just fun, kinda dumb/kinda smart sluts. Nothing wrong with that. They’re studying cell biology and Louise says the term “Golgi body” sounds “majorly pornographic.”
You know what else I miss? Bangs-less, awkward, slouching, headbanded, backpacked Rory Gilmore. She’s in fine form here.
Back in Stars Hollow, Kirk’s “thing” this episode is his new cat, also named Kirk. He’s buying supplies at Le Chat Club, and I have to marvel at Stars Hollow’s ability to support such small niche businesses.
Rory: “He’s always been a cat person, he’s just never had a cat.”
At the diner, Luke gives the girls their “Wednesday special,” which is a French dip sandwich, extra fries, and cherry pie. I’d be willing to bet Alexis Bledel has never eaten a French dip sandwich in her entire life. Remember before Luke and Loralei were openly in love and he just had to do things like remember her sandwiches? These were simpler times. Pre-April times. I miss season 3.
Rory’s in her “don’t kiss me in front of Dean” phase with Jess right now. Girl, kiss him while you can. Soon he’ll be off to California and you won’t have a prom date. Jess struts around in this puffy jacket that is probably from Old Navy and they have this exchange:
Rory: “Let’s play it cool.”
Jess: “Hey, I’m Frank at the Sands.”
I’m pretty sure that is the uncoolest, least sexy thing anyone has ever said in the history of the world. God, Jess. Just stop.
Anyway. At Doose’s, Loralei runs into Dean and blah blah blah Dean who cares, I hate Dean. More notable is this exchange between Loralei and Kirk:
Loralei: “Here’s hoping your cat exposes itself to you soon.”
Kirk: “From your mouth to God’s ears.”
At the Kim family’s Thanksgiving, we are treated to the lovely Dave Rygalski, played by Adam Brody. I miss Dave so much. Zach was fine and all, but what happened with him was nowhere near as good as anything that could’ve happened with Dave.
At Sookie’s Thanksgiving, Jackson and a group of dudes we’ve never seen before and will never see again are deep frying the turkey, which is unremarkable except that one guy says, “Where’s Jackson? Is he on the pot or something?” The subtitles changed this to, “Is he on the pod or something?” which I actually prefer.
At Luke’s Thanksgiving dinner (which is CLEARLY the best), Luke makes everyone give thanks “that we’re not Native Americans who got their land stolen in exchange for small pox infested blankets.” Gettin’ mad political up in this diner, Luke.
Emily’s Thanksgiving is straight-up terrible, which I mostly say because I hate any sort of meal that isn’t served buffet style, and I mean that 100% seriously. Any meal where you have to pass dishes around makes me nervous. Plus, it’s just a bunch of weird old people.
I would still go to this dinner, if only to hang out with Edward Hermann, light of my life, fire of my loins. Pretty sure Nabokov wrote that line about him, right?
I think the Dave and Lane story is just as heart-fluttery as any romance involving Loralei or Rory. Dave strategically leaves his Bible behind so Lane can run it out to him, and after he says, “Wow, you run really quiet,” he kisses her to the tune of “The Man Who Sold the World.” Is it weird that I find this super romantic? High school me would’ve died for something like this. Probably literally.
Back at Sookie’s, the stress of deep frying drove her to drink. Drunk Sookie is kind of like if Bill Cosby and Liza Minelli had a baby, and then that baby was an alcoholic.
The clip isn’t embeddable, but it’s here.
At the end of the episode, Dean tries to act super threatening to Jess, but I can’t think of anything less threatening. All I can think of is Dean’s stupid facial hair he grows later on. UGH. DEAN.
The episode ends as Loralei and Rory walk home to some strumming guitars while Kirk sleeps in the gazebo, beautifully decorated in leaves and (as always) twinkle lights.
And we all feel comforted. THE END.
As far as I’m concerned, the AV Club’s singular greatest contribution to popular culture was defining the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. A Manic Pixie Dream Girl is any female character who waltzes through the film all carefree and lighthearted and fun, a character who usually has no backstory and whose only real purpose in the film is to show the central (male, uptight, neurotic, deep) character how to love life. You know them: Natalie Portman in Garden State, Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall…any film where the female lead is not so much a strong woman as a background-less vision of zaniness.
But what about when the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a guy? That, my friends, is why I’ve coined a never-before-used term: Manic Pixie Douche Bag.
It came to me during one of the many, many episodes of Gilmore Girls Lexie and I watched last week. When Rory first meets Logan, he can best be described as a fun-loving, work-averse scamp (if we are using hobo language, that is. And I always am). Logan serves the same purpose to Rory as those legions of MPDGs do for all the uptight, depressed men-children; he livens her up. Sneaking into dining halls, jumping off of things with umbrellas, stealing boats…you know, just lovin’ life! He’s not into commitment, relationships, or abiding by the law.
After they jump off this…structure?…Rory says, “That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” To which Logan breathlessly replies, “Only if you want it be.” Classic Manic Pixie Douche Bag. Naturally, Rory ends up calling Loralei to ask if she doesn’t take enough risks. This is what the Manic Pixie Douche Bag does to your mind: he makes you think that if you’re not constantly putting your life in danger, you’re just not living.
“Hey Ace, let me blindfold you to take you on a weird, overnight camping trip.”
“Hey Ace, let’s speak dismissively of our bartenders/people who have less money than us.”
“Hey Ace, let’s make out even though we’re both wearing tuxes.”
“Hey Ace, let’s impulsively get married and move to California and something something something avocado tree.”
Manic Pixie Douche Bags…THE WORST.
Gilmore Girls characters who would have been better romantic choices for Rory:
Paul Anka the dog
Paul Anka the person in a special guest appearance
Andrew the weird bookstore owner
Literally any other character, including Dean (who is terrible and dull)
Sebastian Bach is surprisingly charming.
If you get pregnant the very first time you have sex on your honeymoon, and then you have twins, and THEN you can’t tour with your band, that’s okay. Life happens. This will not make you resentful at all.
College dorms have very spacious common areas.
Follow your dreams and try out as many careers as you can. Life is short!
The lyrics to “Heart of Glass” might make you think it wouldn’t be a good song to play at a wedding reception, but it is actually the best song to play at a wedding reception.
Don’t date a noted philanderer and expect him to not have sex while you’re “on a break.” He will!
Even the most beautiful lady looks kind of dumb in a tuxedo.
Nothing good can come of Bop It.
If you ever have to borrow a large sum of money from your parents, do not pay them back. This is inexplicably insulting.
Old baby clothes? Make a quilt out of ’em!
You should support your sister in her medieval jewelry making endeavors, even if she does have the voice of Pepper Ann.
If you’re always having bedtime movie nights with a guy, don’t be surprised when he develops a crush on you.
It’s not a good sign if you meet your future boyfriend when he’s taunting someone poorer than him.
The Anne Hathaway pre-makeover in The Princess Diaries look is ONLY good on Anne Hathaway pre-makeover in The Princess Diaries.
Kids ruin everything.
Every party should take place in a town square, and said town square should always be decorated in twinkle lights. Also, there should always be little girls dressed as brides.
There’s no such thing as too much coffee.
You can’t trust anyone nicknamed Digger.
If a guy has really awful interpersonal skills before you start dating, things are not going to magically improve once he’s your boyfriend.
But you should still give him a chance later on if he turns his life around and starts a small press.
If you meet a man who can make a good burger, pancake, and cup of coffee, date him! Maybe even marry him! BUT ONLY IF HE WORKS ON HIS COMMUNICATION ISSUES.
Don’t date a rich guy.
If you’re trying to get over a relationship, take a road trip somewhere fun–like Harvard!
It’s okay to turn down a so-so job opportunity, because something better will come along eventually. Like a gig covering Barack Obama’s campaign.
If you’re in desperate need of work (say, you’re a single teenage mother without a place to stay), consider the hospitality industry. You’ll be able to work your way up.
No one will find your secret stash if you hide it under the floorboards.
If you’re going to have a relationship-ending fight, consider having it at a dance marathon. There’s no more dramatic backdrop.
If you have a fight with your fiancee, don’t immediately go sleep with your ex. That will only lead to a season of boredom for everyone.
When you watched the Parks and Rec season finale, did you notice that the maintenance man who saw Leslie and Ben canoodling seemed familiar? And did you think he looked like the construction guy, Tom, from Gilmore Girls? The one who spent so much time working on the Dragonfly Inn? And did you forget to check this out until a couple of months later? And did you then find out that you were right, that both characters are played by actor Biff Yeager? And did you then realize that maybe, just maybe, you know just a little bit too much about Gilmore Girls?
It’s surprisingly hard to find information about Mr. Yeager online. I tend to assume that the rest of the world shares my obsessions, but it may just be the case that no one else is watching Gilmore Girls and Parks and Rec so closely. It turns out that Mr. Yeager has been acting steadily since the 70s, and has had plenty of TV parts before and after Gilmore Girls. Hopefully he continues working (and I continue spotting him on television shows, like my own personal Where’s Waldo?) for years to come!