Love Actually Is A 2003 Time Capsule

This year, there are teenagers who were not even born when Love Actually was released. I hope you feel good about that, because I feel awful. Still, I cannot deny that 2003 was a really long time ago. The global economy and politics were different, technology was worlds apart, clothing has changed enough to look absurd now. I always expect this with 90s movies, but seeing a movie from the 2000s look dated – my high school years! senior year, in fact! I worked at a movie theater when it came out! – is a bit of a shock. There’s no denying it: now that Love Actually is a teenager old, it is a veritable 2003 time capsule.

Keira Knightly’s two pieces of hair

2003 was the year side bangs started to make their way back in after those 1990s curled-under round brush bangs were officially out. But it was a transitional time, and if you wanted a bit of interest you’d just part your hair in the middle and leave two little pieces out in front.

Natalie Had Those Side Bangs, By The Way

See also, my haircut c. 2004.

Keira Knightly herself

Keira Knightly 2003, Keira Knightly 2016. WHERE IS THE DIFFERENCE. She’s like a walking 2003 time capsule.

(I remember being floored that I was roughly the same age as Keira when this came out, because she looked like a beautiful, sophisticated leading lady and I looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid without makeup, or an American Girl doll with.)

This Ringtone

Thomas Sangster As A Child

You may remember that for what felt like a 10-year period in the early 2000s, all child roles were played by Thomas Sangster, Dakota Fanning and Freddie Highmore (that English boy with the brown bowl cut from Finding Neverland). It went on for so long that it seemed almost like they were being pumped with puberty-surpressing drugs. Nothing says 2003 like Child Thomas Sangster.

(Upon further Googling, Thomas Sangster is now a 26 year old man, lending further weight to my theory that he played little boy roles forever)

Maroon Five

Just, in general.

Keira Knightly’s newsboy cap

Or baker boy hat, I guess? These aren’t totally gone, but they were really having a moment in the early 2000s

A VHS tape as a plot device
Dido

as the soundtrack to an angsty scene, in particular.

Norah Jones

as the soundtrack to a slow dance, in particular.

The American girls’ ‘going out outfits’

As discussed in our analysis of mid 2000s fashion, the Going Out Top was a very real phenomenon. That blue sparkly one, in particular, is a prime example of a 2003 Going Out Top in the wild.

Natalie’s off-shoulder Christmas sweater

Way more subtle than the fun yet garish 80s/90s Christmas sweaters, but really throwing me back to the off-shoulder thing that was going on my last few years of high school.

Joanna’s 2003 Pop Star Ensemble

I present: sequin top, a handkerchief hemline, sparkly jeans (totally had a pair) and accent braids. All ready for an American Idol audition.

Lax Airport Security

Things tightened up after 9/11, but the rigid check in/ security protocol as we know it took a few years to develop, making dramatic airport confessions of love possible.

Highs and Lows: Hairspray Live!

It’s December, which means NBC is putting up its annual holiday recital, in the form of a live musical! In years past, we’ve seen The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz, and now we’re #blessed with a show that has given us the gift of both Harvey Fierstein and John Travolta in women’s clothing – Hairspray. I personally love this show because it’s everything a traditional musical should be – big song and dance numbers, a lead character to root for, unexpected love interests, racial tension, and just good old time that will leave you feeling happy and full of glee. Hence, it is the perfect show for NBC’s live musical library. So did this live TV iteration live up to its previous stage and screen successors? Overall, it’s a yes for me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a few highs and lows while watching it. Did you feel the same?

Low: Good Morning, Baltimore

I’m not particularly proud of starting with a low, but that’s how the show started for me. Good Morning, Baltimore is Tracy Turnblad’s big intro song, and it felt… flat? I was getting vibes that Maddie Baillio was holding back a little and just wanted her to belt out with more enthusiasm. Generally speaking, I thought Maddie was fine, but honestly, I think Nikki Blonsky made a better Tracy.

High: The Intro of The Corny Collins Show

It wasn’t until the reveal of The Corny Collins Show that I felt I was truly watching Hairspray, and what a reveal it was. Tracy’s bedroom walls split in half and Derek Hough appears as Corny Collins on the set of his show in all its pink and turquoise accents. A 1960s dream. All the Nicest Kids in Town were great, including Brenda, who says one of my favorite lines in the musical: “Brenda will be taking a leave of absence from the show. How long are you gonna be gone, Brenda?” “Just nine months!”

High: Ariana Grande

Both her ponytail and EVERYTHING ABOUT HER. I don’t care, y’all. Not afraid to say I love Ariana Grande. Besides My Everything and Dangerous Woman and her SNL impressions and the fact she’s a theater geek just like us, it’s easy to forget (for older folks at least) that she has excellent comedic timing. Every single line she said I lit’rally laughed out loud. From the first moment she popped her gum and said a line about perspiration, to talking to TV trying to say hi to Tracy, to being completely enamored by Seaweed, Ari proved she’s as good an actress as she is a vocal powerhouse.

High: Harvey Fierstein

 

At this point, Edna Turnblad is part of Harvey’s bloodstream. He originated the role on Broadway in 2002, and even won a Tony Award for it, so yeah, he’s done this before. And he’s done it well. Good lord he has done it well.

Low: Darren Criss as a Backstage Host

Pero like, why? And there was something called the “Social Squad” that he stood next to? I like you a lot, Darren, but I don’t need you chasing down Ariana Grande in a cart and calling her a “dangerous woman” with a wink to the camera. SHHHHH.

LowHigh: Dove Cameron

I had a vague sense of who Dove Cameron was prior to this (Disney kid, played Kristin Chenoweth’s daughter in The Descendants, recently broke off her engagement), but had never heard her sing before. I was delightfully surprised by her voice. However some of the big belting notes were beyond her reach, and acting wise, I felt at some points she was merely doing an impression of KChen and not acting as herself. However, I think overall she did a great job and made a good impression on all those who are seeing her perform for the first time.

High: Miss Baltimore Crabs

If you put Kristin Chenoweth in anything we will watch it. And we will praise her. Because she is worthy queen. She nailed Miss Baltimore Crabs, and I am dead from not only this dress with the crabs brooch but also by the crab hands she puts up at the end. KChen is a national treasure.

High: Ladies Choice

Ladies’ Choice is one of two new songs that was added to the 2007 movie musical, and smokeshow Zac Efron did a great job with it, albeit it was a shorter scene. This time Corny/Derek Hough takes on the track, and while he is no Zefron, it was still enjoyable. What made it even more enjoyable is that it was the setting for a good old-fashioned dance number, which I am a sucker for. What’s a musical without a bunch of chaînés turns, amirite?

HighLows: Ad Integration

My initial reaction to seeing such a blatant ReddiWhip ad in Hairspray was one of disgust. A fake dancer walking through the Hairspray set moments after a ReddiWhip truck was in clear view on the Baltimore street? No thanks. Then Corny sang praises of the all-American snack, the Oreo, and later Toyota made its way into the broadcast, and I realized it was all actually very brilliant. The set up of The Corny Collins Show, along with its own fake product integration of Ultra Cluth Hairspray, is fertile ground of real product integration. It would’ve been more weird if Oreo tried to make its way into Grease Live, but in this TV musical, it’s a perfect fit.

High: The Costumes

Corny’s jackets! Previously mentioned crab brooch! Edna’s sequined red dress! Penny’s green number with sky high white boots! JHud’s sparkly gold pantsuit! All of it was great and fabulous!

Low: Garrett Clayton

Ok, “Low” seems a little too harsh for this, but here we are. Since Hairspray opened on Broadway in 2002, many a handsome and talented men have stepped into Link Larkin’s shoes. Starting with Matthew Morrison in the OBC, other notable replacements include our boyfriend Aaron Tveit, Andrew Rannells, Ashley Parker Angel, Nick Jonas and of course, Zefron. Needless to say, it’s a dreamboat role to take on. However, I was not on board with Garrett. Here are my thoughts while watching him:

A) Who? Who is this? A Disney kid?

B) He’s not quite hitting all the notes.

C) Is the problem that I am too old to find him attractive? Probably.

HighLow: Three generations of Tracys

To have the OG movie Tracy and the OBC musical Tracy make cameos is great. I love a good cameo. Rosie! Sean Hayes! Billy Eichner! But to me, the Ricki Lake and Marissa Jarret Winokur appearances seemed a little forced. They showed up and sandwiched Maddie then stared straight down the barrel for about 2 seconds too long. It felt like that 4th wall breaking when the Tanners mention Michelle on Fuller House.

High: Motormouth Records

Everything about these scenes. I want to live there and dance to vinyl and eat chicken and waffles and be serenaded by Hamilton’s own Ephraim Sykes (Seaweed) and be outdanced and outsang by Shahadi W. Joseph (Little Inez).

Lows: The Lighting and Camera Blocking

There were moments when some of the actors weren’t lit properly or the blocking made it so you couldn’t see the main characters faces, and it was annoying. Yes, yes, it’s live TV, but that’s what dres rehearsals are for. Shouts to all the crew tho – I know it takes a lot A LOT of work do pull this off. But I mean, still.

High: Adorable Couple Is Adorable

Martin Short was such a perfect fit for Wilbur Turnblad that I had to look it up to confirm he’s never played the part before. He is joined by onscreen wife Harvey in Timeless to Me, song that’s so tender and warm-and-fuzzy that it doesn’t really matter who sings it  – it’l always be timeless.

High: Jennifer Hudson

We went to the Chruch of Jennifer Hudson last night, and were practically ready to offer up all the money we had after watching her sing I Know Where I’ve Been. It was the most soulful version I’ve witnessed and a reminder that racial inequality in the ’60s isn’t something that’s frozen in time. “White day is every day. You gotta be more specific.”

High: Curtain Call

The other new song added to the 2007 movie was Come So Far (Got So Far to Go), which only played in the end credits. I always loved that song, so I’m glad that it was performed live by two divas in JHud and Ariana at the end, and the curtain call was the right thing to go along with it. I admit I teared up a bit during the curtain call, because the cast is filled with pure joy, elation and relief that the show went off without a hitch, and I’m just so proud of people who put in hard work. Well done everyone!

Stray Observations
  • I could watch Andrea Martin (Penny’s mom) in anything and still adore her.
  • For some reason, the message of racism didn’t seem to be as powerful or come across as a major plot point as it is in the musical or the 2007 movie
  • Hairspray has built-in cheers from the audience at The Corny Collins Show, and I noticed NBC got the hint that not having people clap after a huge number is weird. Thank GOD they brought some people in to fill in weird voids
  •  Overall, Hairspray is probably the best live musical they’ve done since starting a few years ago, but I think Grease Live still takes the cake for me. I mean I’ve watched that at least five times. Willingly!

Questions, Comments, Concerns: Anne of Green Gables

In all my Gilmore Girls hysteria I missed the television event I never knew I didn’t need: the 2016, YTV, Martin Sheen-ified remake of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which aired on PBS Thanksgiving night. Ahem, American Thanksgiving night. While I first fell in love with the world of Avonlea through Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books, I also have a real fondness for the One True Film Adaptation: the 1985 CBC Miniseries directed by Kevin Sullivan and starring Megan Follows, Richard Farnsworth and Colleen Dewhurst. We’ve written about Anne in our takedown of Marilla Cuthbert as a creepy church hag  and in our mixed-feelings analysis of dream man Gilbert Blythe. Now it’s time to turn our attention to the newest adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, which I didn’t really need but which was perfectly fine, I suppose.

Concern: Megan Follows

Personally, I’d argue that any time Anne of Green Gables is made it should star Megan Follows. I understand that she is like 40 years old (EDIT: Forty-EIGHT years old?!?! Which isn’t old, except I see her as a perpetual teen). However, in the 1985 Anne of Green Gables she wasn’t exactly 11 anyway, so may as well keep going with it.

Question: Why is Matthew so bumbling?

Matthew was always quiet and a bit awkward, but I thought it was more in the painfully shy way instead of in a clumsy-lady-in-a-romcom way.

Comment: The casting of Matthew is almost aggressively American.

This time it’s Martin Sheen. Last time it was Richard Farnsworth. Both played the role with an aged cowboy vibe. Hmm. I mean there’s AMERICAN, and then there’s Martin Sheen/ Richard Farnsworth-level American.

Concern: That is the worst red hair I’ve ever seen.

Anne. “Nobody with hair that awful could ever be perfectly happy” because it is a horrendous dye job. I’ll pull out my redhead card (it’s actually an appointment reminder from my dermatologist because red hair is a curse indeed) and say that in the first place, only certain skin and eye tones work with red hair. This adorable actress (surely cast because she was the best for the role; she does a great job) just doesn’t have redhead-compatible undertones. Add to that a weird, improbable shade of red dye and the worst Halloween costume-level painted freckles I have seen in my life, and it just does not work at all.

Comment: All of the kids are the right age.

As an adult I can watch the One True Anne of Green Gables and pretend all those kids look 12-13 years old. But as a kid who was the same age as Anne I remember being so confused as to why they all looked 18. Note: it’s because they were all 18. It was especially jarring in the scenes where they’d mention Anne being scrawny and 11-year-old me was like “for real, she looks post-pubescent.” The casting made sense because the 1985 Anne of Green Gables combined Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and this one is Anne of Green Gables only. It’s very different seeing Anne look like an actual little girl. She comes across as more precocious for her age and less like a weirdo quirky teenager. All in all, not a bad move.

Question: Why is the new White Way of Delight so bad?
THIS is how it should be.

THIS is how it should be.

Comment: Puffed sleeves are proof that trends may change, but terrible tween fads are a constant.

Does anyone remember reading about Anne’s puffed sleeves and imagining something positively dreamy, only to see those big ugly ’80s-looking things? Proof that fads come and go, but they’re almost always stupid.

Comment: “Would you please STOP TALKING?”

Marilla speaking truth to how I’d feel about Anne as an adult who had to deal with her – even though I wouldn’t say it.

Comment: New Anne is different, but good.
I mean, the kid is adorable.

I mean, the kid is adorable.

New Anne (Ella Ballentine) is a little less dreamy and out of it, a little more introspective and quick-witted, but in a way that is supported by the way Anne is written in the books. I’m so relieved they don’t have her trying to do a Megan Follows impression. Between the different take on Anne and the different ages of the actors, this is at least enough different from the old version to make it worth a watch.

Question: Why is Rachel Lynde so awful?

I’d think that Rachel was improbably bad, but then I remember that adults DID make comments about my red hair and freckles when I was a kid. However, I am still baffled as to why Rachel’s so terrible. Sure, she doesn’t have kids, but neither do I and I know enough not to call them ugly.

Comment: A+ Canadian pronunciation of “sorry” and “out.”
Comment: A++ Rachel Lynde apology scene

We see it from afar, with Anne gesticulating dramatically and Rachel looking bemused. Ha.

Comment: Marilla chuckling to herself over Anne closing her prayer with “et cetera, et cetera.”

I liked this moment showing why Marilla’s keeping this kid around – Anne drives her crazy, but Marilla gets a kick out of her. Who wouldn’t?

Comment: The hair is better out of natural light.

Same with the freckles.

Question: Did this film even HAVE a colorist, or…?
If you can give Anne bad red hair, surely you can give Diana bad black hair.

If you can give Anne bad red hair, surely you can give Diana bad black hair.

Diana has light brown hair with a slight tint of ginger, even though everyone knows Diana has black hair. In some cases a character’s description in a book isn’t important, but in Anne of Green Gables it mattered because (1) Anne’s hair was a major plot device and (2) Diana’s hair marked her as everything Anne wasn’t.

Comment: Diana is good and different, too.

I always imagined Diana being much more calm, cool and together than Anne, but this actress (Julia Lalonde) plays Diana as a slightly awkward tween. I can totally see her getting drunk on raspberry cordial by accident. This less-smooth take on Diana works since she and Anne are both so imaginative – kindred spirits! – and because Diana’s so sheltered by her mother. Not to mention, the “Diana’s so cool and pretty” stuff was mostly coming from how Anne saw her because she absolutely had one of those tween friend-crushes where you just want someone to be BFFs with you.

To make up for the lack of black hair dye, this Diana has expressive dark brown eyes, which feels very Diana.

Concern: I never realized how much my concept of Gilbert was tied up in having a crush on Gilbert.

Gilbert was played by college-age dreamboat Jonathan Crombie (RIP) in the 1985 version. which means both that he was one of the first leading men I remember having a crush on, and also that it didn’t feel weird to find him cute when I rewatched as an adult. New Gilbert is a baby. I mean, a small child. It drives home how jerk-era Gilbert from the books was a little kid, which is nice, but it still makes me feel like a filthy old lady to see Gilbert as a child.

Comment: Diana getting lit on raspberry cordial.

It’s still one of the best scenes in this or any version of Anne of Green Gables.

Props to Ella(/Anne) for her delivery of “what’s that?” when Diana says her mother has hives – both girls are talking in fake fancy accents and she totally drops it. Cute.

Woozy Diana and confused Anne – both so good!

Comment: We all get creep vibes from Mr. Phillips, right?

In the books, Mr. Phillips courts teen student Prissy Andrews, but even if he hadn’t he’s just creep vibes all around. I’m happy they had this actor portray Mr. Phillips as a sketchy mean teacher, too.

Comment: The scene where Anne saves Diana’s sister is so much more touching as an adult.

It was always clear Anne had a lot of child know-how because she was basically an indentured servant for giant families, but now it’s even more touching because you see how everyone thinks Anne’s silly because she’s so imaginative, but really that’s an escape – she’s an incredibly intelligent and competent girl who never got to be a kid before.

Also, Mrs. Barry is kind of a B for only forgiving Anne after she saves her kid.

Comment:
Anne: Why are you standing there?
Gilbert: For your safety.
Me:

 

Concern: Marilla would never try to return a kid she bought THAT LATE

 

Marilla did buy a kid for chores and then try to return her. We don’t let her off the hook for it. However, this adaptation sneaks in a moment of dramatic tension by having Marilla almost return Anne at the close of the film after she’s been established in Avonlea for, like, a year or something. Then Marilla decides to keep Anne thanks to VOICE OF REASON RACHEL LYNDE. Lots to unpack here. I understand why someone adapting Anne of Green Gables would feel that there needs to be a point of conflict at the conclusion. However, Anne of Green Gables, like many children’s classics – Little Women comes to mind – is a series of episodes rather than one large problem to be solved. The story develops over the course of several novels, and there is real conflict in whether Anne will get to stay, if she will remain friends with Diana, make peace with Gilbert, and later on in whether she will earn top marks, go away to school, fulfill her career goals and finally make up her mind about Gilbert. The Anne books, like childhood itself, aren’t a buildup to one stunning turning point. They are a series of events that inch a person closer and closer to the adult they will become.

Related Stories:

Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting: The Last 4 Words, Full Freakin Circle

It’s been a long journey for all of us – from watching the first Gilmore Girls episodes as Rory-aged teenagers, to crying and also puzzling over the finale, to rewatching the entire series on Netflix, attending the reunion, hoping against hope for a revival and seeing our wish granted. Our reluctance to watch what well may be the FINAL episode of Gilmore Girls was tempered by two things: how grateful we were to get A Year In The Life to begin with, and our curiosity about the plot point hanging over our heads for nearly a decade: the last four words.

M: I was so excited/nervous/sad about beginning Fall that I procrastinated for about a half hour before watching it – to the extent that I brought boxes up to my attic at night time. This goes to the way we ended up watching the show versus how we would have liked to. I watched one episode Friday, one Saturday and two Sunday. I would have preferred to watch one every several days or even one every week or two to really drag out the experience. I’m good at waiting for things and like to have positive experiences ahead of me instead of behind me. However, I’m also a person who reads the internet and we had to go into self-imposed social media exile while watching Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. Even news sites weren’t safe. With every day that passed it became more and more likely that I would stumble upon a major plot point or the last four words without meaning to. Ultimately it was more important for me to experience everything for the first time through the show instead of some tweet than it was to watch the show at my own pace. (Also: there’s a spoiler protocol with regular television, including the expectation that you enter Twitter at your own risk for a show that people live-Tweet. It’s not so clear for content that becomes available a full season at a time.)

T: Meanwhile in LA… It is 11:52pm on Sunday night and I am starting now because i’ve been putting off as late as I can before heading back into the real world. The feeling of pressing play is similar to that of when I watched the series finale in 2007 – eager to find out what happens, but also sick to my stomach knowing this could be the last time we visit Stars Hollow. For good.

I will say that I’m proud of myself for avoiding all spoilers the entire weekend. I stayed off pretty much all of the Internet except our blog and my personal Tumblr. My friend texted me to let me know Fidel Castro died. I wouldn’t have found that out until Monday.

T: I’m not sure why, but for the first time since starting the revival, I felt a sense of normality that I was watching Gilmore Girls in 2016. In particular, it was the motel scene where Lorelai calls Luke, which isn’t anything special besides a woman leaving a voicemail for her boyfriend. I guess it was all finally just starting to sink in. Just in time for the last episode!

M: Lorelai is at a very crowded entry to the PCT, where women inspired by Cheryl Strayed ask each other “book or movie?” and trade origin stories (divorce and dead parent are popular inspirations).

T: I loved this storyline – it felt so very ASP to me. She’s the only female writer that would think to herself, “I wonder if the amount of women going on the Wild hike has increased ever since the book came out? Did it spike when Reese Witherspoon threw her boot? Lorelai would be great there. And by great, I mean horrible.”

M: Our girl Stacey (Oristano, Friday Night Lights, Bunheads) is on the trail!  I love when ASP universes collide. Pssst – Bunheads: A Year In The Life 2017?
photo-dec-01-3-25-39-am

T: I’ve heard from a few people that they didn’t like the cameos throughout AYITL, but I, for one, loved every single cameo. It would be annoying to me if they had Julia Roberts pop in as a guest at the Dragonfly, because she has no ties to the show (that I know of). However, when you have people like the Gilmore Guys or Jason Mantzoukas or Bunheads alums, it has more of a specialness (?) to it, and doesn’t feel like they’re doing it to get “ratings”. It feels like a family – a big ASP/Lauren Graham family. That being said, here is my reaction to Park Ranger #1:
photo-dec-01-3-25-28-am

HOLY SHIT JASON RITTER I JUST GASPED SO LOUD AND HAD TO BEND OVER TO BREATHE. DID I MENTION IM STANDINGG DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY TV I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM WITNESSING MARK CYR IN A SCENE W LORELAI GILMORE

*chill out, bruh*

M: Welcome to the wild world of the new, improved Luke’s, complete with takeout and WiFi that customers have the password for. It’s not really Luke’s thing, and he unplugs the WiFi.

T: Any time Milo comes on my screen (here or otherwise), I swoon. No different here when he walks into Luke’s, only to find that his uncle is a literal mess without Lor. He came out of the back room covered in flour like a character from I Love Lucy because he can’t focus on anything but Lorelai not being there.*I wrote that Lucy thing before Jess mentioned Lucy Ricardo*

M: Poor guy is worried Lorelai is leaving him, but I have faith this show wouldn’t do that to us – he just doesn’t know it’s the last episode, that’s all.

Luke attempting to explain why Lorelai went on Wild: This is after we… uh… Between us it’s been… like …
Jess: Communication problems?
Luke: Exactly!
Jess: Never experienced that myself.

T: CLUTCHING MY HEART AFTER JESS SUGGESTS LOR IS LEAVING HIM AND LUKE REALIZES IT MIGHT BE TRUE. A+++ ACTING FROM SCOTT!! Also, I just love that Luke can go to Jess for advice on his life now. JESS. The kid who was a part-time magician, stole gnomes and as a “prank” drew a chalk outline of a body outside Doose’s. Is now the wise font of knowledge for both Luke AND Rory.

M: These ladies are totally Troop Beverly Hills-ing it, staying at motels and sitting around the fire with Franzia. And yes, I DID say Troop Beverly Hills-ing it because I don’t like the word glamping.

Woman at motel campfire on her contraband item and who is now my favorite tertiary character: “I brought a ham… I almost did Eat Pray Love but my miles were blacked out… I brought Snackwells and Vitatops for dessert.”

M: There go my hopes that Rory swooped in and revitalized the Stars Hollow Gazette.

T: Having watched a behind the scenes featurette and seen various BTS shots from cast members, I knew Logan & the Life & Death Brigade we’re going to be wearing some sort of steampunk outfits in Fall. I assumed it was Halloween. Now here we are, not Halloween, and I just said out loud, without any idea what’s about to happen, “This can’t be it. Are you fucking kidding me?”

M: In Omnia Paratus! I somehow didn’t expect the Life and Death Brigade to make an appearance (I was so spoiler-averse that I didn’t watch the trailers or listen to interviews with the cast). They’re still some wealthy steampunk weirdos.

T: All of a sudden this has turned into a Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars. The bird is talking and a man on a unicycle going down the empty street. Earlier, Petal the pig jogged by with a sandwich board attached to her and Rory’s Gazette computer somehow got hacked into. Now at night, no one is around for all this fog and mystery – did Logan pay off all the SH citizens to not be in the town square??

T: LOGAN. APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE. AND I HAD TO TURN AWAY AND SAY YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT.

photo-dec-01-3-25-18-am

T: So the following is my immediate stream of consciousness reaction that I typed into my phone while watching the entire LDB scene: “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS I DONT THINK I LIKE THIS IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE A SCENE FROM A MOVIE?? THEY STILL SEEM LIKE RICH PRETENTIOUS ASSHATS UGH NOW THEYRE IN A DANCE CLUB w some SYTYCD alums THIS BETTER HAVE A POINT LOGAN OFFERS HIS FAMILY HOUSE IN MAINE FOR RORY TO WRITE HER BOOK WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS ARE YOU STILL W ODETTE THIS IS RUDE Colin just bought this club. and said “money is great” I HATE IT SO MUCH. THEY HAVENT CHANGED A BIT. IS THAT THE POINT ??? I CANT STOP SAYING UGH”
photo-dec-01-3-25-05-am

Obviously we’re a few days removed from watching this for the first time, and while I’ve calmed down a bit, I just watched it for a second time and I still don’t like it. It’s so different cinematically than the rest of the episodes/series that it threw me off. And apparently it IS from a movie, Across the Universe, which this version of the Beatles’ classic is taken from. I’ve never seen it, but apparently this scene features a “privileged and rebellious student” at Princeton. Which makes sense because Logan is exactly that. BUT HE’S NOT IN COLLEGE ANYMORE. Like do they meet up and do some elaborate adventure like this every year? Do the other LDB members see Rory often? I didn’t think they were close enough that she would keep in touch to know Colin had knee surgery? Have they not matured?

M: “No hard feelings” about Logan’s girlfriend moving in with him – but will his arrangement with Rory continue? He gives Rory a key to his family’s house in Maine so she can write her book there, so I guess that answers that. Along with the rest of the brigade, they stay at an inn in New Hampshire that’s mostly made out of plaid and hunter green and prints of hounds.

T: Turns out she realizes she can’t write her book at Logan’s extra Maine mansion so she gives him the key back. She officially says goodbye to the LDB and Logan, who puts the hat back on her and puts his hands out to frame her face, as if he’s taking one last picture to remind him of his lost love. All of this is VERY annoying to me and I do not like.
photo-dec-01-3-24-45-am

HOWEVER, in addition to the whole Across the Universe thing being lost on me, so was the even more apparent parallel to the Wizard of Oz, in which Rory is Dorothy, Logan is the Wizard, and the LDB are the Tinman, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow. Matt gave a great interview over at AOL Build about AYITL and this allegory, and after watching this clip of Dorothy’s goodbyes, I feel dumb not putting that together in the first place. Molly on the other hand..

M: Rory says goodbye to the Life and Death Brigade as though she’s Dorothy Gale. Little sight gag where a brigadier pulls out a raw steak from nowhere to put on his eye.

T: SECOND GASP HOLY CRAP ARE YOU KIDDING ME PETER KRAUSE ARE WE GOING TO SEE RAY ROMANO NEXT?!?!??! THIS IS MY WHOLE HEART!! Also, how great must it have been for Peter to act opposite his girlfriend in the role that is such a large part of her career? Plus the scene was so great that it made up for all the crap with Rory.

Lorelai: What’s your name? Park Ranger #2: Park Ranger Lorelai: Right, Park.

M: Lorelai calls Emily and tells her that on her 13th birthday she left school after some boy was terrible and ran away to the mall when, improbably, Richard was there. He bought her a pretzel and took her to the movies and covered for her. I’m sad not just because of Richard, but Edward Hermann too. I’m sure his loss made these scenes more real for the actors, but also so much harder to get through.

T: There are a few standout scenes from the revival that are officially my favorites out of the ENTIRE series, and Lorelai calling Emily on the phone to tell her about the memory is one of them. The story itself was perfect, and painted a picture of Richard with Lorelai that we had never seen before. There’s one moment in season 1 when Richard catches Lor climbing out her bedroom window, and he lets her leave, and she says, “Thanks, Daddy”. It was the only other time I can remember that they had an honest moment. The fact that Lorelai was able to tell this story to Emily for the first time – with no sarcasm, no wit, just honesty and earnest grief, was the resolve I wanted to see between these two in the revival. Also, like Molly said, Lauren’s emotion for losing Ed came through in her performance, which was… just please give her awards for this, people. Give her all the awards.

M: Lorelai comes back and explains her epiphany to Luke. Also that “in another life, I WAS coffee.” Girl, same. He thinks she’s breaking up with him and makes a speech about it. But no. She wants to get married. Awwwwwwww. Sorry for all the W’s. I am a living crying emoji and Lauren Graham is absolutely crushing it.

(As an aside, I never dreamt of getting proposed to, and it’s wonderful to see, for once once, a more pragmatic discussion – with the female character raising the topic no less! –  presented as a romantic option instead of as some kind of a statement. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional proposal if that’s what you want, but the alternative isn’t usually shown or discussed in tv and film.)

T: Remember in Summer when I said I loved Ranting Luke™? And remember how Luke and Lorelai are my OTP of ALL TIME? And remember how I said the revival has some of my all-time fave scenes? THIS IS NOW ONE OF THEM. Luke, who couldn’t function as a human without the love of his life, realized he had to let it all out there in order to keep Lor as his partner, and ranting is the best way he knows how. He mentioned fighting for her and that’s legit all she wanted in season six when they broke up the second time. He’s a changed man and this moment changed his life. And just like Lauren was transcendent in that last scene on the phone with Emily, I think Scott did his best work ever in this, perfectly encapsulating frustration, fear, anger, and love for Lorelai all in one speech.

*You need the space, and I need you.*

M: Rory wanders through Emily’s house visualizing scenes from her past as my favorite version of the La Las plays. See? Told you she’s having her Jo March moment.

T: Anytime holograms are used I get nervous, but this worked perfectly. And the fact that she sat down at Richard’s desk to start writing – continue to cry all the tears.

M: Lorelai is looking for a new property to expand the Dragonfly. In my dreams, Emily would offer her the family house to use. Yes, I’m clearly thinking of Aunt March and Plumfield. Jo March, OK.

T: Lor finds that new property in what used to be a convent occupied by poker-playing nuns. They commented that “Katy Perry was snooping around here earlier,” which seems ridiculous but was a REAL THING. Currently is a thing – she wants to buy a convent in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A., but there are a bunch of legalities to tend to and she still hasn’t been cleared to buy it. *The more you know*.

M: I thought everybody know that but that just shows how weirdly invested I am in bizarre pop culture stories, esp. if nuns are involved.

M: Ice cream. Coffee. Red Vines. Pop Tarts. Chinese takeout. You can always count on the Gilmore kitchen.

T: And I also loved the fact that they didn’t speak at all while collecting all those items. It was second nature to them. Reminds me of one of my favorite cold opens in season five, when both of them are silently watching their Roombas go around sucking up dirt in their respective abodes.

M: Rory wrote The Gilmore Girls! JO MARCH. She says Lorelai can read the chapters she wrote, give her an opinion, and she won’t publish if Lorelai doesn’t approve.

T: At this point, I am pleading with my TV to not let “The Gilmore Girls” become a meta thing where at the end we find out this entire series has actually just been Rory’s book brought to life. I did NOT want a meta ending. I am not here for that.

M: Traci, maybe you can summarize Emily’s IDGAF shutdown of the DAR ladies? My jaw is still on the floor. I love New Emily so much.

T: When it was revealed that the revival was going to be airing on Netflix, one of the things that I thought about was the fact that since the show isn’t on network cable anymore, ASP & Dan can get away with edgier dialogue and swearing without penalty. I had hoped GG would keep the same “family friendly” tone as it had on the WB/CW, and overall it did just that. But like Breaking Bad could only use one “fuck” per season, they used it wisely and in the most necessary of circumstances (Hank: “My name is ASAC Schrader and you can go fuck yourself”). I didn’t need Lorelai to yell ‘asshole’ or ‘shit’ – although she almost did in Winter – as a throwaway. Which is why Emily’s scene at the DAR made it that much more special. They used their “fuck”. Actually, they used their “bullshit” on the queen that is Emily Gilmore, and she made it count.

Now that Emily doesn’t have her partner that was by her side at all the WASPy events, she’s finally realized that all this vetting and judging for the DAR is frivolous and not what she wants to continue doing in this new phase in her life. So she calls them out. Emily is unhinged and has nothing to lose since she’s already lost Richard. Exclaiming that all of these shananigans are bullshit will just be a blip 0n her radar moving forward, but I have a feeling it will stay with the rest of the DAR ladies forever.

M: Wedding planning: Luke knows Kiefer Sutherland (the real one) well enough to invite him to the wedding and never mentioned it to Lorelai. From any other show and character this would be ridiculous, but yep, sounds like Luke.

T: Miss Celine is back! The last time we saw her, she was fitting Emily for her vow renewal with Richard, and asked Lor/Natalie Wood if she ever thought about getting married one day. And now here we are. Also, I can’t get over how stinkin’ cute LG is with this high pony and “exercising” with soda cans! And that Lucas is just sitting there watching her do it!!❤

M: Rory goes to Christopher’s office after confirming a meeting at 3 over the phone (or confirming something with someone at 3 over the phone. We’ll talk later). They exchange pleasantries about Gigi and his job, but Rory is pacing around not even drinking her coffee and it’s clear she’s about to have a difficult conversation. She tells Christopher that she’s writing about about her and her mom. She asks “how did you feel about mom raising me alone?” He answers that it was “in the cards” and he knew that nobody was getting between Rory and Lorelai. Rory asks if that means Lorelai pushed Christopher away, which he denies. Her real question, though, is if Christopher thinks it was the right decision that Lorelai raised Rory alone. “It was exactly what was supposed to happen.”
photo-dec-01-3-26-09-am

M: I never liked Christopher much, and his non-reaction when Rory asks how she felt about Lorelai raising her alone, as though he never thought about any other option, is more or less why. Still, he’s right that it was the best case scenario. Lorelai did an amazing job and Christopher is just a blah guy with a nice office.

T: I was always indifferent on Christopher – I knew he wasn’t the right guy to be Lorelai’s romantic interest, but also knew he had a special connection with her that Luke could never have. In saying that, I’m just glad that we finally got some closure on Christopher (who continues to be a smokeshow), as in an update on both his personal life and knowing that he’s made peace with Lorelai’s decision 32 years ago, so we, as viewers should too. Also, I love that he still calls her “kiddo”.

M: Emily bought a house in Nantucket and is selling the family home. Meanwhile, Lorelai found a building to expand the Dragonfly and wants to use Luke’s franchise money. Emily’s fine with it – it REALLY isn’t Luke’s dream after all – but in classic Emily fashion her offer of help is contingent on visits from Lorelai.

Emily: The previous owners called it the ‘Clam Shack’. I guess ‘Vagina House’ was taken.

M: Rory has a sweet run-in with Dean, father of 3 and soon 4. She has nice things to say about him in the book – she wishes she met him when she was older, and he “taught me what safe feels like.” In that moment, where he is clearly taken and not going to be involved with Rory, I really like Dean – and I was never big on Dean. Like we said in our Spring discussion, the revival shows all of Rory’s exes in a positive light (or, as positive a light as Rory anyway – ahem, Logan) so that no big fans of one character are totally screwed over, but the story doesn’t suffer either. I didn’t think Dean was right for Rory, but maybe she’s onto something about them being at different places in their lives when they met.

T: I was never on board with Dean. Sure, he made a car for Rory, but when he did what he did in 4.22 with Candyman playing and shortly left to go back home to his pot roast-making wife, I thought he was trash. But this scene is one of the best closure scenes in all of the revival – certainly, IMO, of the three boyfriends. First off, they’re in the same aisle where he kissed her for the first time. Second, that moment where Rory starts comforting Dean to let him know that his little sister Clara will get over her boyfriend who calls her ‘Ra’ because “she’s young. It’s her first love. It’ll probably be…” is so well executed. I loved every single bit of this interaction down to the corn starch. It made me like Dean again. #RedemptionForDean! #ReDEANtion! No? Ok.

M: Because ASP and co are pulling out all the stops for the final episode, Sookie is back and she’s making Lorelai’s wedding cake. It’s so strange but so comfortable seeing Melissa McCarthy in Sookie gear once again.

T: I’m glad we got at least one long scene with Melissa, because of COURSE she would come back for Lor’s wedding and make her cake. That’s all she wanted to do when they were originally engaged. The woman is such a Luke/Lor shipper she just wrote the word LUKE on the side of one of the cakes! And another had daisies (1,000 yellow daisies!?). Also, her interaction with Michel. Gold.
photo-dec-01-3-25-57-am

M: Emily lives in Nantucket in a house with sisal rugs and overstuffed, slipcovered furniture, teaching kids at a whaling museum and wearing white sneakers. I love this development.

T: Back at the Gilmore house, Jess is casually reading in a corner AND CONTINUES TO BE A SMOKESHOW, while LG is sporting overalls and looking like a crafty HGTV goddess. Also, another one of my favorite jokes gets a callback:

T: Rory is super excited about the book, now titled “Gilmore Girls” since Lor told her to drop the “The” since it’s cleaner (I need this to stop being so meta), and she catches Jess before he leaves and jumps up and down in excitement with the dude whose idea it was to write the book in the first place. Luke asks, “You’re over that, right?” To which Jess responds, “Yup. Long over.” Then stares through the window while Rory puts a hot towel on Kirk’s head. Now, Jess/Rory shippers say this obviously means he’s still in love with her. As a Team Jess person, but ultimately Team Rory/Team No Team, I really don’t want to believe this is true. They’re intellectual equals and seemingly each others’ confidants and moral support system, just not romantic lovers. I posited that ASP told Milo to play the look a few different ways and she picked the best one she felt was right for the story while editing. But I guess we may never know.

M: Luke and Lorelai both have flash mobs planned for the wedding. Lorelai says she feels like they should be married already. That’s what we’ve all been saying. They head off and elope so that their real marriage takes place before their wedding. It’s so THEM.

T: I’ve been reblogging from a blog called lukeloveslorelai.tumblr.com. I think I need help.

M: OH MY GOD. The song from their dance plays as they head off to get married. It’s magical and I cannot stop crying. Then they show Emily looking at Richard’s portrait and I manage to find even more tears. Rory walks Lorelai down the aisle. Michel and Lane are witnesses. Was there ever a priest in town before? IDK I don’t care about him. The town is all lit up and they get married in the gazebo. This whole scene was completely perfect and shows that sometimes giving the audience what they want is exactly the right thing to do. This was worth waiting 10 years for.

T: The second the first couple notes of Sam Phillips’ Reflecting Light starts playing, I have to pause yet again because I feel like I am truly going to pass out. Cause of death: OTP finally getting married. It looked like she had been crying for three days straight and clutched a Luke’s Diner coffee mug to her heart. THAT’S HOW I’M GOING DOWN FOLKS. IT WAS ALL SO PERFECT, I AM AT A LOSS FOR WORDS.

M: The next day Rory and Lorelai sit at the gazebo talking about the wedding. Paul breakup texts Rory, and Lorelai assures her that she and Paul will both find someone, but he just didn’t fit. Rory pauses because “I want to remember it all. Every detail.” And then:

Rory: Mom?
Lorelai: Yeah?
Rory: I’m pregnant.

M: WOW. Wow wow wow. I was not expecting that at all. I was SO not expecting that that I had to go back and count out the last 4 words because I couldn’t figure out how there were 4 words in there. I had it in my head that maybe Lorelai would be having one of those surprise menopause pregnancies that TV loves so much, but it never occurred to me that Rory would be. I immediately wanted to go back to rewatch the episode – particularly Rory’s conversation with Christopher. In hindsight, she was almost certainly feeling out how a father felt about the mother of his child raising the kid alone – Rory knew she was pregnant and that she was going to be a single parent like Lorelai was. Our friend Tori pointed out that the phone call right before she goes to Christopher’s could easily be setting up a doctor’s appointment, not a meeting with him.

T: My actual reaction after she said I’m pregnant: 

Then I realized that may have been a bit overdramatic. The thing is that we’ve known Amy’s had these 4 words planned for 9 years. That’s a long time to come up with combos of any words in the entire world. It wasn’t until over the past few years that I acknowledged anything having to do with pregnancy could be possible, but I was kind of hoping I’d be wrong. Maybe that’s why I yelled ‘No’? After processing it for a few days, I’ve decided I’m fine with it. I love a good full circle moment, which this clearly is. But also maybe my frustration came from the fact that the final four words became THE FINAL FOUR WORDS, in a way they were never supposed to be. It became so hyped up that we had so much expectation for it that when they were finally said, I was less enthused about them. Maybe I was more reacting to the fact that GG is over? IDK.

M: We know these have been the last four words all along, but we also know that Amy Sherman Palladino couldn’t have predicted a Netflix revival that would take place when Rory was 32. (In the early 2000s, that sentence would have required like a 10 minute explanation.) That means that this full-circle ending – pregnant at the same age Lorelai was in the beginning of the series – was initially planned as a completely different kind of full-circle ending – a promising teenager or college kid finding out that she’s pregnant.
photo-dec-01-3-24-06-am

Being roughly Rory’s age now gives me a different reaction to the pregnancy news compared to some younger fans. If I was watching this at 14 or even 20 I’d probably think this was an okay ending – Rory will be a single mom like Lorelai, but that worked out well. At 30, it’s more like looking into a living nightmare. Rory has no steady career or solid income. She lives at home. We don’t know who the father of her child is and we don’t know if she does, either. Logan seems plausible (I feel like on some levels he’s her Christopher), but for all we know she and Paul still had a physical relationship. And who the hell knows about the Wookie. So the father options are an engaged man who lives overseas, her ex who she never payed attention to, and a stranger from line. YIKES. Also I know the implied outcome is that Rory becomes a single mom and the story circles back to the beginning, but realistically “I’m pregnant” – especially with the variables Rory has in front of her – does not necessarily equal “I’m having a baby” or “I’m raising a baby.”

T: FWIW I’m also doubling down on the Logan = Christopher theory (which would make Jess her Luke?). He’s gotta be the father. In that AOL Build interview, Matt said ASP told him who the father is, but wouldn’t divulge who. And to be honest, I don’t want to know. Unless it’s Rory saying it in a potential new season.

M: It’s time to talk about Rory. During the Chilton years and arguably the beginning of Yale, Rory was the ultimate good kid. She got good grades, didn’t get in trouble, had a sweet and caring personality and was humble and shy despite being beloved by an entire town. Something changed in the later few seasons, and she became more entitled and selfish – more like I’d imagine a kid Emily raised, if I hadn’t known that Emily raised Lorelai. This could be a backlash to how mature Rory HAD to be as a a kid and a teenager. It could also be a negative consequence to being adulated by all of Stars Hollow; Rory believes that she is special and good and right because that is what she has been told she is. If Rory chooses to have this child, I like to think that the best aspects of her character, her tenaciousness and intellect and humor and goodness, will guide her to succeed like Lorelai did. With or without a child, one thing I’m sure of is that Rory has the best example in Lorelai.

T: Rory was a constant source of frustration throughout the revival for me, and is the main reason why I didn’t entirely love the revival. She made it hard to root for her. She made bad decisions – like the fact that not only did she cheat on her boyfriend repeatedly with her ex, but that she constantly forgot they were dating. For TWO years. I get that it’s a joke, but come on, I’d hope she’d be better than that. But what helped me reconcile my annoyance with Rory was this piece from Paste Magazine that circles back to the Wizard of Oz reference. Her goodbye with Logan and the LDB was her essentially saying goodbye to that chapter of her youth and privilege and moving into a world of responsibility and adulthood with her impending motherhood. London was her Emerald city, with her dark forest was filled with cheating & career troubles,. What I’m trying to say is that perhaps ASP meant to put Rory through the ringer in these new episodes, to show that she went through all that and now she realizes she has to get her shit together and hopefully that will turn her all around.

So overall, I am of the mindset that we don’t need any more episodes of Gilmore Girls. This show is obviously near and dear to my heart, but I want it to stay special and not become some money making machine that’s only being made for fan service. Plus, I think the idea of rebooting or reviving TV series is such a fairly new concept that there’s really been no good precedent for it, so clearly anything brought back again is going to be criticized to the max. Arrested Development, The X-Files, Veronica Mars – all of these have had their fair shares of bad reviews. But bringing Gilmore Girls back was different.

This is the way I see it: ASP wrote a novel that went on to be beloved by many, and that equals the first six seasons of GG. Then, because of forces out of her control, a new author swiped her book and wrote the last chapter, without knowing or taking into consideration how the OG writer wanted it to end. 16 years after first releasing her “book”, she was given the rare chance to write the the final chapter in the form of A Year in the Life. Now it’s out there. Her story, the one she never thought she’d get to end the way she wanted, is complete. Anything made after this is the sequel that will always be contended. Did we need a second installment of Grease? No.

Because ASP was able to show fans her own ending, it was enough to make me feel closure with the story as a whole, and satisfied with saying goodbye to the Gilmores once and for all. That being said, did I watch Grease 2? Of course. That Michelle Pfeiffer is a gem.

Stray Observations

  • I am obsessed with everything Lorelai wears in this entire revival. The camping clothes and cute hats she wears are no exception. I love it all.
  • Lor is watching Snapped in her motel room, which I can only imagine is what ASP really does on her days off.
  • Jess briefly mentioned he lived in Stars Hollow again for six months? Did anyone else catch that?
  • Jess: I really don’t like you using the word ‘oops’.
    Luke: I don’t like me using the word ‘oops’ either I’ve never used the word ‘oops’ before and now I’m a guy who snipes at his girl and uses the word ‘oops’!
  • Lorelai after finding out the diner on the side of the road is closed: “I hate nature.” #Same
  • Emily may or may not be saying Hello to Jack because he’s at her home in Nantucket, but she kicks him out and Berta immediately comes out with his suitcase. Berta – who’s stayed with Emily for A YEAR – is the best.
  • Lorelai commenting on Emily: “Hey, when was the exact moment you became a Mamet play?”
  • NOV 5 = NEW JUNE 3
  • Do we think they specifically chose a fall date BEFORE the election because either result would have been huge and thus weird for everyone to be acting like nothing happened? We do, right?
  • M: Michel: “So your name is Molly. Why?” Been asking myself that for decades, Michel.
  • “When this is over I’m going to be so thin!” Thing I also contemplated during the weird moment when I was reading Wild and running away to go hiking sounded like an OK plan.
  • T: The woman who made that comment ^ her name is Traci/Tracy/Tracie!!! THANKS ASP

Related articles

Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting: Pool Parties, Musicals, And The 30-Something Gang

It was a little difficult for both of us to start Summer, because it meant that we were more than halfway through A Year In The Life. But who are we kidding – it was a little hard for us to start ALL of the episodes because we can’t be chill and normal when it comes to Gilmore Girls. In Summer, the conflicts that Rory and Lorelai are dealing with come to a head. Also Stars Hollow has a pool and a star-studded musical.

M: Stars Hollow has a pool. Stars Hollow has always had a pool, maybe? Lorelai and Rory are pool people, I guess? To be fair, we didn’t see much summer during the original series.

T: Everything the girls say about the pool I couldn’t agree with more. “The pool only makes you hotter”, “The chlorine, the algaecides, the bodily fluids that shall remain nameless (kid pee)”.
photo-nov-29-10-45-30-pm

M: April is over for dinner, because we can’t unwrite that plot point even if we’d like to. She’s now a pseudo-hippie college kid who makes a big deal out of the fact that she smokes pot (once). Hats off (slouchy wannabe rasta hat) to Vanessa Marano who perfectly steps back into the role of April, voice and all. It must be so strange to walk into a role 10 years after you left it when the same amount of time has elapsed for the character.

T: And while I wasn’t entire Team April during the OG series, I must say I loved what she turned out to be in the revival. Of COURSE she pretends to have a nose ring and brag that she walks the MIT halls with her idol Noam Chomsky, only to confess to Rory none of what she said is true. At heart, April just wants to be cool and fit in, which might not happen for her – and it’s totally OK. I also enjoyed that the pretty much step-sisters have a scene together, something we never really got in the OG series. There was of course the one time in Philadelphia, but the fact that April confided in Rory this time around to admit she had been exaggerating the truth shows the confidence in their friendship and family ties to go to her “sibling” for advice.

T: I know Luke is a millionaire, but why did he pay for April to go to MIT AND is offering to pay for her to go to Germany? Where is her mother? ANDDD yet again, Lor offers to help with April and yet again, Luke shoots her down by noting “April’s mine. I got it.”UGH. THIS IS GOING TO BE PROBLEMATIC. Also continuing to be problematic: Logan.

M: Rory is back home, as we saw at the end of Spring. She’s living in her time-frozen teen bedroom and – am I losing it? – reverting to 2000s Rory’s hair and clothing style, at least during her phone call with Logan.

M: Logan’s girlfriend is moving in with him, so Rory will have to stay in a hotel when she next visits in London. Rory: “So now you want me to just wait in a hotel so you can slip away and come see me? Like I’m a geisha?” RORY. Rory, Rory, Rory. You’ll never feel respected if you aren’t showing any respect for yourself.  (If not yourself, respect whoever the heck Odette is. You’re better than this.)

M: Too real: Stars Hollow is now home to The Thirty-Something Gang, “a group of kids all about your age, they’ve been to college, been out in the real world, it spit them out like a stale piece of gum and now they’re all back in their old rooms like you.”

Oh hai Bailey from Bunheads!

Babette re: the air conditioner going off in the middle of the town meeting: “This is really going to freak out the 30-something gang. They are very sensitive!”

M: I have mixed feelings about where Rory ended up in life. On one hand,  this is a fairly realistic outcome for Rory. She’s had some major successes, but she’s not exactly Christiane Amanpour. It’s one thing to be The Most Amazing Girl In Your Class at 15; there are so many amazing girls from so many classes and by your early 30s you’ve realized that you’re not as special as you thought. But while I didn’t think the journalistic world would put Rory on the same pedestal that Stars Hollow always has, I expected more hustle and drive out of her.

T: The thing that I’ve realized about Rory over the past few years of repeats and being out of college myself, is that we don’t actually know if she’s a good journalist. We’re told she’s a good journalist, but her best article (that’s discussed) is from her high school newspaper and it was about a parking lot. Yes, she was made the editor of the Yale Daily News, but it was after Paris got outed and none of the staff could decide on anyone else to replace her. In AYITL, I think it reinforced the theory that Rory’s no Christiane after she barely did anything close to reporting while meeting with the line-waiters in Spring. In fact, she fell asleep while interviewing someone, decided NOT to talk to the people who didn’t even know what they were waiting in line for (JOURNALISM 101), and slept with a source – that was a WOOKIE. I’m almost convinced Mitchum was right all along.

M: Really excited by the prospect of Rory heading up the Stars Hollow Gazette … if she revitalizes it instead of going all New Rory and failing to live up to expectations. It sounds like the beginning of either one of those millennial lifestyle blogs where a big-city person moves to become, e.g., a farmer’s wife in Missouri, or a Hallmark Christmas movie.

T: Also, she’s taking over for Bernie Roundbottom. Bernie. ROUNDBOTTOM. I am 5 years old. Anyways, Rory, no thanks to Esther and the other guy (Charles?), prints her first edition – which includes a bad review of a movie Doyle wrote the script for – but has no one to deliver all the copies to the metropolis that is Stars Hollow, so she naturally recruits Lorelai. This provides a nice little montage of our girls running around the town and dropping papers off at all the hotspots, which is yet another reminder we’re back in Stars Hollow.

M: The montage of Rory and Lorelai dropping off the Gazette reminds me of Now and Then, and I can’t think of why until I realize it’s the song These Boots Are Made For Walkin.

T: Lorelai and Rory have acquired two small minions to hold umbrellas over them while they sit in lounge chairs by the pool and basically do whatever bidding they want because they are regarded as literal royalty in this town. But you know who is truly deserving for us to bow down to? This guy, who kicked everyone out of the pool.

photo-nov-29-10-45-43-pm

T: Michel, who is focused on being nice to kids now that he and Frederic are planning to start a family, finally sits Lor down in the secret bar (FIVE-OH!) and tells her he has to leave if she can’t pay him more/expand the Dragonfly. This rare tender conversation between Lor and Michel has me in tears, and the same goes for Lor, but not Michel, because he doesn’t want to be seen crying in a secret bar.

Michel while offering candy to kids at the Dragonfly: For our special little muppets, complimentary lollipops – that is if you like lollipops. Go ahead take one each. Now when I say one, I mean two! *winks* (To Lorelai) On a scale of 1 to 10, how much did I sound like a child molester?
Lorelai: 6.
Michel: Ah. Getting better.

M: Poor Emily is waking up at noon depressed and disheveled.

T: Miss Patty and Babette are of course running auditions for the SH musical, and in an expected/unexpected turn of events, Broadway star Kerry Butler/ therapist Claudia is in line to audition, and sees Lorelai. Their conversation is the MOST she talked since she’s been on the show. Meanwhile, Sutton Foster makes her first appearance in the background and Taylor is singing her praises because she was Kinky Boots. She WAS Kinky Boots!

M: Stars Hollow: The Musical could only be better if they came down the aisles creepily waving their hands to audience members like the Pippin incident. Lorelai is aghast, Gypsy is having the time of her life, Babette’s pretty into it. It’s interesting having 90 minutes to play with –  in the original series it would have been a few verses to give us an idea of what was going on then a cut-away. I don’t want to wish away any moment of Sutton Foster, but I might have liked to use a few minutes of that time for some of the characters we love (Paris or Lane, specifically).

T: We are theater nerds in the truest sense of the term, but I totally agree – I would’ve given up a few minutes of the SH Musical in favor of more Paris or Lane or even Brian and Gil. Or Miss Patty!!!

M: Now we can add Hamilton to the list of 2016 pop culture references.

T: I just… have so many comments about this horribly amazing musical. A few things – they’re incorporating the Revolutionary War reenactors, finding out Sutton and Christian Borle’s characters, who’ve been singing about being in love, are siblings, and ending it with Abba’s Waterloo – the SAME EXACT SONG HIT JUKEBOX MUSICAL MAMMA MIA ENDS WITH!

M: Sutton’s character is named Violet which I’m deciding was very on purpose. Now can we please make this the beginning of the campaign to get a new season of Bunheads??

M: In the rundown session after the play, everyone loved it but Lorelai. (“What’s your suggestion? Make it LESS perfect?” “She was Kinky Boots!”) Loved Taylor name-dropping rappers (“How does he know their names?”)

I know nothing about musicals, but this is a fun musical. – Tom, a contractor by profession

T: Sutton, the star of ASP’s Bunheads and longtime GG fan, finally has a face-to-face scene with Lauren Graham, who is reprising her role of Lorelai Gilmore. My brain is on the verge of exploding.

M: Emily is letting Berta wear civilian clothes! She has a TV in the living room! She ATE in the living room! However, Rory wants Emily to get out more, go to the club, go dancing at night – sounds exhausting.

M: JESS. Jess looks very, very good. And I know we all know what Milo Ventimiglia looks like in 2016 – thank the tv gods for This Is Us – but it’s somehow still a fresh surprise to see him as Jess. Jess and Rory have a friendly but not flirty relationship, but haven’t seen each other for a good 4 years. I’ve always liked Jess the most of Rory’s boyfriends, that’s no secret, and I love how he has such a good insight into who she is. He tells her he knows what she should write: the story of her and her mom.

T: Jess walked into frame and I had to pause because I almost swooned. But his looks aside, I agree with Molly – Jess was the best (season 6 version of him at least), and he was always the intellectual equal to Rory. She believed he was better than his chalk outline pranks and knew he had potential to be great, and later on, he thought the same of her. That carries through to today, and it’s even more prevalent after suggesting she write the book. Also, is Luke going to give his franchise money to Rory for the book?

M: Major ‘aww’ moment: as Jess greets Luke outside the window, Rory pulls up an article about young single mom Lorelai moving to Stars Hollow. I guess before social media this is how you’d know things? But then again, this is Stars Hollow.

T: Rory pulling up the article “LORELAI GILMORE ARRIVES IN STARS HOLLOW TAKES JOB AT INDEPENDENCE INN” marks the first time I’ve ever cried over microfiche. And to step back a little bit, the moment between Luke and Jess was perfect.

M: Rory is having her Jo March moment writing about Lorelai’s life. I’m touched. Lorelai is not, and she withholds her permission. It’s understandable, though. Lorelai worked for years to make sure people “only knew what I wanted them to know.” I’m the same way – everyone gets pieces of my life but the whole thing isn’t out there – and it would drive me crazy if somebody spilled everything.

Also Rory… I really loved the sweet, shy, hardworking, morally upright Rory of the first 4 or so seasons. The problem is that she had this Stars Hollow pedestal her whole life and as an adult, that has manifested in a person who expects to be lauded and supported. She should have taken Lorelai’s “no,” or at least discussed the matter calmly, but emotions were high and I think Rory was caught off guard.

Still, Lorelai’s reaction isn’t typical for her (except for that long feud I don’t like to remember) and makes it clear how serious she is about this. Lorelai has always been so confident and no-nonsense about her rough early years that I didn’t realize that it was something she was sensitive about, but being rejected by her mother at 16 and now again after Richard died is still painful for her.

T: And on top of this, Lorelai goes to the diner and has a fight with Luke after she tells him he’s “been grumpy for months”, and it sets off the whole can of worms that I explicitly told them would come back to bite them in the ass during Spring. Apparently these fictional characters can’t hear either of us when we talk to the TV. Lor calls out Luke for not telling her he went looking for potential spots for his diner franchise, while he reminds her she didn’t tell him Emily stopped going to therapy but she kept seeing Claudia. AND THEN Luke says, “We struck a deal. You’ve got your life and I’ve got mine. You keep your crazy family away from me and I’ll keep my crazy family away from you.” UhBoy. This is what is was like circa season 6 with the whole April debacle – why are we still here??

All the while, Lorelai, like putting salt in the saltshakers in Winter, continues to help Luke clean up the dirty plates from the tables because it’s basically her diner too. All. The. Feels.

“Can we talk about this at home?” “This is home.”

M: Rory and Logan break up (“we can’t break up, because we’re nothing.”). One thing I think AYITL does well is the reintroduction of Rory’s old love interests. Realism would have her on a Facebook-only basis with all of them, but obviously that wouldn’t work. I like that for viewers who were Team Logan, he’s a caring and sweet guy except for the cheating, which I can’t forgive but in which he’s no more culpable than Rory. For Team Jess, he shows up, has a friendly rapport with Rory, and gives her the first writing inspiration she’s had for some time. Team Dean? We’re not there yet.

M: Then Lane states the theme of this episode and also of life in your early 30s: this adult stuff is hard, isn’t it?

T: I mean, we kind of don’t know where Lane’s coming from except she’s the mom of two twins and a part-time drummer. #JusticeForLane

M: Secondary theme of your early 30s, courtesy of Rory: I don’t need Lipitor, I need to be 20 again.

M: If we needed more clarification, though, the one and only Sutton Foster sings the dilemma for us, too. Lorelai starts crying and so do I (“Maybe it’ll be me and a dog?” You’re killing me, Sutton. Woof.).

T: Through my tears, I appreciated how realistic and unrealistic this show is, and how truly theatrical it is. There were many times in AYITL in particular which felt like I was watching a stage production, but this scene was obvious yet magical, and perfectly encapsulated Lorelai’s “A-Ha” moment without her having to say a word.

M: Callback to the beginning of the episode: Lorelai is going to “do Wild,” aka hike the Pacific Crest Trail like in Cheryl Strayed’s book. But have any of you read that book? Particularly at a time when you were feeling topsy-turvy about your life? That thing should come with an advisory on the back, because it makes you want to go out there and hike until your feet are so blistered that you figure your life out.

T: I’ve only seen the movie, and I was left confirming my lifelong stance against camping and hiking long distances through nature. I feel like I’m on the same level as Lorelai, so I’m truly concerned for her wellbeing if she lasts on this trip. Also, please note that while Luke is reminding Lorelai nature is nature, he is standing next to another beloved townie – Bert the Toolbox.
photo-nov-29-10-46-30-pm

M: This is the heaviest of the episodes so far, but it’s also a serious dose of reality (musical numbers aside). Rory can only keep a cheerful, optimistic attitude about being out of work for so long. Emily lost her spouse of 50 years. And Lorelai did an amazing job overcoming obstacles as a young parent, but it never left her with time to sort out what it all meant.

Stray observations

  • Lorelai has one of those Reese Witherspoon Totes Y’all totes while she’s reading Wild poolside (I think if you watch Gilmore Girls you’re also the kind of person who knows both that Reese was in Wild and that she sells these totes and get a kick out of the unspoken reference. This is why I love Gilmore Girls fans.)
  • Zach on the twins: “When they get mad, they’re like five little Korean people and they focus all their Korean vitriol at Lane and me.”
  • Did I miss why Rory is wearing a hippie costume poolside?
  • She got game. “Your name is Kevin, huh? But I think I’ll call you – TOMORROW.” GET IT BABETTE.
  • The wonderful Jackie Hoffman is playing Esther, who can’t stop filing at the SH Gazette, and it is just another testament of how good casting was for the revival.
  • Michel is turning 50?? Which I guess makes sense because Lorelai is 48? STILL.
  • Lane and Zach have a side White Stripes combo at the Secret Bar. BUT WHAT ELSE DOES LANE DO? AND WHAT DOES ZACH SUPERVISE?
  • I continue to be amazed at how lovely and beautiful Lauren Graham is in this entire revival. I just love her so much, you guys.
    photo-nov-29-10-46-09-pm
  • Did ASP shade Aaron Sorkin, her closest writer rival, yet again? Lorelai: Yeah it’s like the set of an Aaron Sorkin movie in here.”
  • Rory still hasn’t dumped Paul. And she had to write herself a note to remind herself to do it.
  • Famous chefs continue to rotate out of the Dragonfly, but Luke is back in the kitchen at the inn after Ina Garten or Sandra Lee or one of them was kicked out by Lor. Remember, Luke is secretly like a Michelin star chef and just loves Lorelai a lot but has to get out his frustration by ranting about the situation yet ends up doing it anyways. It’s OG Luke ranting and it is gold.

  • Sophie suggests a tune to add to the musical, and it happens to be a song called I Feel The Earth Move, by the one and only Carole King. To clarify, Sophie is played by Carole King. All is well.
  • Rory: “Maybe I can be one of Paris’ surrogates. She always liked my teeth.” Yes. This is a thing Paris would let Rory know about.
  • I find it unbelievable Rory wouldn’t know what Mysteries of Laura is.
  • Emily is saying ‘Hello’. To Jack. The guy who had a real memory of Richard at his funeral. You know what? FUCK JACK. RICHARD GILMORE 4EVER. **UPDATE: The actor who plays Jack just showed up on my TV as Honey’s husband Marvin on Fresh Off The Boat, solving the mystery of why I know his face. BUT ALSO he played Robin’s dad, Robin Scherbatsky Sr. in HIMYM!**
  • Why does Nat, the director of the SH musical, have a neck brace on in the last scene he’s in?
  • This one was produced by Helen Pai, the namesake of Hep Alien (in anagram form). She’s also Amy Sherman Palladino’s friend who served as an inspiration for Lane.
  • By this point in my viewing (Saturday night), I had to cut off all communication with at least 5 people because they finished Fall before me. It’s real, y’all. -T

Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting: Chilton, Gays, and A Wookie, Oh My!

The flowers are in bloom in Stars Hollow, and we’re back to give a recap and our thoughts on the second installment of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – Spring. Just like the season it’s named after, the theme of this episode is the start of new things, but also the return of old favorites. And… a Wookie?

M: The Spring title screen comes up and I cannot for the life of me remember if there was one for Winter. As we mentioned last time, we may have been dazed the first few minutes there.
photo-nov-27-9-01-25-pm

M: Lorelai and Emily at mother-daughter therapy goes just about how you would imagine – anger, tense silences, and the nice candle that Emily told us would be there.

T: Broadway great Kerry Butler is Claudia, the therapist, and after news of her casting came out a while ago, I just assumed she’d be in the Stars Hollow musical with Sutton Foster and Christian Borle, but imagine my surprise when she showed up in the trailer as the one helping to put Emily and Lorelai back together. Since we won’t get to hear her sing, here is Tony-nominated Kerry singing Fly, Fly Away from Catch Me If You Can. What a dream.

T: One of the brilliant things about each installment focusing on one season is that we get to see multiple Stars Hollow festivals, including the Spring International Food Festival (Singapore is just a dick). Taylor is back to being annoyed at something going wrong, while Kirk plays his right hand man, Jackson is at his vegetable booth (! sans Sookie), Lane is running a table with Rory, and Mrs. Kim has taken on a new project with Korean teen singers, who are scared of the tambourine.

Mrs. Kim on teen singers: “They’ll get used to it. Just like electricity at night!”

T: Speaking of Mrs. Kim… HER ABSENT HUSBAND MR. KIM FINALLY MAKES AN APPEARANCE ON CAMERA!!!!

photo-nov-27-9-01-39-pm

And this is my first complaint – I kinda wish he was never revealed. I would’ve been totally fine with it being a mystery. But alas. Also, he’s v old, no?

T: The Bid-On-A-Basket fundraiser is BACK and fittingly, Luke and Lorelai watch the auction happen, similar to season 2 in A-Tisket, A-Tasket episode in which Lor forces Luke to bid on her basket in order to save her from the dudes Miss Patty planted, and they end up having a romantic picnic in the gazebo. Lor even references this and called it “the early days of their romance” #OTP

T: Lor ends up buying some gal named Cassie’s basket, who is basically Sookie 2.0.

photo-nov-27-9-01-49-pm

M: “Your cheeks are like two white apples” – Alex Kingston (/Naomi) neatly summarizing what it is about how fresh Rory looks.

T: I’m also starting to get a bad feeling about Alex Kingston/Naomi. She’s a little too off the rails right now…

“I’m voting for Brexit. It’s a protest vote. It’ll never win.” – Gilmore Girls sending me crashing back into reality.

T: There’s no denying Logan (who is much hotter now than before?) still loves Rory a lot. But what we find out during a lunch (that was crashed by Mitchum) is that Logan is engaged to Odette, a French heiress. SO WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME IS THEY’RE BOTH CHEATERS?!?

M: Our first town meeting – Stars Hollow is planning its first gay pride parade. Also, the B-level actors from a locally filmed movie will be staying at the Dragonfly. Also the town has a bit of a rivalry with Woodbury, where the A-list stars are staying. It’s like Stars Hollow’s Eagleton. Only at this moment do I realize how similar Gilmore Girls and Parks and Recreation – two of my favorite shows – really are. Part of it is the humor mixed with sincerity and goodness, but part of it is that I feel like they could exist in the same universe.

Taylor asked for (gay) volunteers to march in the gay pride parade-
Taylor: We have Donald, who will be marching with his Chow Chow, Sherlock.
Babette: Sherlock is gay?
Donald: No, he’s just my dog.

T: Imagine Ron sitting in a town meeting run by Taylor. He would HATE it. Another great thing about this first town meeting is that we get to see all our old friends again, including Babette, Andrew, and Bootsy, who I’m pretty sure wasn’t even on the last 4 seasons of the OG series, and newcomer Donald, played by Sam Pancake – Lauren Graham’s BFF IRL! I also loved the run of everyone trying to get Taylor “Liza with a Z” Doose to come out – especially from Gypsy, who is clearly in love with Lorelai.

T: Luke finds out over the phone that Liz & TJ accidentally signed up for a co-op that turned out to be a cult that sells vegetables. It sounds much like Scientology – a 6 million year contract – but with food. I can’t help but think this is shade from ASP, since Kathleen Wilhoite (who played Liz) tweeted a while ago that she wasn’t asked back for the revival and wasn’t surprised.

T: THE REAL PAUL ANKA IS BACK. AND JUST LIKE LAST TIME, HE’S ALL UP IN LOR’S DREAMS, SIGNIFYING SOMETHING IS UP.

T: I feel like I say, “OH MY GOD” outloud to my TV screen every 8 minutes because of some kind of cameo or call back or general plot line. It is great.

M: Michel is Lorelai’s Paris – her “angry friend.” Hah.

Lorelai on having B-list movie stars staying at the Dragonfly: What’s the point of living if we’re never going to bag JLaw?

T: We are back at another Stars Hollow staple, the Black, White, and Read movie theater, where Kirk is dressed up for the screening of Eraserhead – and SURPRISE – a new short film! Kirk’s first short film is easily one of the most memorable moments from the OG series, and the fact that we got a new one (that won the coveted “Good Try Award”) is pure genius.

Also, in the scene where Kirk is walking his pig Petal outside Lorelai’s house, she didn’t even know he was doing filming it while she was at home, prompting Luke to say, “How did you not notice this?” and to which I said in a very loving and entertained tone, “This is so dumb!”

T: As an avid Gilmore Guys listener and GG: AYITL trailer watcher, I knew Kevin & Demi of said podcast had a cameo, and although it is brief, I love that they are at the Dragonfly when all the B-list millennials are there. Perfect. Can’t wait to hear them talk about their experience
photo-nov-27-9-02-00-pm

“I’m not Edith Wharton, I don’t write letters” – Lorelai, re: a letter Emily says she received from Lorelai on her birthday, but that Lorelai has no recollection of.

M: I guess the thing is that the Dragonfly gets a different celebrity chef until we finally get Sookie (I hope). It’s Rachael Ray right now.

T: And why is Lor being such a B to these pop up chefs?! (she misses Sookie + is going through a mid-life crisis)

M: Holy cow: Emily still has the same maid. Luke and Lorelai come for dinner even though only Luke was invited, which seems INSANE. The giant Richard portrait is still up. It turns out that Emily wanted to talk to Luke about the importance of creating a will. Not only that, though – Richard created a trust to franchise Lukes. I love how Richard is still a real character even though he’s no longer here: that is such a Richard thing to do.

Emily: What’s wrong with your throat?
Luke: I swallowed a bug.
Emily: Why in the world would you do that?
THIS IS THE PERFECT EMILY LINE

M: Lorelai and Emily discuss Luke at therapy – Emily refers to Luke as Lorelai’s “roommate” and “booty buddy,” and therapist Claudia calls Luke Lorelai’s “guy” – “like it’s a beach blanket movie,” per Emily.

T: I’ve never been to therapy, but I feel like Claudia’s not doing a good job. She’s barely said anything mediative or helpful.

T: Richard had an actuarial of everyone’s day of death including luke aka he knew they’d be together forever bye and HE ALSO LEFT LUKE A TRUST FUND TO EXPAND AND FRANCHISE LUKES DINER JUST LIKE IN SEASON 5.

Emily: Luke, when are you going to embrace your future?
Luke: Tonight?
He is so perfectly awkward and uncomfortable with her it continues to be delightful

M: Paris and Rory return to speak at Chilton. File under: things you’ll never see us doing at our alma mater.

T: I don’t think they’d even remember me to ask me to speak at our high school. In saying that, neither of us caused trouble or left a lasting legacy like Paris, whom Headmaster Charleston is still afraid of. It’s a fair response, seeing as how Paris is telling kids in her class, “Betrayal, deception – and that’s just in the bedroom i’m not in the habit of quoting Stalin…

M: Paris sees Tristan chatting up some fancy Chilton lady (or “slutty biznatch” – Paris) and, in true Paris fashion, rushes a group of teens out of the bathroom.

M: Paris is “an MD, a lawyer, an expert in neoclassical architecture and I think a certified dental technician to boot” according to Francie. Yep, FRANCIE.

T: And one of Francie’s shining moments happened to also be in a bathroom, when she cornered Rory about Paris leading student council! I can’t help but think this new scene setting was on purpose.

T: Paris gave $100k to Chilton’ capital improvement plan?? SHE IS A MILLIONAIRE.

M: I would have guessed that Paris and Doyle would be stupid-rich. Would not have guessed they’d be breaking up. But Paris has a late period and this is TV so maybe they’ll have a baby that saves the relationship.

T: Headmaster Charleston encourages Rory to get her masters and come back to teach. What if Luke gives trust fund money to Rory for school?? Like honestly, she should just go get her masters.

T: Rory calls Logan and he’s sleeping next to who I’m assuming is Odette, and I said out loud, “THIS BITCH!” despite the fact he’s the one cheating. It’s the Lindsay Complex all over again. Also, he said Ace for the first time in the revival and it actually feels good and not slimy.

M: Rory finally has her meeting. No word on whether she’s wearing her lucky outfit.

T: And she has her meeting with Scandal’s own Dan Bucatinsky!
photo-nov-27-9-02-11-pm

T: Yet another call back with Lor suggesting Luke is Viggo Moretensen! And yet again, Luke calls him Vito Morgenstern, just like in season 6! This stuff really gets to me, you guys.

REVIVAL: Lorelai to Luke, while watching A History of Violence: “Viggo Mortensen is you! He’s totally you. Seriously, David Cronenberg owes you money. He must have dropped by the diner, saw you, got inspired and turned you into this ex-thug guy.”
6.08 – LET ME HEAR YOUR BALALAIKAS RINGING OUT:
LORELAI: Cool. Wow. They could make a movie about this someday. You know…The reluctant, handsome diner owner sponsoring a team that goes all the way to the national finals, and you know who would play you?
LUKE: Who?
LORELAI: Tobey Maguire!
LUKE: He’s way younger than me.
LORELAI: But his career is hot. Go with Tobey.
LUKE: What about that Vito Morgenstern?
LORELAI: Sure. Or Viggo Mortensen.
LUKE: Oh.
LORELAI: Or Donald Sutherland.
LUKE: Too old.
LORELAI: We’ll dye his hair.
LUKE: He’s got jowls.
LORELAI: You’re picky.

What also gets to me (in a different way) – Luke and Lor hiding big things from each other. WHY 👏ARE👏 Y’ALL 👏LYING👏 YOU 👏ARE 👏ADULTS 👏THIS 👏IS 👏NOT👏 BUENO👏

M: The Naomi thing folds, even though I specifically told Rory to get everything in writing when I was talking to my TV during Winter.

T: AND HOLY SHIT NAOMI’S LAWYER IS PLAYED BY THE ONE AND ONLY JASON MANTZOUKAS!!!! You may recognize him from The League, Parks and Rec, currently Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or podcasts Comedy Bang Bang and How Did This Get Made – or most importantly, the Gilmore Guys. He’s been a frequent guest star on the show, and I’ve even seen him at three live shows. He’s a legit GG fan and has been for years. He even asked his agent to get him a role when it was still on the air, and he had a meeting, but he never got the part. He also pitched the idea of being the guy that sleeps with BOTH Lor and Rory, which makes sense if you know his humor. ANYWAYS, his casting in the revival was never announced so seeing him on the screen made me scream out loud and start crying a bit, because I HAVE BEEN V EMO DURING THIS ENTIRE PROCESS.
photo-nov-27-9-02-31-pm

M: Rory falls back on the offer to write a piece on lines. People waiting in lines. Our darling and favorite celebrity Gilmore Girls fan, Mae Whitman, is here! Lorelai calls her “kid.” My heart is as full as it’s ever been.

ALSO: “Monique Aswell’s Crodo like IRL “Dominique Ansel’s Cronut!

T: Also in that small group of folks with Mae was a gal named Kristine, who is Scott Patterson’s wife and baby mama IRL! She also had a small cameo in Last Week Tights, This Week Fights! And did anyone else find it slightly annoying that Lor just easily acquired the items without waiting in line – and also flaunted it??

photo-nov-27-9-02-44-pm

T: Another cameo! The one and only Michael Ausiello – the OG Gilmore Guy and most-trusted journalist in all-things Gilmore!
photo-nov-27-9-03-15-pm

M: Not saying Rory’s spiraling out of control, but she slept with a wookie from one of the lines then told her mom about it. It’s Rory’s first one night stand and Lorelai has had zero, which surprised me until Lorelai reminded us all she was a mom at 16.

Lorelai: Did you not breakup with Pete yet? Does Patrick know?
LOL HIS NAME IS PAUL

M: Next stop: that website gig, Sandy Says, which looks like a big mess. No HR? I’m glad Rory found her red dress but I have a red flag for her. Rory is more or less promised the job but then doesn’t get it. Dodged a bullet, TBH.

T: Agreed. In that both Sandy AND Rory dodged a bullet. Also, shout out to the fantastic Julia Telles as Sandy! She was also on Bunheads and currently in The Affair!

Stray Observations

  • I’ve decided it’s weird without the theme song at the beginning
  • Emily: “My big bazookas are intruding on you?”
  • “Town meeting fire hydrants will be repainted according to the aesthetic of that corner/area.”
  • Somehow, during the spring festival the town looks 200% more like a backlot than usual. It looks like it would be the Connecticut pavilion at Epcot. (Actually, in general Stars Hollow is the Connecticut pavilion at Epcot, a thing I never knew I always wanted).
  • In general, there is so much more diversity in Stars Hollow since 2007!
  • Rory’s dresses are nice. So are Lorelai’s – and she’s back in the iconic DVF wrap dresses. And she still favors funky hats. In general, ASP had Netflix money to work with, so the wardrobe has been kicked up a lot of notches. Love it. And both of their hairdos are also fab!
  • Since when does Luke drink wine?
  • The scene with al the townies taking out food from outside, despite Kirk telling them not to – classic. Andrew’s cake and Babette and Morey’s mini grill killed me.
    photo-nov-27-9-03-28-pm
  • By the end of the revival, Berta’s entire extended family is going to be living in Emily’s house
  • Rory touching the painting and saying, “Hi Grandpa” TEARS.
    photo-nov-27-9-03-41-pm
  • I am loving these new Sam Phillips ‘La-Las’! And obvs enjoy the OG ones too!
  • Paris to Headmaster Charleston: Can I use your john?
  • Francie bringing up Paris never being Puffed was the best insult.
  • Paris being normal Paris then immediately being so nice and maternal to the kids when Doyle returns is A++. ALSO, I NEED PARIS AND DOYLE TO GET BACK TOGETHER
  • Lor tells Claudia, “It was always supposed to be Luke” OTP OTP OTP
  • Luke is at the diner and sees Emily come out of the car, and the only thing he can say is, “Oh no no no no no no no no no no”. Reminded me of one of my favorite little moments in the OG series:

  • After a back and forth with Sandy after she tells Rory she doesn’t get the job, Rory’s final come back to “Get lost!” is “Get… Shorty!”

Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting: I Smell Snow

Well folks, we made it. Here we are, nine years after the series finale and over the weekend we were blessed with four new mini-movies that brought us back to the little corner of the world that is Stars Hollow. We went on a self-imposed social media hiatus to avoid spoilers over the weekend, so all this week, we’ll be recapping each season with our own thoughts, since we didn’t tweet as it was happening. And let’s be real, 140 wasn’t enough. We’re going in chronological (GG) order, starting with Winter. Here we go!

T: For the record, I pressed play at 12:01AM and couldn’t get myself to watch it until 12:19AM. I spent my last few minutes on social media (since I stayed off of it completely to avoid spoilers), went to the bathroom multiple times because I made coffee, and to psych myself up, I even said to myself, “IT’S JUST A TV SHOW” then later, “IT’S TOO STRESSFUL.” I eventually pressed play, only to pause it again when Amy’s name came up in the font. I’m a wreck.

M: Winter opens with some of the “greatest hits” lines from Gilmore Girls, in case we weren’t already high-level emotional.  On rewatch I realize these lines also serve as a “previously on Gilmore Girls” in that we establish Emily and Lorelai’s relationship, the Luke/Lorelai thing, and also “oy with the poodles already.”

T: Netflix (per usual) has been great with PR and marketing for AYITL, and a day or so before the revival premiered, they released this video that made me legitimately tear up. Unbeknownst to everyone who watched that, it was the very first thing we heard from the 2016 iteration of Gilmore Girls and I teared up all over again. It was a perfect way to jump back into the show.

T: I HAD TO PAUSE IT AGAIN BC I STARTED CRYING AT THE LALAS AND THE FIRST SHOT OF THE SNOW-COVERED STARS HOLLOW SIGN.

photo-nov-27-5-03-57-pm

i believe the phrase “ALL THE FEELS” was created for this moment

M: Rory just got off a plane and looks great; Lorelai theorizes that she’s “been Gooped,” the 2016 pop culture references are here. Rory rarely gets back to town because she’s living an itinerant journalist’s life; Lorelai sings Cats In The Cradle to make fun of the town/Emily’s reaction to Rory’s infrequent visits. We’re back.

T: Lorelai: “I’ve missed ya kid. It feels like years.” SAME, LOR. SAME. Aside: when writing down notes in my phone about this, I used this emoji 😭 to signify when I either tear up or cry. So if you see that, just know I’m emotional. Similarly, I used this 😂 when I lit’rally laughed out loud.

M: After the first time we watched this (yes, this is the second) we and our friend Tori spent a while puzzling about whether the theme song played. It’s like we were so dazed and stunned that we couldn’t even register the first five minutes. (It didn’t play, by the way.)

T: Rory, while running around the town square trying to get reception: “You coming?” Lorelai: “No, I just hit my steps.” As two people who are insane about their Fitbits, THIS RESONATES DEEP.

M: Kirk wants to start a ride service called Ooober. This is the moment that one of my Gilmore Girls fears was laid to rest. After Fuller House (which I liked!) I was disappointed that the tone of the show changed. It was all winks to the former series and modern references posed as punchlines unto themselves. Yes, Uber didn’t exist in 2007 and this certainly places us in a new Stars Hollow, but it wasn’t a modern reference for its own sake – this is still a very Kirk thing. This is when I realized A Year In The Life was going to stay true to the mixture of pop culture and more obscure cultural references that it always had.

T: Exactly. I also liked Fuller House, but I cringed so hard when they all broke the fourth wall and looked into the camera to basically call out the MK+A for not coming back for the new show. ASP + Dan Palladino’s storytelling style and clear idea for this Gilmore world is like it’s set in amber – these characters will always be as quirky as they have been, but they’re aware of trends and pop culture hashtags that make them relevant and up to do, but not change the core being of who they are.

M: Kirk is still so KIRK, always with a weird business venture that he is bad at: he drills holes in his car’s floor (two people passed out, but “they were old, so it could have been old people passing out” or carbon monoxide), then the car breaks down and he starts using a small cart.

M: First time I really started crying: when Lorelai smelled snow and the town troubadour started singing.

T: Yeah, the smelling of the snow, Grant Lee Phillips, and the Gilmore home all dressed in Christmas lights all got to me too. We were back and I was overwhelmed.

M: When we go to Lorelai’s house it truly does feel like going home again – like when I’d come home to visit and it was equally surprising that so much was the same and that little things were different.

T: Remember how awkward Luke and Rory’s hugs always were? Or maybe Rory is just a bad hugger. But when she comes home and he hugs her, it was much improved and seemed like a much more paternal welcome than ever before.

M: We get a satisfying answer – for me, anyway – as to who Rory is with: Paul, an eminently forgettable but nice guy. There’s a running gag throughout Winter that nobody remembers anything he says (like when he told Luke he’d bring him an antique crescent wrench), or where he is (when Lorelai and Rory forget he’s coming to Luke’s, and then that he’s there when they leave). The takeaway: we won’t miss this guy when he goes, and he WILL go.

T: One of my early predictions was that Rory was going to be with someone when the revival starts, but he’s insignificant. And even though IRL I’d be so annoyed with Rory for forgetting who her BF is after TWO YEARS of dating, I found it so amusing that NO ONE remembered who he was.

Luke re: Pete/Billy/Jeffrey/Paul: I just forgot the entire conversation we just had.

T: Fourteen minutes in and I already have 10 gif sets I need to find on Tumblr.

M: Lorelai’s new thing is those TV movie thriller/ horror things that air on Lifetime.

T: I mean, I knew that Luke + Lorelai were together (MY ULTIMATE OTP SO THIS IS MAJ), and I guess I figured they’d be living in her house, but it wasn’t real until he was working the DVR in their bedroom (which LOL at Luke with any sort of technology). Of course Lor only has Lifetime movies recorded, but I found it meta that they were poking fun of them when Scott Patterson was the star of one of them not too long ago (See: my recap of Kidnapped: Hannah Anderson here). Anyways, their domesticated life in this scene is literally the fanfic of my dreams.

M: Lorelai comes downstairs to Rory “stress-tap dancing” in the middle of the night. Lorelai has been worried about her mortality after Richard died, which I knew was happening but STILL.  This is the moment I also realize that Lorelai and Rory are written as very anxious people, a trait that somehow never registered with me before. Michel agrees: “xanax was invented for you.” The fast talking, the coffee, the ruminating – and I’d say Rory’s even more like her mother now that she’s roughly the same age as early seasons’ Lorelai.

Rory: “You think I don’t know you? I have your eyes.”

M: Which brings us to: we’ve discussed this, and even though we’re just about the same age as Rory, now we relate most to Lorelai in the original series. For every moment when she seemed like an imperfect parent (dating Rory’s teacher, freaking out when she finds Rory with Dean), now I see somehow who has successfully raised a wonderful teenager by the time she’s my age, all while building a life and a career without any support. I just love Lorelai so much.

T: Same. I’ve always related to Lor a little bit more than Rory in general, but the revival has only reinforced that even more. Especially later on in this ep.

T: The running joke of Luke having WiFi but not giving out the correct password is SO Luke. The man has had a No Cell Phones sign for years, so what makes people think he’s gonna let them use WiFi for free? Also, he puts Rory’s New Yorker piece on the back of the new menu.

M: Love how proud he is of her. “There’s my piece (creaky voice:) wrapped in plastic.”

T:  😂 Lorelai throwing bagels at Kirk’s head is comedy gold. “Luke, you need to control your woman!” *gets hit with a lump of bread even harder*

T: Michel casually says Frederic wants kids, and I had to rewind to make sure he said “Frederic” and not “Frederique” and used “he” and not “she.” GOD BLESS. FINALLY. Also, Yanic fell right back into character and comes right out of the gate with classic Michel rants.

T: Melissa McCarthy’s absence is explained by her going on a sabbatical to work with Dan Barber at Blue Hill Farms (he basically made the whole farm-to-table trend a thing), and it totally makes sense. I think I like the pop up restaurant idea, but the fact that it really is famed LA chef Roy Choi in the scene is kinda taking me out – but not enough that I hate it?

T: Um. Guys. Emily’s new maid Berta is Gypsy (Rose Abdoo) in a wig. CANNOT UNSEE. (UPDATE: It’s definitely her. And Lauren gave insight!)

photo-nov-27-5-03-45-pm

T: 😂 Emily doing housekeeper charades with the handyman is perfectly bossy Emily Gilmore.

M: Emily has a portrait of Richard that takes up the whole wall. Lorelai posits that she “Spinal Tapped the painting.” This leads into the story of Richard’s funeral, which was my cue to press pause and get some Kleenex.

T: Through the tears of the funeral flashback, there were moments of both levity and heartache, including the moment Jason ‘Digger’ Stiles reappears after attending his former business partner Richard’s funeral. I thought his brief yet touching scene with Lorelai was sweet and the perfect sendoff. Especially because she called him Digger again and he called her Umlaut.

T: Let me start off by saying LAUREN GRAHAM HAS NEVER WON AN EMMY. For Your Consideration: This drunk scene starting with her telling Richard and Emily’s friends about her “favorite memories” of her father. Lauren played completely wasted so well, without it being over the top or unbelievable. AND THEN, the showdown with her in Emily in the kitchen – it was like watching Michael Jordan and Larry Bird on the court (Sportsball ref?). They both had valid points, and as much as I love Lor, I love even more that Emily called her out on being selfish – because who else is going to be real with her like that and make as much an impact? It ends by Lorelai reaching for the door handle and saying, “Full. Freaking. Circle.” three words that gave me goosebumps. This now ranks as one of my favorite scenes of the entire series to date, and maybe a little too resonant in my ongoing identification as Lorelai IRL.

M: Signs Emily is changed: she’s had the same housekeeper for long enough to know who she is, lets a large extended family run about her house, wears jeans.

M: Brilliant cut to Kirk next to Lorelai at Emily’s table (his Ooober broke down) that makes you feel for a second like the whole thing is a dream sequence.

T: Luke comes to the rescue to pick Lor and Kirk up – but why isn’t he at Friday Night Dinner in the first place?

M: Lorelai and Luke have been together a long time: when they discuss whether they want a “fresh kid,” Luke explains that 5-6 years ago, he saw a kid at a Little League game and said “that’s the kid” (which is supposed to be his indication that he wanted a kid, because Luke). Luke and Lorelai discuss having a child, which I love as a viewer but sounds EXHAUSTING as someone who realizes that Lorelai is the mother of a THIRTY TWO YEAR OLD ADULT.

T: This conversation is also a part of the fanfic of my dreams, and also touches back on a conversation that they had in the season 6 premiere right after she proposed to him (“Kids would be great”). Lor actually mentions the aforementioned “Twickham house” scene, and yet again, a great way ASP acknowledged L+L canon without being annoying about it.

M: Anyway, Paris is the surrogacy specialist they meet with. This seems like a weird way to get Paris into the picture at first, and not really what I pictured Paris doing at all. Except – now that I’m a 30 year old with a few degrees, it actually seems super realistic that a smart, top-of-her-class person like Paris won’t necessarily be running the world. We graduated into the recession and it’s not necessarily reasonable that every person is going to be a UN representative. (I’m not saying being at the top of a huge surrogacy organization and being seemingly very wealthy is bad at all — but I mean the way the thing you end up doing isn’t what you would have guessed when you were 18.)

T: I am obsessed with the reveal of Paris, in that we only hear her yelling at first then have her enter the frame – because Paris Geller is a YELLER, and I love that it doesn’t matter what her occupation is, she’s still brilliantly shrill as ever.

M: The running gag that Luke isn’t sure whether he’s supposed to have sex with the surrogate is great.

T: Is it weird Paris’ Dynasty Makers reminds me of Orphan Black’s BrightBorn Technologies?

Paris keeps referring to Lor as a second mother, to which Luke asks: “How much time did you spend with this girl?”

M: Rory is in London discussing a ghostwriting/cowriting job with Naomi, AKA the always-delightful Alex Kingston (red flag: Rory asks if the lawyers will take care of payment and Naomi says it will be 50/50 – but girl, you better get that in writing). Rory is staying with her … friend. Her friend LOGAN with whom she has a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” relationship. Read: they hook up whenever she’s in London. Oh, Rory. Rory, Rory, Rory. Anyway, he’s still cute with a nice apartment and we’re meant to like him more than Forgettable Paul. I will say that out of Rory’s former love interests, Logan felt like the most likely to cross paths with her in later life. Of course we all know who we’ll be seeing later on in A Year In The Life, so we’ll see.

T: Agreed. Rory and Logan always seemed like a better romantic match (Jess turned out to be a confidant type/the type that I would want to date me not Rory). But listen, why is Rory still stringing along Paul??? The joke was funny at first, but now that we find out she’s been casually sleeping with Logan, she’s technically cheating on Paul. Did she learn nothing from the Dean situation???

me at rory rn

me at rory rn

T: Doyle is a screenwriter now and has become all Hollywood. THANK YOU ASP.

M: Meanwhile, Lane has exactly the garage band-y home you’d imagine she would, with band practice in the living room and lots of bright mismatched colors and adorable sons who she lets have fun. I mentioned before that I was really Team Lane and Team Paris, in that I figured that 10 years in the future, those are the people Rory will still be in touch with. Glad I was right on those counts!

T: #TeamParis shirt for me, please. Also, Lane and Zach moved into Sookie and Jackson’s, house right? Am I going crazy? Did they even explain why? Where is Jackson?

M: Amy Sherman Palladino made a blink and you’ll miss it Marie Kondo reference at the Gilmore Girls reunion panel, and it is so fun to see Emily trying to hold all her objects to see what “sparks joy.” (I did it. It sounds wacky but my house looks great and is always neat.) But just a moment for Kelly Bishop in jeans and a t-shirt? She looks SO GOOD.

M: Lorelai observes that “nothing is going to bring you joy right now” which is pretty true, though. Also it’s going to be tricky when Emily realizes she doesn’t have chairs anymore. Anyway, Lorelai convinces Emily to go to counseling – “really Woody Allen the hell out of it” – and also makes Emily realize that she’s wearing jeans, which – good as she looks – is a tip-off that things aren’t going great with her.

Lorelai: “I did something right!” Luke: “Law of averages”

Stray Observations

  • Miss Patty’s dance studio, still with wide open barn doors in wintertime
  • I love that it’s this unspoken thing that Lorelai favors vintage/retro decor: her stove and fridge and chrome kitchen table now, the jukebox in the Firefly back in the day.
  • “I have many irons in the fire” “I heard, you should become a blacksmith.” Our girls are back.
  • I LOVE GYPSY.
  • The town got Kirk a pig because they heard him and Lulu talking about having kids and it worried them.
  • Lorelai: “People are dumb” – the truest sentence she’s ever said.
  • The Shonen Knife version of Top Of The World plays when Lorelai’s on the way to Emily’s, and my first thought is that this was SUCH an Amy Sherman Palladino soundtrack pick.
  • #LukeDanesDreamMan fixing the vent in the Gilmore house during the funeral
  • Kirk, the man who asked Luke to catch him if he had night terrors at the Dragonfly, who fell asleep in Luke’s dad’s boat in Lorelai’s garage, who was saved by Luke after not making a map for the Easter Egg hunt, continues to be the adult child to Luke and Lorelai in the revival.
  • Lorelai automatically filling the saltshakers at the diner and Rory going behind the counter to get coffee without Luke yelling at her – small signs that the Gilmore Girls have made the diner their home even more so in the past nine years❤
  • Paris’ high-profile client is Neil Patrick Harris. Neil Patrick Harris. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!@
  • The woman who asks for the WiFi password at Luke’s is Mara Casey, one of the OG casting directors for the show!

photo-nov-27-5-03-25-pm

  • Taylor knows enough about YouTube stars that he name drops Zoella
  • Brian uses the spare room in Zach and Lane’s house? What is he doing with his life?
  • I want a video of Paris listening to Hep Alien practice on loop

photo-nov-27-5-03-10-pm

  • Because 2016 was the year of feminism (until it wasn’t anymore), there’s a female town troubadour. And she is…. Louise Goffin! AKA Carole King’s daughter. Who calls herself the other troubadour’s sister. PLOT TWIST!!
  • Ending with Dolly Parton’s Here You Come Again also feels like a very Amy Sherman-Palladino music pick
  • In Memory of Edward Hermann. Aw.
  • Despite the fact I kept stopping and starting Winter, I felt like I could’ve watched a solid 30-45 minutes more of Winter. That’s probably excessive, but whatever.

 

Countdown to ThanksGilmore: Where Were You When You Found Out About The Revival?

We were going to put this post up tomorrow, but right now it’s midnight, Gilmore Girls goes live in three hours, and like a kid waiting for Santa, I am too excited to sleep. In case you’re in the same boat, here’s a little something to read.

This day is a long time coming. Not only has it been almost a decade since Gilmore Girls went off the air, it has been over a year since we found out that the show was coming back to Netflix. Shortly after we found out about it, we gathered ourselves for a town meeting of sorts. In this post we discussed how we found out about the reboot, our feelings about Netflix as a platform, casting and those last four words.

Gilmore Girls Revival Town Meeting

T: When we tell our (maybe) kids about the revival, it’ll be akin to older folks telling stories about where they were when JFK was shot or like Ted Mosby telling a horrible story. “Kids, I’m gonna tell you the story of the exact moment I found out a Gilmore Girls revival was happening.”

M: If this revival hadn’t happened, my future children were going to have to to hear a 10-year-long story about how Luke and Lorelai probably didn’t end up together, instead. So really, everyone wins.

T: The day – Monday, October 19th. The time – around 2:30pm. The location – my office. I have to constantly be checking the Internet for entertainment news, and when I was checking my Twitter, I saw a post from Michael Ausiello of TVLine.com pop up that said this:

I really wanted to yell WHAT!!?!?!? out loud but there were others in the vicinity who would no doubt question my sanity, so I said it at a very low tone to myself and began digging deeper into the supposed revival.

M: Should I be concerned that it’s only been a week and I have zero recollection of how I found out? Those hypothetical kids are totally going to put me in a home, aren’t they? In any case, I was very pleased but also assumed that it was another one of those articles that comes out every couple months after a cast member appears on a podcast. Ahem.

Cheers Chats #11: It’s Lonely at the Top

Welcome back to Cheers Chats! We are still doing this! It only gets harder!

Episode 11.22: It’s Lonely at the Top

Originally aired:

Previously on Cheers

(Brief synopsis of what happened prior to this episode)

T: Two whole seasons have passed since our last Cheers Chats and that should tell you something. Let us remind you that we’re following the AV Club’s list of basically the top 10 Cheers episodes and none from seasons nine or 10 made the cut. And I totally get why. It’s just not as good as the first couple of seasons were, much like many shows that manage to go on for this long. Also, the sexism and misogyny continues, so there’s that.

M: I distinctly remember my parents talking about how it was going to be the last season of Cheers, and the outcry was so great that the show kept going for another year or two. These years must have been seasons 10-11, so I have no clue why the plug wasn’t pulled. It has not been great. It also feels like they’ve gone to increasingly more soap opera-ish plotlines instead of the chummy jokiness of the early seasons.

T: Let’s see… Rebecca’s rich boyfriend Robin Colcord turns out to be a money launderer or something and ends up in jail. He proposes to her just before he’s released from prison, and struggles with wanting to marry him for his money. Luckily, Sam knocks some sense into her and she doesn’t go through with the wedding, and Robin ends up poor as dirt. At the end of season 9, Sam and Rebecca (who are not a romantic couple) decide they want to have a baby together because their biological clocks are ticking. By mid season 10 they decide against it since they realize they’re not ready to become real parents.

Meanwhile, Woody gets married to his longtime girlfriend Kelly, Carla has a purely sexual relationship with the pretentious owner of Melville’s the restaurant above Cheers, her oldest daughter, played by Leah Remini, gets knocked up, and Cliff and Norm are pretty much the same.

The dramz comes from Lilith and Frasier, who continue to be parents to a young tot, Frederick, and they also decide to renew their vows. However, in season 11, Rebecca catches Lilith cheating on Frasier, and they split for a few episodes (and he almost sleeps with lonely Rebecca) before Frasier decides to take her back. Ugh.  

In the episode right before this one, a semi-serious experiment on voting conducted by Frasier results in Woody running for city council and he ends up winning. And Kelly reveals she’s preggo.

M: If you can’t remember everything Traci just wrote, just assume that every female character has been pregnant or almost-pregnant since we last wrote. Except, somehow, Carla.

Netflix synopsis

Carla and the gang at the bar drink too much after Sam makes her a bartender, and she confesses to Sam that she slept with one of the guys.

What Had Happened Was

(Basic recap of the episode’s main plot)

T: Woody didn’t realize being a City Council member is a full-time job, so and Sam (who owns the bar again) and Rebecca (Cheers’ manager) have to replace him. They agree to let Carla take over, but she gets everyone super drunk. They spend the rest of the episode figuring out what happened last night.

This ep felt like a regular bottle ep from the early seasons, and while it may be the classic trope of solving a mystery in which all the suspects were drunk, it worked.

M: It kind of reminded me of Sunday brunches in college spent reconstructing everything that happened the night before. It was a pretty good episode, until the Paul reveal anyway.

The Luke Danes of the 1980s

Definition of Your Fave (Character and Show) Is Problematic:

Sam: Yeah, uh, listen I know what you want to do is run out there and tell the guys, but I’ve got to remind you here, Paul, a gentleman does not kiss and tell. It’s just not cool.

Paul: But you do it, Sam.

Sam: True. True. But I’m Sam Malone, and by definition, everything I do is cool.

Paul: Sam, you just don’t get it. This kind of thing has never happened to me before. And now, with the one time it does happen, I can’t even crow about it just a little?

Sam: Yeah, I know. I know how you feel. All right, I tell you what. Why don’t you crow in here with me and get it out of your system.

Paul: Well, okay. It won’t be quite the same, but Yes! High five, Sammy! The Paul Monster! (hissing) Give me a P! Give me an A! Give me a U! Give me an L! P-A-U-L! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Paul! Ah.

Even though it’s Paul and not like, Carla bragging about the sex, this double standard is still ridic. Why does anybody need to be bragging at all?

Sam tries to comfort Carla by telling him nobody is perfect, and confesses he has a toupee of sorts aka a Hair Replacement System.

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-18-48

Is this one of the series’ big mysteries they needed to answer before the show ended? Like finding out who A is in PLL?

Woody the Simpleton

T: Woody’s hangover cure: “First, put on your pyjamas. Then, take an aspirin with a glass of cold water. And then, you vomit till your nose bleeds and heave until you see the angels. Wake up in the morning, you feel brand-new.”

M: Woody is dressed like a preschool boy on picture day in 1993.

T: Protect Woody At All Costs.

Becky with the Good Hair

T: When Sam tells Rebecca to call the agency to hire a waitress to replace Carla, Rebecca makes the excuse, “But could you dial, I just had my nails done.” This is a throwaway joke that is v unnecessary to the storytelling.

M: Also unnecessary to the storytelling at this juncture: Rebecca.

LLOL

The moments that made us literally laugh out loud

The day after Carla makes her “signature” drink consisting of pure alcohol, all the regulars aren’t there at their usual time the next day, and the place is a mess. Norm, who is basically a functioning alcoholic at this point, walks in all hungover, and Rebecca and Sam are the only ones to greet him with the usual NORM!, causing him to keel over.

Everybody’s slow, stunned, disheveled entrances into the bar the next day were A+++.

Recap of Cliff & Norm’s Drunken Night:

  • Pizza
  • Bowling
  • Tattoo parlor
  • Donuts

Norm: “I’ll tell you what’s on your butt if you tell me what’s on mine.”

And they couldn’t even do tattoos right:

Cliff’s Tattoo: “I love Vera”

Norm’s Tattoo: A big American flag with the motto “God Bless the U.S. Post Office.

Say It Again, Sam

(Memorable lines from the episode. Not exclusively from Sam Malone.)

Frasier: “All right, let’s review. Last night I got, knee-walking drunk, and now I am back in this bar, a mere seven-and-a-half hours later, hung over. Well, it’s official. I have a problem.” Frasier, who seems to be the only sane person at this bar

Woody: “Hey everybody, sorry I’m late. I was on my Nordic Track.” REMEMBER NORDIC TRACK

Norm: “What was that?”

Cliff: “That was either Carla or the grim reaper.”

Fraisier: “Dear Lord, let it be the reaper.

Cheers Queries

This episode is one of the handful of eps written by a woman. A woman who happens to be Rhea Pearlman’s sister. So why do these lines continue to be problematic?

  • Carla: Hey, Sammy… You don’t think any less of me, do you? Well, let’s see who it is first.
  • Paul: Well, guys, guess who scaled Mount Paulie last night… You know, it was wild, Sammy. All that screaming and scratching. You should see the nail marks that are all up and down her back.
  • Sam: I mean, you, you, you’ve gone to bed with a lot of guys before.

Carla: Not really, Sam. I mean, I talk a lot, you know, but when it comes right down to it, I’m more talk than action. But even when I did fool around, I, I always knew their names. I was always in control, you know. Last night was the first time I ever lost control. I stepped over the line. I am now officially a slut.

(Okay, also I just felt really sad for Carla after the above speech, so I didn’t expect “I am now officially a slut” to be a laugh line. It felt like more of a moment of self-loathing?)

Cliff calls the bar hangover and confused as to where he is. Turns out he passed out in the office. In what world is his first inclination to call Cheers (a number he not only memorized but remembers while being hungover)? THESE PEOPLE HANG OUT AT THE BAR TOO MUCH.

Why does Sam’s hair look exactly the same pre- and post- rug removal?

Oh It’s Brandon Tartikoff, the former CEO of NBC and also frequent guest star on hit TV shows like Saved by the Bell #TheresNoHopeWithDope!

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-22-56

Overall, this was a better episode than most. Season 11 has stepped up its game.

Carla’s My Boo

“I’m gonna make you one pitcher of a little drink my grandfather taught me. It’s called, “I Know My Redeemer Liveth.”

Drunken Carla sleeps with a Cheers dude but she can’t remember who it is. I really hope it’s Cliff. Only because she hates him so much.

Carla: “Oh, Sammy, Sammy, please! Please, tell me it was you!

Sam: I’m sorry, sweetheart, it wasn’t me.

Carla: Oh, God! Oh, God, the options that leaves are so horrible!

Carla: Well, I guess there’s nobody else.

Sam: Well, what about Cli-

Carla: There’s nobody else, Sam!

SEE!^^^

Cliff: What do you want to know, Carla? It was F-U-N Fun!

IT TURNS OUT TO BE PAUL, THE DUDE THAT MYSTERIOUSLY BECAUSE A CHEERS REGULAR CIRCA SEASON NINE AND THAT IS A WORSE VERSION OF CLIFF

Cut to a prolonged scream from Carla echoing above the Boston skyline.

I truly love Sam and Carla’s relationship and I’m glad it’s never gone romantic (bar that one time they kissed but they were like ew). 

Also, they are the first two characters we fell in love with and I wish more had been done with them as a friend duo instead of so much focus on Sam’s relationships.

Carla: You are a terrific, sweet guy. I mean, anybody who would do what you just did to make someone feel better is the best friend in the world.

Carla: Sammy, you don’t think any less of me, do you?

Sam: Well, let’s see who it is first.

Barfly Fashion

Carla’s Purple daisy shirt is way more cheery than Carla ever has been or will be.

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-21-11

Rebecca is sporting a sensible seafoam green blazer, which is fine, I guess, but just very 1993.

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-21-34

The day after the night everyone got drunk, Carla shows up to work in a “Grim Reaper” jacket and hat. Because that’s less suspicious. 

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-21-45

Carla’s got a Hey Dude fringe shirt underneath the disguise, and the best part is that there’s a mirror image of the black fringe on the back. OH she’s also wearing neon green earrings shaped like a shovel and a saw. This is some straight up Claudia Kishi business right there.

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-22-20

Woody’s shirt just brings me right back to the 1990s.

screenshot-2016-11-22-19-23-35

Final Thoughts

T: I’m so glad this is almost over. Hopefully the series finale is as good as people say it is.

M: Real talk: Traci had to do all the heavy lifting on this one because I watched the whole episode and just … didn’t have anything to say. Come on, finale!

Next Up: We are basing our watch list off of AV Club’s 10 Episodes That Show How Cheers Stayed Great For 11 Seasons. We’re going chronologically, so stop by next month when we’ll discuss the series finale, One For The Road

Countdown to ThanksGilmore: Nick Offerman Deserves a Spin-Off

All actors have to start somewhere when they want to break into the industry, and that means getting cast in smaller roles to build up to their big break. And because Gilmore Girls started in 2000, it means there are a countless amount of struggling actors that had the possibility of being on a WB-turned CW show, only to become familiar faces 16 years later. Click on the link below to refresh your brains on the many unexpected guest stars that came in and out of the Gilmore world.

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Gilmore Girls 

Nick Offerman (Season 4, Episode 7 and Season 6, Episode 4)

Although Offerman is capable of playing more than just shades of Ron Swanson, how perfect is it that his Gilmore role was Beau Belleville, big brother to resident farmer Jackson?

Max Greenfield (Season 4, Episode 4)

Pre-Schmidt, this New Girl star was filling up the Douchebag Jar as Lucas, a drunk friend at Dean’s bachelor party.