While y’all were busy partying it up for Halloween over the weekend, I was dressed as a fangirl at the first ever Entertainment Weekly PopFest. TBH, I didn’t have to dress up at all, which is great, because I do not like dressing up for Halloween. My friend and I went to the first of two days at the event, which was filled with panels, screenings, book signings, live podcasts, concerts and more. I figured I’d share a little insider info for everyone who wasn’t in the Room Where It Happened™ and share my day with you in a recap. Keep reading if you’re a Gilmore Girls, Happy Endings, and/or Nick Jonas fan. Or if you just like reading.
To preface, we bought tickets specifically for the Gilmore Girls and Happy Endings programming at the PopFest. We had three panels/events that were at the top of our list, the Gilmore Guys podcast countdown show, Gilmore Girls conversation with Amy Sherman-Palladino & Dan Palladino, and the Happy Endings lost episode table read. Other bonuses included the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend performance, and sets by Lizzo, Janelle Monae and Nick Jonas. Panels/events we didn’t go to but existed: Supernatural, CW Superheroes, Oscar Contenders, Hailee Steinfeld, FOX Comdy previews, and more.
OK, got our bases covered. Let’s go!
Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us
While waiting in line to get in, we were near the talent entrance, and Jared Padalecki was kind enough to say a quick hi and wave to the fans. In case you forgot, Supernatural is still on and in its 12th season and its fans are still hardcore as ever. About 10 minutes later, the girl behind us asked if a man looking lost across the street was Kirk. And sure enough, it was Sean Gunn, standing by himself in front of the Los Angeles courthouse, on his phone befuddled and clueless as where to go. Sidenote: he wasn’t on the schedule. We guessed he was a special guest for the Gilmore Guys, more on that later. I snapped a bunch of pix of him because I’m a creep:
But a very nice GG fan, wearing a black shirt emulating the end credits which read “Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino”, nonchalantly went up to Sean and pointed out where the talent entrance was. It was a very nice interaction and she didn’t even ask for a picture or amything. Shout out to respectful GG fans!!
What Do You Think, Gillies?
I’ve written about my favorite podcast the Gilmore Guys before, and admittedly I’ve seen them so many times live it’s bordering stalker level. But I swear I’m not. I just have happened to see them seven times live in LA, it’s fine. Anyways, instead of a regular episode where they spend the whole show talking about one episode, Saturday’s live show was a countdown of top five WB promos, top five characters who need a spin-off, and top five characters (one ep characters like Buzu Barnes the Zydeco player) and their ridiculous backstories. It was great. Gilmore Guys recurring guest Ross Kimball was on hand to join Kevin and Demi, and when they were intro-ing a montage of all of Kirk’s odd jobs, Sean Gunn himself “surprised” everyone by coming out and dancing to Rihanna’s Work. It was glorious.
He chatted mostly about the past seasons and little about the revival, mainly talking about said odd jobs, including a stint as Tevye in the Stars Hollow Elementary School production of Fiddler on the Roof. In case you forgot, he sings a ballad called Do You Love Me with a young girl, and although it was weird it was also weirdly tender? But Sean admitted he was nervous about singing in that scene, so naturally, he went to theater vet and Tony winner Ed Hermann for advice.
“One of the things I remember most about that episode was I was really nervous about how to sing the song, because I didn’t know if I should try to sing it as well as I could, or how Kirk would sing it … I was in my head about it… I remember pulling Ed aside and asking him, ‘You’re a veteran, how do you think I should play this?’ and him giving me the exactly right advice. I think he literally said, ‘Just get out of your head, man. Just go for it.’”
Also during the Tevye clip, Sean took a selfie with himself on the big screen, as seen here:
Seven Minutes in Heaven
One of the cons of the festival was that the Gilmore Girls panel was right before the Happy Endings reunion and in the same room. After some wrong answers from volunteers and one very right answer from a very helpful volunteer, we found out we basically had to divide in conquer, which meant my very kind, GG loving & Happy Endings obsessed friend took one for the team and waited in line while I was hanging with ASP and Dan. Luckily, Amy did not disappoint both with the conversation and outfit wise – her iconic hat game was on point and she was wear a sequined shiny black top that Lorelai would’ve worn in a pink in seasons one and two.
Anyways, the moderator, EW’s Sam Highfill was fantastic, and asked great questions that hadn’t necessarily ever been asked before, and when she inquired about how they felt going back into the series after all these years, Amy said, “This shit’s in our DNA now… It’s like, I’ll be on my death bed and going on a (GG) rant… *says as an aside to Dan* I’m going first, by the way.”
THAT MADE ME ALMOST CRY BECAUSE, DO YOU REMEMBER:
Speaking of the late great Edward Herrmann, Amy revealed that they didn’t have a floor plan in order to rebuild the Gilmore house, so the production designers rebuilt it by watching old episodes. She said the old house felt (ironically) like dollhouse, and the new Netflix-budgeted one is much larger. She said, “It was finally big enough for Ed, and he wasn’t there… Ed looms large. He loomed large in life, and he looms large over these episodes.”
*Cue second set of tears*
Since we’re getting close to the revival (see: countdown clock), that means A) both ASP and Dan were more open to talking about it, and B) Promo clips are starting to surface – read: they brought along four new clips from the revival – a whole SEVEN minutes from in A Year in the Life. !!!
Because I am a purist and rule follower and HATE spoilers or anything resembling them, I’m gonna tell you right now, you will not find iPhone-shot videos of the new revival clips on this blog. The panel/clips were exclusive for a reason, and I’m sure they’ll be rolling them out over the course of the next few weeks. RESPECT THE WORK. However, I am willing to tease it for you.
Characters involved throughout the four clips: Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Babette, Michel, Taylor, Kirk, Gypsy, Andrew, Emily.
Number of iPhones used to look up an actor’s credit on IMDb: one
City Rory is moving back to Stars Hollow from: Brooklyn
Level of diversity in revival: At least 10 more than the OG series thanks to an “international” even in the Hollow.
And since we received a few questions via Twitter, I figured I’d answer them here, because we need those clicks, baybeeee!
Q: ah did you record it?
A: No. Again, we are not in the business of being sued by Netflix or the wrath of ASP.
Q: do you know when we get to see it? Are they gonna release the footage they showed today?
A: You will definitely get to see it when they release Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Friday, November 25th 12AM PST.
Q: (I tweeted that the phrase “Singapore is just being a dick” was said in one of the clips) WHO SAID THIS OH MG GODDDDD
A: Ok, I’ll give you this one. It was Kirk. It’s Netflix now you guys. They can say things like “dick” and it’s totes kosher.
Q: Were the clips all from one season/episode?
A: Nope – Winter, Spring and Summer. THAT’S ALL I’M GIVING YOU.
ASP on guest stars: “When they (The WB executives) wanted stunt casting, they wanted Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and we’re like, ‘We’re going after Madeleine Albright!’ And Norman Mailer – he’s 200,000 years old.”
The dance marathon portion of the iconic They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? episode was shot in Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, giving all of us a good reason to visit Van Nuys.
If you thought the revival wasn’t going to feature a Gilmore girl wearing a bucket hat, you’d be wrong.
ASP on watching us watch the clips while they’re sitting on stage: “Can I just say, there is nothing more comfortable than sitting up here while other people watch your work. Something at Gitmo, maybe, might be a little more delightful?”
ASP on living up to expectations: “Hopefully everybody will be delighted and thrilled and charmed. If not – I don’t fucking know what to tell you. I tried.”
Overall, judging by the four clips, it has the same Gilmore tone that we know and love. I think it’ll take everyone getting used to the fact that the pop culture references are modern and not from 16 years ago, and the fact that it was shot digitally and not on film, making the actual quality look so much more different than you’re used to. If you keep those in mind and just enjoy the revival for what it is, I think we’re all going to be so relieved they did it right.
The Happiest of Endings
Right after Gilmore Girls, I snuck into the line for Happy Endings where my friend had been waiting, and we got in thanks again to the v helpful volunteer #Kayla. To this day, I still think Happy Endings is one of the shows that was most unjustly cancelled, and inexplicably picked up by other networks (HULU WHERE U AT THO). The writers from the series got together to write this very special episode, 401 titled Happy to Be Here. It took place 939 days after the season 3/series finale, and we find out that all six BFFs have parted ways – INCLUDING BRAD AND JANE – because of The Fight that happened the night of the Kerkovich sister’s wedding where we last saw the gang.
After finding out that their acquaintance Scotty has died, Penny (still single, but has been married several times on a Kid Rock cruise) and Max (who lives in D.C. now at an unknown job) decided to use Scotty’s death as a way to get everyone back together.
Penny: “Our group of friends has drifted apart. Like Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood” *this joke made the crowd go OOoooohhhhh in a What, Too Soon? sort of way
They first recruit Alex, who has a “Fortune 500 global lifestyle brand” in London. Because Xela. She agrees to get Jane, who has been living in Japan as an executive for Toyota in their sex doll division – it leads to awk scenes with her sis Alex. Because Jane and Brad split after The Fight at the wedding, Alex knew Jane wouldn’t go back to Chicago for Scotty’s funeral, especially if Brad was going to be there. So she lied and said Brad was the one who died. Apparently Jane still had feelings for him because she arrives back home in mourning.
Meanwhile, Max and Penny easily get Dave, who’s still in the food truck business and has been “retracing Jon Favreau’s road trip from Chef,” and also sporting a “a tiny Lin-Manuel Miranda beard” and a man-bun. Unrelatedly, he’s been working on his hip-hop musical called Hamilton… about the life of ice skater Scott Hamilton. Duh.
Then they heads off to the woods of Wisconsin where Brad retreated after he separated from Jane. He’s also got some facial hair which Max described him as looking like “the photo negative of a rabbi”. Brad has gone a little cray and a family of bears took turns “Revenant-ing” him, and he became friends with a bird (lover?) named Dustin.
Finally, everyone is back in Chicago where they belong, where hilarity and anger ensues (Brad and Jane eventually reconcile). Penny thinks she misses Scotty’s funeral and says, “I was supposed to sing ‘Torn’! Apparently, Scotty’s head was torn off his body by Brendan Dassey’s Sea-Doo” SO MANY MAKING A MURDERER REFS. And maybe my fave niche joke, Max recalls a Halloween without Dave where they dressed up as “the Central Perk Five… the one where Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler and Joey get falsely accused of ‘wilding.'”.
But the best part came when Derek, aka Stephen Guarino, aka DRAMAAAAAAA guy, and unexpectedly came out literally only yelling DRAMAAAA for a good minute while he walked through the audience and then had Adam Pally pour water on him. We screamed.
Two twists came at the end: Scotty wasn’t really dead, it was all an elaborate plan by Alex to get everyone together. Except Scotty ended up really being dead bc of the plan itself. And then, it cut to a dream scene, where Dave wakes up next to Alex (BITCH, IT’S IS 5:30!) the night before their wedding – aka the pilot episode. Recalling his dream (all three seasons), Dave says:
“Then a bunch of super weird stuff happened, but everyone was talking so fast, it was hard to follow… My dad was the tinfoil blanket brother from Better Call Saul and Penny’s assistant was Jane the Virgin. Brad was on New Girl, Max banged Schmidt from New Girl – man, I really gotta stop falling asleep to New Girl.”
In response, Alex asks Dave if people really leave their signif oth at the altar, suggesting she may actually leave for a dude on rollerblades, just like the pilot prophesied.
It was everything we could’ve hoped for and more, and we could barely stop laughing throughout the entire table read. #BRINGBACKHAPPYENDINGS!
Ending on a Literal High Note
Because smokeshow Nick Jonas.