Countdown to ThanksGilmore: The Day Luke Danes Became Our Shea Stadium

ONE WEEK, PEOPLE. ONE WEEK.

Over the past few days, a barrage of Gilmore Girls-related articles have come out, many of them reviews of the entire Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life four-part event series. Per most of said reviews (TBH, I just read headlines & skimmed for grades above a B+), what we had hoped was true – that Amy Sherman-Palladino hadn’t let us down and the revival provides the closure fans had been yearning for for nearly a decade.

It’s been just over a year since October 19th, 2015, when news of the revival first surfaced, and that was also four months after we had attended the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, where talks of a revival were merely statements of “I hope one day” and “the timing has to be right” etc. Of course, by this point, ASP and her husband Dan had already gone to Netflix and got the ball rolling, but the cast had yet to all sign on. There was something brewing and we had no idea. Luckily, we documented our journey at ATX in our pre-revival news glory, and despite the fact we were still holding on for hope of a GG comeback, everything was OK because we got to see the cast reunite (a thing we almost didn’t get in to), were nearly front row at a surprise Hep Alien concert, and even met a couple of Stars Hollow residents – including Mr. Lorelai Gilmore himself – Luke Danes aka Scott Patterson.

Below is just a glimpse of our weekend at ATX last June, so click the links to read about our entire time in TV heaven!

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 1

Friday Night Lights Tailgate

Photo Jun 05, 6 35 47 PM (1)

Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

ALSO
Photo Jun 05, 8 48 01 PM (1)Saturday

Long story short – we didn’t get into a panel with Amy Sherman-Palladino, so we ended up sitting around the hotel lobby where ASP was talking upstairs. By divine intervention, we happened to be in the pathway of Scott Patterson AKA Luke Danes AKA #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN and THIS HAPPENED.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 2

Gilmore Girls Reunion

Photo Jun 06, 2 35 41 PM (1)

We waited in this long ass line in 1000 degree heat:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMBUT THEN OUR BEST FRIEND PASSED BY TO SAY HI:

Photo Jun 06, 5 16 43 PM

AND THEN WE WERE SOME OF THE LAST PEOPLE TO GET INSIDE, SO HERE’S a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Advertisements

#ThrowbackThursday: Austin Travel Guide for Dillion Panthers Fans

Howdy, y’all! If you’re currently in Austin, Texas you’re either loving South By Southwest or completely hating every single second of the week-long event. If you’re an SXSWInteractive person, congrats nerds, you made it through the whole thing. If you’re a SXSWFilm person, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to talk to Robert Rodriguez at the next secret industry party on 6th street. If you’re a SXSWMusic person, remember Uber isn’t going to be easy to take home after the outdoor stage concerts.

But if you’re in Austin and have some extra time before or after all your activities, and can easily answer the question: “What Friday Night Lights season two plot line do all fans consider to never have happened?”, then may I suggest taking this tour.

In 2013, I went to Austin for the first time and loved it. I didn’t go for SXSW, but rather the ATX Television Festival, which I’ve since gone to three times, including last year, when both of us went and lived in a weird dream world of Dillon, Texas and Stars Hollow, Connecticut combined.

FNL was shot entirely in Austin, which is why the series has that true Texas feel, despite Austin not being a small town. Luckily for you Panthers/East Dillon Lions fans out there, there are still a number of real filming locations available to visit and snap a picture in front of. So have fun SXSW-ers, and remember if you’re stuck in the middle of a mosh pit and need to go to the bathroom during Coheed and Cambria’s set – Clear Eyes, Full Bladders Hearts, Can’t Pee Lose.

A Stalker’s Guide to Dillon, Texas

2013-06-07 20.38.35

Howdy y’all! I recently went to Austin, Texas for a brief weekend getaway, for a few reasons. One: I always wanted to go to Austin, since I heard it was the most un-Texas Texas city in the state. During my road trip across the country in 2009, Austin was on the list of possible cities to go, but we due to time constraints (and the fact we wanted to not drive across desert for another 10 hours), we opted to skip Austin, and I’ve put the city on the top of my bucket list ever since. Two: I attended the ATX Television Festival, which is a new festival for TV fans and those who want to break into the industry, and it was full of screenings, panels, and reunions from fave shows. You may have heard about the Boy Meets World bonanza, and I also attended the American Dreams and Party of Five reunions, and sat in on Parenthood and Veronica Mars panels! Not to mention Friday Night Lights. Which brings me to reason three: Friday Night Lights. The show was set in the fictional town of Dillion, Texas, but was shot entirely in Austin. Ever since I marathoned (and obsessed over) the series in 2010, I made it my goal to go to Austin and find all the filming locations.

So, if you’re a superfan stalker like me, and find yourself in Austin, here’s a guide to Dillon by way of Austin.

The Taylor House

6805 De Paul Cove, Austin TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.19.29

The house were the greatest TV couple/parents lived. They should make this place a national landmark. PS: The Taylor, Riggins, and Alamo Freeze are all close to each other, so you can do it all in one fell swoop!

The Riggins House

2604 Lehigh Dr. Austin, TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.22.04

No sign of Riggs 😦

Alamo Freeze

5900 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.28.19

Fun fact: the Alamo Freeze is actually a Dairy Queen. So you can reenact Matt’s proposal to Julie and then grab an oreo blizzard.

Saracen House

3009 Kuhlman Ave. Austin, TX 78702

2013-06-10 13.36.58

Grandma Saracen and her tiara not included.

Del Valle Field

2404 Shapard Lane, Del Valle, TX

The FNL fieldhouse is still in tact and on a random street near the Austin airport. The only thing still up and running nearby are a few trailers – like trailer park trailers. But you could clearly see the football field and the stands, which is pretty cool. The area was actually used for two ‘sets’, with the Panthers on the left, and when East Dillion needed a field, they built the Lions homefield on the other side of the Panthers’ bleachers!

Here’s me and my friend Suz hanging with Riggins at the fieldhouse…

riggs and us

PS: I didn’t just come up with these locations, it’s easily found on the internet – including here!!!

And to round out my tour of FNL filming locations, the ATX Festival also had a couple of FNL events, including an outdoor screening of State (Season 1 finale) and a panel with the cast! The screening, which appropriately took place on Friday night, was great because a lot of the cast members were there to meet with fans and introduce the ep. I got to meet most of them, and I still can’t believe it happened!

AND THEN, the next morning was the FNL panel, where we were surprised by a couple guests:

COACH AND MRS. COACH, Y’ALL!!!!!! I think I may have started crying.Who knows. But you can always bet on me crying. I shared the same air as the greatest couple ever.

2013-06-08 10.18.19

Thanks for the great time, Austin/Dillon! See y’all next time!

Best of C+S 2015: ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up

Things that happened in 2015: (1) There was a Gilmore Girls Reunion. (2) We were there. (3) We met Luke Danes Dream Man and we aren’t about to pretend that that isn’t a big deal. Because it is. God bless Gilmore Girls. God bless Texas. God bless us, everyone.

—–

Well, friendos, we certainly had an eventful weekend. If you’ve been following along at home, last week was Gilmore Girls week (read them all here), and besides the fact it’s one of our most favorite and sacred shows of all time, we dedicated our posts to GG in prep for our weekend in Austin, Texas for the ATX Television Festival. Despite the fact our generation has a tendency to use the word ‘epic’ to often describe non-epic things, this our experience at ATX was by far, the most EPIC (in all caps) in the classic sense of the word.

We gave lil’ nuggets of our time on social media, but here’s a little bit more in depth info from what we learned from our jam-packed weekend in TV nerd heaven!

Friday

Within a few hours, Traci shared a plane to Austin with Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, Keiko Agena walked by her at baggage claim, and Scott Patterson (Luke) favorited our tweet. Off to a good start.Photo Jun 04, 9 20 18 PM

Per usual, we get totes and rando items when we check-in, but this year, Southwest was kind enough to give everyone credit to use towards a flight! We attend a TV nerd fest, and get money back. Perfect.

Bunheads

Photo Jun 05, 10 13 43 AM (1)

Our first panel of the fest is from the Cancelled-Too-Soon category, beloved dance dramedy, Bunheads, which was cancelled by ABC Family after 18 episodes. ASP, Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano were there representing, as select clips were shown while the ladies talked about their experience in between each one.

First off, this was the first time we had been in the presence of Broadway queen Sutton and Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop, so that was a little jarring. Jarring = amazing.

Highlights: 

– ASP threw SO much shade at ABC Family for pulling the show way before its time. But, even ASP in her ultimate wisdom, had a feeling that it might be the final curtain for them before execs gave the official word.

“We had some ideas, but we knew. When you’re on a network that revolves around 13-year-old girls who haven’t menstruated yet, it’s tough to continue stories about life and emotion. It’s not really ABC Family’s game. Maybe that game will change, but at the time, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Stacey added, “We didn’t have the word ‘liars’ in the title.”

– “She is, as we say in the biz, ‘The Best’.” ASP loves Sutton Foster as much as we do. She saw Sutton on Broadway in Anything Goes, and she immediately wanted to work with her. Sutton, who is/was incidentally a huge Gilmore Girls fan, was already working with Kelly in Anything Goes. But Sutton wanted the part of Michelle real, real bad. Who wouldn’t?

“I never wanted something so bad, and I worked really hard. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

– Stacey originally auditioned to be Michelle’s dancer BFF, but there was an intense dance call, and ASP asked her to read for another part – that of Truly. Stacey also revealed that she had been hiding a secret from ASP and ASP got super mad at her for not saying her secret talent sooner. TBH, I am too.

Stacey: “Amy actually got mad at me one time because she didn’t know I’m a tap dancer.”

ASP: “Not a fucking word! I find out, not from her, but from Sutton, who said, ‘You know, Stacey’s a great tap dancer.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck you!’

Sutton: We were pitching … a duet, a tap-off between Michelle and Truly.

The Final Finale

Photo Jun 05, 1 28 55 PM (1)

Panelists:  Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk)

Highlights: 

– The talented executive producers/creators of the iconic shows came together to talk about how to end a series. Marta said one of the best and most true things I’ve ever heard and believe about media: “Film is a one night stand. You’re married to TV.”

– Since we’ve only seen Friends, I feel like a lot of our takeaway were from Marta. There was no way Ross and Rachel weren’t going to end up with each other, FYI. Something a little different than Dawson’s Creek, which you’ll find out about later.

– Marta said all the scenes they wanted in the finale were in the finale. But if something was cut, she would here about it.

“Every single person I knew – my agent, my lawyer, David’s (Crane) partner – everyone was in the background of the show. So the only way I knew if something got cut was if someone asked, ‘Where was my scene?”

– Billy Dreskin, the unseen guy Rachel sleeps with on her parents’ bed in high school, is actually the name of Marta’s friend who became a rabbi, and he got a whole lot of backlash after the episode aired.

– “The Joey series was something I had nothing to do with.” – Marta making it clear she wasn’t part of that trainwreck.

– After talking about how to create the perfect and most satisfying series finale for fans and cast and crew, Marta ended the panel with this:

“Oh and I have one more thing to say.” Then she stood up and started walking away.

Boy Meets Girl Meets World

Photo Jun 05, 3 44 10 PM (1)

Highlights: 

– We were sitting fairly close to the front, and for some reason we both feel like we’ve made awkward eye contact with Ben Savage and we don’t know how to handle it. This happened to us separately.

– Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are just pure delights. They are wise beyond their years. Someone during the Q&A asked if Ben and Danielle gave the girls advice about being a child actor and growing up ‘normal’, but as a person in the audience to see them IRL, these two girls do not even seem like “child actors”. They’re regular tween girls who happen to be very talented, and seem super down to earth. They’re like the Kiernan Shipka of Disney Channel.

– Michael Jacobs said we’ll find out who Farkle’s mom/Minkus’ wife is this season. And it’s someone we’re very familiar with. Our guess: Morgan Matthews. And Michael confirmed we would see Morgan again. But Cory would know if he had a nephew, right??

“She’s the last person you would believe is married to Minkus. She will be radically different and evolved, and I believe you will love the reappearance of this character.”

– Also coming back: Minkus, Jack (meets up with Eric and Rachel closure is involved), Angela (to maybe break up Shawn and Maya’s mom), MR. TURNER.

“You guys are going to kill me for what we decided to do with Shawn and Angela, but I will tell you that it is right, it is real, and you’re going to have to watch the episode six times before you put the guns down.”

Michael also assured us fans that they have a clear vision of where they want to go with the series, and said, “Like Mr. Feeny said in the finale, ‘Do you mean do well?’ ‘No, I mean do good.’ We will do good for you.” CHILLS.

Sightseeing break

Photo Jun 05, 4 46 16 PM

Friday Night Lights Tailgate

Photo Jun 05, 6 35 47 PM (1)

One of the free events of the fest is the FNL tailgate, where you sit in a parking lot and watch an episode of FNL with a bunch of fans, and some of the actors are usually there too.

Here is Grandma Saracen talking to angel Adrienne Palicki, who possibly made us lesbians for the like hour we saw her.

Grandma Saracen invited us to sit down past the VIP rope, so we’re basically all BFF now.

We also finally met the awesome and talented Sage (and Kim) from Head Over Feels! Actually getting to hang out with Internet friends is fantastic and we had so much fun seeing Sage this weekend!!!

atxhofcs

definitely not photoshopped

But the highlight was when we saw on Twitter from John Cabrera (Brian) that Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

OH AND THEN WE MET JACKSON

Photo Jun 05, 8 48 01 PM (1)Saturday

As a preface, I (Traci) had been to this festival twice before, and this was Molly’s first time. Because of the GG reunion, more people than ever before came to the fest, selling out with like, 1,700 attendees. The fest itself has smaller venues, which I loved about it since it feel intimate with your fave TV stars. However, taking into account the hundreds more people this year, there was a good chance you might not get into things.

Enter: anything to do with ASP. Coffee with Amy was a panel set for 10am. We got there at like, 8am, and there was absolutely no way for us to make the cut for a room of about 80. Rumor has it folks were waiting since 5am. Bitch, please. We weren’t that concerned about not getting in, but the first panels of the day start at 10am, so we had time to kill. We figured we’d wait in the hotel lobby, where not only the panels are, but the same hotel where the celebs were staying.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby, checking social media, and Scott Patterson tweet THIS photo of him in bed.

Swear to God, like 15 minutes later, I notice some girls near us get up and approach some person for a pic and IT WAS SCOTT FUCKING PATTERSON. All my chill was lost, my sanity out the window, my conscience had gone bye-bye and I lept up towards him and was feet away before his people rushed him off to a room.

I proceeded to freak out (Luke is … Luke is #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN to me) and maybe 10 minutes later he came back out and it looked like he was going somewhere so I held back a bit, but then he stopped to take pix with people, and I lit’rally said, “no. no no no. NO NO NO” outloud, and ran over as if “I had been waiting long before these other bitches”. This part starts to get hazy, because I remember his publicist saying he can take pix just don’t crowd and push, and I held back. I held back until I noticed no one moved fast enough and said, “Can we take a picture with you?” and he said, “sure!” and like went to shake my hand, and we snuck in there. A lovely girl offered to take our pic (SHOUT OUT TO MYSTERY PHOTOG ANGEL) and she took it and i felt his back it was muscular (like Lauren has said publicly) and he kind of did the linger on the back but not in a creepy way and for the next 15-20 minutes I couldn’t sit down and felt like I was going to vom and was on the verge of crying, PER THE PHOTO.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

Luckily, we had some time before going to our backup panel, A Kiss is Just a Kiss, focused on the LGBTQ portrayals and relationships on TV. The Queer as Folk folk were back, also Dawson’s Creek writer Gina Fattore, Peter Paige from QaF & The Fosters, and moderated by My So-Called Life’s Wilson Cruz. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot, including facts about An Early Frost, one of the first TV movies dealing with the HIV/AIDS dilemma in the 80s, and we were surprised we’d never heard of it before. On the queue. Also, we had just met Luke ‘Butch’ Danes, so that was kind of distracting.

Empire

Photo Jun 06, 11 37 47 AM

 

The Empire: Creatives panel featured writer/co-creator Danny Strong (yes, Doyle) and Wendy Calhoun, writer. Showrunner Ilene Chaiken was a no show!

– It was Danny’s birthday and he offered to give the audience a prize: “For my birthday I will be performing Drip Drop.” He did not do as promised.

– Danny on getting the idea for Empire: “Hip-hop is cool. I gotta do something in hip-hop.”

– Wendy Calhoun has an impressive resume, with her latest being a writer on Nashville. She was eager for something closer to home, and turns out Danny and Lee were making it.

“Oh my God, they wrote the black version of Nashville!”

– Wesley Snipes with the OG Luscious Lyon. Negotiations didn’t go in his favor, so Terrence Howard slipped in instead.

– On disagreeing with Terrence about the use of the N-word on the show: “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop. It’s a soap opera set in the hip-hop world.

– Danny playing with us and Jamal’s future: “Just because you get the Empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire. Ohh snap! Rock the Vote”

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

Photo Jun 06, 2 35 41 PM (1)

Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

Photo Jun 06, 5 16 43 PM

[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

Photo Jun 06, 9 40 32 PM

Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

Photo Jun 07, 11 05 50 AM (1)

Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

Related articles

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 2

Welcome back, kids! Thanks for waiting it out, I know we left you with a cliffhanger from the first part of the ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up, so I appreciate your patience. We packed a lot in over the weekend, so here’s the breakdown of the second half of the fest, including that surreal Gilmore Girls reunion and a lot of Dawson’s Creek goodness!

Here’s a picture to prove we did some sightseeing in Austin, not just celeb-sightseeing!

After seeing writer Wendy Calhoun at the Empire panel, we were so enamored with her that we decided to follow her to the Diversity in Progress panel, featuring Wendy, Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh, and Men in Trees creator/What a Girl Wants screenwriter Jenny Bicks. In an industry dominated by white males, these three women, two of whom are black, discussed their personal stories of going up the ladder in an environment which isn’t necessarily in their favor.

Across the board, their advice was to just be yourself – that obviously doesn’t just apply to writers. For example, if you’re a writer who wants to go on Empire, but you’re a young white woman who isn’t too familiar with hip-hop, don’t go into the interview pretending you’re basically Eminem and an expert. Because if you do get hired, and you’re in the room and they figure you out – you’re going to get fired anyways.

Courtney talked about how she needed to hire a white woman on her show, Power, but she couldn’t get a single person to accept the job. She offered a lucrative salary, but none of them wanted to take it, because they probs didn’t think they were qualified to write on a show about black people. But her point is that she can write about black people – she’s all set on that – it’s the young, white woman perspective she needs, and that’s why she set out for that type of writer, saying, “It’s important to have the diversity of the writers room to reflect the DNA of the show.”

Other little nuggets:

“Excellence is the equalizer. You go out and you kill it.” Courtney Kemp Agboh

“There’s no diversity in Hollywood, because the only color in Hollywood is green.” Wendy Calhoun

Dawson’s Creek Writers Room

Waiting in line to get in – Molly sent me this book like three years ago, and I thought it was appropriate to bring on the trip for some light reading.

Some of the writers from Dawson’s Creek, including creator Kevin Williamson, co-executive producer Paul Stupin, Jenny Bicks, Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame), Gina Fattore and Anna Fricke, came together to discuss the six-season run of the teen drama (which I finally watched for the first time last year).

The Vampire Diaries’ ep Julie Plec grilling her bud Kevin Williamson and the other DC writers

It was interesting to see this group, since all of them – sans Paul – were there for different seasons and covered such different ground. E.g., Kevin left at the end of season two, and only one person survived in the room (Arrow’s Greg Berlanti), Rob was there for a season, Gina (who apparently wrote two of my fave eps – both Pacey/Joey centered – True Love (season 3 finale) and Castaways (the K-Mart lock-in)) was there from season three til the end.

Highlights

– Kevin Williamson kind of just made up the pitch to the show about his life. He was Dawson, also an aspiring filmmaker and from a small town. He said each character had a piece of himself – except the gay side of him – enter Jack McPhee. But KW was the only person who knew Jack was gay when he wrote the part, he didn’t even tell Kerr Smith. In fact, Jack’s coming out story was based on KW’s own story, and the whole plot with the letter in class was direct from Greg Berlanti coming out as a teen. Also – it’s not a coincidence KW picked to male names – Dawson and Joey – to be the lead characters.

– DC was originally picked up by Fox, but they passed because they were “already struggling with Party of Five and didn’t need another one.” About two years later, a new network called WB (now the CW) picked up the pilot.

– As part of a type of hazing process, one consulting producer wanted to have all the writers pretend they were Scientologists to trick the newbies. #ClearEyesClearHeartsXenu

– “A Jim Belushi character – when that name meant something” – original one-line description for Pacey Witter. KW also said, “I always wanted Pacey to have that Officer and a Gentleman feel. … The whole second season was, as I call it, ‘Pacey’s Pond.'”

“Charlie (Chad Michael Murray) was in a band!” – Gina

“And Pacey was a stockbroker!” – Julie

“Yeah, how did that happen?” – Kevin, creator of the GD show

– Listen, people have regrets. The writers’ regrets include introducing Eve and Pacey becoming a stockbroker. “We were really into the movie Boiler Room,” Anna said, attempting to defend herself.

– Generally speaking, nobody knows what was up with season three. Nobody. They attribute some of the weird choices to groupthink in the writers’ room.

– Andie McPhee was supposed to have a shorter character arc, but they all loved working with Meredith Monroe so much that they kept finding ways to keep her around. They filmed a scene with her for the finale, but it was cut for time. The whole purpose of the Andie character was to make Pacey learn responsibility and grow up.

– The writers thought about bringing Jen’s gramps back to life from a coma – and on a ventilator – in season one, but Paul said, “As the episodes went on, we couldn’t find a way to revive granddad, but then in the finale he comes out of his coma for five minutes and dies!”

– The original theme song was supposed to be Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket. After the WB used Paula Cole’s I Don’t Want to Wait for promos before the pilot aired, the song became a hit and they used Paula’s song moving forward.

– They tried to rerecord I Don’t Want To Wait several seasons in, but the result was just a little too angsty.

– Kevin agreed to come back to write the final two episodes of the series, and for all y’all against Jen’s death *spoiler alert?*, he says he created the show as a “coming of age story”, and the group had never had to deal with the death of someone in their circle. Her death also forced Joey to make a choice between Pacey and Dawson…

– Paul said Dawson/Joey had always been end game from the beginning. Halfway through, KW called Paul and said he changed his mind. KW: “Guys, my mother hates me. She went to her grave hating me for that.” He added, “Dawson seemed like the obvious answer and once I got into writing the first hour (of the finale). … This isn’t what the show set up to be. Maybe that’s where it started but it evolved and it ended up as something else (DO YOU HEAR THAT HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER WRITERS). I wanted it to be a twist on the teen genre but also wanted it to be surprising, honest and real and say something about soul mates and what soul mates can be. That’s why we did it that way. When you left the show in that last moment, they’re a family and everyone got what they wanted. There was fulfillment and they were all happy.”

Gilmore Girls Reunion

Photo Jun 06, 2 35 41 PM (1)

Ok, here it is. The reunion we had been waiting LIT’RALLY YEARS for. So in a nutshell – the panels/screenings at the fest have tickets that guarantee you admission. They put 1/3 of the capacity online a week before the fest, but because this was the main event, these tickets sold out in seconds. Neither of us got the tickets, which meant we’d have to be in the stand-by line. I wasn’t concerned, because never in my three years at the fest had I ever been turned away from a panel (except for earlier that day when we got shunned from Coffee with Amy and met Luke instead). No one was allowed to get in line until 5p (the reunion started at 7p), but it was complete and utter chaos – none of the volunteers/staff would tell anyone anything, it was a shitload of crazy fans who wanted to get in, and it was also like 10,000 degrees (give or take a few). Needless to say, everyone was on edge. And this is how far back we were in line:

Photo Jun 06, 5 11 28 PMThe theatre is a block up, and around the corner. There were probably like 400-500 people ahead of us in the STAND-BY LINE (I’m horrible at guesstimating, it was a lot). Like you do at these type of things, you talk to the folks around you, you witness a car accident or two (seriously), you get handed free Pop Tarts (LIKE LOR AND RORY’S FAVE)…

Photo Jun 06, 5 33 55 PM… and then slowly the line moves, and you have hope you’ll get in soon and then it gets to be 7pm and you’re practically still a mile away and you start to get nervous for the first time. And then you hear people screaming at the front of the line, and then you realize a group of people walking to the right of the line as the screams follow and you realize LUKE DANES HAS FOLLOWED YOU TO THE LINE AND HE’S LIT’RALLY COMING BY AND SAYING HI TO ALL THE FANS AND THANKED THEM/US FOR WAITING SO LONG OUTSIDE AND HE SAYS ‘I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GUYS ARE GONNA GET IN BUT THANK YOU FOR COMING’ AND HE SHAKES YOUR HAND AGAIN BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW.

Photo Jun 06, 5 16 43 PM

[Note: we theorized that they would possibly send Scott around first to break the news that you might not get in, then maybe in 15 minutes Lauren would come by and be all “I don’t know, doesn’t look great, guys” then finally Alexis will stroll by and be like “sorry, didn’t work out, thanks for trying.” You know, so that people didn’t lash out at the volunteers instead. In hindsight, they maybe should have done this.]

I’m not joking when I say that it got to be around 7:15-ish (15 mins past start time) when we both started to get so nervous – like I might vomit and cry if we don’t get in – nervous. Every step we took closer to the doors was like a step out of the desert oasis and towards a real non-mirage lake that had been the mecca you had been journeying towards for years. Then, it happened. They let us in – the volunteers were lined up giving us high fives as if we had just finished a marathon. We made it. We made it and we were legit probably the last 50-100 or so people let in, sitting in the back balcony. Far away, but we were there. We made it.

The panel started out with the opening credits of the show, Carole King etc., but the names included all the people at the panel. I got chills then and I get chills now thinking about how everyone in that 1,300 seat theater was singing/screaming along to the song – it was electric. I was tearing up already. As TV fans, we don’t often get the chance to watch a show with hundreds of superfans like you do in the movies or theater. This is the type of place I want to be. Arielle Kebbel, who played Dean’s wife Lindsay, is an ATX advisory board member and came out to help intro the panel. First up, the moderator, Jessica Shaw from Entertainment Weekly, sat down with Amy and the three generations of Gilmore women – Lauren, Alexis and Kelly.

Highlights:

– Lauren was up for the part of Lorelai with one other actress. Following one of the final auditions, the other unnamed woman didn’t have a car so she asked Lauren for a ride. While LG was driving her home, she got a call on her cell phone – from the producers. But she obviously couldn’t pick it up in the event they were telling her she got the job. Could’ve been awk sauce.

– There was another Dean – two Canadian Deans – in the pilot, since they shot it in Canada.

– Alexis was super green going into the pilot, and among other things, didn’t realize the mics were still hot when she wasn’t on camera and in the bathroom. LG made a Robert Durst joke, as if I couldn’t love her even more.

“It was leafing season.” – ASP

“… You mean ‘fall’??” LG

“… It was fall…” ASP

– When asked what gets quoted to them the most, the answer is ‘Oy with the poodles already!‘, to which LG said, “Why did I say it and why do you people like it so much?” A fan also yelled out “Copperboom!” (one of my personal faves) and Alexis said, “What’s Copperboom?”. Fans proceeded to explain it and it didn’t really work, she still probs has no idea what it means.

– They talked about the late Ed Hermann, and how they were all surprised to find out he had died of brain cancer. Amy said Ed was the first person who said he would be at the panel, and it was clear they were all still emotional about his death. LG was even crying a little. Amy put together a montage of her favorite Richard Gilmore moments, ending with this scene from S5, Wedding Bell Blues, where Richard dedicates the song to Emily and they have a sweet dance. As the song went on, a montage of other shots of him throughout the series flashed and that’s when I lost it. It was such a moving tribute, and so sad that he’s gone.

Since it was just the four ladies and moderator Jessica on stage, the curtain behind them was lifted, to reveal seats for everyone, including the actual signs from the set (I think). I was EMOSH.

Here’s a video of their intros, and apologies in advance for the screaming and non-focus in the beginning because I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO CHILL.

Highlights:

– The Dean/Jess/Logan debate:

Jared Padalecki: “I was always a Team Jess guy. I love Milo. I think he’s cool and sexy and handsome.”

Milo Ventimiglia: “Logan was a dick. But I don’t know… I was kind of rooting for everyone. ”

Matt Czuchry: “I saw something Amy said recently about how the right boyfriend came along at the right time. That’s kind of what I feel, between Jess and Dean and Logan. They each brought something out in Rory that she needed at that time… But I was also kind of Team Jess.”

Scott Patterson: “None of you are good enough for Rory.”

LUKE IS STILL LOOKIN OUT FOR RORY, Y’ALL.

(*Ed. note: Guys, I am rewatching the panel whilst writing this, and I’ve had to stop the part where they talk about Luke and Lorelai thrice and have yelled out ‘I CANNOT’ to myself because I lit’rally cannot)

– Danny (Doyle), who created Empire, is asked what would happen if Cookie walked into Stars Hollow, and basically she would “mess shit up”.

– On where each of their characters would be today:

Rory: Still a journalist

Emily: She and Richard would be in the exact same place, since they’re comfortable with their country clubs, etc. But Kelly added, “But now, Emily’s a widow, so that’s a whole other world, so I don’t know where she is.” ALL THE FREAKING TEARS.

Luke: *Scott has a long backstory he’s clearly thought about which involves either still running the diner or moved to a lake and re-opened Luke’s as a bait-and-tackle shop, etc.* before Lauren interrupted him and said, ‘Does he have a girlfriend?’

hi tyler oakley

Jess: “Jess is just out being Jess… and then walking away when too many people show up.”

Lane: She’s trying to figure out what kind of mom she wants to be. She wants to be Lorelai but in her heart she’s a little Mrs. Kim. She hopes she’s still playing music with Hep Alien. *HOLY CRAP KEIKO AGENA IS 41 YEARS OLD WTF. SHE’S SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN LAUREN, THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN MELISSA HOW

Michel: “It’s a tough one for Michel. Because I never understood how he ended up in that town. But, patronizing people for sure. Maybe in an inn that he now owns. Or he went back to Paris because he couldn’t deal with Americans anymore.”

Paris: “I’d like to think Paris and Doyle are still together. I think they’re really well matched. Supporting each other and just taking over the fucking world.”

Logan: He would not be working.

Miss Patty: *Liz Torres was a bit off her rocker, IDK, that’s what we thought* First of all, she always thought she would end up with Luke (!?). Anyways, some sort of TV show comes to town, and all Miss Patty’s students are in it and they’d put her in front of the camera. And she’d run for mayor of “Scott’s Hollow” and would call on Taylor for help. [This seemed to be partially informed by a GG fanfic from the internet, not sure.]

Dean: Worked at Doose’s and took over from Taylor to turn it into Dean’s Market and he’d still have the apron *just realizing Taylor has been pushed out of all his duties, what is HE up to now??*

Doyle: “Definitely married to Paris still… Ride or die all the way… Probably a reporter working at a website, NAACP maybe. Probably thinking everyone he was working for was an idiot.”

Jackson: “The vasectomy never took. There’s 42 children out there and I’m actually farming children now.”

Zach: “He got to have a nice homecoming and he got to come back to his hometown where he went to college with his hot wife and his best friend and rock the shit out of the place where he used to make lattes for people.” *IRL, Todd went to UT Austin, so maybe he was reflecting his own life there.

Brian: Had a tech start up, maybe a music app. He developed a really close bond with the twins and they’re kinda like his best friends. ! Kwan and Steve!!

Lorelai: “I think they’re (Luke and Lor) together. 100 percent… But I’m not fishing.”

“I love that Danny, between The Butler and (Empire) has become the voice of Black America. It’s the weirdest… finally they found somebody to speak for them!” -ASP

*Panel rewatch note: Scott just winked to someone. I’m not okay.*

– A big convo was had about when Rory was going to have sex. ASP: “At the time, every girl under 18 was having sex. All of them were a bunch of little whores. I’m all for a bunch of little whores running around, but not my girl!” ASP wanted it to be Dean and she wanted them to not be together. He was the one great first BF of hers, and ASP wanted to go to the place where you think maybe it could work out with that ex, and revert back to see if anything could come of it.

– As far as Daniel Palladino is concerned, though, that never happened.

– LG says her storyline with Luke didn’t end in a satisfying way… ASP adds that there was a plan to bring Luke and Lor together, and they were stingy with it for a reason. “It couldn’t happen until we knew what was gonna happen after. TV sometimes rushes into things without thinking about, ‘What are you losing?'”

– I got the general feeling that while season seven was fine, everyone in the cast wishes it was Amy that wrote the final season/episode.

– ASP is not going to give up those final four words. She also gives Michael Ausiello (TVLine founder, OG GG fan, one-time extra) a shout out which I personally find hilarious, saying he’ll be at her death bed trying to get it out of her. Only Dan Palladino knows, and LG doesn’t want to know unless it’s in the context of the episode/movie/etc. I’m with her.

– Liz Torres ‘couldn’t see’ something in the audience?  A fan? IDK but she started walking towards the edge of the stage, and ASP goes, “Sit down. Sit down, young lady. There you go alright.”

“We didn’t know it (the show) was ending! I would’ve stolen so much!!” Keiko being the cutest

– Scott Patterson basically doesn’t understand how the internet works, didn’t realize his interview on the Gilmore Guys podcast can be listened to by everyone in the world, and his comment that there might be a movie in the works got blown out of proportion. He was just giving a stock answer, in hopes of it coming true.

*BUT WILL THERE BE A MOVIE? ASP: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing in the works at the moment. But here’s the good thing – nobody here hates each other. That’s a very important step. It would have to be the right everything. The right format, the right timing, the right budget, it would have to be honored in a certain way and I think that if it ever came around I think we would all jump in and do it. But unfortunately it’s not happening right now… If it ever happened, I promise you it would be done correctly.”

**Ed. note: I’ve written on here before about the heartbreaking report that LG and Scott didn’t get along with each other IRL. There were rumors they hated each other while filming, but after Scott’s Gilmore Guys podcast and the course of events and discussion over the weekend, we decided that rumor simply wasn’t true. Like anyone you work with, you might not get along 100% of the time, but you still like them. It’s a working relationship, and ASP saying no one hates each other confirmed that for us.**

– There were some Q&A with the fans, 10% of which were actually intelligent. But we had a good, long debrief about the panel over breakfast food for dinner and our main takeaway was that a good chunk of the nearly two hour event was wasted. Don’t get me wrong – this was amazing, surreal, #blessed, something I didn’t ever dream of happening – which is why I perhaps expected more? We wanted more interactions with the rest of the cast, questions that could be answered by everyone, and not just ASP, LG, and Dan. If you watch the panel, it’s mostly ASP talking, which is informative, but when’s the next time you’ll ever see all these people in a room together? I want the behind-the-scenes info, things that we didn’t get to see because Twitter wasn’t a thing in the early 2000s, I want to see Keiko and Liza interact or Doyle and Luke or Logan and Jess – anything! I want to know stupid stuff like their fave scenes to shoot or who they wished they had more scenes with – I just wanted it all from the cast. We just didn’t feel like the moderator did a particularly good job with inciting conversation between the actors. But overall, we’re just glad we got in.

Photo Jun 06, 9 40 32 PM

Sunday

Orphan Black

We spent three days in a row getting up at the asscrack of dawn (or like, 6/7am, I wake up at 10am IRL) and we had two final panels on Sunday. Luckily, I was eager to get up early for the Orphan Black panel, featuring co-creator Graeme Manson and Kristian Bruun, who plays the great Donnie Hendrix, and they screened the episode that aired the night before.

Highlights: 

– Kristian and Tatiana improv before takes IN character. Can you just imagine what Donnie and Allison would say to each other UNSCRIPTED?!

– On the possibility of more clones: “Nobody wants to see clones of Donnie… that’s too much sexy on one screen.” Kristian Bruun is our new favorite.

– Kristian was not informed whether or not Donnie was a monitor at first, so that he’d successfully convey that he had no clue what was going on.

– (spoiler alert?) “RIP, BDP.” – Graeme using the best acronym for Paul (Big Dick Paul).

– On Cosima/Delphine getting back together: “Sorry, but some ships are made to be sunk.”

– In general, Graeme basically tells us to hold on to our panties for the last couple of episodes this season because we’re not going to be happy.

– Kristian willingly tried to recreate the iconic Donnie/Allison twerking scene… without music… by himself

Dawson’s Creek Live Script Reading

Photo Jun 07, 11 05 50 AM (1)

Our final panel was also stressful – this time around I got a ticket in, but Molly did not, and she was literally one of the last four people to get in. Didn’t realize it was going to be that popular! So it was billed as a live script reading of the the DC pilot, with Kevin Williamson and special surprise guests. We get there and like GG, the DC credits rolled, but with the new cast, as follows:

Dawson Leery: Mae Whitman

Joey Potter: Patrick J. Adams

Pacey Witter: Abigail Spencer

Jen Lindley: KERR SMITH

Grams: Grandma Saracen Louanne Stephens

Mitch Leery: Derek Phillips (Billy Riggins)

Gail Leery: Stacey Oristano (Mindy Riggins)

Tamara Jacobs: Arielle Kebbel

Bessie: Kristian Bruun

Bodie: Nick Weschler

The best casting ever? Possibly. The surprise and screams when they were first revealed was akin to the GG electricity, but not quite the same scale.

– Mae, professional Friday Night Lights fangirl, was presented with an early birthday present from Stacey: a framed picture of Tim Riggins that was from the actual Riggins house. Mae brought it out and put it in front of her during the reading.

Photo Jun 07, 1 38 23 PM– Mae was perf (as usual), and her interaction with Patrick/Joey was fantastic. It was weird seeing Kerr, who didn’t come in as Jack until season two, play Jen:

– Louanne did the best “Jenniferrrrr” that had the crowd lit’rally go wild for a good 20 seconds.

– Patrick kept doing Katie Holmes’ side smirk and it was on. point.

– Louanne accidentally said, “I’m firm…” before realizing it wasn’t even her line.

– Julie Plec was in the audience and tweeted to Josh Jackson that Abigail Spencer was taking over for him, and he

And that’s all folks. We had such a great time thanks to ATX TV Festival and all the nice people we met, including the actor panelists. It was like a weird fever dream that I’m just starting to get over, but I kinda hope I never do.

 

ATX Television Festival Wrap-Up: That Was A Thing That Happened, Pt. 1

Well, friendos, we certainly had an eventful weekend. If you’ve been following along at home, last week was Gilmore Girls week (read them all here), and besides the fact it’s one of our most favorite and sacred shows of all time, we dedicated our posts to GG in prep for our weekend in Austin, Texas for the ATX Television Festival. Despite the fact our generation has a tendency to use the word ‘epic’ to often describe non-epic things, this our experience at ATX was by far, the most EPIC (in all caps) in the classic sense of the word.

We gave lil’ nuggets of our time on social media, but here’s a little bit more in depth info from what we learned from our jam-packed weekend in TV nerd heaven!

Friday

Within a few hours, Traci shared a plane to Austin with Amy Sherman-Palladino (ASP) and her husband, Keiko Agena walked by her at baggage claim, and Scott Patterson (Luke) favorited our tweet. Off to a good start.Photo Jun 04, 9 20 18 PM

Per usual, we get totes and rando items when we check-in, but this year, Southwest was kind enough to give everyone credit to use towards a flight! We attend a TV nerd fest, and get money back. Perfect.

Bunheads

Photo Jun 05, 10 13 43 AM (1)

Our first panel of the fest is from the Cancelled-Too-Soon category, beloved dance dramedy, Bunheads, which was cancelled by ABC Family after 18 episodes. ASP, Sutton Foster, Kelly Bishop and Stacey Oristano were there representing, as select clips were shown while the ladies talked about their experience in between each one.

First off, this was the first time we had been in the presence of Broadway queen Sutton and Gilmore matriarch Kelly Bishop, so that was a little jarring. Jarring = amazing.

Highlights: 

– ASP threw SO much shade at ABC Family for pulling the show way before its time. But, even ASP in her ultimate wisdom, had a feeling that it might be the final curtain for them before execs gave the official word.

“We had some ideas, but we knew. When you’re on a network that revolves around 13-year-old girls who haven’t menstruated yet, it’s tough to continue stories about life and emotion. It’s not really ABC Family’s game. Maybe that game will change, but at the time, they didn’t know what to do with us.”

Stacey added, “We didn’t have the word ‘liars’ in the title.”

– “She is, as we say in the biz, ‘The Best’.” ASP loves Sutton Foster as much as we do. She saw Sutton on Broadway in Anything Goes, and she immediately wanted to work with her. Sutton, who is/was incidentally a huge Gilmore Girls fan, was already working with Kelly in Anything Goes. But Sutton wanted the part of Michelle real, real bad. Who wouldn’t?

“I never wanted something so bad, and I worked really hard. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

– Stacey originally auditioned to be Michelle’s dancer BFF, but there was an intense dance call, and ASP asked her to read for another part – that of Truly. Stacey also revealed that she had been hiding a secret from ASP and ASP got super mad at her for not saying her secret talent sooner. TBH, I am too.

Stacey: “Amy actually got mad at me one time because she didn’t know I’m a tap dancer.”

ASP: “Not a fucking word! I find out, not from her, but from Sutton, who said, ‘You know, Stacey’s a great tap dancer.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck you!’

Sutton: We were pitching … a duet, a tap-off between Michelle and Truly.

The Final Finale

Photo Jun 05, 1 28 55 PM (1)

Panelists:  Marta Kauffman (Friends), Graham Yost (Justified) Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen (Queer as Folk)

Highlights: 

– The talented executive producers/creators of the iconic shows came together to talk about how to end a series. Marta said one of the best and most true things I’ve ever heard and believe about media: “Film is a one night stand. You’re married to TV.”

– Since we’ve only seen Friends, I feel like a lot of our takeaway were from Marta. There was no way Ross and Rachel weren’t going to end up with each other, FYI. Something a little different than Dawson’s Creek, which you’ll find out about later.

– Marta said all the scenes they wanted in the finale were in the finale. But if something was cut, she would here about it.

“Every single person I knew – my agent, my lawyer, David’s (Crane) partner – everyone was in the background of the show. So the only way I knew if something got cut was if someone asked, ‘Where was my scene?”

– Billy Dreskin, the unseen guy Rachel sleeps with on her parents’ bed in high school, is actually the name of Marta’s friend who became a rabbi, and he got a whole lot of backlash after the episode aired.

– “The Joey series was something I had nothing to do with.” – Marta making it clear she wasn’t part of that trainwreck.

– After talking about how to create the perfect and most satisfying series finale for fans and cast and crew, Marta ended the panel with this:

“Oh and I have one more thing to say.” Then she stood up and started walking away.

Boy Meets Girl Meets World

Photo Jun 05, 3 44 10 PM (1)

Highlights: 

– We were sitting fairly close to the front, and for some reason we both feel like we’ve made awkward eye contact with Ben Savage and we don’t know how to handle it. This happened to us separately.

– Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are just pure delights. They are wise beyond their years. Someone during the Q&A asked if Ben and Danielle gave the girls advice about being a child actor and growing up ‘normal’, but as a person in the audience to see them IRL, these two girls do not even seem like “child actors”. They’re regular tween girls who happen to be very talented, and seem super down to earth. They’re like the Kiernan Shipka of Disney Channel.

– Michael Jacobs said we’ll find out who Farkle’s mom/Minkus’ wife is this season. And it’s someone we’re very familiar with. Our guess: Morgan Matthews. And Michael confirmed we would see Morgan again. But Cory would know if he had a nephew, right??

“She’s the last person you would believe is married to Minkus. She will be radically different and evolved, and I believe you will love the reappearance of this character.”

– Also coming back: Minkus, Jack (meets up with Eric and Rachel closure is involved), Angela (to maybe break up Shawn and Maya’s mom), MR. TURNER.

“You guys are going to kill me for what we decided to do with Shawn and Angela, but I will tell you that it is right, it is real, and you’re going to have to watch the episode six times before you put the guns down.”

Michael also assured us fans that they have a clear vision of where they want to go with the series, and said, “Like Mr. Feeny said in the finale, ‘Do you mean do well?’ ‘No, I mean do good.’ We will do good for you.” CHILLS.

Sightseeing break

Photo Jun 05, 4 46 16 PM

Friday Night Lights Tailgate

Photo Jun 05, 6 35 47 PM (1)

One of the free events of the fest is the FNL tailgate, where you sit in a parking lot and watch an episode of FNL with a bunch of fans, and some of the actors are usually there too.

Here is Grandma Saracen talking to angel Adrienne Palicki, who possibly made us lesbians for the like hour we saw her.

Grandma Saracen invited us to sit down past the VIP rope, so we’re basically all BFF now.

We also finally met the awesome and talented Sage (and Kim) from Head Over Feels! Actually getting to hang out with Internet friends is fantastic and we had so much fun seeing Sage this weekend!!!

atxhofcs

definitely not photoshopped

But the highlight was when we saw on Twitter from John Cabrera (Brian) that Hep Alien YES, FICTIONAL BAND HEP ALIEN was playing a ‘secret show’ in 45 minutes at the FNL tailgate. AKA the place we were already at. We saw it hoped it was early enough that not a lot of people saw it yet, so we got prime spots. And ASP was there, hand in hand with ultimate GG fan Sutton Foster, who had two cute buns in her hair. Jackson Douglas (Jackson) was there to intro the band a la Tippicanoe and Taylor Too – well he actually intro-ed Daniel Palladino dressed as a 60s guy who then introduced the band. IDK. All I know is that we found ourselves watching Hep Alien (AGAIN, A FICTIONAL BAND) in concert, with ASP in the front row, playing songs like Daydream Believer and a cover of Single Ladies and the GG theme song, during a Friday Night Lights event. It was Stars Hollow meets Dillon and our brains could not. Still cannot.

OH AND THEN WE MET JACKSON

Photo Jun 05, 8 48 01 PM (1)Saturday

As a preface, I (Traci) had been to this festival twice before, and this was Molly’s first time. Because of the GG reunion, more people than ever before came to the fest, selling out with like, 1,700 attendees. The fest itself has smaller venues, which I loved about it since it feel intimate with your fave TV stars. However, taking into account the hundreds more people this year, there was a good chance you might not get into things.

Enter: anything to do with ASP. Coffee with Amy was a panel set for 10am. We got there at like, 8am, and there was absolutely no way for us to make the cut for a room of about 80. Rumor has it folks were waiting since 5am. Bitch, please. We weren’t that concerned about not getting in, but the first panels of the day start at 10am, so we had time to kill. We figured we’d wait in the hotel lobby, where not only the panels are, but the same hotel where the celebs were staying.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby, checking social media, and Scott Patterson tweet THIS photo of him in bed.

Swear to God, like 15 minutes later, I notice some girls near us get up and approach some person for a pic and IT WAS SCOTT FUCKING PATTERSON. All my chill was lost, my sanity out the window, my conscience had gone bye-bye and I lept up towards him and was feet away before his people rushed him off to a room.

I proceeded to freak out (Luke is … Luke is #LUKEDANESDREAMMAN to me) and maybe 10 minutes later he came back out and it looked like he was going somewhere so I held back a bit, but then he stopped to take pix with people, and I lit’rally said, “no. no no no. NO NO NO” outloud, and ran over as if “I had been waiting long before these other bitches”. This part starts to get hazy, because I remember his publicist saying he can take pix just don’t crowd and push, and I held back. I held back until I noticed no one moved fast enough and said, “Can we take a picture with you?” and he said, “sure!” and like went to shake my hand, and we snuck in there. A lovely girl offered to take our pic (SHOUT OUT TO MYSTERY PHOTOG ANGEL) and she took it and i felt his back it was muscular (like Lauren has said publicly) and he kind of did the linger on the back but not in a creepy way and for the next 15-20 minutes I couldn’t sit down and felt like I was going to vom and was on the verge of crying, PER THE PHOTO.

I can’t even look at this bc I get all the feels

Actual footage of my brain during this time period:

SO LET THIS BE A LESSON KIDS – SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T MAKE IT INTO A PANEL WITH ASP AND FREE COFFEE BECAUSE YOU’LL HANG OUT WITH THE MAN WITH THE COFFEE HIMSELF. SANS COFFEE. JUST ALL MAN.

Luckily, we had some time before going to our backup panel, A Kiss is Just a Kiss, focused on the LGBTQ portrayals and relationships on TV. The Queer as Folk folk were back, also Dawson’s Creek writer Gina Fattore, Peter Paige from QaF & The Fosters, and moderated by My So-Called Life’s Wilson Cruz. It was very interesting, and we learned a lot, including facts about An Early Frost, one of the first TV movies dealing with the HIV/AIDS dilemma in the 80s, and we were surprised we’d never heard of it before. On the queue. Also, we had just met Luke ‘Butch’ Danes, so that was kind of distracting.

Empire

Photo Jun 06, 11 37 47 AM

 

The Empire: Creatives panel featured writer/co-creator Danny Strong (yes, Doyle) and Wendy Calhoun, writer. Showrunner Ilene Chaiken was a no show!

– It was Danny’s birthday and he offered to give the audience a prize: “For my birthday I will be performing Drip Drop.” He did not do as promised.

– Danny on getting the idea for Empire: “Hip-hop is cool. I gotta do something in hip-hop.”

– Wendy Calhoun has an impressive resume, with her latest being a writer on Nashville. She was eager for something closer to home, and turns out Danny and Lee were making it.

“Oh my God, they wrote the black version of Nashville!”

– Wesley Snipes with the OG Luscious Lyon. Negotiations didn’t go in his favor, so Terrence Howard slipped in instead.

– On disagreeing with Terrence about the use of the N-word on the show: “It’s not a documentary about hip-hop. It’s a soap opera set in the hip-hop world.

– Danny playing with us and Jamal’s future: “Just because you get the Empire, doesn’t mean you get to keep the empire. Ohh snap! Rock the Vote”

There is so much more to talk about, and part two will be coming this week. Stay tuned – the Gilmore Girls reunion is coming!

Welcome to the SH, Bitch!

Okay friends – it’s time for another exciting theme week here at Cookies + Sangria, and we’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. All this week, we’ll be dedicating our posts to one of our all time favorite shows – Gilmore Girls! Yes, that’s right, the next seven days will be all about Stars Hollow, dissecting characters to an unhealthy level, questionable 00s fashion choices, and in-depth conversations about which boyfriend was really best for Rory.

Besides the fact that we have a deep passion for the Lorelais (yes, even the first Lorelai), we’re also gearing up for the ATX TV Festival in Austin next weekend, where we’ll be watching history in action (that is if we don’t pass out first) when the Gilmore Girls cast reunite for the first time since 2007. It’s going to be EPIC (in the most dramatic sense of the word), and we’ll be reporting live from the reunion on Twitter and Facebook. You can also join us throughout the weekend, when we attend the other awesome panels and screenings of some of our other favorite shows, using the hashtag: #CandSTakeATX !

But before all that goes down, grab your coffee coffee coffee and get ready for all things Gilmore coming at ya this week! Copperboom!

See Y’all In Austin! C&S Take #ATX

In just days, tv enthusiasts, Texas enthusiasts, and just generally enthusiastic people will be descending on Austin, TX for the ATX Television Festival. And we’ll be there, too!

ATX features screenings and panels – like a film festival, but for television. When we looked at this year’s lineup, with a Gilmore Girls reunion, a discussion with the Dawson’s Creek writers, the creatives behind Empire and Orphan Black, and tons more, attending was a no-brainer. In fact, we’ve already written about a majority of this year’s participating shows on the blog! If you’re as excited about ATX as we are, prep yourself for the festival by reading our posts about the 2015 attendees. You can also track our travels throughout next weekend with the hashtag #CandSTakeATX or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

If you STILL need more TV talk, we’ll be doing a theme week about one of this year’s ATX shows all throughout the next week! Can you guess which one? Probably!

On to the posts:

Boy Meets World

‘Boy Meets World,’ Meet ‘Girl Meets World’
Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Boy Meets World

 

Brooklyn 99

TV Characters I Need Back In My Life
Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Last-Minute Binge-Watching Edition

 

Empire

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Empire

 

Gilmore Girls

Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars Of Gilmore Girls
You’ve Been Gilmored: Tips For Binge-Watching Gilmore Girls

 

Dawson’s Creek

The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 1
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 2
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 3
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 4
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 5
The Dawson’s Creek Virgin Diaries: Season 6
Doing Lines: Dawson’s Creek

 

Marta Kauffman (Producer, Friends, Grace and Frankie)

Live Blog: The Friends Finale, 10 Years Later

 

Orphan Black

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black
Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

 

Younger

Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Younger

 

 

Camp Cookies + Sangria: Field Trip to Austin, Texas

Last week, we introduced you to our new summer series, Camp Cookies + Sangria, which will give all those adults who are jonesing for a fix of that magic that is summer camp, whether you went as a kid or not. Today, we’re taking a field trip down south to Austin, Texas, so get your cowboy boots and be prepared for a lot of “y’alls” as we venture out of the camp walls to the “weirdest” city in the Lone Star state.

Over the weekend, I went to Austin to attend the ATX Television Festival – think of it as a way smaller version of Comic Con but specifically for TV nerds, less lines, and more humidity and BBQ. This was my second year attending the fest (which I strongly recommend to all TV fans), but last year I didn’t get to do as much wandering about the city as I wanted to. This year, my friend came with a list of suggestions from locals and let me tell you – the entire weekend, we (modestly) kept saying we were KILLING IT in Texas, because we got so much done in a small amount of time, but everything we did was spot on. Here are some of a few items on our itinerary, for your own field trip to Austin!

To Do

Texas State Capitol

{1100 Congress Avenue}

Even if you’re not into going to visit historical places, the building itself is gorgeous. It’s located in Downtown Austin, and takes over a massive 51 acres. You can go in and look around for free, and there are even tours to learn about the history of the building, and you know, Texas.

Alamo Drafthouse

{320 East 6th Street}

The ATX Fest has screenings at this awesome movie theater which also serves as a bar/restaurant. You can order food and drinks directly to your seat, and not just popcorn. I’m talking like burgs and beer. I’ve never been for a regular movie, but they also have cool events like sing-a-longs and showings of older movies, which sounds awesome.

South Congress Bridge Bats

{100 South Congress Avenue}

Listen, I’m not usually one with nature. But if there’s something that’s super unique to a city, I am into it. The city itself is the spring and summer home to about 750,000 bats – with up to 1.5 million at the peak of the season, making it the largest bat colony in North America. WUT. Well in the summer around sunset, the bats come out from their homes underneath the bridge to search for food (bugs) and they come out like a freaking black tunnel of rabies. When my friend and I went, we kind of stumbled upon it and did not come prepared – as in bring bug spray because those little shits are everywhere. You can stand by the bank of the Colorado River or on the bridge itself to view the bats, or even go to a nearby restaurant or bat cruise. And if you’re lucky (we weren’t) you’ll see something akin to this:

Good lord.

Hope Outdoor Gallery

{1008 Baylor Street}

Austin is known for being the cultural capital of the state, with large music, theater, film and art scenes. The latter of which is awesomely display at the Hope Outdoor Gallery, which is basically an abandoned cement construction site which graffiti artists use as their canvas. It’s legit one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, and we even got to witness one artist at work! Definitely a must-see if you’re into checking out something off the beaten path.

Austin Live Music

{all over Austin!}

With annual events like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits, the city’s music reputation precedes it. You’re not doing Austin right if you don’t check out at least one live music show. One day, I was walking down one of the main streets with all the bars (7th Street), and all you could hear was the cacophony of live bands playing from every direction. It was amazing. You can simply stumble into a bar and take in a show, or find out more into your personal interests. We used this site, AustinLiveMusic.com, to see what was going on, and we found a band called Foot Patrol, a local funk group that played Prince’s entire Purple Rain album in honor of his birthday on Saturday. I mean, come on, where else would you be able to go something like that in a place like this:

To Eat

24 Diner

{600 North Lamar}

Besides being the cultural mecca of Texas, Austin is known for its out-of-this-world food. I highly suggest you take a brief pause on whatever diet you’re on when you visit this city (sidenote: I didn’t get to have BBQ on this trip, but I had it last time at the Salt Lick and … drooolll all the meat. Gimme all the meat). 24 Diner was recommended to us by an Uber driver, and we will forever be in his debt. This place is everything you love about all-American diners except without the negative connotations. The decor is like an “upscale” diner, and the chef is a CIA (Culinary Institute of America, not like, Homeland) trained cook, and has taken all the diner faves and kicked it up 10 notches. The cocktails were insane – I had something called Dad’s Cider – idek what was in it but it was good and there was a lot of alcohol. We also had bomb deviled eggs and for the main course – chicken and waffles. A second Uber driver suggested we try it, and our amazingly awesome waitress Jayme supported the decision. Actually, not only did she support the decision, she showed me how the locals eat it – drizzle Cholula hot sauce and then their super light and non Aunt Jemima-y syrup on top and it is NEXT LEVEL. I’ve only had chickwaff twice before (and from the same establishment) but I can say this was by far the best chickwaff I’ve ever had in my life. I could not recommend this place more!!

Home Slice Pizza

{1415 South Congress Street}

Let’s be real – pizza in Los Angeles is just not the same as pizza on the east coast. Any transplant can tell you that. So imagine my surprise when I go all the way to Austin to find on point pizza. We ordered the Margherita pizza and I wish computers had smell-o-vision because the basil wafting off this? Oooooo chile. It was thin enough that it didn’t feel like you were eating a loaf of bread and the dough itself was to die. Also check out the back patio – there’s a bar, a ping pong table, and those hanging lights that I love that are apparently everywhere in Austin. Oh and they give out Smarties as an “after-dinner mint”.

Magnolia Cafe

{1920 South Congress Avenue}

Down the street from Home Slice, Magnolia is like the diner version of 24 Diner. As in, it’s a real diner. This place was packed and we had to wait to get a table even at like 10pm on aThursday. But it was totally worth the wait, if only for the queso. Guys. Texas does queso right. The queso from Chilli’s is legit garbage next to this. I mean this queso comes with avocado! And it comes in a huge bowl, so get ready for a huge queso brick in your stomach afterwards. Worth it.

The Hideout

{617 Congress Avenue}

I came across The Hideout while I was wandering around for 30 minutes in between panels during the festival, and it was a such a great find on my part (again, very humble). The outside is very inconspicuous, as it’s just wood paneling, glass windows, and just a chalk board luring you in with drinks and breakfast tacos. Now I love a good coffee shop, and this place became my go-to over the weekend. The coffee is fantastic and even their pressed sandwiches are delish. They also serve alcohol, which is awesome but it was too early for me to be drinking anything other than coffee. Apparently it’s also a theater towards the back of the building, so that’s cool. The only weird thing was that they were playing weird music both times I was there – including something that sounded like the Sci-Fi ringtone on iPhones.

To Drink

Garage

{503 W Colorado Street}

STEFON VOICE: THIS PLACE HAS EVERYTHING – A flashing neon light sign signifying where you enter, egg whites in drinks and cars passing by the window since you’re in an actual parking garage. We definitely felt not cool enough to be at this bar, but the kissing couple sitting next to us was high as a kite, so we felt better about ourselves. The cocktails are a little bit on the more expensive side ($8 to $15) but tasty and worth every dollar. I just want to know how the owner came up with putting a bar in a fully functioning parking garage.

Key Bar

{617 West 6th Street}

Going back to our fave 24 Diner and our girl Jayme the waitress, she gave us so many suggestions for bars in the area, and Key Bar was one of them. The sign is a little inconspicuous, it’s basically a picture of an old key, so just look for that. It’s mostly an open air bar, and there are even fire pits, I’m assuming they turn on when it’s a little cooler than the hot days of June. The most unique thing on their menu are the shakers, which is basically a shaker of alcohol, and you’re given a glass with a popsicle of your choice and you pour the alc into the glass, so when the popsicle melts, the drink becomes the flavor flav of the popsicle. The one I procured was the All Good, which comes with a raspberry/mint popsicle and it was really tasty and refreshing. It was also a great place for people watching, and we made a drinking game by taking a sip anytime a Prius drove by (didn’t end up drinking a lot with that game).

Random Suggestions

Food Trailers: In L.A., we have a shit ton of food trucks (as our friend Eva used to work on one), but in Austin, it’s all about food trailers. They’re everywhere downtown, some are mobile, some are not, but they usually set up shop and have seating outside, like this fried chicken place on South Congress. Again with the lights! Obsessed.

Heat: Y’all – the heat in Texas is NO JOKE. Coming from a California resident, I’ve never encountered this kind of heat. Or rather, the humidity. I can sort of handle Vegas at 110 degrees, but Austin at 95 degrees is horrible – you walk 2 blocks and you’re already doused in sweat. So in saying this, plan your days carefully. No one’s judging if you take a little siesta in the middle of the day before you go out at night.

Mecca for Friday Night Lights fans : Last year, we embarked on our own FNL tour of faux Dillon, which was actually all shot in Austin. If you love Coach, Mrs. Coach, Riggins, and/or have a penchant for blocking season two out of your brain, here’s my guide to visiting the home of the Panthers. Lions.

TV Nerds Unite: Okay, one last plug for the ATX TV Festival – if you have a hard time keeping track of all your shows, ship at least one fictional couple or like hearing behind the scenes stories from cast and crew members of your favorite shows, this fest is for you. Over the course of a weekend, celebs gather in Austin to talk about their shows and meet fans. There are past shows (Hey Dude reunion), current shows (Orange is the New Black) and upcoming shows (that scary ass show The Strain) featured, and there are also panels with some of TV’s most influential people talking about their craft in a non-douchey way.

Alright, campers, hope this is a handy guide on your own field trip to Austin. Enjoy, y’all!

A Stalker’s Guide to Dillon, Texas

2013-06-07 20.38.35

Howdy y’all! I recently went to Austin, Texas for a brief weekend getaway, for a few reasons. One: I always wanted to go to Austin, since I heard it was the most un-Texas Texas city in the state. During my road trip across the country in 2009, Austin was on the list of possible cities to go, but we due to time constraints (and the fact we wanted to not drive across desert for another 10 hours), we opted to skip Austin, and I’ve put the city on the top of my bucket list ever since. Two: I attended the ATX Television Festival, which is a new festival for TV fans and those who want to break into the industry, and it was full of screenings, panels, and reunions from fave shows. You may have heard about the Boy Meets World bonanza, and I also attended the American Dreams and Party of Five reunions, and sat in on Parenthood and Veronica Mars panels! Not to mention Friday Night Lights. Which brings me to reason three: Friday Night Lights. The show was set in the fictional town of Dillion, Texas, but was shot entirely in Austin. Ever since I marathoned (and obsessed over) the series in 2010, I made it my goal to go to Austin and find all the filming locations.

So, if you’re a superfan stalker like me, and find yourself in Austin, here’s a guide to Dillon by way of Austin.

The Taylor House

6805 De Paul Cove, Austin TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.19.29

The house were the greatest TV couple/parents lived. They should make this place a national landmark. PS: The Taylor, Riggins, and Alamo Freeze are all close to each other, so you can do it all in one fell swoop!

The Riggins House

2604 Lehigh Dr. Austin, TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.22.04

No sign of Riggs 😦

Alamo Freeze

5900 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78723

2013-06-10 14.28.19

Fun fact: the Alamo Freeze is actually a Dairy Queen. So you can reenact Matt’s proposal to Julie and then grab an oreo blizzard.

Saracen House

3009 Kuhlman Ave. Austin, TX 78702

2013-06-10 13.36.58

Grandma Saracen and her tiara not included.

Del Valle Field

2404 Shapard Lane, Del Valle, TX

The FNL fieldhouse is still in tact and on a random street near the Austin airport. The only thing still up and running nearby are a few trailers – like trailer park trailers. But you could clearly see the football field and the stands, which is pretty cool. The area was actually used for two ‘sets’, with the Panthers on the left, and when East Dillion needed a field, they built the Lions homefield on the other side of the Panthers’ bleachers!

Here’s me and my friend Suz hanging with Riggins at the fieldhouse…

riggs and us

PS: I didn’t just come up with these locations, it’s easily found on the internet – including here!!!

And to round out my tour of FNL filming locations, the ATX Festival also had a couple of FNL events, including an outdoor screening of State (Season 1 finale) and a panel with the cast! The screening, which appropriately took place on Friday night, was great because a lot of the cast members were there to meet with fans and introduce the ep. I got to meet most of them, and I still can’t believe it happened!

AND THEN, the next morning was the FNL panel, where we were surprised by a couple guests:

COACH AND MRS. COACH, Y’ALL!!!!!! I think I may have started crying.Who knows. But you can always bet on me crying. I shared the same air as the greatest couple ever.

2013-06-08 10.18.19

Thanks for the great time, Austin/Dillon! See y’all next time!