Directing and writing credits:
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. I'm pretty sure I could identify every episode written by the Palladinos without the help of IMDB. They each have such distinctive writing styles and the joke and insult density is unparalleled by any of the other writers. It probably also helps that I've watched all of ASP's endeavors (and like "Gilmore Girls," had a love/hate obesssion with them) and remember her writing well from "Roseanne." Amy and Dan definitely have their faults, which we'll continue to discuss, but it's unfair not to recognize their talent.
Glatter also directed the Pilot episode of "GG," along with many other solid movies and television episodes. I eventually plan to write about "Now and Then," since it was my #1 slumber party movie in middle school.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
There were so many this episode and I'm not quite sure how to narrow it down. This is my blog and I do what I want, so I'm just going to write about all of them. First (and least offensive), Lorelai's thin, gray, ribbon choker at Friday night dinner. Why? In my opinion, Prince and Jimi Hendrix are the only two people who can pull off a choker, and they're both dead. Stop trying to make chokers happen. I could see maybe wearing one with a really cool outfit, but not a tight, aqua sweater with lime green cuffs and "Charlie's Angels" hair.
Lorelai's other awful outfit (because there are few episodes where she doesn't have more than one) is a blue/purple dip-dye long-sleeve, emblazoned with glitter Chinese symbols and paired with poop colored corduroys that make her ass look flat as a pancake. Someone needs to go through Lorelai's closet and toss out all of her stupid, sometimes racist, Asian t-shirts.
Sookie's pre-Rory's dance outfit is also really hideous, but I'm giving her a free pass because she brings tacos AND burritos.
Rory's dance ensemble, which everyone raves about, does her zero favors. It makes her boobs look terrible - smooshed and weirdly placed. And that off-the-shoulder neckline accentuates her horrible, slouchy posture and makes me very happy I switched to a standing desk at work. The seams in the bodice are crooked and the material and lining look cheap. It is 100% believable that Lorelai made this dress.
The accessories are just as bad. Her hair is adorned with baby's breath. BABY'S BREATH. Her purse is a long, velvet, indigo pouch with gold strings - kind of like one of those gym class backpacks from the early 2000's. I think the shoes also have glitter and heels that would maybe be appropriate for a small toddler, but not a teenager. This is not good, Rory. I'm very happy she didn't lose her virginity in this colossal, Holly Hobbie trainwreck.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Lorelai's flip-out when Rory gets home after spending the night out with Dean. The Gilmore Girls are severely fucked up when it comes to love, sex, and relationships. Lorelai goes on and on about how she's so happy that her high school pregnancy worked out the way it did. She's constantly patting herself on the back for working hard and making the best of an unforeseen situation. It's almost like she does it because of low self-esteem. She needs to talk herself up and make sure that everyone knows they shouldn't feel sorry for her because she is fine.
But really, she's not fine. She obviously has some regrets, despite loving Rory. Instead of talking about those regrets (like, say, to a therapist) and realizing it's okay to have them, she buries them deep and only lets them surface in really unhealthy ways. If she were to admit that having a kid at sixteen really altered the course of her life in some ways that weren't desirable wouldn't make her a bad mom! It wouldn't mean she loves Rory any less or that she would do things differently if she could go back in time. Lorelai would disagree with me, though.
When Rory, her alleged bff and someone she trusts, comes home after a night spent out with a boy, Lorelai's buried feelings surface and she goes on a rage spiral. Yes, she's angry because she doesn't want Rory to make the same mistakes as her, but she's even angrier because Emily is around and has witnessed yet another potential "slutty" screw-up. Lorelai's snapback is straight-up slut-shaming:
Rory: What happened to all that stuff you said to Grandma? What happened to trusting me? Where did all that go?
Lorelai: I think it's back on Patty's yoga mats.
If Rory had slept with Dean and gotten pregnant, how would this comment make her feel? Would it help her in any way? It's meant purely to make her feel bad, ashamed of her sexuality before she's even legitimately embraced it. No wonder she ends up losing her virginity to her married ex-boyfriend. Lorelai has created such an unhealthy, pressure-filled environment around sex and love, so duh... obviously Rory is primed to make some really bad choices in those areas. It has nothing to do with Lorelai's teenage pregnancy and everything to do with the blatant scare tactics she employs in her parenting technique.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Sookie is an A+ friend and Lorelai barely appreciates her. As mentioned earlier, she brings tacos, hot sauce, and extra burritos to the Gilmore house before the dance.
When she helps Rory get ready and accidentally sprays herself in the face, neither of the Gilmores seem too worried about her. Since it's Season 1, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're just used to her clumsiness and can't afford to overreact every time she does something hazardous.
When Loreali throws out her back, Sookie is ready with Vicodin, Darvocet, and a very mild muscle relaxer. This is the kind of friend you want/need: one with a large bag full of prescription painkillers 😉
Best literary or pop culture references:
Tristin: The guy's supposed to buy the tickets.
Rory: Really. Does Susan Faludi know about this?
Funny, but Tristin definitely doesn't know who Susan Faludi is, so... like most of Rory's good lines, it's totally lost on him.
I also love Emily's obsession with Barbara Stanwyck and agree with Lorelai - they do have similar voices.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
There isn't much townie action in this episode, but Doose's Market continues to be one of the weirdest groceries I've ever seen it. It's winter, but the front of the store has a colorful children's sunscreen display, stacked to the brim with purple and pink bottles. There's also a huge tower of Lance Crackers and a shelf of Corn Nuts. Do these brands pay for product placement? I must know.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Emily: And regret can make you bitter. Do you want Rory to be bitter?
Lorelai: Well, sort of.
Lorelai: What, Mom? She can make some cash off of it. Become a crazy Oscar Levant kind of celebrity, go on talk shows, heckle Regis.
Whenever I hear the name "Oscar Levant," all I can think of is Miss Celine saying, "There you go, Mrs. Oscar Lavant," whenever Emily tries on her wedding dress in episode 5.12. I really need to find some good "GG" bar trivia so I can show up and make my pointless knowledge relevant for an hour.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
- "The Group" by Mary McCarthy - Rory read this book when she's in line, waiting to buy dance tickets
- "The Portable Dorothy Parker" - This is Rory's dance book, which she shows to Dean at Miss Patty's studio
Best song of the episode:
This episode has some great tunes, but I'd probably have to go with "Thirteen" by Big Star. This is the song that plays after the dance, when Rory and Dean walk around with their empty to-go cups of coffee. I wish my high school played The Jesus and Mary Chain and XTC at dances. Instead, we were stuck with T-Pain and Creed.
Out of all the writers, ASP is best at capturing the fraught dynamic between Lorelai and Emily. Just as their relationship begins to improve, something shitty always happens to make it regress. In this episode, things are going fairly well. They laugh about the nasty toast and then Emily covers Lorelai with a blanket and brushes the hair out of her face after she falls asleep on the couch. It's all very sweet and shows us that they're not always brutal enemies. They do care about each other and can sometimes have fun together.
But then Emily wakes up in the morning and Rory isn't home. Lorelai and Emily both freak out and are at each other's throats immediately. Emily screams at Lorelai and is irritated that she can't find the phone in an emergency. Lorelai snaps that Emily's screeching isn't helping her. Whenever Miss Patty calls and explains what happened, Emily's thoughts immediately go to a night of lasciviousness:
Lorelai: She and Dean were at Miss Patty's.
Emily: What is that, a motel?
Lorelai: Um, it's a dance studio. That was Patty. She said that she found them asleep and woke them up and Rory's on her way home.
Emily: In what state were they found in?
Lorelai: She didn't say, OK. Let's just try to be calm until we know what happened.
In this exchange, Lorelai is relatively level-headed and Emily is the one who escalates the conversation to a fight. I can't really fault Lorelai for getting so upset with Emily, either. She tries several times to calmly refute her claims, but Emily refuses to listen and is steadfast in her belief that even though Rory doesn't seem like the type, she must have been out all night fucking Dean.
Like we saw in Rory's Birthday Parties, Emily has a much different parenting philosophy than Lorelai. In both episodes, she fights with Lorelai and plainly states her lack of understanding about why the relationship with her daughter is so strained. Here, she tells Lorelai,
Oh you're so perfect and I was so horrible. I put you in good schools. I gave you the best of everything. I made sure you had the finest opportunities. And I am so tired of hearing about how you were suffocated and I was so controlling. Well if I was so controlling why couldn't I control you running around getting pregnant and throwing your life away.
It makes total sense to me that Lorelai got pregnant at sixteen. Raised in a house where sex isn't spoken about, by a mother you can't communicate with, sans the Internet for Googling ("how effective is the pull-out method?" and "where can I get free birth control my mom won't find out about?")... it all adds up. Emily never let Lorelai be her own person and always tried to force her into the perfect daughter mold. As a result, Lorelai rebelled and did whatever the fuck she wanted, often at the expense of her own happiness and comfort.
Lorelai has tried to raise Rory differently by adopting a "best friend/you can tell me anything" mentality, but her own upbringing makes it hard for her to stick to this methodology. After their blow-out fight, we'll see Lorelai backpedal and try to make sure Rory knows it's okay for them to talk about sex without harsh words or judgement. Lorelai is definitely an asshole and makes a lot of mistakes, but I think she tries to do what she believes is right. She might be annoying as hell, incapable of dressing herself, and a shitty parent most of the time, but she does try, dammit, and she deserves some credit for that.
- Lorelai hates avocados. She's one of those annoying people who refuses to eat vegetables and is weirdly picky as an adult. She's almost as bad as the people that can't stop talking about Whole30 and CrossFit. Both ends of the spectrum need to shut the fuck up because no one cares. Imagine how annoying Lorelai would be if she had an Instagram account.
- Movie mentions: "Midnight Express," "Sixteen Candles," and "The Outsiders." Lorelai would love John Hughes.
- Lol that Lane got in trouble for watching VIP. I forgot all about this shitty Pamela Anderson show from the early aughts.
- I feel bad for saying this, but Rory runs like a kid with hypotonia.
- I spy: another ugly dress on the mannequin in Lorelai's living room, along with a creepy doll in a pink dress on top of the piano.
- All the extras at the dance are in their 40s
- Emily's face when she takes a bite of the mashed banana toast is amazing:
- I need to know more about Miss Patty's yorkie. If that was my dog, I would name it Screech.
- Emily: You do not go running out the door when a boy honks.
Lorelai: Mom, it's fine.
Emily: It certainly is not fine. This is not a drive through. She's not fried chicken.
I don't agree with Emily here, but this is a good line.
- It's nice that Dean puts his arms around Rory whenever Louise is blatantly hitting on him at the dance. He senses her insecurity and immediately alleviates it.
- Louise and Madeline are the only ones at the dance who are actually dressed appropriately. Everyone else is dressed up in bad mother-of-the-bride attire.
- "Listen, I know you are not Miss Party Girl, and I love you for that, but sometimes I wonder -- do you not join in because you really don't want to or because you're too shy? If the reason you don't want to go is because you really don't want to go and not because you are in any way afraid, then this is the last time I'll mention it, I promise."
I heard this speech approximately 5,000 times in high school but with me, it was never a shyness thing. I'm not shy, I just find people (even awesome ones) truly exhausting.