Directing and writing credits:
"Bridesmaids Revisited" is directed by Linda Mendoza, written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner. This is Mendoza's first and only episode of "GG," but her TV directing credits on IMDb are extensive. She's been working steadily since the early '90s and has done everything from "The Chris Rock Show" to "Scrubs" to "The Baby-Sitters" (RIP and fuck you, Netflix). I guarantee you've seen something directed by her over the past thirty years. If you're interested in learning more about her, this podcast is worthwhile.
Kirshner is no stranger to the "GG" universe, having worked on the show as a producer since S4. These are her previous writing credits:
- "Emily Says Hello" - I think TJ wants to be in a polyamorous relationship with Lorelai and Luke. Or maybe he just wants to sleep with Lorelai? Simultaneously unclear and unsettling!
- "How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?" - I don't have a photo of me standing next to a water cooler at my first adult job, but I do have this photo of me working at Auntie Anne's in the Pittsburgh Mills Mall circa 10th grade.
- "Always a Godmother, Never a God" - The deepest I've ever related to Jackson is when he talks about wanting to fake a heart attack to get out of an uncomfortable family function.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
What is it about the early 2000s that made people want to layer their clothes in the most nonsensical ways? I can get behind a shrug if it's being used to cover bare shoulder, but not when it's thrown over a button-down shirt and tied right under the boobs. This takes it from utilitarian option to style choice, which makes me all the more critical.
Rory's missteps pale in comparison to Honor's wedding party tragedy. Did she walk into David's Bridal high on crystal meth and point to the first shiny object that caught her eye? Anyone planning to wear stiff satin for a big event better make sure it is steamed to perfection. Otherwise, you end up with this:
I can't imagine being a trust fund baby with taste this poor. Hire a stylist! Make sure your hair is done by someone who isn't affiliated with Bumpits. Stop using photos of '90s Dolly Parton as your hair and makeup inspiration (no shade to Dolly, but her look is not one many other people can pull off). Per usual, the bridesmaids dresses are even worse. The color scheme is very Easter Sunday in the deep south, but the diagonal waist/hip sash is truly unforgivable. The only rationale for it is to make everyone look significantly wider than they actually are. Honor always came off as a somewhat nice person to me, but she apparently has quite a Regina George mean girl streak.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory acts so smug and cutesy at the Young Voices of Journalism panel, but I'm less annoyed with her than I am with the audience's indulgent fake laughter over her lame jokes.
Seeing as there are so few Black characters on this show, Chris and Lorelai come off as racist in their disdain for Quentin, AKA Pompous Princeton Guy, AKA Leslie Odom, Jr. They contemplate throwing Milk Duds at him over his decision to wear a bow tie (and his general demeanor), but praise Rory's use of "perspicacious," as if it didn't come directly from an SAT prep book. This is the problem with many of these shows from the early aughts. The only diverse characters are either shat on, ignored, villainized, or only there to support a larger storyline.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Rory doesn't interact with Lane, but she does make up with Paris. After learning about Logan's various trysts during their break, Rory gets drunk and shows up at her apartment, presumably looking for a place to stay. It's a selfishly motivated action, but Rory is at least aware of this. Paris, who has recently broken up with Doyle, is ready to commiserate with Chinese food and "men suck" diatribes.
Remember when Rory said that she and Paris were not best friends, but "friends, for the most part"? I call bullshit. These two might be in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship a la Elena Grecco and Lila Cerullo, but they are ride-or-die BF4L.
Sookie is absent yet again. She's probably still seething with rage over Luke and Lorelai's wedding postponement. She had big plans for that cake topper of Luke's butt and will be devastated if she's unable to use it.
Best literary or pop culture references:
It took me approximately fifty watches of this show to realize that Julia Lauman's Bat Mitzvah is "Grease"-themed. It's not exactly a high production affair, but there are wall decals, a jukebox, crepe paper milkshakes, and all of the waitstaff are dressed accordingly.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk must have read an article about Beyoncé's "Dream Girls" juice cleanse because he has sworn off solids and committed to cleaning out the pipes (ew). By the end of the episode, he's seen gobbling a slice of bread from someone else's plate like a sad little trash panda. When Lane calls him out on it, he tells her, "I didn't cheat. I expanded the definition of 'juice.'" It's kind of like when Bill Clinton said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Kirk is defining his own reality, which I think every politician (and Gwenyth Paltrow) would applaud.
Babette does us all a solid by cutting Zack's asinine proposal preamble short.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
I think about Gil haughtily telling Zack, "You're way deep in my bogus bag and it's ziplocked shut" approximately once per week, NGL.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
The episode title is a play on Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" (1945), which I read and mostly enjoyed during my "Once Upon a Time... at Bennington College" kick. This is probably sacrilege, but I actually preferred the Grenada TV series with Jeremy Irons and Laurence Olivier to the book. Fans of Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" (1992) would likely enjoy both.
Lorelai is reading "Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems" (2001) by Billy Collins when Rory calls to tell her about Logan. I've never thought of Lorelai as a poetry person and wonder why this was chosen for her. Maybe it's a clever nod at what's to come as Luke grows increasingly distant.
Rory also mentions David Foster Wallace while advising Joni on how to edit down one of her pieces in the newsroom.
Best song of the episode:
Lane must have burned Rory a copy of "Goo" because she is blasting "Kool Thing" as she gets ready for the journalism panel. As a big Sonic Youth, I would be remiss not to identify this as the best song; however, the Bat Mitzvah appropriate version of "Hollaback Girl" is a true banger. I only wish that we got to hear "My Humps," even if Brian went too hard on the whammy bar.
Let's get the most devastating part of the episode out of the way first. Lane, bless her heart, accepts the world's lamest marriage proposal from the world's lamest man. To recap, Zack, the Lunchables "ham" slice of humans, had the audacity to throw an inopportune hissy fit that not only broke up Hep Alien but completely ruined their big chance at being heard by a music label. Instead of apologizing when Lane confronted him about it, he told her, "This is what it is, okay?" He had several chances to admit to his wrongdoing and ask for her forgiveness, but he squandered them with lame excuses (the CD with the "crazy looking chick on it") and immature behavior (ripping down Lane's flier).
Then, after a few months (?) of minimal contact, this motherfucker shows up at the diner with a pawn shop Moose/Elks Club ring and a big, poorly conceived speech that still doesn't include the words "I'm sorry." And yet, due to a combination of low self-esteem and wanting to experience sex for the first time, Lane eats up his bullshit. She's so happy about the engagement that she walks around the diner in a daze, carrying the toaster to a customer in place of their order. If only she could see that a future with Zack consists of nothing but skidmarked underwear and dead dreams, perhaps she would rethink her answer.
While Lane commits to a degenerate slacker for the rest of her life, Rory extricates herself from Logan in a moment of delicious, albeit misguided, rage. As she prepares for the journalism panel, he grouchily prepares to travel into the city for Honor's wedding rehearsal. The decision to include a future spouse's sibling in the wedding party has never made sense to me. I could see if you were legitimately friends with them or if they were younger and desperate to be included, but asking Logan to be a groomsman makes Josh seem like a sycophantic tushy-kisser. Logan laments that he doesn't think he'll make it through the night with "Honor's brigade of moronic bridesmaids" and their plethora of nose jobs. In retrospect, he's probably just ashamed to be in their presence after fucking them in rapid succession during his recent Rory hiatus.
I hate to defend Logan, but I don't think he did anything wrong by fucking around during his time away from Rory. I would have also considered myself single if my college boyfriend stormed off during an argument and then refused to talk to me for longer than a week. Upon reconciliation, I wouldn't have immediately recounted my sexual history unless explicitly asked (although I would have gotten an STD test as a courtesy). But — and this is a BIG but — I would have definitely told my partner what went down if I knew they were going to be around the people that I slept with when we were apart. If they're going to receive hurtful information that I am responsible for, I want it to come from me and not some rando.
Logan was naïve to think that women who love "doing crap like this, causing trouble" wouldn't jump at the opportunity to talk trash in front of his girlfriend. Even though I don't feel as strongly as Rory about his perceived transgressions, I don't blame her for being angry. When I was in college, I found out the guy I was dating was seeing someone else at the same time. We weren't even in an exclusive relationship, but I still felt betrayed, mostly because this revelation made all of his romantic declarations feel like lies. He hadn't technically done anything wrong, but being cognizant of that didn't change my feelings.
Rory has never been more relatable than when she's at the bar post-Logan fight, teetering on drunken belligerence. I want to see more of this unfiltered person (not necessarily under the influence of alcohol) and less of the tightly wound perfectionist. Rory has been such a high-achieving rule follower her entire life that it's rare to see her display negative emotions so blatantly. When Doyle, who has been "mixing beer and wine ... and Malibu Rum," saunters over, he and Rory have a vulnerable conversation about their recent breakups. Paris, who has been neglecting sleep in lieu of "Saw II" and her crafts corner, ended things with Doyle when he revealed, in a fit of rage, that he had advised Rory against turning one of her Yale Daily News pieces into a series.
It's a nice moment of commiseration until Doyle tries to nuzzle Rory's neck with his tongue (?!) as they say their goodbyes. To his credit, he swiftly apologizes and unhands Rory as soon as she expresses her disgust. I am worried about her decision to let him borrow her brocade coat. I once lent a male friend a beloved denim jacket (with a vintage bee pin) that he never returned. I still think about it sometimes and feel sad.
Lorelai's storyline involves Christopher, who I don't have much patience for at this point. Despite the overwhelmingly negative effect he's had on her life thus far, Lorelai decides to offer up her babysitting services when his new nanny bails over the weekend. In a surprise to no one, G.G. (Nicolette Collier) is a "feral hyena" who doesn't listen to the word "no" and screams when she doesn't get her way. I would have tired of her bullshit as soon as she pulled Paul Anka's tail. When Lorelai tells Chris about her bad behavior, he immediately goes on the defensive and storms away in a huff. He later apologizes and Lorelai assures him that he's not a bad dad, but ... yes he is! He's a horrible dad. And Sherry is a horrible mom. Fuck these incompetent assholes for reproducing. G.G. isn't going to have money left over for cats and Twizzlers once she pays for decades worth of therapy.
- Lorelai is more evolved than me because I sure as shit wouldn't volunteer to watch a child that was the impetus for my breakup with an ex.
- As they watch "Full House" together, Lorelai tells G.G., "You know, I think the Olsen twins weigh less now than they did on that show." Pre-wedding, one of Honor's bridesmaids tells her, "You look like a skeleton. A beautiful, blushing skeleton." I'm glad the early 2000s are behind us because the constant fixation on weight was absolutely brutal.
- In a kinder universe, this "Drummer Wanted" flier would have piqued the interest of an all-girl punk band in Woodbury. Instead of getting married to Hot Topic Discount Bin and rejoining Hep Alien, Lane could have learned what it's like to have female friends who aren't Rory and a bandmate who isn't a self-sabotaging douchebag.
- Walker (Samantha Shelton) scoffs when Claude (Arden Myrin) suggests she hook up with Josh's brother. She says, "Poor man's Josh? Really poor man's?
He's the Josh they give away at the soup kitchens." This is a tough assessment of an alley cat let alone a human.
- Lorelai says Rory is "Anthony Michael Hall in "Breakfast Club" smart. I know she means this as a compliment, but lest we forget that Brian's perceived intelligence c/o good grades came from the crushing pressure his parents placed upon him to strive for perfection.
- The Bat Mitzvah scene is one of my favorites in the entire series. After Gil's "strong female attitude" speech, my husband was like, "Now he's on a list. One Bat Mitzvah speech and he can't drive within 1,000 feet of a school."
- This episode contains yet another Woody Allen reference, along with nods to the following movies (aside from the aforementioned): "Brokeback Mountain" (2005), "Network" (1976), "Schindler's List" (1994), and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956, assuming the OG).
- I wasn't aware of this, but Maureen Dowd is known for her footwear selections, hence Rory's "come-hither pumps" comment. When she answered the Proust Questionnaire for Vanity Fair, she said her biggest achievement was "Covering six presidential campaigns in heels." Here she is, taking out the trash in heels.