Directing and writing credits:
“French Twist” is directed by Lee Shallat Chemel and written by David Babcock. Chemel has worked on the show since S4 and directed the previous episodes:
"Tippecanoe and Taylor, Too" - If you thought Jackson was detestable before, just wait until he turns into a politician.
"I'm OK, You're OK" - Kirk is now a real estate agent and has adopted a sleazy persona that would be right at home on "Selling Sunset" (I haven't watched it, but one can assume).
"The Long Morrow" - Rocket ships, rocket love, rocket London, Logan rocket, please just shoot me in the head so I can be done with this bullshit.
"Lorelai's First Cotillion" - Instead of sending Logan a tasteful nude, Rory consults Henry Miller for sexspiration. Was the Stars Hollow Bookstore out of Anaïs Nin?
This is Babcock's first writing credit on "GG." In his earlier career, he worked on "Suddenly Susan," "Dharma & Greg," and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." I'm not familiar with anything from his more recent credits (sans shitty "Melrose Place" reboot), but he seems to have had a successful career. He has a consulting producer credit on S7, which means that he's established in his career but not one of the principle forces in the writers' room. In contrast, Gayle Abrams, who wrote "'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous," has a co-executive producer credit, which means she more directly contributes to the overall creative direction of the season.
Gina Fattore, Rebecca Kirshner, and Lee Shallat Chemel have co-executive producer credits on this episode, but I'm not exactly sure what the responsibility breakdown looks like. Other seasons of "GG" occasionally had co-executive producer credits, but it wasn't a frequent occurrence. As meh as I am on the "Gilmore Guys" podcast, they have some good interviews with people like Jane Espenson and Kirshner that lend insight to the overall writing process. Sometimes I worry I don't talk enough about the mechanics/background of the show, but that's really just because it's more fun for me to focus on the plot and character development.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
Nothing is as outlandishly ugly as I'd like it to be. Minus the knit legwarmers, G.G. looks like she's trying out for a role as young Serena van der Woodsen on "Gossip Girl." Cute toddlers can basically get away with anything, so it's less of a diss and more of an observation.
Lucy and Olivia's outfits are standard garbage. I've never seen a single person look good in a straw fedora and Lucy is unfortunately no exception. Her floral dress is fine, but the hat screams "ASSHOLE." Olivia wears a suspender strap sweater vest over a long-sleeve t-shirt, short stretchy skirt, and pair of gray ribbed tights. These dark colors and strange layers signify that she is a serious artist who builds edgy baby mobiles with assorted trash from Yale's dumpster. Watch out, world! We've got a future Tracey Emin on our hands.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
My husband had a good observation about Rory, which is that she has a hard time hiding her disgust for 90% of all people and lets it out in a variety of condescending ways. After resigning as editor of the Yale Daily News (per the bylaws), some of the other staffers give short, complimentary speeches about her. Joni confesses that she initially joined the paper to meet cute guys but then saw how great Rory was and decided to become a journalist. It should be gratifying to learn that a peer looks to her as a mentor, but Rory seems perturbed when Joni goes in for the hug, making a snide comment about being "touched and a little damp." It's like she wants everyone to chuckle at Joni's expense (which they do) because she spilled a bit of her drink during their embrace.
Lorelai is a whole ass mess in this episode, so it's hard to narrow down her various missteps into a single moment. I'm no fan of rapist Gérard Depardieu, but I hate when weight is used as an insult. With the amount of fat jokes millennials had to suffer through in their formative years, it's a wonder we don't all have eating disorders.
Lorelai: See, this is why French people are so skinny — they have no late-night snacks.
Christopher: How do you explain Gérard Depardieu?
Lorelai: Oh, that's obvious. Gérard Depardieu has hogged all the food.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
We don't see Sookie, but I like to imagine she and Jackson are off having fun with Harvey Tunnell. Remember that episode of "The O.C." where Sandy and Kirsten attend the New Year's Eve swingers party where all the men have to put their watches into a bowl? It's kind of like that, but swap watches for homegrown vegetables dildos.
The only reason to keep suffering through S7 is for the delightful Paris interludes. She gives a speech at the paper describing Rory as "the one person with integrity among a collection of cowardly backstabbers." Only she can effortlessly craft a statement that compliments a single person while simultaneously disparaging everyone else in the room. I am annoyed that Rory prevented her from writing an article on "everyone's asinine obsession with boho chic," though. I would read that shit in a heartbeat.
Lane and Rory don't interact, but she has a depressing storyline that I'll begrudgingly discuss later.
Best literary or pop culture references:
The French guy with the bread truck laughs at Lorelai and Christopher's ignorance, hitting them with an "Everybody Loves Raymond" insult parting line. Remember when the global joke was just that Americans were dumb and unsophisticated? I wish we could go back to those days. Now we're a country of lunatics who elected a fascist dictator to presidency and let him attempt a coup with no evident repercussions.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Based on the way they treat Lane, I can only conclude that Luke and Kirk have never been around a pregnant person (who isn't Liz) before. Both fall under the spectrum of clueless men who falsely believe that an acquaintance's pregnancy gives them carte blanche to make invasive gestures, physical and verbal. Kirk's stomach cradle is a clear violation, but Luke's refusal to let Lane carry heavy food is insulting as fuck. Unless a doctor says otherwise, there's no reason to reduce normal activity while pregnant. Nothing triggers my rage more than a man who thinks he's doing something kind/caring when he's actually being a paternalistic douchebag.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
During Rory and Paris' "what the fuck are we doing with our lives" conversation, they discuss the experience of leaving the YND editorship.
Paris: The first day is hard. Then it just gets worse.
Rory: As it happens, I am totally relieved that my job at the paper is over.
Paris: Yeah, I did the denial thing, too. I even tried smiling a lot. That got old, and I think it made this line.
Apparently, Paris gives everyone crow's-feet, including herself.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Paris asks Rory to drop two books at the library for her. One of them is "The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume E: The Victorian Age" and the other I can't identify. G.G.'s "favorite Madeline book" is mentioned, but not the specific title. In my opinion, everything pales in comparison to the first book.
Best song of the episode:
When Rory calls them, Lucy and Olivia are listening to a short-lived Austin, Texas band (likely on student radio) called What Made Milwaukee Famous. Their debut album had just come out in August 2006 and the track they're listening to is "Selling Yourself Short." I'm not familiar with their music, which sounds very generic early 2000s indie band, but the only other option for "best song" is Françoise Hardy's "Ce petit coeur," and playing that over a scene in "Paris" is beyond cliché.
"French Twist" is a fever dream of bad decision-making, both for the characters and in the writers' room. Let's start with Chris and Lorelai's quickie marriage in the city of pigeons. Trying to recreate Paris on a WB lot with a limited budget was always going to be a tough sell, but I would have respected the attempt more if they hadn't used establishing stock footage. I understand the impulse, but it makes suspension of disbelief even more difficult when juxtaposed with an obvious set that has the same Citroën driving around in the background. A five-star hotel in front of the Louvre Museum does not look like this from the outside and Emily Gilmore's guest bedroom on the inside:
Set decoration aside, I find all of the jet lag shit perplexing. Paris is six hours ahead of Connecticut. Their flight was at 6:15 p.m., so they landed around 7:15 a.m. Paris time. After dropping G.G. off with Sherry (which we sadly don't get to see), Chris and Lorelai accidentally fall asleep before their 8:30 p.m. reservation at L'Arpge. When they wake up, it's 4 a.m., which Lorelai describes as "the middle of the night." They should have asked the front desk which boulangeries or cafes open early, but why do that when you can flail around like a helpless idiot? All things considered, they've decently acclimated to the time difference with their early bedtime and subsequent wake up. They should be happy about that instead of whining about "crummy Europe." Maybe that's why the concierge hates them: because he can smell their entitled pissant behavior through the phone line.
There's a crazy sequence where Chris and Lorelai, unable to fall back asleep, wander into the street looking for an open restaurant. When they can't find one — and random baguette man tells them to fuck off back to America — Lorelai reminisces about a time in high school when Chris gave her a piece of pizza from his pocket. This must be Rory's origin story. The lint-covered pizza made Lorelai so horny that she took Chris back to the empty Gilmore mansion, boned him, and had her life ruined by his terrible pullout job. Now, twenty-one years later, she's in Paris with the same asshole, only it's worse because there's no pocket pizza and the interim years have been filled with nothing but disappointment and neglect. Look at your life! Look at your choices!
Grosser still, this little teen pizza story made both of them so horny as adults that they went back to the hotel for sex. Post-orgasm, Chris' brain drugs kick in and he suddenly remembers he's rich. Without Lorelai knowing, he somehow convinces the entire waitstaff and kitchen staff to come into L'Arpge to cook dinner for them at 5 a.m. As they sit at a table with a window facing the rear projection Eiffel Tower, AKA the glistening electric penis thrusting into the sky, they lean into nostalgia, remembering how their original trip to Paris at age sixteen got derailed. Lorelai is so taken by their history (and the wealth obtained from Chris' brain settlement), that she's ready to head back to the hotel for more sex after a $500 bottle of breakfast wine.
Chris capitalizes on this feeling and starts pushing his marriage agenda in a deeply uncomfortable way. Lorelai is smitten with his thoughtfulness and his WASP-y ability to buy humans, but she (rightfully) thinks it's too soon to jump into marriage. He should have recognized her hesitancy and dropped the subject, but the scene ends with him begging like a bitchy little dog at the dinner table, desperate for scraps. The next time we see them, they're back in Stars Hollow at Lorelai's house. Before Chris runs out to grab the rest of their luggage, he says, "Welcome home, Mrs. Hayden" as Lorelai faux-excitedly fingers a wedding band. When he walks out the door and she's alone, she makes this face, letting us know their haphazard union is not long for this world.
Rory is in a similar state of denial until she finally has a (somewhat) relatable breakdown in front of Lucy and Olivia. With her job at the YND coming to a close and no graduation plans in sight, it finally seems to register that her next steps must be actively chosen — there's no roadmap left for her to follow. An Ivy League university was always a given in her quest to becoming the next Christiane Amanpour, but there are multiple acceptable options when that ends. She could start building her career immediately with a job or fellowship, get an MA in journalism, enter a Ph.D. program, go to law school, join the Peace Corps, etc. Her post-grad life depends more on specific goals, which she doesn't seem to have anymore. She hasn't mentioned becoming a foreign war correspondent since Jess was in the picture.
In an effort to distract herself from the crushing despair of looming adulthood, Rory invites Lucy and Olivia to come hang in Stars Hollow for the weekend. They dye their hair (in a scene as unrealistic as this one), comment on Dean's hotness while looking at old yearbooks, and basically have a half-baked Stars Hollow fuckabout that weirdly doesn't involve leaving the house. When Lucy and Olivia mention the newspaper during their discussion of The Forbidden Fjords, their fake Norwegian girl band, Rory dissolves into tears. In the first scene that makes their friendship seem real, Lucy and Olivia comfort her, admitting they also have no idea what they'll do next.
It sucks when they arrive back at Yale and "boyfriend" is finally unveiled as Marty. Instead of admitting that he knows Rory, he pretends like they're just meeting for the first time, which understandably throws her. I would have been so shocked by this sociopathic behavior that I, too, would have stood there smiling dumbly; however, I would have called Lucy later and explained the weirdness of the situation to her. If she's really a friend, she deserves to know that her boyfriend is up to some strange shit so she can confront him about it.
In other infuriating man news, Zack responds to the twins reveal by noting, "As long as the babies don't have some vital organ attached, they can be separated — easy-breezy." This piece of shit thinks they're having Siamese twins because everything involving reproductive health is a big mystery to him. This is why we shouldn't have men creating legislation involving women's bodies. Matt Gaetz would probably respond in the same exact way. Of this scene, my husband said, "Zack's brain is like an overclocked CPU verging on thermonuclear just to keep his breathing and vision systems online. Any further demands result in a slag heap of silicone." He is truly one of the dumbest, most useless depictions of male (cis) heterosexuality on TV.
Mrs. Kim's insistence on living with Lane and Zack throughout the pregnancy is annoyingly invasive, but ... they kind of need her. I don't believe that either of these people are capable of caring for themselves, let alone while growing two fetuses. A steady diet of Bagel Bites and floor Pringles combined with Zack's subpar genetics is a recipe for disaster. Someone needs to make sure this bitch eats a vegetable and it isn't going to be her husband, the man who absolutely would be a 2022 anti-vaxxer. I hate to somewhat defend her abusive overstepping but Mrs. Kim is a much more useful ally in this situation. She can certainly relate to having one terrible sexual experience that led to a child. Maybe this horror show will bring them closer together until therapy and parenting differences (hopefully) rip them apart.
- When Chris' hand reaches into the backseat of the car to give G.G. a reassuring nose boop, I was reminded of the "man hands" episode of "Seinfeld." Those are obviously not David Sutcliffe's hands and the ADR is tragic.
- All the "GG" men combined wouldn't form a single functional human being. If ASP does one thing very well, it's making hetero relationships look like a miserable, inescapable prison.
- Of Lane's pregnancy, Mrs. Kim says, "I must go email this good news to our relatives in Busan. They just got wi-fi." Uh, no. Busan is South Korea's second-largest city and the country in general has the most developed internet in the world. Someone should have combated their racism with a Google.
- After reading Jennette McCurdy's memoir, I have some questions about Nicolette Collier, the girl who plays G.G. From the opening scene when she looks directly at the camera, I feel like her eyes are communicating "Get me the fuck out of here."
- Not to be a stickler (lol who am I kidding), but we've seen the inside of that closet off the kitchen multiple times and there were no childhood height charts on the door. The illusion is shattered!
- I found Lucy's comment about all of the English and philosophy majors becoming investment bankers mildly devastating. Some of the most creative people I knew in college now have soul-sucking tech jobs.
- I could listen to Paris discuss the pros/cons of specific antidepressants all day. Add it to my list of Paris-related kinks.
- Lorelai tells Chris, "Alright first we have to go to Harry's Bar and smoke Gauloises cigarettes and get in a fight about cubism and gesticulate wildly." Harry's Bar is one of those places where fictional (James Bond) and real (Ernest Hemingway, Nazi Coco Chanel) alcoholics went to chill. Gauloises are a French brand of cigarette that the French government considered banning in 2016, along with Gitanes, because they're "too cool."
- Zack thinks being an adult means smoking a pipe and watching "60 minutes," which is also what I thought when I was six. I wonder if Lane realizes that she's actually going to be raising three children instead of two.
- I didn't realize it was possible to ship a full-ass adult to another family, foreign exchange student-style.