I finally finished the revival and my head is still spinning a bit. It will take several more watch-throughs to really form a solid opinion, but right now I’m pretty happy with the episodes overall. I will definitely be getting started with the references soon (whew, there were a lot!) but here are a few thoughts first.
I love the parallels that were set up through the last scene (and the theme throughout the show of life coming full-circle). I don’t want to spoil anything in case you aren’t finished yet, but I will say that I think Rory’s path, while still difficult, will be much smoother than Lorelai’s from here on out (much of that is thanks to Lorelai’s strength in raising Rory so well).
A reader pointed out that Rory’s goodbye scene with the Life & Death Brigade was the goodbye scene from the Wizard of Oz (great catch by the way, I don’t know if I ever would have noticed that!). The reader asked if I thought Logan was the Wizard of Oz/con man. I have to say, while I don’t think the scene was intentionally set up to paint Logan as the Wizard, there are several parallels. They both use lies to get what they want in life, a young woman knows their lies, and they try their best to give that young woman what she wants. Ultimately, however, neither of them is truly helpful, and the young women find other ways to reach their goals. I don’t think either Logan or the Wizard were really con men: they had serious weaknesses and found (admittedly deceptive) ways to overcome them. They had the best intentions though, right??
I would love to hear your thoughts about the revival! Feel free to comment or email and let me know anything that stood out to you. There’s a lot to process!
In S1E18, Sookie is trying to reassure Lorelai about Gran giving Rory trust fund money. Sookie says, “Rory’s like the most unmaterialistic kid in the world!” Lorelai responds, “No, it’s not about what she would buy. I don’t care if she buys a house or a boat or the Elephant Man’s bones! It’s just that… you know, it’s about the freedom.”
“The Elephant Man” refers to Joseph Merrick, a man born in the late nineteenth century who developed severe growth defects including thick lumps and bony growths on his head, hands, and feet. He was an exhibit at a freak show as a young man until he was admitted to the London Hospital, where he lived until his death at age 27. It is believed Merrick had Proteus syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes overgrowth of body parts. Merrick’s story was made into a movie called “The Elephant Man” in 1980, starring John Hurt as Merrick.
In S1E18, Lorelai is ranting to Sookie about how Emily told her that Rory would leave if Gran gives her the trust fund money. Lorelai says, “God, I know this is crazy. I have my mother’s voice stuck in my head. It’s like that annoying Cranberries song.”
The Cranberries are a rock band from Ireland who rose to fame in the early 90s. “That annoying ‘Cranberries’ song” is likely “Zombie,” which everyone seems to hate.”
“Zombie” was released as the lead single The Cranberries’ second album, “No Need to Argue.” It was received well in Europe, reaching No. 1 on several European charts. Take a listen and decide for yourself:
In S1E18, Lorelai is talking to Sookie about Gran offering Rory a trust fund. Lorelai sees that it’s getting late and says, “I have to change and go to tea with Gran and the cast of ‘Gaslight.'”
“Gaslight” is a 1944 movie (based on a 1938 play) starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. The story is about a murderer who marries a woman and then convinces her that she is going insane just to access the woman’s aunt’s fortune. He manufactures strange situations and then tells the woman that she must be imagining things. In the end, the woman finds out what’s happening and tortures her husband briefly before having him arrested.
Hi to all my loyal and first-time visitors!
A little update:
I am so close to finishing up Season 1. I wish with all my heart that I was farther into the series, but alas, I graduate from college in less than a month and exams demand to be taken. I am still committed to finishing the entire series though, so bear with me.
When the revival comes out, I will take a break from earlier references and work through all the references in the revival. Once those are complete, I’ll start back wherever I left off.
As always, let me know if you think I missed a reference or if there’s a specific reference anywhere in the series that you want me to skip ahead to. I’d be happy to do it!
In S1E18, Lorelai tells Sookie that her grandmother has offered to give Rory her trust fund early to pay for Chilton, but Rory doesn’t know yet. Sookie suggests, “Page her and have her call my cellphone and we can sing the money song from ‘Cabaret.’ You can be Liza, I’ll be Joel.”
Cabaret is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1966. Sookie is talking about the 1972 film adaptation though, starring Liza Minelli and Joel Grey. Minelli’s character is a singer at the Kit Kat Klub in pre-World War II Berlin, and Grey is the Master of Ceremonies at the same club. “Money Money” is the song Sookie mentions.
In S1E18, Rory asks Paris about the notecards she had in her pocket. Paris tells Rory that they’re talking points for the date, and Rory says, “Can I suggest that you leave this one about the Spanish Inquisition out?”
The Spanish Inquisition began in 1478 with the purpose of ensuring that recent Jewish and Muslim converts to Catholicism were practicing correctly and not secretly maintaining their old religions. The exact number of people killed in the inquisition is elusive, but estimates are in the thousands.
In S1E18, Richard’s mother Lorelai is talking to Rory’s mother Lorelai (so confusing) about how she borrowed money to pay for Rory’s school. Lorelai the elder says, “You know Shakespeare once wrote, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'”
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is a quote from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. It is advice given by Polonius (King Claudius’ advisor) to his son Laertes before Laertes departs for Paris. Read here for a good summary of the whole play.
In S1E18, Rory is telling Lorelai that she “did a little matchmaking” and got Tristan to ask Paris out on a date. Lorelai reponds with a bad accent, “Lucy, how many times have I told you not to butt into other people’s business?”
The television show “I Love Lucy” has already been covered in this blog many times: here, here, and here. Desi Arnaz, like his character Ricky Ricardo, was from Cuba, hence the accent.
In S1E18, Lorelai is teasing Emily for giving her a present that had initially been a gift from Richard’s mother to Emily. Lorelai says, “What would Miss Manners say about this?” Emily replies, “If she met your grandmother, she’d understand.”
Miss Manners is the pen name used by Judith Martin. She writes a column, carried by hundreds of newspapers, about the rules, history, and theory of etiquette. She began “Miss Manners” in 1978 and received a National Humanities Medal in 2005 for her work.