In S1E19, Emily is telling Rory and Lorelai about her difficulties in finding good antiques. Emily says, “You can’t find a decent Biedermeier hutch in all of Connecticut.”
“Biedermeier” describes a time period of European art in the early nineteenth century. Biedermeier furniture was simpler than its predecessor, Empire-style furniture. The Biedermeier era was shaped largely by the middle class, so the materials were inexpensive and the design more durable than in previous eras.
In S1E19, Emily is recounting to Lorelai how difficult her search for dining chairs had been. Emily says, “I blame Peg Mossley.” Rory asks, “What did Peg Mossley do?” and Lorelai responds, “She lured these two German children to her gingerbread house and then she tried to eat them.” (Emily later explains that Peg Mossley stole all of Emily’s best antiquing spots.)
Lorelai is referencing the tale of Hansel and Gretel, formally written by the Grimm Brothers in the early nineteenth century. In the story, two German children are abandoned in the woods. They stumble across a cottage made of sweets and are quickly lured inside and captured by the old woman who lives there. She plans to fatten them up and eat them, although the children defeat her in the end.
In S1E5, Lorelai walks in on Babette cleaning out Cinnamon’s abundance of medications. Lorelai says, “Wow. It’s like a scene from the kitty version of ‘Valley of the Dolls.'”
“Valley of the Dolls” is a 1967 film based on a book by Jacqueline Susann. The story follows three young women who meet on the set of a Broadway show and become friends. Their paths diverge, but they all eventually turn to “dolls” (prescription drugs) to cope with the difficulties of life.
This post is in response to a rush request from Jordan. I apologize for the lack of actual promptness, but here is the explanation behind the “Nag Hammadi” mention in S4E13.
In S4E13, the Gilmores are at a benefit dinner, and the speaker says, “That is why I thank each and every one of you for your loyal support to the Ephram Wordus Rare Manuscript Acquisition Foundation, because without it, we would just be stuck rooting around Nag Hammadi.”
One lovely thing about this reference is that it is briefly explained in the episode title itself: “Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels.”
Nag Hammadi is a city in Egypt where the Gnostic Gospels were discovered (in a jar) in 1945. The Gnostic Gospels are a collection of thirteen books including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip. These books are based in Jewish and Christian tradition but for various reasons were rejected from the Canon of Scripture (they were deemed either untrue or unnecessary). The discovery of these manuscripts strongly influenced Christian scholarship in the twentieth century.
The speaker is basically saying that without a foundation dedicated to finding rare manuscripts, they would just be stuck looking in the last place they made a great discovery: Nag Hammadi.
In S1E18, Gran is scolding Lorelai and Emily for arguing. Gran says, “Raising your voice during high tea, who ever heard of such a thing? It’s like Fergie all over again.”
CORRECTION: As several lovely commenters have noted, Gran is certainly referring to Fergie, Duchess of York. I don’t know why I had Fergie, the musician from the Black-Eyed Peas, in my head (I think it’s because Gran talks about Korn and how nice they are, so I had musicians on my mind).
Anyway, Fergie is also known as Sarah, Duchess of York. She was married to Prince Andrew in 1986, but they separated in 1992. Later that year, tabloids released photos of Fergie sunbathing topless with another man, and the Duke and Duchess officially divorced in 1996.
Thanks for keeping me on the right track, readers!
In S1E18, Paris can’t stop smiling after her date with Tristan. Rory responds “Good, then it’s the perfect time to talk about our overtaxed peasants,” referring to their model government project. Paris says happily, “Oh, let them eat cake.”
“Let them eat cake,” is a famous phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. The phrase was supposedly her response to learning that the lower classes had no bread to eat, and demonstrates her complete lack of understanding of the common people. According to some sources, though, the quote was misattributed (similar sayings were attributed to several other upper-class Frenchwomen). Some say Marie Antoinette was actually pretty nice and charitable, but nevertheless, tales of her extravagance contributed to the tension that sparked the French Revolution.
In S1E18, Emily is freaking out at Richard because Richard’s mother, Lorelai, offered to give Rory her trust fund early. Richard refuses, and Emily says, “Now you listen to me. I don’t care if she demeans me and looks down on me. I don’t care if she thinks I’ve tarnished the Gilmore name. I don’t care if she thinks I’m the whore of Babylon!”
“The Whore of Babylon” refers to an evil figure from the book of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, in the Bible. Her full name according to the New International Version of the Bible is:
“Babylon the Great / The Mother of Prostitutes / And of the abominations of the earth.”
Catchy title, right? Some different interpretations of the Whore of Babylon include: the Roman Empire (because it persecuted Christ-followers), Jerusalem (referring to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70), and the Roman Catholic Church (Luther and other post-reformation theologians believed this).
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: