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 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.
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 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, Madeline and Louise are discussing Tristan’s usual “type.” Louise says, “Tristan usually likes his girls bad.” Madeline tells Paris, “Looks like we’re going to have to do a Pink Ladies makeover on you.” Louise adds, “Turn you from a sweet Sandy into a slutty Sandy dancing at the school fair in high heels, black spandex, and permed hair.”
“Grease” is a musical that opened on Broadway in 1972. It was made into a movie in 1978 starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The story follows two groups of high school students in 1959: the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. Both groups consider themselves rebels, but Sandy, a new student, is accepted into the Pink Ladies despite being a “good girl.” In the end, Sandy ends up getting a makeover to impress Danny Zuko, a member of the T-Birds. She ditches her skirts and sweaters in favor of black leather and spandex and shows up at the school fair singing “You’re the One that I Want.” Danny actually earned himself a letterman’s jacket to impress Sandy, too, but he quickly takes it off when Sandy shows up.
In S1E18, Madeline and Louise are contemplating spying on Tristan and Paris as they talk about some unknown subject in the hall. Rory is against it, but Louise says, “Those who simply wait for information to find them spend a lot of time sitting by the phone. Those who go out and find it themselves have something to say when it rings.” Rory asks, “Nietzsche?” Louise answers, “Dawson.”
Frederick Nietzsche was a 19th century German philosopher. He was believed to be an atheist, often remembered for his bold statement, “God is dead.” Most people equate Nietzsche with nihilism, although he did seem to find hope in the idea of “working for the future.”
I think Louise is talking about the character Dawson Leery from the television show “Dawson’s Creek.” It premiered on the WB in 1998 (the same network as Gilmore Girls). The story followed the life of Dawson and his friends, Joey and Pacey, as they attend high school in a small Massachusetts town. (I can’t find this exact quote, but it does seem like something Dawson would say, and I can’t find any indication of another “Dawson” Louise might be talking about).
In S1E18, Rory gives Tristan some advice: to go out with girls with more substance, like Paris. Rory says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.” Tristan asks, “Who’s Louis?”
This is a line from the 1942 film “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid. Casablanca is considered one of the best films of all time. The main character, Rick, played by Bogart, runs a cafe in Casablanca during World War II. Rick is trying to help get a Czech Resistance leader out of the country. He strikes a deal with police officer Louis Renault but ends up threatening Renault at gunpoint to help them. In the end, Renault covers for Rick, and the two of them make plans to leave Morocco and join the French Resistance. At the end of the film, Rick tells Renault, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
In S1E18, Tristan tells Rory that he’s thinking about swearing off girls for a while. Rory laughs, and Tristan says, “You don’t think I can!” Rory answers, “No, I… I think you can. I just think it would be hard for you. It would probably involve some kind of lockup facility and one of those Hannibal Lecter masks.”
Hannibal Lecter is a character portrayed in a series of novels by Thomas Harris as well as in several movies and a television series based on those novels. He is a forensic psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer. When he is imprisoned, he is fitted with a straightjacket and a mask that covers half his face, acting as a muzzle.
In S1E18, Emily is trying to find all the awful gifts her mother-in-law has given her over the years. She rants about the “lion tables and stupid naked angels with their butts!” Lorelai says, “Woah! Stupid naked angel butts? What, did David Mamet just stop by?”
David Mamot is an American playwright and screenwriter, known for “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and “The Verdict.” Mamot does have a rather distinctive style for writing dialogue, although I’m not sure “stupid naked angel butts” really fits. Lorelai could be connecting Emily’s use of language to “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” which is full of profanity and insults.