In S1E2, Rory is telling Lorelai about her troubles with Paris, and Lorelai asks if Rory wants her to talk to anybody about it. “A parent, a teacher, a big guy named Moose?” she offers.
Moose Mason, full name possibly Marmaduke Merton Matowski “Moose” Mason (the writers aren’t exactly consistent with his name), is a character from the “Archie” comic series. He’s a great athlete and a friend of Archie’s. Archie always asks Moose for help if someone strong or menacing is needed.
Let’s be honest, though; Moose probably wouldn’t scare Paris.
In S1E2, Lorelai explains to Rory why everyone at school is calling her “Mary.” It means “Virgin Mary,” because they think Rory looks like a goody-goody. Rory asks Lorelai, “What would they have called me if they thought I looked like a slut?” Lorelai responds, “Well, they might’ve added a ‘Magdalene’ to it.”
The Virgin Mary reference is obvious, but why Mary Magdalene?
Mary Magdalene is mentioned in the Bible as a follower of Jesus. Jesus drove 7 demons out of her, and she was among the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection. In medieval times, an idea arose that Mary Magdalene was a former prostitute-turned-disciple or that she was promiscuous. However, these ideas are not supported by any Biblical text. There was a prostitute named Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, but nothing indicates that Mary the prostitute was Mary Magdalene. Nevertheless, the idea of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute has prevailed for hundreds of years.
In S1E2, Lorelai confronts Emily about the DSL that Emily tried to have installed. Lorelai gives this lovely little monologue:
“We like our internet slow., okay? We can turn it on, walk around, do a little dance, make a sandwich. With DSL, there’s no dancing, no walking, and we’d starve! It’d be all work and no play. Have you not seen ‘The Shining,’ Mom?”
“The Shining” is a 1980 horror film based on a Stephen King novel. The film’s main character, Jack, is driven insane by ghosts, and his wife finds his typewriter full of paper that reads, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” over and over. Jack goes on a murderous rampage and eventually freezes to death.
In S1E2, Miss Patty is teaching a dance class and little girls are walking in a circle with books on their heads. Miss Patty says, “Now, walk smooth. That’s a new Harry Potter on your heads. If they should drop, Harry will die and there won’t be any more books.”
The Harry Potter series consists of 7 novels written by J. K. Rowling. The first novel was released in the U.S. in 1998. The 4th book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, would have been recently published at the time Gilmore Girls’ first season was airing, in 2000. The next Harry Potter book was not released until 2003 (some poor dance student of Miss Patty’s probably spent those 3 long years thinking it was her fault there were no more books).
In S1E2, Paris, Madeline, and Louise get ahold of Rory’s personal file and are looking through it. Paris reads that Rory is from Stars Hollow High School, and Louise asks, “Where’s that?” Paris responds, “Drive west, make a left at the haystacks and follow the cows,” and then Louise says, “Ooh, a Dixie Chick.”
The Dixie Chicks are a country band from Texas. They were by far the most popular country music group of the late 90’s, gaining national recognition and fame beyond the usual scope of country music. They won their first 2 Grammy awards in 1999, going on to win another 11 by 2007.
In S1E2, Headmaster Charleston is getting to know Rory on her first day at Chilton. She tells him that she wants to study journalism and political science and become Christiane Amanpour. Headmaster Charleston is genuinely surprised and says, “Really? Not Cokie Roberts? Not Oprah, Rosie, or one of the women from ‘The View?'” Rory firmly replies “no” to each of his other suggestions (and never gives up on her dream of being Christiane Amanpour).
Whew, so many references. This one’s a doozy.
Christiane Amanpour was discussed in this post.
Oprah was briefly discussed in this post. She is a talk show host who began her career as a news anchor and radio host. She pioneered the genre of “tabloid talk show” but later broadened her topics to include more emphasis on lifestyle and social issues.
Cokie Roberts is an award-winning journalist and news analyst for NPR and ABC. Much of her work has centered around American politics, though she has covered international affairs as well.
“Rosie” refers to Rosie O’Donnell, an actress and television host. She hosted the award-winning “Rosie O’Donnell Show” and hosted “The View” for many years. She tended to bring politically liberal opinions to “The View” and is known for voicing strong opinions on controversial subjects.
“The View” is an ABC television talk show that premiered in 1997 and began its 19th season in the fall of 2015. It features a panel of female co-hosts who discuss a range of topics from politics to celebrities.
In S1E2, Headmaster Charleston is asking Rory about her aspirations. She tells him that she wants to study journalism and political science at Harvard, and Headmaster Charleston inquires, “On your way to being…?” Rory responds, “Christiane Amanpour.”
Christiane Amanpour is an award-winning journalist and international news correspondent. She is recognized for her reporting on the Gulf War and the Bosnian War. She has traveled to many conflict-filled areas and interviewed prominent political and cultural figures.
In S1E2, Headmaster Charleston is getting to know Rory on her first day. He asks her about her lack of social activities, and she responds, “I was in the German club for a while, but there were only three of us and then two left for the French club after seeing ‘Schindler’s List,’ so…”
“Schindler’s List” is a Stephen Spielberg film about a man who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust by providing them jobs. It is based on the true story of Oscar Schindler, a businessman who spent most of his fortune bribing Nazi officers to keep his Jewish workers safe. It is widely considered one of the best films of all time.
The film depicted many horrors of the Holocaust as well as the antisemitic or apathetic attitudes of many Germans at the time. Schindler himself began as a Nazi supporter and only began his subversive fight after seeing many Jews shot and killed by Nazis.
Movie clip trigger warning: depictions of violence
In S1E2, Rory and Lorelai are sitting in their car staring, awestruck, at Chilton Academy. Lorelai tilts her head to one side, and Rory asks, “What are you looking at?” Lorelai responds, “I’m just trying to see if there’s a hunchback up in that belltower.”
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is a classic Gothic novel by Victor Hugo, with a famous Disney animated film adaptation. The story centers around Quasimodo, a hunchback bellringer who spends most of his life confined to a cathedral belltower.
Architecture is a major focus of the novel, especially Gothic architecture and its importance to society. The gargoyles seen at Chilton are certainly a Gothic feature.
In S1E2, Rory asks Lorelai to go meet the Chilton headmaster with her, but Lorelai didn’t have any clean clothes that morning so she is wearing cutoff shorts, cowboy boots, and a tight tie-dye t-shirt. Lorelai says, “Well, look at me. I can’t meet anybody who does anything in there. No, I look like that chick from ‘The Dukes of Hazzard!'”
“The Dukes of Hazzard” is story about a family’s adventures and shenanigans in Hazzard County, Georgia. It has two main adaptations- a 1979 Television series and a 2005 film.
“That chick” that Lorelai is referring to is the character Daisy Duke, played by Catherine Bach in the TV series and Jessica Simpson in the film. Daisy’s signature cutoff jean shorts are so iconic that the style has been named “daisy dukes.”