Monday, November 10, 2014

Podcast #15 - S1E14 - That Damn Donna Reed

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 1, Episode 14 - That Damn Donna Reed!

Just make out already!!
You can direct download the episode here: S1E14 - That Damn Donna Reed

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The next podcast will post on Monday, November 17, 2014 for Season 1, Episode 15 - Christopher Returns!


  1. I always thought the episode title was "Concertus Interruptus", because that's what they use as the title in german and it makes sense in itself, so I was actually surprised when you said concert. So I guess for once something got better in translation.

    I really like this episode. As much as I am pro Luke, I've always had a soft spot for Lorelai and Christopher. I think, they did a good job with the casting. He has chemistry with Lorelai, he can keep up with her and they're great at the verbal sparring thing. I can see why she would have feelings for him and really believe that they have a long history together. I especially love the detail that he calls her Lor and that he's the only one who does that.
    I don't see any of the actors the people of Stars Hollow (who were hilarious throughout the episode) compare Christopher to, though.
    The only thing that seems very strange to me is that Lorelai and Christopher do it on the balcony while her parents and their daughter are there and maybe someone will come looking for them and I don't know, that scene always kind of bugged me.

    There are a lot of great scenes, especially sad Luke, and the talks between Emily and Rory and later Christopher and Lorelai in the kitchen. I also love the talk between Lorelai and Richard and that we learn a little more about what Lorelai not only getting pregnant, but leaving them, did to Richard and Emily and it breaks my heart.

    Since it is brought up again and again by everyone here what a good kid Rory is: I do think that on some level Rory has always tried to be the good kid, to do well in school, go to Harvard, and all that, in order to prove that she was not a mistake and that Lorelai did not "throw her life away" for someone who's not worth it. (I don't know how else to phrase this)

    And Straub and Francine are horrible.

    1. I never even considered the possibility that Rory felt like she needed to prove herself to not be a mistake. Somehow I don't see this as being Rory's motivation, as I think Lorelai has gone out of her way to make sure Rory knows that she is a loved kid, and that she personally does not consider Rory to be a mistake. I guess it's possible, but I think Rory is just a naturally driven kid, and someone who thrives on academics.

      I agree though that Lorelai and Chris on the balcony is not a great scene. Why are they there instead of comforting their daughter? At least Emily had the sense to go find her. Lorelai does talk to her when they get home, but it just seemed odd that she waited so long to talk to Rory.

    2. Oh, that's all true of course.
      Maybe "prove" is too strong a word, it sounds like she one day actively decided to do this but I can see how this aspect might have played a part in who Rory has become. And I think the same can be said for Lorelai who is often stressing how perfect Rory is and that, while they are very much alike, they are very different in certain aspects (Rory is not going to get pregnant at 16 for example). They both want that perfect life for Rory so much and ok, everyone wants that, but I think that the fact that Lorelai could not go to college etc. plays a part.
      I'm having a hard time putting this into the exact right words and I'm in no way trying to say that this is the only reason why they are the way they are and it's the motivation behind everything they do, but I do believe that on some level, unconsciously, whatever, it's there.

  2. Emily was so great in this episode. Her talk with Rory in the kitchen just made me want to give her a great big hug. That was the one thing Rory needed to hear, and the best possible thing she could have said given the situation. Richard, on the other hand, starts off strong with his jumping to the defense of Lorelai, and then when he turns around and tells her he did it out of family obligation and not love, he reminds me why Lorelai never wants to come around her parents. They just cannot let the past be the past. He sunk pretty low in my book this episode.

    Bad Dean. He lied to Lorelai about not having a motorcycle. Actually, it was probably the fault of the writers, but still. It always bothers me when he and Chris exchange bike stats.

    Other thoughts: The town trying to figure out which celebrity Chris looks most like is so funny. Of course Rory’s dream book is a giant dictionary. Rory’s curtsey, and Lorelai’s subsequent reaction to said curtsey are both so great, and so true to character. Metallica is definitely better.

    I feel so bad for Rory during pretty much the entire episode. She wants so badly to have her dad in her life on a regular basis, and he just is not ready for that kind of responsibility. I find no fault in Lorelai’s decision to decline Chris’ spur of the moment proposal. The very fact that he leaves again, with no mention of when he might return proves that he’s not a stable guy. Usually, I think there is a certain level of glossing over the fact that Lorelai is a single parent, but I feel like with this episode there’s this new level of respect for Lorelai built because she is the parent that has stuck around all these years. Rory never has to wonder whether or not Lorelai will be around when she needs her. She’s always there. It reminds me of a quote from Veronica Mars where in reference to her mother leaving, she tells her father “the hero is the one that stays, and the villain is the one that splits.” Lorelai is the hero parent in this scenario.

    1. Man I love Veronica Mars :)

  3. Why has Christopher never been to Stars Hallow? Does Rory have to go to California every time she wants to see her dad? Riding his back across country, wow that's a long trip.

    I like the softball game it's nice seeing Luke out of the diner and then getting mad at Kirk and Kirk running off. I guess that answers the question of Dean having a bike. But did he lie to Lorelai or did he get it afterwards? Jackson running away was great!

    Well aren't Christopher's parents awkward. Rory trying to interact and curtsy was funny.
    I really love Richard standing up to Strob and defending Lorelai but then he has that conversation with her saying he only did it to protect the Gilmore name and it ruined that moment. It's nice to hear that Lorelai leaving really affected Emily.

    Doesn't Luke live in the diner, why was he walking up to it? Any why doesn't Lorelai just tell him the truth that she had a bad dinner with her parents.

    I also like the conversation Lorelai and Christoper have in the kitchen. Even though he's asking her to marry him she knows that he's not ready and it's not the right thing to do right now. I also like that even though they had sex it doesn't change anything. Too many times will people have sex and then they're a couple again. That's not always how it works.

    I also like the end scene with Lorelai painting the diner as a way to make it up to Luke. You can tell that she felt really bad and ares about him. Aw.

    1. I assumed that Christopher always went to Hartford and they only saw each other at the Gilmore mansion at Christmas or thanksgiving.

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  5. Love the podcast and can't believe i just found it! Im going back and listening/watching from the beginning.
    Shelley Fabares who sang the song on the CD also played Donna Reed's daughter on The Donna Reed Show hence Rory's song choice. She is probably better known today as the love interest and later wife of Craig T Nelson's Hayden Fox character on the 1990s sitcom "Coach." Just wanted to point out the connection there. When Lorelai mentions I Love Lucy to Luke when she was trying to find Stella I think she was referring to the episode in the final season when Lucy brings chickens into the house and she starts clucking like a chicken to get the missing baby chicks to follow her out of hiding. In fact she makes a comment about pretending to be the mother of the chickens.