Monday, March 2, 2015

Podcast #27 - S2E5 - Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 2, Episode 5 - Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy.

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The next podcast will post on Monday, March 9, 2015 for Season 2, Episode 6 - Presenting Lorelai Gilmore.


  1. Sorry I’ve been gone for a while; I’ve been pretty busy planning for my wedding, move, and baby. Speaking of which, the show has once again touched my life and helped me through a rough patch. In high school, it helped me as I could relate to Rory. Now that I’m quite a bit older, though, I’m relating more and more to Lorelei. When I got pregnant, it was not in a way or at a time I knew my parents would approve of. While I am far from a teenager, I come from a very conservative family, and I dreaded for weeks over telling them. As a stress-reliever, I turned on Gilmore Girls and realized that if Lorelei could do it at 16 and single, I could too. If she could make the best of a less than ideal situation by herself, I certainly could with my fiancé and some family members on my side. It also helped that my mother has always reminded me of a less-intense Emily Gilmore. Emily wasn’t pleased with a lot of decisions Lorelei made, but it never made her stop loving her, trying to support her, and, most importantly to me, never stopped her from loving her granddaughter unconditionally. It just constantly amazes me how my perspective on a show can change drastically and how it can still apply to my life and help me though it even though it’s been 15 years since its debut.

    Anyway, to catch up – farewell, Mr. Medina. We hardly knew ya. Lorelei’s decision to not marry Max reminds me of Xander’s decision to not marry Anya. Yes, they were right to back out of the wedding, but their timing is crap. At least Lorelei didn’t leave Max at the alter, but it still disrupted her daughter’s life and Max’s (if only we were meant to care about Max’s life).

    And Dean’s back. Um…better than turning Tristan into a love interest. It’s sad because I’ve been watching some Supernatural, and he’s pretty good in that. Maybe this type of role just isn’t what he’s good at?

    Regarding Yo-Yo Ma from the episode where they visit Harvard – he went to Julliard at 19, but wanted a traditional liberal arts degree to supplement his conservatory schooling. He went to Harvard for that, and didn’t get his bachelor until he was nearly 20 (the slacker ). Harvard gave him an honorary doctorate in 1991.

    And here comes Jess. He certainly shows potential to create a lot of drama. I’m torn about him. One the one hand, he could be a great foil for a lot of characters and very entertaining to watch. On the other hand, he wrote in Rory’s book. I would have pushing him into the lake just for that.

    1. Okay, on to this episode:

      I already love Leisel. The maids so rarely have personalities on screen.

      Richard really does sound condescending when dismissing Emily’s engagements that are important to her. He has a point that they do a lot of fundraiser things, but he could have said it a bit more tactfully. He seems really rude and dismissive the whole episode. And poor Emily feels so left out of everything just by missing several functions. It’s no wonder she gets Rory to agree to the debut. Not so much a fan of Emily snapping at Lorelei more and more throughout the episode as she gets more frustrated and angry at Richard, especially the barbed comment at the ball when she says that it should have been Lorelei being presented.

      I understand that Richard is angry about work, but he takes it out on Emily instead of really dealing with the problem. Seems their well-suited to each other. Both are very good at aiming their anger at the wrong people. How does Richard expect Emily, a woman who has presumably never had employment outside the home and social circle, to understand when all we’ve seen him do it rant and yell about the problem?

      Speaking of things that frustrate me to watch, there’s Dean to complain about having to dress up for something. Does he not remember the reception he got last time he wore his puca-shell necklace to a nice place? And then later when learning to dance. And again when reminded out the gloves. Imagine having to put forward some effort! He sure can get that whiny voice usually heard in jr high girls.

      I wonder if my fiancé will be offended if I use the “hello sailor” line when we attempt to dance together. I do wish either of us could dance like Lorelei and Christopher.

      Okay, if you have an ugly scab on your face that you’re trying to hide, why do you wear a neon pink band-aid over it? You cover it with makeup or a flesh-colored bandage if you must.

      So, I’ve never been much of a drinker. Do those shaker things only ever have martinis? Christopher is wanting a martini, Lorelei goes behind the bar and just pours out of the shaker and it magically has the right drink in it.

      This is the second time that Lorelei has tried to use Christopher as a convenient rebound from Max. I think he’s just her safety that she assumes he’ll always be there for her to pick up whenever she need him. Not very flattering trait of Lorelei’s, but it still seems very realistic. It’s actually encouraging to see an adult who is a good person but doesn’t necessarily have all her shit together. All the quirkiness of Lorelei could make her seem like a cartoon character, but her flaws and tenuous efforts to improve those flaws ground her character to reality.

      On that note, I really liked that last scene. Lorelei is reaching out to be supportive of her mother, not to ask for something or to explain a mistake she made, but just to offer to act as a sounding board to someone who seems to be begging for one. I did like that Emily doesn’t seem to take her up on that offer; that would have been a bit too much of a leap forward in their relationship. Also didn’t hurt the scene that Lorelei’s outfit is great

  2. Totally forgot to get my comment in for last episode. Post this weeks episode later after I watch it.

    Nick and Nora/Sid and Nancy
    Oh yea there's Max again. I liked Rory's interview with him and her telling him that she wanted him to be her stepfather. Although we didn't really see her show any interest in him in that role.
    Holy crap I forgot about Jess. I thought he came in later in the season. I do like Luke forgetting the sheets and trying to blow up a raft as a bed. I have to admit I had a crush on Jess when I was young. I did not like his talk with Lorelai, made me almost miss Dean, almost. But I think he went over board with asking if she's sleeping with Luke. Oh I love Luke pushing him into the water though, that is the BEST! Also I thought the high school was in the middle of town. Where did this school in the woods come from? Maybe that's the back of the school?

    Luke's comment about Rory having a tighter grasp on reality than Lorelai was funny.
    Paris is back to being a bitca towards Rory. Why are Madeline and Louise on the paper? Doesn't seem like something they would be interested in. I do like that he and Rory are both into reading books. Although it would annoy me if someone wrote in my book without my permission. lol. Lorelai asking the poor kid to get her coffee, was creepy yet hilarious!
    Quote of the episode: "I have no patience for jam hands!"

  3. On rewatching this episode I noticed something I missed the first (five) times around.

    While Lorelai and Luke are discussing the best way to deal with a sullen, angry teenage boy, there is another adult in the episode who probably knows more about wrangling difficult teenagers than either of them: Max. After all, in his years of teaching he has undoubtedly dealt with students like Jess, and apparently he's very good at it (since the students at Chilton gave him an award). It adds a layer of irony to the episode and even more poignancy to Rory's statement that she wanted him to be her stepfather. In an alternate reality where Lorelai and Max had gotten married, he could actually have been very helpful to Luke.

    However, then we might have been deprived of watching Luke push Jess into the lake. Can't have that.

  4. I like the opening fight scene between Richard and Emily. It's cute that Rory wants to do this for her grandma. It's nice seeing what Emily does with her free time. Lorelai coming over at the end was sweet.ok can't Dean ever just be happy to do something for Rory? I'm really questioning what she sees in him.

    It's nice seeing Christopher again. So did he move to Boston and not tell Rory? That seems awfully close to not mention it. I do like Lorelai and Christopher together because it's always fun to hear them reminse about their past. And its sweet that he showed up for Rory. Did Christopher just kiss Lorelai and then say he has a girlfriend? I kind of feel bad for Lorelai.

    I love Jess dressing as Luke while working. I like the girl questioning Rory about Dean being the one and Dean's reaction when she says they're getting married.

  5. Thank you for mentioning Jess' insane shoulder-to-waist ratio! I noticed that too and was also like ...whoa. It is nice to look at. But I was also wondering where they hide that when he's wearing other outfits because you really can't see that most of the time.

    I also liked your talk about books. I'm also very specific about what I do with my books and apparently what other people do to their books, too. For example, I always cringe when I see someone use a highlighter in a book because I only ever use a pencil because that feels the least invasive to me. And yeah, this hinges entirely on the book format. Like, when I print a short story or something for university, I don't have a problem doing whatever with that. It's strange, isn't it?
    But yeah, that's probably why I'm so bothered by Jess writing in Rory's book without asking. But I also think it shows a certain arrogance the way he does it. But as you said, it's totally in character for him and that he wants to share his thoughts with her is sweet and makes him maybe kind of vulnerable, too.

    And a propos ebooks: What would Rory's opinion be on them? I think at first she would be against it because she likes the physicality of a book, but eventually she would get one, or no, maybe Emily would give her one, and then she would end up loving the possibility of having hundreds of books with her at all times and not having to choose in advance what she wants to read later.

    Ok, on to this episode:
    Just for once I would like Dean to do something for Rory without complaining about it first.

    It's fun to have Chris around again. He still has great chemistry with Lorelai and they just work really well together. It seems a little mean though that he would spend the entire weekend (?) with them and be all flirty with Lorelai, although ok, that's probably just the way he is. But he waits until Lorelai says "You could stay a little longer *winkwink*" and he has to give her a reason why he can't and only then does he tell her about his serious girlfriend. I might have been nice had he brought that up a little sooner.

    I like that throughout the episode various people and especially Lorelai go on about how sexist the cotillion is and it's very fitting for this show to point that out in this way.

    It's nice that we get to see a little more of Jess and Luke and how they're getting along even though it's not the focus of the episode. I think especially their second scene is really funny when Jess is wearing the plaid uniform and imitates Luke with the salt shaker.

  6. In an episode about "proper" behavior for ladies, I was struck by the focus on the gentlemen and their responses to the event. Christopher wins by a long shot. I wish we had more of a clue as to why Lorelai got super flirty with him at the end of the episode. Was she all gung-ho to try again with him just because he has a job now? Maybe it was the suit.

    Dean, on the other hand, was insufferable. You guys weren't kidding: he shoots down everything Rory asks him to do! The show is running an excellent campaign for never talking to high school boys. Every one of them (Dean, Tristan, Jess) has respect issues. Where the heck is Henry when you need him?

    I can understand that asking a teenage guy to put on a suit with tails and white gloves is probably outside of his comfort zone, but when it comes after his sassy retorts to six other dates, my patience runs out. Even after the ball was over, he was STILL reminding her how much she owed him. If it wouldn't have caused such a stir, Rory should have just had Lane escort her, tails and all. I bet they would have had a blast.

    Favorite moment goes to Rory's pause in the middle of her burger before lifting her pinky.

  7. Regarding Nick & Norah Sid & Nancy

    First things first, I loved the little boy scout who says, in response to Luke saying he'll put the kid under the donut display, "I wont fit" PRECIOUS!

    However, I hate to poke holes in the timeline of things but are these boy scouts really out doing boy scout things at like 6am?

    I wonder if we ever find out why Luke's mom died when he was young.

    I hate jess's blue vest and baggy jeans, it seems uncharacteristic for future him. I look forward to his fashion choices improving in the future. Unless I'm misremembering his style.

    Whats up with all the matching outfits in the scene where Jess looks around stars hollow. There's not only a matching mom and daughter, but also a mom with two matching toddlers.

    After Jess arrives in Stars Hollow he says he "got here at 10 this morning" and we see Liz's conversation with Luke at 7:30. leaving 2 and a half hours for Jess to arrive on the bus from NY… plausible, but it seems like its cutting it really close. It doesn't make sense why they didn't spread this out over 2 days, they could've just had the first school paper meeting the following day to keep the two storylines synched up as well. hmm.

    It feels like the writers idea of a "bad boy" is straight out of a 50s greaser film or something.

    I think what luke said about Lorelai just getting lucky was worse than the dig about her getting pregnant at 16. I mean Tory didn't just turn out the way she did because she got lucky…. Lorelai put a lot of hard work into that relationship and raising Rory and its shitty to discount all that hard work.

    I wished we got this backstory on Max sooner. Even though its creepy that he wanted to be a clown, it makes sense considering that Lorelai has a weird things for clowns. I also wish we got word of Rory being excited for Max and Lorelai to get married before the wedding was cancelled. Its weird, it felt like Rory didn't acknowledge that her life was changing at all until after the wedding was cancelled and then suddenly, we get not one (the fight at the b&b) but two scenes that develop this. So weird!

  8. (pt 2)

    I was relieved when Rory was upfront about her article on max. She could have tried to hide it from Lorelai or act weird about it, but instead she just took it head on and it ended up really well. It could have potentially been a fight between them if Rory had chosen to hide it.

    I liked how Lorelai laments that Max "sounds like a hell of a guy" after reading Rory's article, because their ENTIRE relationship Lorelai constantly talks about how he's a great guy; she must've said it a million times. But she doesn't say that she's in love with him often (or maybe ever?) or that he's great FOR her or anything that connected the two of him. It feels like wanting to be with Max and wanting to be married was the good choice "on paper", in contrast to Christopher who is terrible on paper but appeals to her heart. She's just gotta wait for someone who's great on paper AND appeals to her heart… (cough cough…. Luke!)

    I loved how Babbette's comment about getting so attached to the gnomes you can hear them talk to you at night made her seem so much more loony that she already is. That line is up there in my list of favorite Babbette's lines… right next to " I was pushed out of a moving car once"

    Jess's coin trick was SO cheesy and nerdy. I completely forgot that he did such a dorky thing. Rory clearly isn't impressed either, haha.

    I think I would instantly fall in love if someone stole a book of mine to return with notes in the margins. It seems like the most personal, intimate thing, akin to reading someone's diary. The only reason I don't write in the margins of my books is because I'm too nervous to let anyone else read my notes should they borrow my book-- I only write in the margins of very personal books that I don't lend out. This moment made me fall for Jess despite his awful blue puffy vest and dorky magic trick. I was sold.

    I thought that Rory's outfits were all bad and she generally seemed too childlike in the scenes of her outside of Chilton. It made it seem almost creepy that Jess was interested in her because she looks like she's twelve and Jess looks like he's twenty five.

    I hated the song at the end of the episode, it was super loud and misplaced.

    Besides the weird timing issues with Jess's quick arrival, I felt like the storyline was well really well constructed and I kinda liked that it was less about Lorelai and Rory and more about other characters. It brought up lots of nostalgia for when I first watched the show in high school and fell in love with Jess so hard, even this first episode when he's a total shithead.

    Favorite moment was the scene where Jess gives Rory his annotated copy of Howl, especially the way he says "goodnight Rory", tied with Luke pushing Jess in the lake. Favorite line was Babette saying she can hear Pierpont speak to her at night.