Monday, August 31, 2015

Podcast #48 - S3E3 - Application Anxiety

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 3 - Application Anxiety. 

You can direct download the episode here: S3E3 - Application Anxiety

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You can also send feedback and voice clips to
Or you can tweet us at SeriouslySwatch (Cordia) or CelesteFohl!

The next podcast will post on Monday, September 7, 2015 for S3E4 - One's Got Class and the Other One Dyes.

Cordia's Review of S3E3 - Application Anxiety

Application Anxiety
Season 3, Episode 3
Original airing: October 8, 2002

My Rating: 62

The Good:
There was a lot to like in this episode with the progression of the Harvard storyline, Luke and Taylor’s battle, and Lane’s band storyline.

It’s nice to see Rory going through the steps of achieving her dream to attend Harvard. She’s been preparing for a long time by being a good student and getting in to Chilton. We’ve also seen her work on additional aspects of her education including the school paper and volunteering to help build a house. It’s nice to see it all coming together as her application arrives in the mail.

I wasn’t a huge fan of how we got to the Springsteen lunch (See The Bad), but I liked what resulted from it. The Springsteens were an over-the-top depiction of what life could be like surrounded by highly educated people. They’re over-excited about all things intellectual and it was very interesting to watch Rory be simultaneously drawn in by the conversation and a bit repulsed by the attitudes and mannerisms. It all combined very nicely with her conversation with Carol.

Carol makes Rory think about some really excellent points. Why does she really want to go to Harvard? Is it because it’s been Lorelai’s dream for her since she was born or does she really want to attend? It was nice to see Rory state her intentions but I hope we also see her continuing to ponder this as the stress continues.

Luke and Taylor’s storyline was extremely entertaining. I loved everything from Taylor’s not-so-sneaky photo taking to his underhanded use of Stars Hollow’s impressionable young men to his ridiculous “professional” diorama with the gigantic horse and tiny Jackson. It was all that perfect level of crazy that we sometimes get from Stars Hollow residents. I really liked the tiny moment where Luke gives in on everything because Lorelai gives him puppy eyes and says she wants a soda shop. And the cherry on top was Kirk asking for a job at Luke’s fictional skateboard and bottle shop AND the soda shop. Any opportunity to work for minimum wage, eh, Kirk?

Last, but definitely not least, was the continuation of Lane’s band storyline. Her passion becomes clearer and clearer as we see her blending her love of all styles of music with her drumming. I don’t think she was in a single scene in this episode where she didn’t reference at least a half dozen different bands. Keiko Agena is able to inject such a vibrant love of all things music in to every line she speaks and it’s wonderful to see the character being given opportunities to shine. The introduction of Dave Rygalski was the perfect “meet cute” for the pair. This is an incredibly natural way for Lane to meet her next love interest and creates a perfect reason for her to keep this relationship secret from her mom after the last one blew up in her face concerning Henry.

The Bad:
While I enjoyed some of the, I believe, unintended consequences of the Springsteen lunch, I was not a fan of how the show brought us to that storyline. The most unfortunate part of this is that it feels quite similar to the Season 2 episode – Hammers and Veils. We have the same idea of Rory suddenly discovering she needs an additional edge to get in to Harvard. The frustrating thing about this take on the story is that it seems like Rory would already have significantly researched applying to Harvard and would have known for a long time what she could do to improve her chances of being successful. It just doesn’t fit her academic personality to assume that she hasn’t looked in to what will be an incredibly significant step in achieving her life-long dream.

It also really bothered me that the exposition for this storyline came from the panelists. Their presentation made them seem quite cruel and uncaring about the young people they were supposed to be helping. Their comments are demeaning and heartless.  

The other thing that bothered me was Rory and Dean’s conversation at the end of the episode. This feels like the show pointing out more things that are falling apart in their relationship. While I don’t disagree that this is an important conversation, it just didn’t feel to me like one that they were going to have with the level of communication in their relationship. I didn’t find it believable that Dean would bring this up in such a blunt manner and force Rory to discuss it.

Favorite Moment:
I really enjoyed Lane and Dave’s introduction. It was very sweet when she blurted out “I love you! I mean, I love that about you!” They are extremely adorable together.

The Bottom Line:

I loved the subplots in this episode and I thought there was some very interesting subtext to the main plot, but the overall story of “Rory is panicking about Harvard, again” didn’t play out.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Podcast #47 - S3E2 - Haunted Leg

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 2 - Haunted Leg. 

You can direct download the episode here: S3E2 - Haunted Leg

You can also follow our RSS Feed, or subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Comment on this post to leave your feedback for the next podcast!
You can also send feedback and voice clips to
Or you can tweet us at SeriouslySwatch (Cordia) or CelesteFohl!

The next podcast will post on Monday, August 31, 2015 for S3E3 - Application Anxiety.

Cordia's Review of S3E2 - Haunted Leg

Haunted Leg
Season 3, Episode 2
Original airing: October 1, 2002

My Rating: 71

The Good:
This felt like a continuation of the season opener. I was happy to see some direct addressing of the Lorelai/Christopher situation and the Jess/Rory situation.

Emily’s self-involvement in Lorelai’s relationship with Christopher felt very true to her character. I liked that she inserted herself in a way that she probably viewed as helpful, but also stood up for Lorelai when she really needed it in the final scene.

I was a little bit proud of Christopher for forcing a conversation about the situation since we know Lorelai and Rory have both been avoiding his phone calls. I was surprised and happy to see him arrive during Friday Night Dinner! But it didn’t last as he also stayed true to his character and wasn’t there to discuss the events, but to make accusations. It was really powerful to see Rory tear him down for breaking his promise to her within minutes of making it. Her comments cut very deeply.

I was also very in to Jess and Rory’s final conversation. The set up scene in the diner was a good small reminder of exactly where they stand. Neither of them will look at each other and we have the wonderfully awkward kiss between Jess and Shane where he pulls away. It was excellent for setting the stage for their scene in Doosey’s Market. I liked that they danced around the issue for a while. This seems like the first words they’ve exchanged in about three months since Rory left for Washington DC. So it makes sense that they might each have to work up the nerve to address the tension between them.

I appreciated really getting to hear Jess’ perspective. It was exactly what I suspected it would be; Rory hurt him by running away and not communicating for three months, so he presumably moved on with his life. However, it would seem he hasn’t and Shane is likely more of a distraction for him than a real interest. This develops way more interest in the Rory/Jess/Dean storyline because it gives Rory real, understandable reasons for staying with Dean versus pursuing Jess. Their mutually injured feelings and pride are the source of conflict.

Kirk’s story was particularly well-handled. It was a big surprise to have him ask Lorelai out on a date and yet makes perfect sense. Kirk is awkward, but he’s also an adult. He has an attraction to Lorelai based on their mutually crossing paths (much of which we’ve seen in various episodes). So his dinner suggestion is really quite reasonable. And while the storyline is largely played for laughs with his voice message and everyone mocking Lorelai, it’s handled quite delicately. It was good to have Lorelai have a considered, kind, and compassionate response to Kirk. This story was an excellent opportunity to expand Kirk’s character and remind us of a few reasons why we love Lorelai.

The Bad:
I’m less enthusiastic about the Chilton bits of the episode, but I thought they were ok. Of course it’s entertaining to see Paris in a position of power and how quickly she takes complete and utter control of her position. But I felt the Francie-side of things was lacking. Her threat is a retread of Season One Paris – a mean girl who’s purpose on the show is to make Rory’s school life uncomfortable. Her vocalized threat to ruin Rory and Paris’ relationship is just frustrating. If the show returns to that well for a third time, it will feel beyond tired and clichéd. If the writers find a new angle for this, I think it could be interesting. But it’s not a terribly promising start.

The other bit of the episode that frustrated me was Emily’s bait and switch at lunch. This was another retread that felt unnecessary and wrong. Emily may have pulled this earlier in her and Lorelai’s relationship, but at this point I think she knows it wouldn’t result in Lorelai being willing to listen to anything she has to say.

Favorite Moment:
I was really impressed by the small scene of Lorelai trying to decide if she would save a seat for Emily with her purse. She holds a pretty long joke moment of picking up her purse and putting it back down with aplomb. Her facial expressions as she goes through the pros and cons of each decision were very engaging. The kicker was Emily arriving with the bag off the seat and commenting on Lorelai’s lack of courtesy.

The Bottom Line:
This episode did a great job of kicking off season three with a momentum that was lacking last week. The main storylines were very strong and engaging, as was Kirk’s dinner invite. The Chilton storyline is really more of an unknown, so I’ll have to wait and see how that develops. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this week.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Podcast #46 - S3E1 - Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Day

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 1 - Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days. 

You can direct download the episode here: S3E1 - Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days

You can also follow our RSS Feed, or subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher.

Comment on this post to leave your feedback for the next podcast!
You can also send feedback and voice clips to
Or you can tweet us at SeriouslySwatch (Cordia) or CelesteFohl!

The next podcast will post on Monday, August 17, 2015 for S3E2 - Haunted Leg.

Célèste's Review of S3E1 "Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days"

“Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days"
Season 3, Episode 1
Original airing: September 24, 2002

My Rating: 66

The Good:
  • This episode does a good job of tying up some of the strings left by the finale. Lorelai telling her parents was definitely a highlight, and Jess finding someone else over the summer throws an interesting wrench into things for Rory, who's used to being the center of his attention. 
  • The Paris subplot was great. It didn't even bother me that we'd already seen Rory helping Paris get ready for a date. It's so entertaining, I could was various iterations of the same theme for a while without getting bored. 
  • I love a good Stars Hollow festival, so I enjoyed having that as a backdrop to Lorelai and Rory's argument, even if we didn't stay there for long. This episode really had a lot going on. Gilmore Girls must have had a bigger budget for their third season. 
  • Despite the fact that I think the Lorelai/Luke reconciliation didn't take the exact form I would have preferred, I did enjoy seeing Lorelai show him such a vulnerability and admit to him and to herself that she wants the "whole package" out of life. 
The Bad:
  • The Sookie subplot was a little too over-the-top for me. Over-the-top works for her when the comedy is really hitting, but there just weren't enough laughs to justify how silly the whole thing was. 
  • I like that Luke held out for so long on Lorelai instead of forgiving her instantly, but I don't like that their reconciliation took the form of a "remembering what really matters" scene rather than having a basis in Lorelai actually understanding Luke better and making a real amends. It seemed like she really did recognize she was wrong and eat crow at the end of last season, but that wasn't enough for him. So, why is this enough for him? I mean, she didn't even rinse out her mug like she said she would. 
  • It's very strange the way characters hold conflicting moral opinions that aren't addressed. Shouldn't Emily be a bit more outraged to hear that Christopher still had a girlfriend when he and Lorelai were getting back together? Lorelai is particularly hypocritical when she criticizes Rory for cheating on Dean without acknowledging that she helped Christopher cheat on Sherry. 
  • I noticed a few small things that bothered me. For example, Luke has cleaned all the counters after closing but hasn't locked the door, and, even weirder: has left a full pot of coffee right on the counter where Lorelai can easily get it.
Favorite Moment:
Kirk's "Hey There" scene, and particular Michel's and Lorelai's reactions to him

The Bottom Line:
This episode does a good job of reorienting us for the third season, but doesn't hold enough appeal for me on its own, and, aside from the introduction of Jess's new flame, it does more to tie up loose ends than to whet our appetites for the season to come.

Cordia's Review of S3E1 - Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days

Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days
Season 3, Episode 1
Original airing: September 24, 2002

My Rating: 65

The Good:
This was a pretty mild emotional opening for season three. We spent a good amount of time catching up with characters catching up with each other.

I liked the resolution of Lorelai’s Christopher relationship as it stands at the moment. I’m glad this was addressed in the episode between Lorelai and Rory. It’s completely understandable for both of them to be upset enough to cut Christopher off for a while. It was a pretty huge event in all of their lives and they need time to recover.

I really liked Emily and Richard’s response to Lorelai’s news about Christopher. I expected them to be upset, but I didn’t really know how that would manifest in the show. It was a surprise to see it turn in to an argument between them instead of a united front of disappointment against Lorelai. I felt both Emily and Richard’s reactions fit their characters very well and will allow for a natural continuation of the storyline in several episodes to come as they come to a full confrontation with Lorelai.

What I liked most though was how the Friday Night Dinner scene led in to the resolution of Luke and Lorelai’s fight which began in S2E19 – Teach Me Tonight. Luke still seems upset with Lorelai, but one of the biggest pillars of his character is how he will yield to her needs and happiness. That’s not necessarily a good thing for balance in their relationship, but it’s consistent to have him finally give in and be a support for her again. I hope we see even more of Lorelai returning the favor this season. I liked that their scene, interactions, tone, and conversation were all very mild. They didn’t need to have another big blow up and it was a good adjustment after the anger displayed at the Gilmore Manor.

I found the subplots of Kirk and Sookie well-suited to the episode. They didn’t feel out of place and brought a nice dash of humor.

Rory and Paris wrapped up their final days in Washington, DC for their summer program. It was excellent seeing Paris get a date without realizing it was occurring. Her typical focus on academia led to this very cute scene with the tall and not-overly-dashing Jamie. I really liked this entire story as it led to great moments between Paris and Rory. It’s easy to see how their relationship has blossomed over the past seasons. They are at a point of confidences and emotional support that I’ve been hoping they’d reach for a while now. I enjoy them much more as friends than I do as enemies.

It was also interesting to see all the little hints about Rory’s emotional state over the summer. She’s obviously pulling away from Dean. Her discussion with Paris about compatibility seems to be all about Jess. And her unfinished letter is addressed to him as well. The big moment is when Dean signs off the phone with “I love you” and Rory is conveniently distracted to avoid saying it back.

I felt they show even had a moment in the airport when Lorelai was picking Rory up from her flight home. Lorelai mentions arranging the evening so Rory can spend it alone with Dean and Rory’s physical reaction is to tense up, open her eyes very wide, and look quite terrified. This was all really excellent to put it out there how Rory’s Jess attraction is affecting her relationship.

The show hits it home even harder when they’re at the festival and a dressed-up Rory spots Jess kissing another girl. This leads in to the inevitable fight with Lorelai who learns about the kiss at Sookie’s wedding. Lorelai was going to find out eventually and I knew there would be a big fight about it. I didn’t fully expect Lorelai’s position to be “choose whomever you want, but choose!” I expected her to be more fully on Dean’s side, so it was nice to see her more on the side of treating everyone with respect no matter what Rory chose to do. Dean’s sudden arrival again showed Rory being off-balance and uncomfortable. And her lingering glance to Jess during her hug with Dean was really quite upsetting.

The Bad:
All of this preparation is why I was really disappointed by the end of the episode. Rory’s decision to recommit to her relationship with Dean doesn’t really make a lot of sense, except as a way to keep the love triangle storyline full of extra drama. After seeing Rory’s reactions to Dean throughout this episode, it doesn’t feel like she really wants to be with him anymore. Regardless of if she chooses to pursue Jess, she just doesn’t seem that interested in Dean anymore.

Favorite Moment:
I greatly enjoyed the entire pre-date scene with Paris and Rory. Paris’ unnecessary panic was accentuated by her stunning appearance and obvious desire for things to go well. Jamie invited her out after hearing how she enjoys crushing opponents during debates. He’s pretty aware of, and attracted to, her strong personality. So she really has nothing to worry about if she would just calm down and be herself.

It was great having Rory give Paris the mental slap of sanity to help calm her down. And it was sad and adorable when Paris asked Rory to hide in the closet and then thanked her through the door. I also enjoy vulnerable Paris moments and this was a lovely string of them.

The Bottom Line:
This was a good episode, but it didn’t leave me super excited or emotionally affected overall. I’m a bit annoyed by the ongoing confusing presentation of the Rory and Dean relationship, but not enough to have any lingering annoyance once I finished the episode.