Thursday, July 6, 2017

Podcast #118 - S5E21 - Blame Booze and Melville

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 5, Episode 21 - Blame Booze and Melville.


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The next podcast will post on Thursday, July 13, 2017 for Season 5, Episode 22 - A House is Not a Home.

5 comments:

  1. O.M.Goodness.

    What an amazing season finale episode! Everything about this episode, I think, was sheer perfection, from the pacing, the acting, the writing, the complexity of the plot.

    I'm very curious to hear what everyone thinks of this one! There is, obviously, such a huge difference in your reaction to a show when you watch it at Rory's age versus when you watch it at Lorelai's age. I think this came up a lot in the feedback to the past episode, but I've noticed it A LOT throughout this whole rewatch that I've done while listening to your podcast. I think a lot of things like our reactions to Dean, to Jess, to Logan, etc. are going to depend so much on just where you are in your age and experience level. I thought about that a lot in terms of things that were supposed to be "romantic" that fell flat for us, but, I suspected, would not have for a teenager. And this Mitchum Huntzberger thing is a HUGE one. All of us were united in our opinions that Mitchum was not being "mean" in his feedback to Rory. But do you think one single teenage would have seen it that way? I can't imagine any teenager not oompletely, 100% agreeing with Lorelai's assessment of the situation. Watching this show as a young person and now again as an adult really makes me appreciate even more how amazing this experience must have been for mothers and daughters to watch this show together - in a perfect world what amazing conversations might have been opened up about love, relationships, friendships and now work because of these different perspectives.

    Lorelais' reaction, of course, was not like ours. But what else would she say? She believes in Rory 100%. She knows Rory better than anyone. And she really has absolutely no idea what Ivy League colleges are like or what journalists need to do. She just knows that Rory is exceptionally talented, and she thinks that's all it's going to take. Her reaction was perfect. And Rory's reaction to her mom's reaction was perfect. Rory is taking the constructive criticism seriously - as a person should do with constructive criticism - but she's not handling it maturely, thinking how can I grow from this - instead she is giving in to the emotional reaction of "I'll just quit". Been there.

    Referring to Lorelai's general experience level - I did want to comment briefly on your conversation regarding Lorelai's birth control, pregnancy ignorance. Ok, while clearly it was overblown and ridiculous for television ... and yet, is it really THAT far fetched that Lorelai doesn't know about things like ovulation timing. She got pregnant, accidentally, as a teenager, and has seemingly never considered her reproductive future since. She has one girlfriend, who has recently gotten pregnant very easily, so no fertility conversations there. I got pregnant for the first time at 32, and I can tell you I did not know about fertility windows or the timing of ovulation or that you had to get pregnant so far away from your period or anything about any of it. It was just something that didn't interest me - I used birth control religiously and if I had had a birth control lapse I would have FREAKED OUT. I think Lorelai seems really sharp and worldly that its easy to forget that, in fact, she got pregnant and dropped out of school at 16 years of age, and then has spent the twenty intervening years living in a town of like, what, 600? working in the same inn. She actually is very naive.

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    1. Anyway. To the Gilmores. Okay, whille the way Richard and Emily handled the Rory thing was classically, inimitably terrible, I don't necessarily disagree with the outcome. It was clearly heartbreaking to see Lorelai feeling like, okay, on this we're together, I have their support, and then to have them yank the rug out from under her in such a sensitive way - you can see exactly where this is going, and its horrible . But a year off from Yale is not a horrible idea, its not going to ruin her life, and if Richard follows through and gets her a useful job somewhere it could all work out for the best for our little bookish introvert. They are being a bit precipitous though. How about give Rory the summer first? You don't have to drop out RIGHT NOW. But, to refer back to the age thing, watching this at 16, 17, I would have thought this was the WORST THING RORY COULD DO EVER. Now I realize life is long.

      What do we think about Logan's reaction? More Rory over reaching? Or slightly true? My favorite thing about this storyline is how subtly it pushed us to this point. I can't remember specifics but I feel like Logan has had comments that sort of hint towards this "assistant" problem that Rory had on the paper. I feel like comments he has made in the past, and his experience on the paper, have made it clear that he really does understand journalism - as of course he would just being raised by his father - and that he would be good at it if he applied himself. Anyway not that to say that Logan really thinks Mitchum would be right. I think he supports Rory and respects her, and his reaction was more he should not be speaking like this to my girlfriend and I don't care what you think. He was thinking about the impact on himself in that moment and not considering the impact on Rory.

      As an aside. I LOVE the way Matt Churchy always puts his hands in his pockets. It somehow seems like such a confident, entitled guy thing to do, and it always gives me the shivers. ;)

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  2. To touch on what Sarah said, I used to hate this whole storyline, it was one of my least favourites. I hated Lorelai and Rory fighting and the grandparents "betraying" Lorelai, I thought Rory was being really stupid and I was totally on Lorelai's side. Not anymore though. I love it.

    Repeating somewhat what I said last week, but again, I don't want Rory to be destroyed by one man's opinion and to be completely derailed like this by one piece of criticism, but it makes sense for the character. Rory has been praised her whole life and always strived for perfection and worked towards this goal that has been ripped away from her, or at least so she feels. Is she overreacting by completely giving up her dream and dropping out of Yale? Yes. Is this the end of the world? No. I also think the grandparents' plan of having Rory live with them and getting her a job and some time is not a bad plan.

    What I find fascinating is how much this episode shows how similar Lorelai is to Emily. They both want what's best for their daughter and have a very specific idea of what her life should look like. But as soon as the daughter strays from that path, they don't respect their decision and cut them out, at least to some extent that then leads to a growing seperation. Lorelai always prides herself for not being like Emily and raising Rory differently, and she has, but now that Rory is telling her that this might not be what she wants to do anymore, at least not for now, she doesn't accept it. In the same way Emily wanted Lorelai to live the life she herself lived, Lorelai wants Rory to have more than herself but at the same time still a life similar to hers and in no way like that of her parents which she herself ran away from.

    I don't think Luke and Lorelai are ready to get married yet, especially since we've seen over the last few episodes, or really, the whole season, how many issues they still have. I mean, Luke just decided to by a house, bought a house and then decided to not buy it after all without telling Lorelai a single word and I still don't understand why. But I still love the moment Lorelai proposes because, even though what Luke is saying is completely insane, she realizes how much Luke cares not only for her but also for Rory and how he is willing to do pretty much everything for her and supports Lorelai wholeheartedly, which must be especially nice now that she feels once again betrayed by her parents.

    This is my favourite Mrs. Kim, I think. She might not agree with what Lane has chosen to do with her life, but damn it, she's not going to give up on it because Kims don't quit. Her planning the tour and storming into the apartment and ordering the boys around is just amazing. It's also a nice contrast to the Gilmore's. Both Lane and Rory are ready to give up on their dream and tell their mother about it. But where Lorelai can't convince Rory to change her mind, Mrs. Kim can.

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  3. My favorite scene of this episode is Richard and Rory in the hallway -- it feels repetitive to praise Edward Herrman, but let us now praise Edward Herrman because he was awesome in that scene.

    Richard starts out being discomfited, but when she starts to cry he's completely undone. In the face of Rory's "I don't know what to do," all previous plans go out the window and he slips into "I am Dad and I will FIX this" mode. I'm not sure we've ever seen that tender, affectionate expression on Richard's face before.

    I"m not sure Lorelai would ever have seen it either -- it's pretty clear that when she was growing up, she preferred to solve her own problems rather than asking him for help. So, there's no way she would anticipate that her plan would fall apart if Rory came crying to Richard. But part of Richard's personality is wanting to help, to DO something, rather than stand by and offer support from the sidelines. (We've seen him do this before, such as setting up Rory's Yale interview rather than talking to Rory about her college plans first.) Asking Richard to play backup, rather than take a central role in solving the problem, was probably doomed from the start.

    I like Mareike's point about how Lorelai overreacts to the idea that Rory could take time off from school. I totally bought it as a character moment, though, because Lorelai's entire parenting plan (and sense of worth as a mother) is based on Rory's completing the predetermined goal of Ivy League education -- the thing that Lorelai never got to have, and probably overvalues because she never got to have it.

    I want a flashback scene with Mrs. Kim's tambourine band.

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