Headscratchers: Gilmore Girls
What's wrong with a drama major?
This might actually be a bit of Fridge Brilliance
depending on the answer. When Paris goes to a speed dating session after Asher dies, the second guy she talks to tells her he's a drama major and she leaves immediately. I really couldn't make sense of her reaction at first, but later I realized that in an earlier episode when Paris and Asher first get together, Doyle informs Rory that Asher dates a new student every year and the last one "rebounded with a drama major" after their break-up. So my question is: Was Paris' later reaction a reference to this? Or is there something else I don't understand, like a reference to the actress' real life or a stereotype about drama majors?
- I think it might just be because she considers drama majors as beneath her
Busy inn in small town
I don't understand how Independence Inn and later the Dragonfly can be so busy all the time. Stars Hollow doesn't seem to have many tourist attractions, and even if it's interesting for being a cute small town in the East Coast, I imagine that would be a trait it shares with a hundred other towns in the region. I don't really know how tourism works in the US, so is it really plausible that Lorelai's inns would be bustling all the time?
- It has a ton of festivals, doesn't it? Those draw in TONS of tourists. (I am speaking from experience here.) Also if you live near any sort of highway or border or place nearby somewhere there's work, it gets busy.
- The inns seem to be used for quite a large variety of different purposes, probably much like in real life. The townspeople semed to be regulars, even if they weren't staying in rooms. A lot of weddings were held there over the series, which I'm sure drew a lot of out-of-town business.
- Going by a combination of location theories, Stars Hollow is conveniently right between Hartford and New Haven and a half-day trip to New York or Mohegan Sun, so it would be probable that it would get a whole bunch of different people going in and out depending on events or how much someone really doesn't want to be stuck at an airport Residence Inn.
Logan becoming Rory's boyfriend
As much as I like Rory's character, it always seemed silly that Logan would pick her as his girlfriend. Yes, she's pretty and smart, but they would hardly be an uncommon combination at Yale. In fact she could be awkward and geeky at times, why would Logan - with almost every girl on campus after him - go for a wall flower like her? It was just weird and seemed to be another attempt to show us how 'perfect' Rory was.
- Agreed. There's clear justification and logic in both Dean/Rory and Jess/Rory. Dean was the Nice Guy, and the type to be impressed by Rory's 'goodness'. Jess was uninterested, until they bonded over books and music and its obvious they have plenty of shared issues. But Logan....?
- I tend to think it was her innocent, sort of naive, "good girl" air. Rory in some ways gives the impression of a fairy tale princess, (as Paris also noted in one of the earlier seasons, "She looks like little birds help her get dressed in the morning"), which is something some men are even today attracted to. I also think that's the kind of personality a rich heir like Logan would look for in a wife, because of subconscious aristocratic concerns about his posterity. From my point of view, it's kind of telling that he expected her to marry him as soon as she graduates.
- I think part of it was that Rory was probably one of the few girls at Yale that wasn't falling over themselves to be with him (well at least at first), so naturally she was a challenge to him. It definitely reeks of Rory's "perfectness" which was becoming overused at that point. Logan is just a relationship sue-type character: someone who the writers thought was a perfect match for Rory. He was good-looking (more stereotypically good-looking than Dean and Jess. How many times were his looks talked about by other characters, particularly Emily and Richard?), he was part of New England upper class, and his father conveniently happened to be involved in the field that Rory is interested in. Not to mention it seems like every character wanted them to be together, except Lorelai. She was the only sane woman in that romantic plotline.
Rory's so-called success in getting into Chilton
- Okay, I think this is a point which bugs many people and I'm surprised it's not mentioned here. Rory is supposed to be a really smart and successful student to get accepted to Chilton, right? But she doesn't earn any funding, so Lorelai has to go to her parents, that's the whole premise of the show. Okay, maybe Chilton is a kind of school that takes only the best students and then still makes them pay fees. But as soon as Rory starts school we meet Madeline and Louise, two total airheads who seem hopeless academically, which means Chilton *doesn't* only accept the best students. In fact, if those two could get accepted probably anyone who could pay would. So what's the deal here, other than Rory's apparent Sue qualities of course?
- I wouldn't call Madeline and Louise complete airheads. They seem intelligent enough (they get above average grades in some episodes). I think they just don't apply themselves as much as Rory or Paris. I'm sure plenty of kids as smart as Rory apply to Chilton and possibly even get accepted but don't have the funds to be able to go. An early episode where Lorelai goes to a PTA meeting at Chilton shows that Rory is derided by the other parents for being a "scholarship student" and she is treated like an outsider for being from a small town. It seems like most of the kids at Chilton are wealthy upper-class kids like Paris, Tristan, Madeline, and Louise.
- So what you mean is that Rory does get a scholarship but it's not enough to pay all the fees? That seems reasonable, I must have missed that episode. Still, pretty stupid policy on Chilton's part!
- Or, on the second thoughts, maybe it's another indication that Rory isn't actually such a sweepingly brilliant student, just a pretty good one, so she gets fifty percent scholarship or something like that.
- It's possible that she only got some kind of partial scholarship, and even then, it could have been too expensive for Lorelai either way. But the comments from the parents sort of imply that Chilton does have some kind of scholarship program.
- Not brilliant? I'd say the fact that she was valedictorian speaks for itself.
- Presumably, money and connections get you quite far. They probably come from really prestigious families who are at the same golf club as someone on the board, or they donated generously to the school... we all like to imagine that it's hard work that gets you into such places, but let's not kid ourselves, there are other ways. The kinder alternative: just because you're a bit of a ditz doesn't mean you have to be a bad student. Some people ace their classes because they are smart, others because they work hard, and others because they are just good at doing what's required.
Rory's magical three-year graduation
Okay, so I honestly can't remember if it was elaborated on, besides Rory taking "extra classes" to catch up for the lost time she spent out of Yale, but it seems like more of an ass pull that Rory was able to graduate alongside Paris at Yale. I get that the show was ending and they wanted Rory to move on to bigger things, but Gilmore Girls is usually better about these kinds of things.
- She actually only missed half a semester.... Of course this is still ridiculous. Beyond the issue that Rory had missed all the enrollment and registration deadlines, a student can't just go up to some random professors halfway through a semester and ask to be in their classes. Especially not somewhere like Yale. (I gotta admit, I know of some situations at community colleges/for profits in which students have paid tuition and joined a class nearly halfway through a semester... but these are bottom of the barrel type schools where the administrations will do almost anything if they're getting paid.)
- This troper did undergrad at Yale and can confirm that they'll let you "accelerate" using AP credits if you take a semester off and still want to graduate with your entering class. Most people I knew who did this went on leave to study abroad in Asia on Yale funding, but I don't think you have to be doing official Yale-ish things to be able to do that. The bit about coming back in the middle of a semester is weirder. Some people were allowed to do that after they were evacuated from their respective Egyptian study abroad programs in 2011. But— kind of special circumstances there.
- Added to that how did she find the time to catch all of the work up, in addition to being editor of the paper AND working as an intern AND dating Logan? Rory's smart but if she had time to do all of that then the rest of her year must have been positively cruising through their classes. It's especially galling as this is YALE, where even the brightest of students are meant to be stretched. It just seems they gave her an easy way out of her mistakes, rather than showing the real consequences of her dropping out.
- And what about her second year exams? The end of season 5 showed her basically flunking a whole exam because of Mitchum's comments, but this is naturally forgotten when she enrolls again.
- It could be that Rory was already slightly ahead when she started at Yale; she did seem to be taking some pretty advanced English classes for a freshman. Between AP classes/tests and CLEP tests she may have had a semester's worth of credits under her belt already.
- This is really weird. Especially when one considers the episode where she has a major breakdown because she doesn't excel in all of her classes and the professor basically says that she tries to do too much at once and that she should re-consider her schedule. It doesn't suggest that she would be able to catch up a missed semester.
Someone brought up a very valid point: just how intelligent are Madeline and Louise? And what does that say about the standards at Chilton? At the beginning of the series, both girls were shown to have pretty decent grades when Rory was struggling at Chilton. Louise in particular is shown to be somewhat sharp, at least when the series let her grow a little apart from being Paris's lackey. Madeline is something of an airhead compared to the other girls.
- I'm re-watching the first season these days, and as far as I can see they aren't really stupid, but they seem to be much more interested in boys and clothes than academics, and in most of the scenes that actually show them doing any sort of homework they have Paris who's pushing them to do it. Maybe it's thanks to Paris that they keep up. Otherwise there's no explanation as to how they continue at Chilton, since the principal seemed very strict about their academic expectations in the earlier episodes, remember the "Failure is a part of life but not a part of Chilton" bit? Well it sure looks like academic failure would be a part of Madeline and Louise's lives if they were left on their own. Actually, Paris helping them might even be Fridge Brilliance as to how girls with such different (even opposing) personalities became best friends.
The boat incident
So Rory and Logan steal a boat, and it finally feels like a real problem for Rory and the Gilmores occurs. Rory does something wrong, she has an argument with her mother over it and she has to face consequences. My question is — what about Logan? How come he escaped the punishment? Why didn't he have to do the community work as well? Was it ever explained in-universe?
- Rory most likely had a different judge from Logan. Her judge seemed intent making a point with her punishment of Rory and Mitchum probably had a lot more experience pulling strings there than the Gilmores.
- Thanks, that sounds actually very plausible, and I can sleep well now. Rory must be an angel of a girl as she was never bitter enough about it to bring it up. It really was not fair that only one of them was legally punished for the same thing.
Ok so in season 2, Rory and Lorelei take a road trip to Harvard and Lorelei gets emotional while staring at a picture of some graduate called Erika Hilson Palmer. What's that about??
- Erika Hilson Palmer was the Valedictorian of the 1990 class of Harvard graduates, which is the year that Lorelai would have finished university if she had gone.
How much Time passed between the first two episodes of season 6?
- Episode 1 ends on June 3, the day of Rory's court date. Episode 2, Rory is starting her orientation for community service, indicating it's taking place shortly after. However, Lorelei mentions having seen Bewitched "months ago". Bewitched came out June 24, so that indicates the episode is taking place months later.
- I'm a little unclear what exactly happened. Dean tells Rory he loves her, Rory doesn't say it back, and he gets pissy. Cue Rory telling Lorelai that they broke up. Dean was upset, but he didn't say onscreen that he wanted to end it. And with Rory's evasiveness when questioned by Lorelai, she doesn't say that Dean broke up with her. Yet, did she break up with him? They didn't show that either, and if she just let word circulate to him through the grapevine, you'd think he'd call asking if it was true. I dunno, I'm on the episode immediately after where she goes all manic and drags Lorelai out of bed at 6 am to do errands, and it still seems confusing. Couldn't they have shown one of them saying it was over?
- We learn that Rory was conceived on Lorelai's balcony. Now, given that Rory was born in early October and Lorelai says that she was born "nine months and 26 hours later" making Rory's conception around New Year's. Who in their right mind would have sex on a balcony in New Haven in January?
- No one in their right minds would. However it does sound the sort of thing horny teenagers might do. Never underestimate horny teens' ability to overlook discomfort in pursuit of sex.
- Where do you get that it was on the balcony? I remember the season 1 episode where Lorelai and Christopher have sex out there (not sure what time of year it was, but it seems terribly uncomfortable no matter what the temperature), and there was a mention that they were near where Rory had been conceived. I took that to mean the bedroom, which the balcony adjoins.
- Given Mrs. Kim's disdain for American culture and extremely traditional and conservative attitude, why would she give her daughter a modern, American name?