Headscratchers / Gilmore Girls
- 1 Why does the picture in season 7 seem so grainy, washed out, and fuzzy? I would say that it was an artistic choice to make the atmosphere more depressing, but the same thing happened to every other CW show that year.
- 2 This is more minor, but starting in season 5, there seems to be something wrong with the shutter speed. Every time someone walks or moves, there's this weird herky jerky effect, like something you would see in Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers.
Has anyone else noticed this, and does anyone know technically what was going on with these things?
- Everything in the CW's first season that survived from the WB took a budget cut. Remember that somehow, the UPN executives ended up pretty much running the CW with most of the WB's top executives departing, and UPN was famously run on a horrendously cheap budget where they let Smackdown have most of the promotional juice after wringing the Star Trek well dry (witness the years of "green slime" green branding). It took years for CW shows to have a lighter look again, and that took most of the ex-UPN'ers being fired or quitting the network before saner people were able to run the network with a sunnier and less shaky shooting style.
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
- Ok, but why?
- Paris is super-practical and doesn't seem to have any right-brained aspects at all, so she could see any sort of an artsy major as both impractical (less likely to lead to employment) and one who would have one as incompatible with her.
- It could also be Paris's general impatience. The first guy she spoke to asked for her major (a question she openly mocked, as she viewed it as a terrible opener), the second guy opened with his major and Paris, probably not wanting to repeat the exact same conversation she had just had with the first guy, left immediately.
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.
- This troper's 1400 people town in the middle of nowhere has two hotels next door to each other, and a motel. We have a lot of festivals. (And temporary work people.)
- It's also mentioned that the Dragonfly only has 10 rooms, so it's even less of a stretch to imagine them having too much of a struggle filling them up.
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 tended 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 an earlier season, "she looks like little birds help her get dressed in the morning"), which is even today something some men are attracted to. I also think that's the kind of personality a rich heir like Logan might look for in a wife, because of an aristocratic feeling of necessity (whether conscious or unconscious) to have a "ladylike" wife. I think it's kind of telling that he expected her to marry him as soon as she graduates. I know this may seem quite far-fetched, but might still have been a factor.
- 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.
- While it makes sense if she was "just his type" of fairy tale princess and took it as a challenge when she first broke up with him (from their polygamous relationship) to then enter a monogamous relationship with her, I always kind of took it for granted that he fed off her insecurities. The rich girls he dates up to and between his relationships with Rory were totally confident in their status and social value as ridiculously wealthy people, and Rory had more vulnerability, especially emotionally, and she believes her value is rooted in her ethics (presumably) and that is something a guy like Logan probably feels he can control.
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 seem to remember that she first qualifies for a scholarship that seems to be means based, and then during the registration paperwork and all that they discover Lorelai's savings she has for opening her own inn, making it on paper look like they can afford the fees. Plenty of private schools operate a means based scholarship system for bright kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford private education - the wealthy kids don't need to pass entrance exams whilst the scholarship students do.
- 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.
- Chilton had already started when Rory was accepted. It's possible that someone dropped out last minute, opening up a spot for her, but that by that point the scholarship money had already been distributed. Since Rory's grandparents were paying her tuition (something Charleston knew for a fact) she may not have been considered for scholarships for future years.
- Not brilliant? I'd say the fact that she was valedictorian speaks for itself.
- My question was why it's considered such a huge success for her to simply go to Chilton when she obviously has to pay fees and other fee-paying students aren't all so extremely brilliant or successful. How she fared as a student after she started there is another matter. But now that you've made me think about it, what kind of a school is Chilton that even the Valedictorian can't get a full scholarship (when her single parent is obviously in a position to appreciate such an offer)?
- 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.
- While we're on the subject of success, I feel like I missed something in The Deer Hunters: Lorelai appears to be in the absolute right when it comes to Chilton's draconian rules when it comes to grading and tests-that the Headmaster and the school itself are, by their nature, empowering competitive students and a hurtful mindset for teachers and protocol...a argument which the Headmaster wins? I'm sorry, I must have missed something here-why wasn't he brought down to taste the Karma on this one? He even admits to the failings of his own school, and the narrative calls him in the right.
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.
- Just watched the episodes where Rory comes back home/to Yale. Rory actually missed a entire semester; the conversation she has with Paris about coming back happens on Thanksgiving, which is only about a month before the end of most fall semesters, counting finals week. I doubt even community colleges would allow someone to enroll in a class THAT late. From what I could tell, she's begging teachers to allow her to enroll in their classes for the SPRING semester after the registration deadline has passed/classes are filled. Registration - at least at the college I went to - usually happens in October/March, and classes fill up quickly, particularly the popular and/or required classes. You can get what's called an override and be allowed in, but it's not a given. It's perfectly reasonable that Rory would have to make personal appeals to professors to be able to get into classes that are already full.
- 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.
- If she did well the rest of the semester, it is possible that she still passed the class depending on how much the final counted toward her final grade (I had classes where my final was worth as little as 20%). Plus, even if she failed one class there is no reason not to let her return given her previous academic success.
- 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.
- As far as that goes, that happened her first semester. Part of what you learn in college is how to manage a larger workload than you did in high school, and this would be especially true at Yale. It's not that odd that by then she would have gained the skills to handle extra classes.
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?
- I think it was pretty obvious from the way the whole scene was executed that Dean asked to break it. His hostile, passive-aggressive manner when he says "Whatever, I'll just take you home" and his body language (preventing Rory from touching him) makes it clear that he doesn't want to have anything to do with her anymore, because he's so angry and disappointed that he wasn't able to hear the precious "I love you." Supposedly, the argument continued on the way home and he wanted to break up. They just kept the actual word to the end of the episode for the shock value. Rory was being apologetic and conciliatory, so it's highly unlikely that she's the one who broke it. (On an unrelated note, watching this scene again made me realize how much like a douche Dean behaved even before Jess turned up.)
- 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.
- Chris is standing on the balcony when he says, "And to further chronicle this balcony's history, we are now in the immediate vicinity of the spot upon which was Rory's initial emanation." And then they proceed to re-enact the scene on the balcony.
- He might have been simply misremembering, or distorting the facts for the sake of a joke. Do many couples actually remember the exact time and place of their kids' conception, especially if it was unplanned? Moreover, if Lorelai discovered her pregnancy somewhat late as another troper suggested on the main page, that might mean it was nearer springtime by the time Christopher found out, thus he may have associated the beginning of Lorelai's pregnancy with the spring. In any case, Christopher doesn't seem like the guy to dwell on details.
- According to flashbacks (ep 13 season 3), they had the house all to themselves when they had that particular sex, so there was no reason to not use the bed.
- Given Mrs. Kim's disdain for American culture and extremely traditional and conservative attitude, why would she give her daughter a modern, American name?
- There is always Mr Kim to consider. According to the other wiki, Lane's full name is "Lane Hyun-kyung Kim." It looks to me that there was a compromise between Mr and Mrs Kim to give her an "American" first name, but keep the Korean tradition for the middle name.
- Most (all that I've met) East Asians who travel to the western world - either for studies or emigrate permanently - take on a western name, I'm unsure if this is given to them or if it's something they pick themselves, but this could be the case for Lane too, that her official name is entirely Korean but she is known by her western name.
Dave's research skills
- When Dave asks Mrs. Kim if he can take Lane to the prom, she responds with a quote that he assumes is from the Bible. Rather than admit that he was confused, he stayed up the entire night reading the Bible, futilely trying to figure it out, only to find out the next day that it was a quote from Shakespeare. This was in 2002, when a Google search would have identified the quote in seconds. Was Dave just too clueless to use the internet?
- Even as Google existed in 2002, the internet wasn't such an integral part of people's everyday lives to the extent it is today (at least not where I live). So in universe, Dave may not have had immediate access to a computer or the internet. Out of universe, the writers probably didn't realize this scenario would play out differently in 2002 than it would have in their own teens.
- I just watched the episode again, and he did mention looking online, but seeing as how it was 2002, the internet wasn't quite as filled with information as it is now, and Google wasn't running as well, it's possible he really wouldn't have been able to find it.
- In the season seven episode "Hay Bale Maze", Rory gets a writing job at a newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island, so she spends the episode deciding whether or not to take the job or go for this fellowship she really wants. She claims that if she took the job, she'd be giving up the opportunity to take the fellowship. My question is why didn't she just take the job, then quit if she got the fellowship. That way she'd have security if she didn't get the fellowship. That was never even considered as an option.
- I think with many full time jobs you have to sign a contract that is legally binding for a specific amount of time—generally one or two years. I have no idea what happens if you were to break the contract, though. Presumably you'd have to pay a compensation and your professional reputation would suffer.
- Agree. The reputation thing alone is enough, even if there isn't a contract. Bad form.
The oddly placed bedroom of Rory
- I thought about this while I was reading the "Friends" Rent Control trope page, and then saw the issue raised here. As you know, Rory's bedroom at Lorelai's is on the ground floor and accessed through the kitchen, while Lorelai's bedroom is upstairs. Why is this the case when the above floor looks almost as large as the ground floor, and must surely contain more than one bedroom and one bathroom? Is there an in-universe reason for this, and what is the out-of-universe reason?
Could Chris not be Rory's father?
- During the funeral scene, Lorelai shares a couple of inappropriate memories she has of her relationship with Richard. One of them is him walking in on her having sex when she was 15. She doesn't say it's Christopher (I don't think) and if it had been, she probably would have mentioned him by name. Rory was conceived when Lorelai was about 15 and 3/4 and she'd been (if I recall correctly) dating Christ since she was fourteen. Could he not be the father or was Lorelai cheating on Chris?
- Why does everyone think Lorelai ran away at sixteen? Emily comments in a flashback that she had been telling her daughter to move Rory's stroller from the hallway for at least a year. I don't know when you start strolling babies, but this comment alone means Rory was at least a year, though probably less than two, old when Lorelai left, meaning that Lorelai was at least seventeen and probably eighteen. Otherwise it would probably have been fine and legal for Emily to haul her back. It's not like they couldn't afford private investigators.
- Yes, I thought this was common knowledge. Maybe people are simply rounding "She got pregnant at 16 and then ran away from her parents a couple of years later" down to "She got pregnant at 16 and ran away from her parents".
So, what has Rory been doing for ten years?
- Between the finale of the original show and the beginning of the revival, what exactly has she been doing? She hasn't been living in Stars Hallow or pursuing a postgraduate degree, so she must have been active in her career. She obviously hasn't been struggling all throughout this period either, because at the beginning of the revival everybody is treating her like a hotshot burgeoning journalist whose career is expected to take off hugely. However, if she had been consistently successful for ten years (or even if she hasn't, as long as she persisted in journalism) wouldn't she have an established career already?
- Maybe the job she had didn't last long (company closed or they downsized and she got laid off) or maybe she really didn't have what it took and everyone got sick of her arrogance and fired her?
The Dean and Lindsay Storyline
- Well ... where to begin? So Dean gets into a fist-fight with Jess because of Rory, which clearly implies he's not over her (he didn't know the exact details, all he needed as a trigger was to see her cry). So, what does he do? He proposes to his girlfriend. Worse even - she accepts. Worse even: their parents seem not to mind two eighteen year old kids who haven't still graduated from secondary school getting engaged... But it gets worse ... look at how the whole marriage falls apart: Rory phones Dean on his mobile, Lindsay picks up (no Caller ID?), Rory hangs up; seven weeks later, Rory sends Dean a letter (rather than an e-mail) from Europe (though she's returning to Stars Hollow the very next day), and he leaves it in his jacket, which then Lindsay inexplicably peruses just when it's dramatically convenient for the show that she does so.
Rory's job at the Stamford Eagle-Gazette
- In the 'Prodigal Daughter Returns', there is a pretty strong emphasis on the importance of Rory getting a job at the Stamford Eagle-Gazette, and then... it's just never mentioned again? What gives?
Christopher and Princeton
- In a late season 1 episode, Rory meets her paternal grandparents with her dad at Richard and Emily's house. The evening is tense and eventually breaks out into an argument in which Christopher's father basically blames Rory for ruining her father's future; he was supposed to attend Princeton. But Lorelai took Rory and raised her in Stars Hollow without hime, and it's discussed in the episode that Christopher wasn't exactly a consistent fixture in Rory's life—he flitted in an out as he pleased, and had never been to Stars Hollow before this. What exactly was stopping Christopher from going to Princeton?
- Knowing Christopher, he probably didn't want to go to Princeton. Rory was just a convenient scapegoat.