The West Wing Drinking Game!

I can’t be the only one who is charging through (yet another) re-watch of The West Wing right now. The TV show’s peppy little theme song and rosy outlook on the political landscape and condition of America is just what we need to deny reality with zeal and vigor. And since we’re all imbibing as another measure to deny reality, why don’t we combine the two sports into one jolly activity? Therefore, I give you THE WEST WING DRINKING GAME!

Remember to drink responsibly, and never ever drive after drinking. If some episodes are just too out-of-hand, don’t forget to sub in some water, or you’ll end up like Josh, wearing fisherman’s waders and showing up at Donna’s apartment at midnight swearing at her cats. With any luck, we’ll all be singing The Jackal within just a couple episodes. Cheers to you and yours!

LOST: The Island, Smoke Monster, and Everything Else Explained

Most series finales are awful.

Seinfeld was absurd. M*A*S*H was depressing. The Sopranos didn’t have an ending. And [sigh] Game of Thrones didn–GODS, Bran did not have the best story, and that is not why you make someone a King, especially because he was the villain the whole time and they’re all going to suffer and die now and it’s the WORST!

I’m okay, really. But we need to address LOST.

Its series finale lives in infamy for its vague conclusion and lack of payoff. But if we’re telling truths, the problem is that most viewers just did not understand the finale. Which means they probably didn’t understand the whole show. I get that it was easy to miss big chunks of the plot–the seasons were spread over long hiatuses, and a swaths of viewers thought they could just jump into the show in the last season and fairly judge it. But the confusion has led to a lot of backlash and a thick tarnish on the show’s legacy.

So I’ve decided to put on my dot-connector hat and go through the series in chronological order. I want to lay it all out so that we can demystify the writing and pick at the show’s carcass for all of the answer morsels we crave.

First, I have a story to tell–a story that is the backdrop for every single plot-line and mystery on The Island. It’s an ancient story that begins it all.

[Begin storybook voice.]

Once Upon a Time, About 2,000 Years ago…

A lady, named Allison Janney, watched over a mysterious island with a magical light at its core, protecting the light and the island from outside invaders. Some such invaders brought her twin boys (whose mother she murdered). One of these boys, Mib, was clever but also devious and overly curious about the power of the light. The other boy, Jacob, was much more loyal, but simple-minded.

(For the sake of our tale we will refer to the “Man in Black” as “Mib”.)

Lost allison janney

One day, when Allison Janney discovered that grown-up Mib was digging a well and building a wheel to harness the magic light, she destroyed the project and offered some quick blessings on the twins. First, she used magic to prevent them from ever killing each other. Second, she made Jacob her successor as Island Protector and warned him never to go into the cave of light, for it would mean a fate worse than death.

Shortly after this, an irate Mib murdered Allison Janney. This riled simple Jacob, who flung his brother into the magic light cave, turning him into a shape-shifting smoke monster.

Through the millennia Jacob and Mib lived on (in a sense), hating each other. Various ancient invaders on The Island worshiped the Smoke Monster as a deity and sought to summon him, though it is likely that Mib could not simply be summoned.

The pair also had an ongoing tedious philosophical debate about whether man is inherently good or bad. This prompts Jacob to lure people to The Island to test their character. He has also been looking for his replacement. Mib has vowed to find a way to kill Jacob and any of his replacements.

The entire show is this–two brothers fighting, and killing, and searching. Everything else is a byproduct of these two ancient men.

Why is the show so confusing?

It seems numbing to boil such an intense and mysterious show down to two bickering brothers. Truly, had anyone known this at the outset of the show, no one would have watched it. The suspense was the thing that kept us coming back, and in order to achieve such elaborate layers of mysteries and contradictions, the writers employed two basic strategies:

  1. The show is almost entirely told in reverse chronological order. We had to wait 8 seasons to get all the way back to Jacob and Mib. It took 3 seasons to even start to look at the 1970s & 1980s Dharma era. The whole show’s flow more or less goes: 
    2004 > 1990s-2000s > 1970s-1980s > 100 AD. With a sprinkling of 1950s and 1860s thrown in. So when the plane crashes, we’re actually seeing the end of a story (well, nearly).

  2. Sloppy writing. I’ll admit how disheartened I was to discover that the writers never had a clear plan carved out from the start. They were pretty much winging it and stretching out parts of seasons (or chopping them up) depending on network needs. If the show was done by more thoughtful writers as, say, a Netflix series today might be, there would be a lot less ambiguity. Or that’s what I tell myself.

Let’s Put the Show’s Timeline in the Right Order

Pre-Jacob & Mib: Unknown Eqyptians inhabiting The Island build the Statue of Taweret.

c.100 AD: Jacob and Mib are born on The Island. Allison Janney is the current Island Protector. Within 30 years, Allison Janney is killed, Jacob becomes the new Island Protector, and Mib becomes the Smoke Monster.

smoke monster Locke

Continue reading “LOST: The Island, Smoke Monster, and Everything Else Explained”

Gilmore Girls: 100+ Things That Make No Sense

We all love our Gilmore Girls. Even Rory. A trip to Stars Hollow is magically full of vegetable-shilling troubadours, Bjork snow women, Kirk’s doggy daycare, and Taylor’s sexy beard. There’s nothing like it. But let’s be honest, as enchanting as the show may be, it is completely riddled with problems and things that make no damn sense. Some of them are flubs and bloopers, while many other issues defy the realms of logic, mathematics, and decency.

That Dragonfly magazine article, money issues, the Donna Reed dress, Lane’s father, Jason squatting and pooping in the corner of the Dragonfly’s dining room, and Trix’s disappearing fella. How many have you noticed?

It Just Makes no Sense…

  1. Lane magically owns her drum set, which at first she was just playing in the shop. That drum set was worth over $1,000. Where did she get the money?
  2. Taylor put a window in between his soda shoppe and Luke’s Diner. Not only does it serve zero purpose, but it’s hard to imagine Luke agreed to it. It’s just a filming device.
  3. Lorelai and Sookie catered a kid’s birthday party. Unless the Rockerfellers moved to Stars Hollow, who pays caterers and waitstaff to handle a Lord of the Rings 8 year-old birthday party?
  4. The potting shed. Did it have electricity? A refrigerator? Why does it have a toilet and tub in the first place? How about heat for the cold Connecticut winters? Basically, Rory and Lorelai shared a bed and had no kitchen, heat, or private toilet until Rory was an adolescent.
  5. Lorelai was ready to bail on her plans with Sookie to buy the Dragonfly (due to lack of dough) before she was willing to cancel her Europe trip with Rory. Even with backpacking and hostels that is an expensive trip over three months.
  6. Christopher wasn’t there for Rory’s high school graduation.
  7. When Luke and Lorelai decided to get married late at night at the gazebo, they woke up Lane, but not Sookie and Jackson.
  8. At Rory’s 16th birthday party (Stars Hollow edition), the only other teen at the party was Lane. The rest were unnamed adult townspeople. Did that girl have just no friends ever?

    Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.46.08 AM
  9. Lorelai says that she and Rory took a train to Ireland to stalk Bono, but there is no train that runs between mainland Europe and Ireland. It’s an island.
  10. At the end of the evening during the Dragonfly’s test run, Jason disappears to use the toilet, turning right into the dining room–where there is only a corner. Did he just squat in the dining room?
  11. Rory is announced as the Chilton valedictorian before she takes her final exams.
  12. Emily and Richard’s house magically transforms in layout between seasons 1 and 2.
  13. On the first day of Chilton, Lorelai swears that her outfit is a last resort since all of her clothes are at the cleaners. So she sent every single pair of jeans? And all of her other t-shirts? Her shoes must all be off at the cobbler since she wears those cowboy boots.
  14. Stars Hollow the Musical didn’t star a single resident of Stars Hollow.
  15. In some exterior views of the Crap Shack, basement windows can be seen.
  16. Every now and then, mountains and palm trees are visible in exterior shots of various Connecticut scenes.
  17. Lane’s father. He’s mentioned constantly in season 1, and is still being referenced in season 4, yet clearly he doesn’t live in Stars Hollow. In fact, he doesn’t show up for Lane’s wedding (or baby shower, etc.).
  18. Dragonfly decorator (slash porn star) Natalie swears she wasn’t the one who told Emily that Sookie was pregnant. But if that’s true, who on earth did?
  19. Sookie and Lorelai were super excited to hire Natalie to decorate the inn, but when the inn was profiled in a magazine, Lorelai took 100% of the credit for the interior design.
  20. THAT FUCKING MAGAZINE ARTICLE: You know, the Dragonfly profile?–we’re supposed to believe that they threw a party for the cover article of the issue AND sent a limo for Lorelai (but Sookie and Jackson weren’t included). That is one fancy magazine.
  21. The Crap Shack’s washing machine and clothes dryer are out on the back porch. That’s pretty incredible considering Connecticut winters. And rainstorms.
  22. The Dragonfly Inn has a library (really, a library?) and massive reception sitting area, but no business center, bar, spa, gift shop, coffee bar, television viewing area, banquet room, conference room, kitchenette, or gym.
  23. It is a crazy amazing coincidence that in the teeny-tiny town of Stars Hollow, there just happens to be a vacant inn in disrepair.
  24. During the Christmas that Rory spent in London, if we are to believe that Lorelai really held off Christmas until Rory’s return, then she is an awful, cruel stepmother. Poor Gigi with no tree, no Santa, no gifts, no lights, no cookies. No Christmas. I wonder if Gigi is going to grow up and murder Rory someday.
  25. Since Mrs. Kim freaks out at the idea of a Bangles concert or Lane going a movie–and considering the “mom code” and all–it’s unthinkable that Lane was allowed to go to the Chilton party at Madeline’s house.
  26. Lorelai’s doggy swami booth for the winter carnival has unreal professional signage and props that would’ve cost hundreds, if not thousands, to manufacture.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.12.51 AM
  27. The emergency town meeting that Taylor called in the middle of the night (regarding the winter carnival) was allegedly at 4am. This is extra ridiculous because Taylor was vacationing in the same timezone as Connecticut, and his little nephew was still awake and throwing things at him.
  28. The audio-visual setup at the emergency middle-of-the-night town meeting was nonsensical. I doubt Taylor could see or hear anyone.
  29. The length of time it takes for Lorelai to persuade Luke to bid on her basket at the auction is excessive. The bidding would have been long over, and Lorelai would have a new basket beau.
  30. While full-term pregnant with Davy, Sookie is seen lying on her back. This would make not only her breathing difficult, but is also is hard on the baby. Doctors advise against it typically.
  31. After his audition, Gil walks away with his guitar case not latched in a useful way (you can see it hanging open).
  32. The Bracebridge Dinner–did the Independence Inn really foot the bill for the entire group to booze it up? Even if Lorelai refused to refund a lot of the banquet deposit, Mia and her sons probably wouldn’t be thrilled with her choice to open the bar, pay a harpist, burn through candles, use electricity and linens, and not do more to re-purpose some of the food for the restaurant.

    bracebridgedinner
  33. During Rory’s freshman year at Yale, she practically stops wearing jeans or anything rock n’ roll. Lots of skirts, even when she’s freezing cold. And we won’t get into the granny coats and doily scarves she dons at the age of 19.
  34. During the “a deer hit my car” frazzle, mother and daughter both present and accept the premise that Rory’s tardiness is solely caused by the deer. In reality, Rory overslept, and then opted to talk on a cell phone while distractedly driving, causing her to linger at a stop sign longer than she should have.
  35. Our Gilmore ladies spend an entire mall outing complaining that they’re totally “skint”, not buying a single item due to lack of funds. But a little later on they manage to purchase about $50 worth of food and beverages at the food court–a Big Mac and fries, pizza, a corndog, fried cheese on a stick, a wrap, sweet and sour pork, a kebab, 6 different beverages…and a few other indistinguishable things.
  36. During Lindsay and Dean’s marriage, Dean mentions that his father-in-law does a lot of things around their apartment, and that Lindsay has a list of tasks for him. That’s a little insane since her young, strong husband works in construction, not to mention he has strong automotive mechanical skills.
  37. We never hear a word about Emily’s parents. While we can presume that they may have passed, never mentioning them is a little out of place, and we never know her maiden name. We only know that Emily has a sister, Hope, who lives overseas.

    weve got magic to do 2
  38. Rory, Paris, Madeline, and Louise spent a spring break evening drinking booze out of party cups. The problem is, the cups are clearly empty the whole time.
  39. The horses at the Dragonfly. I’m really confused as to why such a small inn would decide to stable (and insure) horses for the occasional horseback rider. Surely it would’ve been much more cost-effective to contract with a local horse ranch to offer rides? And then the stables could be used for a better out-building?
  40. So Luke adds on to his apartment so another person can live there, but said person (be it Jess or April) gets no wall or door? No privacy for changing clothes?
  41. During Liz and T.J.’s wedding, not one car drives through the streets of Stars Hollow. Same with the reception.
  42. If you pay attention, there is an alarming number of background characters (extras) who interact with our favorite characters but are not permitted to speak (presumably so they get lesser pay/benefits). This means that a LOT of extras are forced to work with awkward smiles, nods, shrugs, head shakes, and then turn and walk away without a word. Lorelai’s hair stylist, wedding guests, waitresses, golf caddies, inn guests, grocery shoppers, guy who loses balloons, etc. I call them The Tongueless. How many of The Tongueless can you spot?
  43. Rory never joined the Life & Death Brigade. That’s strange since she had a major “in” with some of the most high profile members. Between that and her prominent family name, inclusion in their circle, etc. it makes no sense at all that she isn’t a member.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 11.25.45 AM
  44. Stars Hollow has a shoe repair shop (run by Pasquale). I’d ponder how it can succeed, but apparently Lorelai brings in a garbage bag full of shoes, all in disrepair and warranting paid repair? I hope Pasquale is secretly selling drugs.
  45. Little Miss Fairchild, prospective Yale student from Chilton, stays with Rory in her dorm room as part of some kind of program to get her a Yale experience. Nice, right? So where was that program when Rory was desperate to get into Yale?
  46. Remember those crazy expensive unnecessary Inn horses, Cletus and Desdemona? Within a year of the Inn opening, Lorelai talks about how she can store a bunch of junk like fake plants and Thigh Masters in “the old stable”. Poor Cletus and Desdemona.
  47. When Lorelai starts sleeping at Luke’s, he “picks up” a TV for her to fall asleep to. Except that he already had a TV…which you can see earlier in the episode. It’s sitting just around the corner from the bed.
  48. We get a special peek at Richard’s home office when he talks insurance with Lorelai, and he has very peculiar blue curtains with moons all over them. Not very Emily and Richard. (I want them.)
  49. The “Old Man Twickham goodbye”. There is no way a man gets every person in town to line up for hours to say goodbye. Quirky is one thing, but that is beyond surreal. Especially since we never heard one thing about Twickham before that.
  50. THAT FUCKING MAGAZINE ARTICLE: I’ve mulled and mulled how the writer could be interested in over-the-top stories about the owner’s wealthy mother, and it doesn’t jive. No one reading travel magazines (or anywhere in the world) gives two shits about the inn owner’s mom.
  51. The show uses the same door-closing and door-opening sound effect for not only Rory’s dorm rooms, but every other door on the show–including the door to Taylor’s trailer office at the Twickham house.
  52. THAT FUCKING MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Lorelai is embarrassed by her mother anecdotes and asks to have the article pulled, even though that means her business partners aren’t consulted and they will lose out on a much-needed business bump from such publicity.
  53. Apparently, there are Town Elders. Mysterious Town Elders who must be summoned and met covertly in steam rooms. And they exist in a single episode, and only then.
  54. Lor goes to France with Christopher and acts like she is clueless on how to speak French, despite having been there before.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 9.52.31 AM
  55. Sookie was super into knowing the gender of her first baby, but kept the second one a complete mystery. I guess that isn’t the craziest, zaniest thing this show does (unlike the Twickham goodbye line), but it’s inconsistent.
  56. Jackson’s vasectomy: I’ve studied up on this, trust me. Any man getting a vasectomy needs a urology consultation and a series of other appointments. There’s no way Sookie can just ship off her husband like that. Oops. Sookie, don’t be so stupid!
  57. Luke’s Diner has no public restrooms.
  58. After the big mother-daughter rift, Rory comes to Luke’s for a cup of coffee and to pout–except that she has no car (hers is being repaired after being impounded), and she has to get a ride from Emily to go anywhere. So how does she get to Stars Hollow at night like that?
  59. Jess shows up at the Gilmore mansion to reunite with Rory, and while I don’t object to the notion he skulked in the bushes, what is unbelievable is that he was there at about 2:30am with the expectation to bump into her casually (assume the bar closed at 2am, and Rory gave everyone a ride home.)
  60. Rory and Dean celebrate their 3-month anniversary–notably 3 months from Rory’s birthday in October–on the same night as the Founder’s Day Firelight Festival. But that would place the festival in January, and not only are workers/partygoers not dressed for Connecticut in January, many deciduous trees still have their leaves.

    Rory and Dean on a date
  61. Lane’s hair-dying foray is unbelievably fake. The wig they put her in is laughable.
  62. Rory seems unbelievably surprised that she needs more extra-curriculars than the newspaper to get into a top tier school. I only went for a *good* school, and I was editor of the school’s creative arts magazine, played violin in the symphony orchestra, and was props master for the drama club. Plus, I held down a part-time job. Eat that, Rory!
  63. Christopher and Logan bond by reminiscing over boarding schools from which they have been ejected. But that seems highly unlikely on the Christopher end: Chris and Lor first kiss at age 14 in the school parking lot (not “a” school parking lot). And two years later they both wear the same blazers (one of which has pizza stuffed in its pockets sometime) and Lor gets knocked up. So when, exactly, did he get kicked out of all those private schools?
  64. Okay, this one is more of a blooper, but in the episode “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”, when Lorelai stands up from the kitchen table to get the phone, you can see that a boom mic drops into the shot.
  65. The Donna Reed dress. Where on earth does Rory get the Donna Reed dress (and matching pumps) from?
  66. We never find out the name of Sookie’s third baby. Nor the sex.
  67. It’s unclear how Richard and Emily are so wealthy. Trix and husband had exceptional wealth, granted, but aside from a trust fund, Richard likely wouldn’t have seen any of it until Trix passed. And apparently he needed a loan from her early on. Even as a successful insurance guy, still….I suppose Emily could’ve inherited a fortune early on.

    let the games begin
  68. Okay, Paris’s parents are awful and absent, but they didn’t move her into Yale? They didn’t attend graduation ceremonies? This was a missed opportunity.
  69. Babette and Miss Patty (et al.) seem far too interested to see Rory’s graduation from Yale in person. It may sound touching, but since they aren’t related, and they had no interest in the Chilton matriculation, why is it such a thing? Why are they over-stepping in such a way? And why are their expectations so high? For the record, my grandparents didn’t attend any of my THREE graduations.
  70. The bookcase that couldn’t possibly fit anywhere in the new Dragonfly Inn would have easily fit next to Rory’s desk in her room. And if not there, it would’ve definitely fit in the common room.
  71. Lane’s budget shopping trip for the band was crazy. She bought a few tiny bags of premium pretzels, even though a cheaper bulk bag was on the next aisle. Name-brand Pop-Tarts also seem luxurious.
  72. Just before the Dragonfly opens, Sookie injures her foot. Who are the men who carry her and drive her to the hospital like they’re part of the staff? They’re dressed in flannel and look like they’re part of the construction crew, but then how do they know which doc to take her to, and why are they driving her in the company van?
  73. When Liz tells Luke she’s getting married, she’s noticeably missing an earring.
  74. When Lorelai tries to comfort Rory with a living room tour of Asia, it’s seems entirely implausible that she scraped together all the props and decor. Miss Patty may have had the kimonos and a few items–but the posters? All the other crap? 
  75. Dean’s bedroom at his parents’ house is really weird. Lots of football and basketball trophies, except that the only sports team we know he was on was hockey. Weirder still, though, is all of the toy airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Dean moved to town at age 16. Did teenage Dean really hang toy planes?
  76. I’m just gonna say it–you can’t switch Mia actresses and expect me to be okay with it. Either Mia right or don’t Mia at all.
  77. Speaking of casting issues…while I adore the actress who plays Gypsy, it was jarring to see her re-cast as Emily’s maid in the Year in The Life episodes. Totally takes us out of the moment. 

    gilmore-girls-berta-gypsy-same-actress
  78. We’ve never seen Lorelai and Rory include Lane in a movie night. No Wonka. No Pippi.
  79. The first time we see Logan at the Yale newspaper office, Doyle takes three steps from Logan’s desk and starts loudly criticizing and bitching about him to Rory. Logan totally would’ve heard every word.
  80. Why the hell does Anne the Accountant advise so decidedly that the Dragonfly should cut lunch? I get why she cautioned that the meal was hemorrhaging money, but there are ten million options for fixing the lunch losses than totally cutting the meal and Sookie’s daytime role. Maybe Anne does hate Sookie.
  81. After Luke tells off Mrs. Thompson for making him move his boat, Lorelai insists on driving him back to the diner. Except that…Mrs. Thompson clearly lives just across from the gazebo, and even she could throw a stone and hit Luke’s.
  82. When Luke goes ape-shit honking at Rory’s limo in front of Doose’s, it isn’t clear how on earth the limo is inhibiting Luke or anyone else. It’s just parked fine along the curb. Luke’s truck is the only thing blocking the intersection.
  83. Where did Rory get backed poster boards of Marx Bros. movies? And the easels? And the blonde wig?

    Marty Rory duck soup
  84. When Logan and Rory bone for the first time, they start getting carnal with her curtains wide open in her first-floor room. Lots and lots of eye-witnesses.
  85. On the first day of Rory’s Stanford Eagle Gazette internship, she tells the receptionist that she’s never had a picture ID before, which of course is stupid. Not only does she presumably have a driver’s license, but also her Yale ID has a bad picture and once labeled her as “Rony”.
  86. During the Twickham museum episode, the timing is wackadoodle. They go to the opening right after breakfast (remember the cereal forts?), yet Patty has Founder’s Punch ready to go. Why? Whose idea is it to have a free cup of booze with museum admission at 11am-Noon? (And can I be their friend?)
  87. Rory, Paris, and Lane all get boozy on Founders Punch within hours of the museum’s opening–which happened midday. Then they are hungover the NEXT MORNING. What happened to their evenings and nights? Burritos would’ve made more sense at dinnertime the night before.
  88. THAT FUCKING MAGAZINE ARTICLE: In the limo after Lorelai’s alleged “magazine party”, Luke suggests he hasn’t been drunk in years. Apparently, he’s forgotten about the handful of Barbie last season when Jess chewed him out.
  89. So, Lorelai and Luke go raw dog, and the next morning, Lorelai supposes she might be having pregnancy cravings and ready for a pregnancy test. Has that woman learned NOTHING of reproductive biology?
  90. Lorelai says that Martha was born after 14 hours of labor. Nuh-uh. Sookie went into labor mid-afternoon–while she was supposed to be napping and the Gilmore Girls could set up a really lame surprise baby shower. BUT, Lorelai calls Rory about the birth just before noon the next day. (Mitchum notes that it’s about noon.)
  91. Hep Alien’s tour van doesn’t have its headlights on while the band is heading home in the dark.
  92. When Rory hires Paris as a waitress for the DAR fundraiser, Paris acts like she’s never worked hard in her life, and cites ancient Aramaic as one of her only qualifications. But this is the girl who built houses and served in soup kitchens since she was old enough to hold a ladle. Remember?
  93. When Rory begs Luke for 2 danish and 2 coffees (and ultimately denied because Luke and Lorelai are in a fight), she takes her single danish and coffee and walks out without paying.
  94. The ice cream maker that Lorelai receives as an anonymous wedding gift arrives without a box (or instructions, accessories, etc.). Not to mention it isn’t wrapped for postal delivery. So where did this used ice cream maker drop out of the sky from?
  95. After the Romeo and Juliet performance, Dean is fascinated to know if the kiss between Rory and Paris was real. Except that Paris failed to kiss Rory in the performance, so Dean may not have been paying attention.
  96. LAZY HAZY CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER: There is a weird gold telescope that a looong line of people are waiting to glance through for less than a heartbeat. What on earth are they looking at midday? And one dude totally re-positioned the angle. Rude.
  97. LAZY HAZY CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER: There is a dude working a cart behind Lorelai & Rory where he is pouring drinks into colorful cups. Except, he is pouring the teeniest-tiniest dribbles into each cup. Are they pure tequila or something? I mean, clearly the extra is trying to stretch out the entire pitcher through a long scene of pouring. But it’s insane.

    lazy hazy crazy
  98. LAZY HAZY CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER: Miss Patty seems to be conducting the dancers, except that she’s standing behind them so they can’t even see her.
  99. During the all-night dance competition there are uniformed security guards–not military or anything, but they have custom shirts, wearing all black. So it’s not just that the local cops were watching for trouble. Who the hell thought that actual security was needed and worth paying for? What was supposed to happen? And where were they when Taylor called for security upon Jess’s entrance?
  100. THE INDEPENDENCE INN FIRE: I get that Lorelai cares hardcore about her guests, but putting them up in town homes? No. That would be creepy and dangerous for all involved. Rent a bus and take them all to the Holiday Inn in Woodbury, you creep.
  101. THE INDEPENDENCE INN FIRE: The Haddlestats. Oh my gods, the Haddlestats. There is no way in hell that they show up at someone’s home around 11pm-ish, demanding to get in on the emergency fun. What fetish are they into where they opt to sleep in a stanger’s bed with no warning, when they could be home? Lorelai should have 1000% told them there was no room and to go home.
  102. THE INDEPENDENCE INN FIRE: Sookie takes over Luke’s, which is just plain rude. Okay, let’s assume The Dragonfly will reimburse Luke for lost revenue and materials. Why do the guests need a gourmet breakfast? Get them boxes of doughnuts and trays of coffee, losers. This is an emergency, not a town takeover.
  103. THE INDEPENDENCE INN FIRE: The Poe couple sleeps in Rory’s room, which is full of Harvard crap. Then they get up and go to breakfast at Luke’s, which Lorelai supervises. By the time Rory heads back to her room in the wee morning hours to get dressed for school, her room is full of Yale crap. Was Fred the Poe Guy up at 2am stapling Yale sweatshirts to the wall? And how did Lorelai even get all that crap so fast, especially when considering she was a bit distracted with a terrible emergency.
  104. What’s up with Trix’s fella? So, she’s in the process of moving from London. So did he relocate from London to be with her? If so, why didn’t she shack up with him, rather than the tedious Emily-run household? Okay, maybe she just wanted to be closer to Richard, fine. Why would she invite her fella over to the house? And where does the fella live? Did he have a place to stay during the renovations?

    nuts in my hands
  105. The story of Jimmy Mariano abandoning Liz and Jess changes over the seasons. At first, he leaves when Jess is older. Then it changes that Jimmy took off immediately after Jess’s birth while out on a diaper errand.
  106. Let’s be very clear: Rory, the incoming Yale freshman is anything but “the most deserving kid ever”. And I want to slap many people in the mouth for the scene where Lorelai says so.
  107. I think Luke’s blowup in front of Nicole’s parents was supposed to be much more explosive. It was fairly unremarkable, but apparently the ‘rents called him many crude names for his quiet rant.
  108. While the Dragonfly is under construction, Lorelai complains for months (worth of episodes) that she is swamped with meetings. What meetings exactly? Sure, a plumber, printer, vendor, or permit meeting here or there can be expected. But I’m guessing that can’t take up more than 8-9 hours per week.

    an affair to remember
  109. Do you ever wonder about the set of milk bottles in the background at Luke’s (they’re sitting on the barrel). One of them is “full” of something white. What on earth is it?
  110. It’s sweet when Rory helps Richard figure out how to tie a bow tie for his mom’s funeral. Except…the man wears bow ties almost daily. So how is this a foreign concept?
  111. The show sweetly re-used the same actor for three different speaking roles. Charles C. Stevenson, Jr. played the teasing country club member, Julian (“Kill Me Now”), the confused reverend at Gran’s funeral (“The Reigning Lorelai”), and then Charlie the staffer at the Stars Hollow Gazette (Year in the Life). It’s nice unless you want to pretend that just maybe the show is real. Illusions and whatnot.
  112. When Cheating Rory decides from Italy that she has to get a letter to Dean, she overnights a letter to her mom. I mean, she had to, since she was scheduled to be home in just a couple days. Assuming she could even find a place to overnight the letter so quickly, it would’ve cost over a hundred bucks at least. Has this girl never heard of email? Or even fax? Or, ya know, waiting 2 days and talking to him in person. Or handing him a note her damn self.
  113. At the USO dinner party, Rory gives the servers their period-themed uniforms and tells them to go to work. At what point are they all getting their hair done? 
  114. When the New England Syrup Council visits the Dragonfly and does a group tasting in the dining room, Sookie and Lorelai stand in the doorway watching–and the two talk LOUDLY about how disgusting it is. Every one of those peeps heard them. Rude.
  115. Rory uses just one key on four or five locks to get into her ghetto college apartment. Can I get a whaaaaat?
  116. At the dinner where Lorelai tells Rory about discovering Luke’s daughter, Lorelai unpacks cartons of Chinese food that are clearly empty. Plus, the paper bag they came in has clearly never been handled, hugged, grabbed, or bumped. Super fake.
  117. The chairs in the Dragonfly dining room exactly match a couple of chairs seen in the Crap Shack during season 1. Did Lorelai find a supplier for her favorite household chair that she bought 5+ years ago?
  118. Don’t get me started on the yellow daisies. It was visually cute, but so implausible on a myriad of levels that my brain, it hurts.
  119. When mid-Dean-breakup Rory runs away to the grandparents’ house in Hartford, I’m genuinely puzzled as to how she got a taxi. She doesn’t have a cell to call one (just a pager). MAYBE she found a pay phone and then hid in town until it arrived to whisk her away? All I know is, there is no small town like Stars Hollow where cabs are just hanging out. Rory’s escape took a lot of time and planning.
  120. Chilton Rory is crazy naïve about what it takes to get into a good school (let alone an Ivy League school). How on earth is she surprised that volunteering and extracurriculars are necessary beyond just great grades? What is wrong with her?
  121. At Max and Lorelai’s engagement party, their present mountain is absurd. We’re talking at least 300+ presents. For an engagement (not even a wedding). She may be popular in town, but that’s an awful stretch.
  122. Again, we’re at Max and Lorelai’s engagement party and I recognize almost no one. Patty, Kirk, Sookie, yes. But no Babette, no Gypsy, no Troubador, no Taylor, no Bootsy, no Michele, no Joe the Pizza Guy. So how on earth did she get over 300 presents? Who the hell are these people?

This list will be updated periodically when more things pop into my dark, weird brain during re-watches. In the meantime, if you think you’ve stumbled upon something I’ve missed, be sure to add it in the comments section. Copper boom!

Stars Hollow Unhinged: The Dark Side of the Gilmore Girls

You’ll never look at Gilmore Girls the same way.
We all love Gilmore Girls, right? It’s sweet, peppy, and oh so innocent. Remember Rory’s first kiss? Jess knocking down a snowman? Lorelai sewing costumes for the school play? Yes, the WB/CW really had us believing that the streets of Stars Hollow were made of cotton candy and the Gilmore Girls lived in a house of Pop-Tarts and Brillo Pads.

I regret to tell you, it just isn’t so. Once you removed the WB/CW network filter and peel away the peppy “la-la-la-la” music, there is a seedy underbelly to Stars Hollow, particularly at the Gilmore House. It’s so twisted that not even a Rory Curtain could hide it. So come with me as I decipher all of the clues and break down the truth behind the cold, dark Stars Hollow as it really was.

In the Beginning, Lorelai Ran From Hartford

Fans, let us journey back in time to the very beginning. The year was 1985. 17 year-old Lorelai Gilmore took her baby daughter and made a hasty retreat from the safety, shelter, and sustenance of her parents’ house out on to the mean streets of Hartford and beyond.

Why? It wasn’t because she lived a life of abuse, poverty, violence, and drugs. That wasn’t Lorelai’s world. She was a wealthy socialite who was unsatisfied with her parents’ smothering and planning. Their tedious efforts to help and support her. So, with baby in tow, she disappeared without notice, other than a scrap of paper.

This is no typical story of someone who is stable and thinking. In fact, from the start, one can imagine that any mom fleeing into the night with no plan or protection–given her circumstances–is likely highly disturbed. Maybe even dangerous to herself and her baby.

We can surmise Lorelai must have taken a bus with her baby daughter, a small amount of luggage, a bag of diapers, and maybe a car seat (I hope)? And landed where? She did not turn to a friend or family member. Lorelai turned up in a random town with no connections.

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Mia Welcomes Them to Stars Hollow

Mia and Emily once had a conversation about how Mia should have behaved when Lorelai showed up at her door. Emily took a swipe insisting that Mia should’ve sent her back home. And Emily is right. There is no way that a penniless teen (save for some diamond earrings in the pockets of her designer jeans) with a baby doesn’t get turned around and pointed back toward her mansion.

Did Lorelai refuse loudly and madly? Did she threaten to go sleep in the street if no one would take her in? And for that matter, did she even really show up at the Inn looking for a job? Or did Mia find her sitting on the streets? Sleeping on a park bench with her baby?

Keep in mind, even the dirtiest hotel rooms must gouge at the cash supply after a while. And diapers aren’t free. Any credit cards she had would’ve pointed to her location, and Richard and Emily would’ve come after her. In fact, wouldn’t it be remarkable if Emily didn’t have the police looking for them, knowing Emily’s nature as we do?

Maybe Mia was more of a saint than we realize. Maybe she was covering for a very disturbed teen girl.

Consider also, isn’t it a bit funny that Rory later discovered a newspaper article about Lorelai arriving in town? It’s a little peculiar that such a headline would exist…unless this person was sensational. Maybe even alarming? Perhaps the article described the hubbub of a baby sleeping on a park bench, and how authorities tried to intervene until guardian angel Mia Bass stepped in.

Potting Shed Baby

Fortune smiled on the disturbed runaway when Mia offered to shelter her in the inn’s potting shed. The potting shed.

GG Emily in Wonderland Potting Shed 1

A potting shed with a toilet and a tub? But no interior doors? Was it heated? Connecticut has brutal winters. Where did they move the tools and herbicides? One year-old Rory was housed in an actual shed. There was no kitchen to keep her food. No crib.

Continue reading “Stars Hollow Unhinged: The Dark Side of the Gilmore Girls”

Star Trek: Voyager–Being Katie O’Clare

I have a very special story for you about Star Trek: Voyager and how my life inadvertently imitated a holodeck fantasy. Gather ’round.

The tale of my holodeck-style adventure starts not terribly long ago when I moved my little family to Ireland. My husband and I lay in bed, me dozing off after a long day of unpacking boxes, he, intent on finding a new show to watch on Netflix, irritatingly scrolling through the menus so that they flickered through the dark room and pierced my closed eyelids. Sighing, I cracked my eyelids just enough to see the screen. One of the title cards flashed past my vision and prompted me to mutter through my own drool, “What is Red doing on Star Trek?”. Wait, was I half-asleep? “Was that really RED? That was RED! On STAR TREK!” He scrolled back to a cast photo of Star Trek: Voyager, and in the role of Captain Janeway was a young Red from Orange is the New Black.

Star Trek Voyager cast photo

My husband had been keeping a terrible secret from me! Red has always been my absolute favorite character from Orange, and he never let on that she was a Star Trek Captain?! Startled by my recognition, he confessed to having never connected Kate Mulgrew’s two brilliant roles before–a notion that still horrifies me, and brings great shame upon our family.

And to add to his dishonor, he admitted that he never even watched all of Voyager, since his dopey late-90s teenaged self had fallen into the chauvinistic trap of not appreciating Capt. Janeway, thinking of her as a less-than, politically correct version of Kirk and Picard (Sisko deliberately omitted from this list since he is terrible.) Now, wiser and older, and considerably more discerning, he announced instantly that he would undertake the quest of re-watching every episode, beginning that very night.

From then on, each night I drifted off to sleep to the beautiful opening melody, and then the husky tones of Kate Mulgrew’s voice. It became a soothing balm as I learned to settle into sleep in a new house and a very new place.

Several weeks passed until one night when my husband shook me out of a sound sleep to look at the television screen. He had just started a Voyager episode called “Fair Haven”, and it had a startling connection to our own real life.

The episode is all about escapism–the crew of Voyager is in need of a respite from their stressful roles, so Tom Paris develops a new program in the holodeck. It’s the town of Fair Haven in County Clare, Ireland.

And this is where the beat drops. My new home, boxes still scattered and things still not hung on the walls, is in County Clare, Ireland. This was one of those moments when I really wondered if my life is The Truman Show.

(I have wondered this often, and have seriously pondered the notion that if my life is The Truman Show, some team of writers would most definitely taunt me by fabricating a Hollywood film that mocks my actual life and lays out the entire truth right in front of my face, both beckoning my recognition and also belittling my paranoia–and of course it would star Jim Carrey. But I digress…)

The episode continued to get spookier and spookier. Captain Kathryn Janeway quickly falls in love with the quaint rural setting and begins to adopt the in-holodeck moniker of Katie O’Clare.

But I am Katie. Katie of Clare.

Janeway in Clare

Through my sleepy eyes I watched the tale unfold–both sweet and disarmingly dark at various points (“Delete the wife”), until it reached a point where both my husband and I nearly fell out of bed in sheer disbelief.

Katie O’Clare saunters over to the Fair Haven train station to get her flirt on with the local bartender, and does so by attaching herself gingerly to a signpost–a signpost that points to towns such as Tuamgraney and Killaloe.

Those are towns very close to my home (without giving away my precise hometown). I visit Tuamgraney frequently, and Killaloe every now and then (I tend to head there less frequently since traffic flow is dependent on this 18th century one-way stone bridge).

Katie OClare

Naturally, because I am a super nerd, my first reaction was to jump up and down and yell “I’m Katie O’Clare! I’m Katie O’Clare!”, because hells yes my life is reflecting a Star Trek holodeck fantasy (and it doesn’t even involve Vic Fontaine!).

The very next thing I did was sit down and attempt to calculate where the fictional Fair Haven might fall on the map. The signpost–notably created by Tom Paris–indicates that Fair Haven is 5 km from Tuamgraney and 3.5 km from Killaloe. Also 7.5 km from Holy Island, but we’ll set that aside since it involves water travel. Continue reading “Star Trek: Voyager–Being Katie O’Clare”

West Wing: The Complete Adventures of Goldfish Gail and Her Fishbowl

Ever wondered about the props in Goldfish Gail’s fishbowl? I have answers.

Fans of The West Wing know a little secret: C.J. Cregg’s pet goldfish, Gail, often has her bowl decorated with props that wink at episode themes. Panda bears, cash, flags, cabbages, flamingos, a love bed, a space shuttle, a telephone, and a fire engine. They are planted just for our delight (and hopefully Gail’s as well). The trick is to try and spot them. And this friends, became my obsession recently.

Below, for the first time, is a complete list of all of Goldfish Gail’s adventures alongside C.J., Danny, and the rest of the West Wing gang. Let’s get swimmin’!

And, hey, if you think you can identify one of the mystery props, please do comment. If you can convince me, I will happily give you full credit for the spot!


Season 1

Gail 1.9

Season 1, Episode 9

  • Prop: Nothing. Welcome, Gail!
  • Gravel: None? Oh, com’on, Danny.
  • Nod to Plot: It’s a new fish! (And Danny loves C.J.)

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Season 1, Episode 10

  • Prop: Christmas tree, with some festive poinsettias atop
  • Gravel: White, like snow. Snow with fish poop.
  • Nod to Plot: Christmas episode!

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Season 1, Episode 11

  • Prop: What appears to be a military helicopter
  • Gravel: Red, like blood
  • Nod to Plot: India-Pakistan conflict

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Season 1, Episode 12

  • Prop: A little wooden lectern and two American flags
  • Gravel: Red, white, and blue
  • Nod to Plot: It’s the State of the Union address!

Continue reading “West Wing: The Complete Adventures of Goldfish Gail and Her Fishbowl”

The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 7

Gail the Goldfish, friend and companion to C.J. Cregg and the rest of the gang at The West Wing, is back for an exciting and FINAL seventh season!

This is sad and exciting. It’s sexciting. Wait, no. Sorry, Gail. I didn’t mean it like that.

Truly, though, Gail experiences the frost of terrifying allegations against her mama, deep loss, and the anticipation of moving. It’s a traumatic season for her, but she handles it like a champ. Let’s do this one last time! Here are Gail’s appearances in Season 7.

(If you think that you can identify one of the mystery props, please do comment and if you can convince me, I will happily give you full credit for the spot!)


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Season 7, Episode 1

  • Prop: Gail’s opening the final season with a light bulb in her bowl
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: I’m not entirely certain. Perhaps it is Gail’s epiphany that C.J. is the focus of the intelligence leak investigation. Gail is hoping that everyone stops and listens to her horrified realization. Gail’s has a lightbulb, people! A lightbulb!

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Season 7, Episode 2

  • Prop: Some little things are stuck in her gravel. Could they be a bunch of little U.S. flags?
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: Well, maybe Gail is being supportive of candidate Santos’s military service. Plus, ya know, it’s America. So, flags.
    I, for one, am disappointed that Matt and Helen’s absolutely destroyed bed wasn’t in the bowl. Gail usually has more of a sense of humor.

Continue reading “The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 7”

The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 6

Gail the Goldfish, friend and companion to C.J. Cregg and the rest of the gang at The West Wing, is back for an exciting sixth season.

Gail moves offices, hosts a visitor, gets snubbed for an invitation to an ice cream party, and ponders classic literature. She also explores a little nihilism. That is one deep fish.

Here it is, a list of Gail sightings from season 6.

If you think that you can identify one of the mystery props, please do comment and if you can convince me, I will happily give you full credit for the spot!


NoGailSeason 6, Episode 1

No Gail. She’s as appalled as we all are about the beginning of season 6. Since it looks like the gang is heading to Camp David, I fear we might be missing Gail for quite some time.

Continue reading “The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 6”

And Now, My Cat Invades Star Trek: Voyager

From the recesses of the Delta Quadrant, comes Star Trek cat!

Very little needs to be written about the following images. My senior Tonkinese cat, Maisy, decided to assist (or sometimes surprise) the crew of Voyager.

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We don’t ask how she went from floating in space to sitting on the bridge.

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One thing is for sure though, Maisy doesn’t give a shit.

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She can’t even give a shit when the Doc is all worried.

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Okay, that’s a little alarming to her.

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Time for her to review procedures with Captain Janeway.

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Maisy also takes time to supervise underlings

….when she isn’t playing hide-n-seek with the Captain and Seven of Nine.

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Oop! They found her!

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Maisy also wants everyone to remember to never split infinitives. May you all go boldly where no cat has gone before.