In the constant deluge of pop-culture references streaming forth from the mouths of Gilmore Girls characters, from Heathers to Two Fat Ladies to Tiger Woods, it was easy at the time to miss noticing that the Gilmores had an ongoing preoccupation with a certain someone–namely, the orange-skinned bogeyman currently stalking the halls of American politics, frightening small children with the threat of trying to date them when they turn fourteen.
But if you, like us, are going back to rewatch the seven glorious seasons of Gilmore Girls in preparation for the revival coming to Netflix on November 26th, you may have noticed that a few of those jokes are… no longer quite so funny. That’s always kind of a danger with pop culture references, but who was to know that the strutting reality star from The Apprentice and (shudder) the Miss USA pageant was soon going to be the US’s would-be first fascist dictator?
In honor of the upcoming revival and in… what’s the opposite of honor? Ignominy?… of the upcoming election, here’s a list of all five times Herr Trump was mentioned in the original Gilmore Girls, ranked in order of how the reference sounds to our sadder, wiser 2016 ears–from “slightly awkward” to “tragically cringe-inducing.”
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Previously on Westworld: Ford had a partner named Arnold who wanted to create consciousness; Ford’s working on a storyline about a white church; Teddy got a new storyline to explain his mysterious backstory; The Man In Black (Ed) kidnapped Lawrence to help him find the maze; Elsie found a man in the desert who smashed his own head with a rock; Maeve started to have memories; Dolores finally learned to shoot a gun, then collapsed in the arms of Gallant.
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It’s here!! A full trailer for Netflix’s Gilmore Girls Revival! At least two Adversion writers have shed actual tears watching it. The third isn’t disclosing.
Christopher Marlowe has officially been credited as a co-author on three of Shakespeare’s plays: all three parts of Henry VI. AKA the Shakespeare plays you never quite made it through.
The Walking Dead came back this week, and the resolution to the cliffhanger was almost as terrible as the cliffhanger itself. There are lots of scathing reviews circulating, but Vox calling it “terminally stupid television” sounds about right.
The Awl has a hilarious piece on creepy milk drinkers from popular culture, including good old Walter from Westworld.
Happy Halloween! Read Flavorwire’s collection of classic literature’s six uncanniest moments.
My childhood was only a menacing shower,
cut now and then by hours of brilliant heat.
All the top soil was killed by rain and sleet,
my garden hardly bore a standing flower.
From now on, my mind’s autumn! I must take
the field and dress my bed with spade and rake
and restore order to my flooded grounds.
There the rain raised mountains like burial mounds.
(Translation of “L’Ennemi” by Robert Lowell)
Previously on Westworld: Goofus and Gallant showed up to the park to make mischief; Bernard told Dolores she’d changed; Dolores dug up a gun; some dude murdered a bunch of people with milk and it was totally freaky; Daddy: Original Flavor got retired, and Elsie worried that it was contagious; Bernard thought it might be sabotage; Maeve woke up during surgery and saw a dead Teddy in a giant tank full of temporarily dead androids.
Cue the credits, which are super long—a thing I normally approve of, being nostalgic for the days of almost-full-length theme songs (remember “Searchin’ My Soul”? “California”? That song about God being one of us from the late great Joan of Arcadia?) but Westworld doesn’t show the actors in the credits, or actual clips from the show, so it’s more artsy and less tugging at the fannish heartstrings than other long theme songs which I have loved in my youth.
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When Gilmore Girls came out in 2000, young women were in desperate need of positive female role models. In an era when society designated the explicitly post-feminist Ally McBeal as the show that best articulated the internal conflicts of women (it didn’t), Lorelai and Rory Gilmore were godsends. Intelligent, funny, quick-witted, independent, well-read, and wholly original, they fulfilled a hunger for well-rounded female characters who had their own dreams, goals, and opinions separate from the men in their lives.
The groundbreaking nature of the main characters and the focus on female relationships made one uncomfortable fact much easier to miss: Gilmore Girls is not particularly feminist. It might be considered feminist for the time period, when stacked against actively misogynistic shows like Ally, but on the whole, it doesn’t even achieve the “flawed but as feminist as we could expect for the time” status, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It had a disquieting penchant for gay panic, slut-shaming, and casual racism (which I will explore in depth in another post), and when it wasn’t being politically incorrect, it was often pointedly apolitical. Case in point: Gilmore Girls is a show about teen motherhood that literally never utters the word “abortion.” Continue reading →
Braindead was officially cancelled this week, according to TVLine. It’s probably for the best since it was hard to imagine the storyline extending into another season, but we’ll miss seeing Johnny Rae Gill and Aaron Tveit every week next summer.
The Baffler wrote a thoughtful analysis of the state of realism in contemporary literature:
Nor do critics worry that the “social issues” presented in our novels rarely attain the complexity of cable television. Or that a novel genuinely concerned with social life (or even the social role of a single person) could itself, against this backdrop, be idiosyncratic. It’s sad, in other words, that the novels of Jonathan Franzen register to most as sociopolitical literature. Freedom isn’t a social novel on the level of Wharton. It’s a decelerated twenty-four-hour news channel.
The first Nashville season five teaser has been released!
People aren’t loving Ewan MacGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral, which is sad because the book was great. The NYT mildly disliked it, and Rolling Stone haaaated it (and it’s always fun to read a pan).
The New Yorker says Westworld caters disproportionately to stereotypically male fantasies in the excellent piece “The Meta-Politics of Westworld.”
Joss Whedon says he’s a Spuffy shipper, because Spike is a “more evolved” character than Angel. We only agree with the latter statement.
This week, The Good Wife‘s Josh Charles got in costume as a lawyer one more time for an excellent cause:
Not to get TOO political, but you should also check out this collection of the best #TrumpBookReport tweets.