A Guy Recaps Lady TV: Gilmore Girls

This is the third, experimental installment of A Guy Recaps Lady TV in which Noah Garfinkel-- a guy who mostly watches CNN and the History Channel -- watches a lone episode of a television program geared toward women and recaps it.

Jan 10, 2012 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

This is the third, experimental installment of A Guy Recaps Lady TV in which Noah Garfinkel-- a guy who mostly watches CNN and the History Channel -- watches a lone episode of a television program geared toward women and recaps it. Here, Noah takes in a random episode of the very popular program, "Gilmore Girls."

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Before we get started, I want to express to you how little I know about this show. I will do this by telling you the only two things about it I do know.  

    1.     "Gilmore Girls" is about two girls.
    2.    "Gilmore Girls" is called Gilmore Girls, not Gilbert Girls, even though 100% of the time I say it in my own head, it's Gilbert Girls.

That's it. Beyond that, I know nothing. So, here is my best guess for what this show about. "Gilmore Girls" is a drama about the relationship between a gifted student and a free spirited teacher at an all female preparatory school called The Elizabeth Gilmore School for Young Women (Gilmore for short). Let's see how this holds up!

I now begin Gilmore Girls, season 4, episode 9, entitled "Ted Koppel's Night Out," which I chose with the hopes that Ted Koppel would be somehow involved. I really love Ted Koppel. I would just recap 90's episodes of Nightline if anyone would let me.

We open with a previously-on montage which includes the following scenes.

1) The younger Gilmore girl -- later learn her name is Rory, but we'll call her Little Gilbert -- finds a naked boy laying on the ground.

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2) The guy from those old Doge Intrepid commercials says very excitedly, "I'm going into business with Jason Stiles!" Haha. Pretty cool, Dodge Guy!

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3) The older Gilmore girl stands with a bearded man while he expresses an interest in going out with her. She seems reluctant. It would seem logical that we would call the older Gilmore girl Big Gilbert, but she won't be called Big Gilbert. She will instead be called Pretty Clock Face. She's pretty, and there's something clock-ish going on there. I can't explain it; if you don't see it, you don't see it.

The actual episode begins with Pretty Clock Face and Little Gilbert walking into a diner. Little Gilbert and Pretty Clock Face realize there are no open tables.

They decide to "hover" around people sitting at tables until they feel uncomfortable and leave. It works. You quirky, quirky Gilmore Girls! You've done it again! Or for the first time maybe. I have no idea.

They push two small tables together to make one big one and then discuss how the guy who runs the diner, Luke, hates when they do that. The conversation goes like this.

Little Gilbert: Luke's gonna be mad. I mean, he hates when we commandeer two tables during rush hour.


Pretty Clock Face: Oh, he only hated it that one time.


Little Gilbert: What time?


Pretty Clock Face: That time when we did it and he was mad.


Little Gilbert: He's hated it every time we've done it.


Pretty Clock Face: No.


Little Gilbert: Yes.


Pretty Clock Face: Only the one time.


Little Gilbert: What time?


Pretty Clock Face: The time we did it and he was mad.

So, that's how this show is going to go? Alright. Oh, boy. It's like Aaron Sorkin for teenz. With a "Z."

Then, Luke comes over and says that he's making pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon butter. "You made cinnamon butter?!" Little Gilbert exclaims. She is very impressed that he made cinnamon butter, which is a weird thing to be impressed by because making cinnamon butter requires the second least amount of steps a recipe can possibly have.

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Pretty Clock Face and Little Gilbert then start talking about Jason Stiles, who Dodge Guy mentioned in the previously-on montage. Turns out he's the bearded guy Pretty Clock Face was reluctant to go out with. This doesn't seem like a teacher-student conversation. Maybe they're sisters.

But then Pretty Clock Face explains that Jason Stiles is "my dad's partner." Aha! She says "my dad," which implies that these girls who may or may not attend/work at The Elizabeth Gilmore School For Young Women are not sisters. Cool.

But then, all of a sudden, Pretty Clock Face just starts referring to her mom and dad as just plain "mom and dad" which you should never ever do unless talking to a member of your family. So, I'm lost again.

Next, Little Gilbert and a friend of hers are having lunch with Dodge Guy in a luxurious dining hall. It would appear that The Elizabeth Gilmore School For Young Women has very rich alumni and a lax visitors policy.

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It is mentioned that Dodge Guy is named George and that he is Little Gilbert's grandfather. He announces that he has gotten Little Gilbert tickets to the Harvard Vs. Yale football game. Oh... So this is Yale apparently. We're at Yale. That rules out "Gilmore" as a school.

We then cut to Pretty Clock Face in her apartment. She plays the messages on her phone, one of which is from Jason Stiles. He asks her out again by way of a message that I think might have been designed specifically to help me out...

"Lorelei Gilmore, daughter of Richard and Emily, mother of Rory, and friend to all, would you join me for dinner on Saturday night?"

Holy shit, thank you! That was... awesome. For a show that has been maddeningly wordy so far, they just explained the whole premise of the series  in one voicemail message. That voicemail is like a "Gilmore Girls" cheat sheet.

Pretty Clock Face calls Jason back to turn him down again even though he got them reservations at the big fancy restaurant in town. Guess what the restaurant is called? China Garden. Come on, "Gilmore Girls" writers. You couldn't come up with a better fancy restaurant name than China Garden? There are roughly four restaurants called China Garden withing walking distance of my apartment, and none of them require anything close to reservations. China Garden. Good Christ.

Anyway, Pretty Clock Face ends up wanting to go to the Yale/Harvard football game with her family even though she hates football. And then a bunch more stuff happens with Luke from the diner, but I'm just going to start ignoring this story line altogether because of his backward baseball cap.

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We're adults, man. You're done.

Also, I want to bring up now that I am generally annoyed by both Pretty Clock Face and Little Gilbert. Pretty Clock Face just spits out a never ending stream of lazily delivered sardonic lines while Little Gilbert says every sentence -- every painfully long, word-engorged sentence -- with the intonation of a yawning cartoon baby mouse.

Next, the Gilmore family attends the football game where many quips happen, some spat out and some yawned. Eventually, Pretty Clock Face changes her mind and decides to leave to meet Jason Stiles at the world's classiest restaurant, which, just as a reminder, is still called China Garden.

When they get to China Goddamn Garden, Pretty Clock Face immediately tries to spot a famous person. She whispers "Ted Koppel's here!" There is no cut away to Ted Koppel. She just says it and then things continue. I just watched over 3/4ths of a show based on a belief I would get to see Ted Koppel. I'm so mad at Gilmore Girls.

It turns out that Stiles got them a table in a private dining room. Pretty Clock Face is immediately like, "Uhhhhhhh..."

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She doesn't want to sit in the private dining room. She wants to be out in the main part where she can see and be seen. So... What Pretty Clock Face has done here is turn down a guy a bunch of times in a row, finally agree to go on a date, and then complain that the guy got them a private dining room in an exclusive restaurant. She is the worst? They leave the restaurant.

In the car, Stiles tries to offer alternative places to go, but Pretty Clock Face says she's not hungry and that she just wants to go home. Then, she says she actually is hungry and demands that Stiles exits the highway to take her to a fast food place.

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Oh, cool. "Taco Barn." So, the writers are capable of matching a restaurant name to the supposed quality of the restaurant. Who would have guessed?

Stiles doesn't order anything, and Pretty Clock Face says she won't eat unless he also eats. Once again, she demands that they leave. For some reason, Stiles still wants to hang out with this awful woman, and they end up having dinner after they just buy food from a grocery store.

They can both go to hell.

So, minus a few extraneous story lines, that was that show. I really did not like it. It's almost like I'm not in their target demographic! To me, Pretty Clock Face seemed like a miserable character, and I felt like adorable Little Gilbert could have just been played by adorable Tanya Mousekewitz.

I'm sorry I hated this so much. I know a lot of people really like this show, and I was mean about it for a long time just now. I feel bad about that. Maybe it was just an off episode. I'm willing to entertain that possibility. It's just... I feel it would have been so much better if it was a drama about a gifted student and a free spirited teacher at an all female preparatory school called The Elizabeth Gilbert School for Young Women. Or if Ted Koppel showed up.