Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 3, Episode 3 “Application Anxiety”

Rory’s application to Harvard has arrived! And it’s dropped off by a mailman who not only opens the front door to deliver the mail, but he leaves the door wide open because all Stars Hollow characters lack boundaries.

There’s also something about the Brady Bunch Variety Hour but I’m finding all the “talking about a TV show on a TV show” a bit too “Tarantino makes his characters talk about movies” for my liking.

Lorelai takes filling out Rory’s application as an opportunity to work on her standup act. DROOPY DRAWERS AND JOKES AND SO MUCH TALKING!! Lane makes sure everyone knows about how cool her tastes in music is in her band ad. This reminds me of this Todd Barry bit where he talks about seeing a 3-year-old in a Dead Kennedys t-shirt. He imagines the thought process to be “but if he doesn’t wear that, how will everyone know how cool my CD collection is?”

Is this a picture of a doll? 

Rory has breakfast with Floppy to remind everyone that he is still on the show. She wants to go out on Saturday because she’s so confident in her Hillary Clinton admissions essay that she feels she can close her eyes and pretend Floppy’s lips belong to Broody for an evening. This means Rory is setting herself up for a horrific failure.

And that failure comes to fruition in the next scene, where Paris & Rory’s  cast-off Comic Con-esque college prep panel called “The Business of Getting In” becomes a dull nightmare right before their eyes. The admissions experts they’ve asked to speak to them have decided essays about Hillary Clinton, no matter how well-written or unique, are as played out as saying “NOT!” in 2015. College paraphernalia on applicants walls equals “immature” instead of something they are actually passionate about. These people are the worst. My question – why do these kids need this panel? Chilton is full of children of privilege – these kids can hire an “admissions consultant” to review their essays and answers one-on-one instead of trying to glean information off two obviously drunk people bitching about their jobs. Regardless, legacies are as good as in anyway. They could write about why Burning Man is an alien society that functions on our own planet and still get in. (Also – I would like to read said essay.)

At Friday Night Dinner, Judgy WASP Mom is freaked out about Rory’s prospects of getting into a good school because the competition is FIERCE! This makes Lorelai freak out and they both forget that all they have to do is buy a fucking building at the school of Rory’s choice and she’s in regardless of GPA. Don’t these two know anything about America? You can buy anything in this country, including success!

At the diner, Taylor has paid a bunch of kids to ask Luke for old timey drinks that no one under the age of 65 has ever heard of. Taylor wants to open a soda shop in the space next to Luke’s. My dad would love that place.

Lorelai and Rory’s mutual college application freak out leads Lorelai to call the headmaster of Chilton, get the name of a Harvard grad, and set up an alumnus dinner so Rory can glean wisdom from the glistening brain of a smart person. I’m guessing it’ll go like this:

They go to the guy’s house and all Rory brings is her records. No flowers, no wine, no candy, no baked good they forced Sookie to make. Dude, Lorelai, did Judgy WASP Mom teach you nothing? I didn’t grow up with the ability to make it rain at a strip club but I WAS taught to bring something when attending a dinner…especially when attending dinner at the home of someone I need a favor from.

When talking to the Harvard guy, Lorelai tries to answer all the questions for Rory as if she is the one trying to get into Harvard. Harvard Guy has weird freak children who are WAY too happy. Now I’m beginning to think Rory and Lorelai drove into “Rock and Roll Heaven.” Lorelai thinks the creepy children are fucking each other. She’s right.

Lorelai ask about the other daughter in a family picture and Harvard Guy and his Stepford Wife act like she’s dead. Then Harvard Guy turns dinner into a game of Jeopardy!, which is obviously more fun when everyone is famous and drunk.

It’s all terrible and Rory goes to find the bathroom. She runs into the other daughter, who isn’t dead. She is, however, crazy. She just starts talking and talking and talking without any preamble about Tom Waits and jobs and she’s dressed like a bunny? She’s a “rebel” because she didn’t go to college. See, she’s like WAY TOO COOL because she saw the “conveyor belt” as what it was, man! She got off and she’s LIVING HER LIFE! She should be friends with Broody.

After the dinner the girls go to the town meeting where Luke gets outvoted and Taylor gets his soda shop. Lane meets Dave. He wants to join her band and he knew Lane was Lane because of her Dead Kennedys shirt. (I swear to god I had no idea that was in here when I referenced Todd Barry’s joke!) He’s, like, totally knowledgable about bands!

I do have a follow-up question about Lane’s shirt – Stars Hollow has like 20 people in it. How does Lane keep news of her outside-the-house-wardrobe from reaching Mrs. Kim? Is everyone too afraid of her to say anything? What about other people in Lane’s church?

Floppy shows up to drop a “what are we doing after we graduate” bomb on Rory. This is the first episode in a long time where Rory isn’t ignoring him or actively treating him like crap and he pulls this? It seems very out-of-place. It would make more sense at the end of a “OMG, BROODY!!!” episode where Rory blows Floppy off.

Rory suggests that Floppy should go to college in Boston. He says he can’t because he’s going to junior college and they don’t have dorm rooms. He also says he can’t rent an apartment and that he’s being realistic. Floppy – ROOMMATES. Boston is like 45% college kids. Someone always needs a roommate. Plus there is decent public transportation in Boston (last winter’s freak snow excepted) so you can live somewhere like Allston or Somerville and get into Boston proper fairly easily. Plus Boston is walkable – my husband and I used to walk from our 1-bedroom apartment in Allston all the way to the North End and back. It’s a long walk but it’s not impossible.

Floppy and Rory drop the conversation and go to Luke’s. Jackson asks Lorelai if he can keep his antique farming tools in Rory’s room when she moves away as if that’s a thing that anyone would ever ask anyone. “Hey person I’m not related to, can I keep my weird shit in your kid’s room when she’s gone?” Rent a storage unit, Jackson.

The next morning Harvard Guy calls Rory and tells her that she’s great. Lorelai and Rory are both sad because this is a new stage in their lives. They decide to postpone work and just hang out for the day. It makes them happy but there’s only so long they can pretend Rory isn’t leaving.

I am going to say that this is the first episode of this show that I have just flat out not liked. I didn’t understand why Lorelai and Judgy WASP Mom would freak out so suddenly over Rory’s prospects for college when they know she’s been doing great in school. I don’t understand why we had to spend so much time with the Harvard Guy…unless he comes back? God, I hope not. 1/10 would not watch again.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 3, Episode 3 “Application Anxiety”

  1. Jen, I don’t know what I look forward to most now: watching a new episode or reading your reca!p (JK – it’s reading your recap!) I too, had a WTF moment when the mailman walked in and out an LEFT THE DOOR OPEN…and Rory didn’t even kick it closed. From now on when weird shit like that happens I’m going to say to myself: That’ just a “David Lynch Moment” (DLM) TM. Like the idea of putting a bunch of rusty old tools in a college kids bedroom: DLM.

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