Moxie’s Resolutions for Everyone Else: The 2017 Edition

What a crazy clusterf**k of a year it’s been. I’m ready for 2017, but there are a few things I’d like y’all to do better, okay? Hence my annual resolutions for everyone else. On with the show.

Stop using “Ch-Ch-Changes” as an editorial or article title (editors and journalists). If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this popular David Bowie song used as a title for an op-ed, editor’s note or even an article, I would not need a day job. Now that Bowie is no longer with us, how about honoring his memory by NOT using this song as an article title anymore?

Participate in the 2018 California State Fair by having an exhibit in the exhibition hall (California counties). 

Create a buddy movie or sitcom starring Gwendoline Christie and Miranda Hart (British film/TV industry). If you’ve watched “Game of Thrones”, you’ve likely seen actress Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, the tall, powerful female knight who has sworn to serve the House of Stark. She’s fabulous.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones.” Strong, powerful, flawed character and one of the reasons I keep watching.

 

Gwendoline Christie, actress, British actress, Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

Gwendoline Christie all dolled up for awards show.

Just as fabulous is the statuesque actress and comedian Miranda Hart, who had her own sitcom on BBC and has been in several films, as well as on PBS’s series “Call the Midwife” as Chummy.

Miranda Hart, British actress, British comedian

Miranda Hart, British actress and comedian.

Why not put these two tall, lovely British ladies in a buddy movie or sitcom? Rumor is that “Miranda” is returning – how about a guest spot for Gwendoline, hmm, Miranda? Maybe Miranda dresses up as Brienne for a fancy dress party and ends up in some wacky situation where she is mistaken for Gwendoline?

Make US Postal Service-compliant stationery and cards (stationers and greeting card makers). 

Declare a moratorium on remakes of movies that are less than 50 years old (Hollywood). I feel like I’ve made this resolution before but once again in my life, I am freakin’ Cassandra yelling at the Trojans to not let that damn horse through the gates. Reading this round-up at Den of Geek got me extra annoyed. I get that there’s an assumption on the part of film producers and major studios that a remake has much better luck at doing well at the box office, but come up with some new material, okay? Or just make another sequel or prequel to an existing property, since you’re doing that already.

Accept that email is not a secure form of communication (federal government, Democratic National Committee, and, really, everyone). If we learned anything in 2016, it’s that email servers can be easily hacked. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of ignorance on the part of politicians and others about email security. Unless you work for the NSA, CIA or FBI, or you’re intentionally using email encryption software or services, assume that none of your emails are safe from prying eyes, and act accordingly.

Create/produce a TV drama about Baltimore that’s positive & uplifting (Josh Charles).

Kill Flash Player already (Adobe). I feel like this has been a resolution in years past and yet this stupid thing continues to exist and slow down everything on my computer. Please, for the love of Steve, just kill Flash already.

Get a smartphone already (Pops). He’s had an iPad for a few years now, and the iPhone is not that much different, yet Pops refuses to get a smartphone. He says “my phone is smart enough to work,” and I appreciate that, but the moments when you are dealing with crappy traffic because your Garmin doesn’t tell you about road closures are moments you can avoid with a smartphone that’s equipped with Google Maps and Waze.

Restore Jerry’s Subs & Pizza to its former glory (DC, MD and VA sub-loving citizens).

What are YOUR resolutions for everyone else?

Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 3: The Good – Plus Netflix Revival Wishes and Predictions

ICYMI: Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

And now, the things I really liked about Gilmore Girls – including how a scene in the final episode allowed me to forgive many of the show’s missteps over its seven-season run – and what I hope we’ll see in the Netflix reboot, which will be four seasonally themed episodes of 90 minutes each.

Secondary Characters

These are the characters I loved watching. They took the clever dialogue and ran with it, making the character their own.

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). Photo courtesy Fanpop.com

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) – She steals every scene she is in, from her banter with Lorelei to her kitchen mishaps. The courtship of Sookie and Jackson is fun to watch, as they are both so inept and clueless at dating, which I can relate to more than I’d like to admit.

 

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn). Photo courtesy BuddyTV.com

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) – Kirk’s deadpan delivery and full on commitment to everything he gets involved with, whether it’s Taylor’s latest scheme to improve life in Stars Hollow or an entrepreneurial venture, won me over. In some ways he’s a small town Cosmo Kramer on sedatives.

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters). Photo courtesy theodysseyonline.com

Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) – While Taylor was often annoying, his commitment to Stars Hollow and his ongoing battles with Luke and other townspeople about the most ridiculous things was truly amusing.

Gil, Gilmore Girls, Hep Alien, Sebastian Bach, Keiko Agena, Lane Kim, rock and roll, drama, comedy, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino

Gil (Sebastian Bach) with Lane Kim (Keiko Agena).

 

Gil (Sebastian Bach) – Who would have thought that the lead singer of Skid Row would make such an awesome character on GG? As soon as he showed up to audition for Hep Alien and brought the band sandwiches, I knew he was a keeper.

Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann) – Richard was a stuffed shirt with a soft underbelly, as could be seen in his interactions with granddaughter Rory. He was erudite without apology and witty beyond measure. I can’t imagine anyone else having played this role so well.

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) – Emily’s ongoing battles with her maids and her commitment to keeping up appearances often had me laughing. I also appreciate characters who love a good martini. The chemistry and banter between her and Richard (Edward Herrmann) was fantastic.

Edward Herrmann, Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls, Richard Gilmore, Emily Gilmore, Amy Sherman-Palladino, television, comedy, drama

Richard and Emily Gilmore in a classic scene. Photo courtesy Buzzfeed.com

A special shout out to GG for explaining the significance of owning a Birkin bag. Regular readers of GWM know how upset I got over Mindy Kaling’s use of Birkins on her show, so when I got to the episode in which Logan gives Rory a Birkin, and Emily’s reaction to hearing that Rory got a Birkin, I was very pleased.

As an aficionado of pop culture, I enjoyed all the clever pop culture references. There were many I missed or didn’t understand, but they added a lot of brevity to the show. According to a December 2015 article on Vulture.com, there were 284 references to movies, 339 references to books Rory has read or is reading, and 396 songs heard on the show. Amy Sherman-Palladino has said that she wanted the show to be something everyone could enjoy, and I think the references added a little something extra to students of pop culture, without alienating those who aren’t.

What got me to forgive all the show’s missteps with plots and characters? The final episode, which demonstrated what GG was really about: the relationships between the townspeople. The Gilmore Girls may have been the focus and the pitch, but the true star of the show was the town of Stars Hollow. This collection of quirky characters was a true community, loving and fighting and coming together to support each other when it was really important. It was a scene in the final episode, “Bon Voyage,” when Babette, Miss Patty, and several other characters were gathered under the tent, looking at Rory with love and pride, that got me all choked up and saying, in true Gilmore referential fashion, “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.”

Still from the “Bon Voyage” episode, the series finale. Photo courtesy lovelace-media.imgix.net

The Netflix Reboot: My Wish List

The four-part reboot of Gilmore Girls is currently in production. According to TV.com, each 90-minute segment focuses on a different season of the year, and the first segment will be “Winter.” While the roll call for casting is pretty well known at this point, the plot lines are sketchy at best. Here’s a few plot lines/scenes on my wish list:

Kirk is married with kids and one of his kids is just like him. This has the potential to be very funny and charming, with the right child actor in the role. 

Lane & Zach are managing a Christian rock band with their twins as members. Maybe one of Kirk’s kids keeps trying to convince them to let him/her into the band. 

A Mr. Kim appearance, even if it’s a visit to his grave (in the same cemetery as Richard Gilmore, perhaps). GG viewers never saw Mr. Kim, and nothing was ever said to indicate if he was alive, dead, or if he had left the family. We want to know! 

Luke has completed the boat. After all that fussing over the damn boat for so long, let’s see it out on the water, Luke at the helm, with Lorelai pretending she’s Rose from Titanic on the boat’s bow and falling overboard.

Jess and Rory reconnect as lovers. He’s matured enough by now to be a good partner to Rory, even if just for a short time, and after all this time away, she may need someone who knows her back story as well as her passion for good music and books to show her some affection.

The Final 4 Words: My Fearless Prediction

There’s been a lot of talk about the four final words Amy Sherman-Palladino had in mind for the end of the series. Lauren Graham revealed in a recent interview that it’s actually an exchange between characters. In light of this revelation, here’s my prediction on what the script looks like for those final four words:

INT. LUKE’S DINER – NIGHT

LUKE is behind the counter, wiping down equipment. The diner is deserted except for LORELAI sitting at the counter.

LUKE

More coffee?

He holds the carafe above LORELAI’s mug, waiting for her answer. She looks up at him, waits a beat. Their eyes are locked on each other.

LORELAI

Yes, please.

She lifts the mug with her left hand. An engagement ring is on her finger. Luke pours the coffee into her mug and smiles coyly at her. Lorelai smiles coyly in return. The camera pulls back to show the couple talking and laughing through the window of the diner.

FADE OUT


Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 2: The Ugly – and a Bonus Look at Rory’s Boyfriends

If you missed Part 1 of this series, click here.

Now let’s move on to the ugly stuff of Gilmore Girls: the plot points, characters and situations that added nothing of value to the show, were a complete departure from how the writers had originally depicted the character(s), or general commentary on stuff that wasn’t working for me. Plus, a bonus look at Rory’s boyfriends!

The Ugly

April Nardini, Luke’s long-lost daughter. April makes her first appearance in S6:Ep 9, when she approaches him for a DNA sample for a science project. (We’ll ignore the question of why any junior high science teacher, fictional or real, would allow a kid to go all Maury Povich for a science fair project.) If there ever was a cousin Oliver character that should have been eliminated, it was April. Her presence relegated Luke to becoming a caricature of himself. If the showrunners didn’t want him and Lorelai together, they could have found a better way.

Jackson Belleville and the Case of the Invisible Vasectomy

There are so many problems with this subplot that kicked off in S5, Ep 21. First off, where is this magical universe in which a tired wife and mother is allowed to schedule a vasectomy for her husband without his knowledge and consent? Cause I know a lot of women who would like to live there. Secondly, dedicated viewers of GG know about Jackson’s “four in four” wish/demand (meaning four kids in 4 years), and the non-conversation he and Sookie had about children. Why didn’t the writers address this as a point of contention early on? I’ve read that Sookie’s surprise third pregnancy was more about accommodating Melissa McCarthy’s real-life pregnancy, but surely the producers and writers would have known about this early enough to create more of a real-world plot in which the couple realizes how different they are when it comes to family size, child rearing, etc., they briefly separate, come back together (with at least one scene involving Lorelai and Sookie talking intimately about her marriage, of course), and decide to have baby #3.

Luke’s sister Liz, her husband T.J., and new baby were pointless and annoying. Were they supposed to be comic relief? An annoyance to distract from the craptastic plot lines going on? I think I just answered my own question. You win, showrunners.

Send ’em back to the Renaissance Fair circuit, please.

Lane’s wedding and subsequent pregnancy with twins. Huh? This seems like the most unfair of all the subplots, because it flies in the face of Lane’s rebellious streak. C’mon, Helen Pai, I’m sure you knew plenty of Adventist girls who secretly went on the pill and had premarital sex. I know I did. If she’d had premarital sex with Zach, I bet she would not have married that idiot.

Lane Kim, Lane and Zach get married on Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, The WB, Keiko Agena

Lane and Zach’s wedding. Photo courtesy foreveryoungadult.com

 

Plot issues starting in S5 through S7. Before I began watching GG, I read a lot about how awful S7 was, and how many fans feel they are owed a do-over because S7 was so awful. Now that I’ve binged on the series and done some research, here’s my hypothesis: the plot lines, especially related to secondary characters, were the problem beginning with S5. Amy Sherman-Palladino is pretty outspoken when it comes to the issues she had with network brass about her future with GG during S6. I suspect her relationship with the network started going bad during S5. I can’t prove that she and her husband, co-producer Daniel Palladino, ruled with an iron fist when it came to secondary character arcs, but considering how cohesive the show was up until the whole Jackson vasectomy incident suggests to me that they were distracted by dealing with the suits to be paying much attention to the little details. When I looked at S7 writers on IMDB, there was at least one long-time GG writer, Rebecca Rand Kirschner, who continued writing episodes, and Sherman-Palladino said it herself:

We left it in the hands of our writers. We had smart and strong writers who had trained with us, so we felt like if we can’t be there, it’s at least in the hands of people that we know are going to honor the spirit of the world that we set up. – Amy Sherman-Palladino, ET Online

With all of this in mind, I suggest that the shark was jumped starting with S5, Ep 21, thanks to the Sookie/Jackson vasectomy subplot. Some may suggest that any shark-jumping started with S4, Ep 22, when Rory lost her virginity to an unhappily married Dean, and while that was pretty awful, Rory often put herself in the role of “bad girlfriend” with him, so it only fits that she would do it again by being the other woman.

Lastly, I’m just gonna say it: Alexis Bledel is not a good actor. She is beautiful to look at, but she cannot act.

The Many Loves of Rory Gilmore

Gilmore Girls, The WB, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Matt Czuchry, Dean Forester, Jess Mariano, Logan Huntzberger, Rory Gilmore, Rory's boyfriends, boyfriends

Dean (Jared Padalecki), Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), Logan (Matt Czuchry). Photo courtesy MelissaTagg.com

I can’t write a blog post about Gilmore Girls without weighing in on Rory’s boyfriends. That would be sacrilege.

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki)

Dean was a sweet guy, and the ideal first boyfriend for Rory in many ways, but a hot mess in the end. For Dean to be Rory’s first sexual experience while he was still married was perhaps inevitable, as Rory always seemed to see herself as being unworthy of him and his devotion when they were dating. As the sad sack of a young husband working too hard, Dean’s finally at a level where Rory doesn’t feel “less than” (she is a Yale undergrad, after all).

Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia)

Jess was a hot mess all around, but a good match for Rory in that he pushed her to try harder, do better. Smart girls like bad boys, and if they are reasonably well read and know about obscure pop culture stuff? OH YEAH. Do not ask me how I know this.

If Rory had lost her virginity to Jess, GG would have been a completely different show – but would it have been better for it? Maybe. I think it would have actually grounded Rory in the reality of relationships in a way that being with Dean and Logan never did, and that her mother could never get across. But because having Jess as her first lover would have added a level of gravitas that GG was not about to embrace – it’s a dramedy that wants to stay lighthearted and fun, after all – it could never happen.

Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry)

Ahh, Logan: he’s charming, cute, yet a hot mess. He’s Rory’s match in that he understands the “poor little rich kid” scene in a way that Dean and Jess never could. Logan reflects the worst of Lorelai and Christopher in his own reluctance to grow up, and while he makes some strides by not exactly following in father Mitch Huntzberger’s footsteps, he’s still tied up in family money, because that’s all he knows.

Next week, Part 3: the Good, including the scene that made me appreciate GG despite all its flaws, and what I hope to see in the Netflix revival.


Moxie’s Gilmore Girls Review, Part 1: The Bad

Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

Photo courtesy vulture.com

Back in the early ’00s, I saw a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, the dramedy that launched the careers of Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel with their depiction of an overcaffeinated, fast-food-eating, wisecracking mother-daughter team. For whatever reason, however, I didn’t fully commit to the show. In late 2015, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about and I binged on seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. I use the term “binge” a little loosely here, because I’d watch up to six episodes in a stretch, then I needed the pop culture equivalent of a Valium, such as a slow foreign film with atmospheric music and long segments of silent melancholy. Sweet cheese on a cracker, those Gilmore women are exhausting.

As I got closer to the end of the series, I decided to write a review/critique post of GG: the good, the bad, the ugly, and what I hope will be part of the revival coming to Netflix. If you’re a huge fan of GG and believe nothing bad should ever be said about the show or its characters, I suggest you move along, because some of what I’m going to say may piss you off. Go ahead, it’s okay. Same holds true if you’re weird about spoilers for shows that have been off the air for years. I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like or that didn’t work for me, aka the bad.

Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Photo courtesy elitedaily.com

Gilmore Girls‘ premise, for those who are unaware, is this: a mother and daughter who are friends. According to my research, that’s how show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino pitched the show to network executives. If we dig a little deeper, the show is about mother-daughter best friends who are only 16 years apart in age and live in Stars Hollow, a quirky little fictional town in Connecticut that’s about 30 minutes from Hartford, where the wealthy Gilmore grandparents reside.

Let’s get two things straight from the start.

  1. Gilmore Girls is a show about rich white people problems. The back story: Lorelai Gilmore is a rich white teenage girl who gets knocked up by Christopher, her high school boyfriend who’s also rich and white, and she runs away of sorts (30 freakin’ minutes away from home) to have her baby and raise the child away from her rich white parents. The issues Lorelai Gilmore faces as a single mom of a teenage girl – in the snippets viewers see on the show – are never life-or-death situations. The first episode is about Lorelai deciding to re-establish a relationship with her parents because she wants their money help in sending her daughter, Rory, to Chilton, a private prep school. Even the references to raising baby Rory in the potting shed at the Independence Inn smack of Marie Antoinette escaping from court life in the Petit Trianon: with just a word, Lorelai can return to the family home, or even live in better quarters at the inn, thanks to her compassionate boss, Mia. But she’s a stubborn, spoiled, rich white girl, and this fact colors every decision Lorelai makes throughout the course of the series. (One example: in S7, Ep 19, her Jeep dies and she doesn’t like any of the newer cars she test drives or looks at, so ex-fiancée/diner owner Luke finds the same model and says he will fix her car using parts from the other Jeep.) Same holds true for the problems Rory Gilmore, Lorelai’s daughter, faces. She may not have grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth like her mother, but she certainly didn’t suffer from hunger, not having a safe place to sleep at night, or lack of clothing and other creature comforts.
  2. Stars Hollow is the West Coast person’s fantasy of life in New England. Sherman-Palladino is from Van Nuys, California, essentially the heart of the San Fernando Valley. She makes no secret of the fact that she based Stars Hollow on a small Connecticut town she vacationed at with her husband. But as we all know, being a tourist in a small town is very different than living there. I grew up on the east coast and spent many a summer in New England, from Massachusetts to Connecticut to Maine. I went to summer camp in a small town in Massachusetts two years in a row. Many of my friends from camp, not to mention my friends from college, were from small New England towns, and they were all relatively normal in their quirks and weirdness. So I feel pretty confident in saying that not every little town in New England is full of the nosy, weird folks that populate Stars Hollow. There are actually normal people living in normal towns with normal civic issues. (That said, I’m a huge John Irving fan and he writes many books set in New England, with plenty of quirky characters. But he’s FROM New England, so he’s allowed to do this, just as I’m allowed to be contradictory.)

I point out these two things, because for me, it helped a little in suspending my disbelief about some of the situations that Lorelai and Rory get themselves into (especially point #1). In my opinion, Lorelai has never really grown up, even though the viewer is supposed to believe she had to grow up too soon, since she was a teen mom. Running away from home – and again, I want to point out she didn’t run that far – put her in state of arrested development. Let us count the ways:

  • she is rarely, if ever, shown cooking a meal at home for herself or Rory, completing a household chore, or dealing with any sort of adult task without lots of whining and pouting
  • she is committed to eating junk food, including pizza, candy, ice cream, Chinese food, and burgers, and often complains about having to eat anything resembling a vegetable

    Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

    This graphic pretty much sums it up. Courtesy Buzzfeed.com

  • she runs back to her high school boyfriend/Rory’s father, Christopher, when she a) breaks up with someone else or b) is avoiding some larger truth about herself

Do I hate Lorelai? No. She’s just a hot mess, which is okay. Flawed characters make for popular TV shows, especially in sitcoms or dramedys. But Lorelai is high maintenance, and for that reason, I needed to take extended breaks during my Netflix binges.

The Bad

These are my nit-picky continuity issues, including a look at how Seventh Day Adventists (SDAs) are depicted in the show. As someone who was raised SDA and attended SDA schools and churches until I was 18 (and I still have many friends and family members who are practicing Adventists), I think I can speak to this topic with some authority. But first, a few random items:

  • I counted at least two instances where Rory says “could care less” – she would not have done that, she’s too smart & well read. I also noted one instance where Doyle says “could care less” – again, he’s way too smart to do that.
  • Hep Alien tour – As the band is in the van heading out on their tour of churches, one of them refers to “the 95” – NOPE! East Coasters don’t preface highway/interstate numbers with “the.”

And now, on to the SDA related mistakes and continuity issues. Based on my research, Helen Pai, producer and BFF to Amy Sherman-Palladino, was raised Adventist. More meticulous GG watchers are welcome to correct me on this point, but I don’t remember a specific instance in which Lane or Mrs. Kim said definitively that they were Adventist. That said, there’s plenty of allusions to SDAs that could have been tweaked for more accuracy and still would have been funny.

SDA References that Worked for Me

  1. Lane’s cache of music, clothing and makeup. I knew a few kids who had to hide any secular music from their super-conservative parents, and at least a few girls who put on makeup once they got to school and wiped it off before they went home. At many SDA schools, colored nail polish was not allowed. Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, Lane Kim, Hep Alien
  2. Lane’s secretive nature about boys. One of my closest friends at SDA school never told her parents when she had a boyfriend because they would have flipped out. I remember how her dad raged when she had co-ed parties in the basement rec room. I think this was partly a cultural thing (she was East Indian) more so than Adventist, but it could have been both.Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lane Kim, Keiko Agena, Hep Alien
  3. Vegetarianism. The references to the meals Mrs. Kim served and her scorn of anything with meat are pretty on point. While I do know a number of SDAs who eat meat, many Adventists strictly follow the vegetarianism that’s a SDA identifier. There was one Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house where my young vegetarian cousins yelled DEAD MEAT DEAD MEAT when Grandma brought out the turkey. Good times. The salad water, though, is an Asian thing.

    Gilmore Girls, The WB, television, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Lane Kim, Mrs. Kim, Keiko Agena, Hep Alien, vegetarian food, Tofurkey

    Tofurkey is actually kinda tasty, but then my palate was refined by many years of eating meat analog, as Pops calls meat substitutes.

  4. Nonfunctional jewelry. For a very long time, any item of jewelry that wasn’t a timepiece or a medical alert was considered nonfunctional and therefore verboten. Many married couples didn’t wear wedding bands for this reason, and you knew a woman was engaged if she was wearing a really nice watch. It wasn’t until 1986 that the North American Division of the church modified their stance to say that wedding bands were okay. With that in mind, Lane’s line in S4, Ep 3 about getting busted wearing a bracelet at her SDA college had me cracking up:

I wore a bracelet to school today. My parents were called, there was a special service in chapel, and I’ve been ordered to a soul-searching seminar next week. I’ll be sitting between the nail-polish-wearing girl and the spicy-condiment user.

SDA References that Didn’t Work for Me
  1. Lane’s availability on Friday nights, Saturdays before sunset, and a throwaway reference to church services. For those who don’t know, a key component of Seventh-Day Adventism is observing the Sabbath, which for them is Saturday. SDAs observe the Sabbath in the same way as the Jews do, which is that Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. A truly devout SDA parent wouldn’t let their kid run amok with their non-SDA friends on a Saturday before sunset, and yet looking at timelines of a few early episodes, that seems to be the case with Lane. I also remember a conversation between Rory and Lane about Lane being available to hang out after church on Sunday. Uh, if she’s really Adventist, Sunday is fun day. (I don’t have specific episodes to cite here, so you GG devotees can school me on this point.)
  2. SDA pastors don’t wear clerical collars. In one episode, the Stars Hollow church in town cycles through a Jewish service and an Adventist one. They showed the SDA minister wearing a black and white clerical collar. Adventist ministers in the U.S. wear suits & ties, or a blazer or jacket with dress pants. Never a clerical collar.
  3. Rock music in SDA church community rooms. I remember a time in the ’70s and ’80s when the progressive, more liberal-minded SDA church I attended was resistant to featuring any music that involved electric guitars or, heaven forbid, drums, during the main service. By the late ’80s, we had a couple Christian rock bands in the youth room, which got all of us secret (and not-so-secret) rock music fans excited. The more conservative churches in our area were slow to get on that bandwagon (no pun intended). Considering Mrs. Kim’s conservatism, I’m assuming she would have sent Hep Alien to perform at more conservative churches (she set up the Hep Alien tour in S5, Ep 22), so I question whether this could have happened. (If any readers went to a conservative SDA church in the early 2000s and had a Christian rock band perform in the community room, let me know.)
  4. Alcohol. Devout, conservative Adventists don’t drink alcohol. Period. That said, the most egregious error comes in S6, Ep 11. Lane is living at home again after a bad breakup with Zach and is pretty much impossible to deal with because she’s so upset over the breakup. Near the end of the episode, Mrs. Kim has Lane sit down at the kitchen table while she closes the blinds and gets out a hidden bottle of alcohol, pouring herself and Lane each a shot. While this is a nice moment of bonding between Mrs. Kim and Lane, a super conservative Adventist, like Mrs. Kim is depicted to be, would not have alcohol anywhere in their home.
Next week: Moxie’s Review of Gilmore Girls, Part 2: The Ugly


Moxie’s Resolutions for Everyone Else: 2016 Edition

Regular readers of GWM will be familiar with this tradition: I share 10 resolutions for people, organizations, etc. other than myself. This year, I’ve incorporated some video clips to better illustrate my resolutions.

1. Stop abbreviating words just to be clever (Millennials). I’m blaming them, but it may not be completely their fault that the media is now saturated with obvi, totes, ack…you get the idea. Do you have a problem with letters? No? Then spell the whole damn word!

2. Make adult bibs socially acceptable (American society).

3. Drop the “vanilla diamond” marketing strategy (LeVian). The chocolate diamonds are bad enough, but now this company has begun calling traditional white diamonds “vanilla.” The first time I saw one of their ads with this crap, I started yelling at the screen because it’s complete bullshit. My bestie Deena, who’s worked in the jewelry business for over 20 years, agrees. Not only does the emperor have new clothes, he also has a fabulous new vanilla diamond ring!

These are DIAMONDS. Period.

4. Stop expecting to be validated on social media for all of my opinions (social media users). I’m guilty of this, too, but I gotta say I’m tired of doing this and I’m tired of seeing others do it as well. When we put our opinions out there for all the world to see (or, at the very least, our friends and friends of friends), there is bound to be someone who disagrees. Worst case scenario, no one even notices. In either instance, social media isn’t a megaphone or bullhorn that’s guaranteed to get you interaction, especially of a positive, validating nature. If you understand this, then share on. If not, then maybe it’s time to rethink your communication strategies.

5. Make pencil eraser caps that fit without tearing (office supply manufacturers). 

6. Contract a musician to create new hold music (IRS). Every time I’ve had to call the IRS over the last few years, they have had the same hold music. I’m not making that up; this guy has noticed it, too. Surely the IRS can afford to pay someone to create new music, or perhaps Pandora or Spotify would be cheaper. Either way, this music needs to go.

7. Use headphones with my electronic devices when in public places (everyone). You know this person: they are blasting their music or a video  from their smartphone, tablet or computer so loud that it flashes you back to the ghetto blasters and boom boxes of the 80s. That is a flashback I don’t need, nor does anyone else. Headphones are cheap. Get a pair, get two. Hell, get three. THEN USE THEM.

8. Bring back the clean shaven look (bearded dudes).

I wish I could turn this photo upside down and their beards would disappear, like those old pens with the girls in bikinis. Right side up, he’s got a beard! Upside down, he’s shaved!

So many hipsters…so many beards. I’m tired of it because as Great Grandma A would say, “why did you have to go and disfigure your face?” I can’t see YOU. All I see is scraggly hair covering half your mug. Unless you’ve got a terrible skin condition or you wear a beard for religious reasons, it’s time to shave and show the world your face.

9. Continue developing shows that showcase diversity in casting and subject matter (Hollywood). It’s great to see so much diversity on TV shows, whether it’s from a major network or a streaming service. A few examples include Master of None, Transparent, Orange is the New Black, Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, and Telenovela. When made by producers, directors and writers who are part of the cultures represented, these shows take the stereotypes and demonstrate if and when they are applicable, but also illustrate the commonalities with the average white American. In the coming year, I hope to see shows featuring people with disabilities, Middle Easterners, Eastern Europeans and folks from former Soviet bloc countries.

10. Choose love (everyone). A couple months ago, I had a dream in which I was in a room full of people. I stood up in front of them and said, “I figured it out! It’s so simple. Choose love.” When I woke up, I was in the best mood all day, because it’s true: we always have a choice in what we are going to say or do. There have been so many instances this past year in which individuals, from political candidates to photographers, police departments to passengers on a train, have made that choice in a public forum. Sometimes that choice shows fear and engenders divisiveness, anger and hate. But sometimes that choice sheds light on the brightest, best parts of humanity. When we choose love, we shine a light that only keeps growing warmer and brighter, eliminating the darkest places all over the world.

choose love, love, compassion, how to deal with hate, how to get over fear, how to get over anger

 

What are your resolutions for everyone else in 2016?

Pretend Boyfriends

About a month ago Deena and I had one of our marathon phone chats. These started when we were teenagers and our parents would yell about astronomical charges on the bill. Over the years, our conversations have run the gamut from boys to clothes to cats to work. In this particular conversation, we were back to boys. Specifically, we talked about TV characters we would date/not date.

It started when Deena said she would date Jim Ignatowski from “Taxi.”

jim ignatowski meme

Moxie: Wait, what did you just say?

Deena: I would date Ignatowski. He’s fun. I would date Kramer [from “Seinfeld”] too.

Moxie: Yeah, Kramer’s crazy schemes would keep things interesting, that’s for sure.

We then proceeded to name sitcoms and other shows from our youth, picking the characters we would have dated. For “Happy Days,” she picked the Fonz, but when I asked who she’d date out of Richie, Potsie, and Ralph Mouth, she picked Ralph. I picked Potsie. “Richie was too uptight,” said Deena. “Ralph would make you laugh.”

Then there are the TV dads. When I asked her to choose between the “Family Ties” dad or the “Growing Pains” dad, she picked Steven Keaton from “Family Ties” right away.

Deena: He was funny and compassionate, and I liked it when Mallory or Jennifer would do something f***ed up and he’d get all flustered.

Moxie: You know that actor has played rapists and serial killers since “Family Ties” ended. I guess he got tired of being typecast.

Deena: Eww. Not Mr. Keaton!

Here’s the TV boyfriend breakdown – and some girlfriends, too. I mean, you gotta gossip about your TV boyfriends with a good TV girlfriend, right?

TV ShowDeena's PickMoxie's PickNotes
Welcome Back KotterHorshackHorshackDeena: Vinnie Barbarino is way too dumb for me.
M*A*S*HHawkeye; RadarHawkeye; Trapper
Deena: Radar was so cute with his teddy bear.
Moxie: Yeah, he was. I would have snuggled up with him. Radar AND the bear.
Love BoatJulieDoc; Captain StubingMoxie: Doc was a player but he could be nice. The Captain was hot for an old guy.
Deena: Ehh, I don't like any of them.
Moxie: You could switch teams. What about Julie the cruise director?
Deena: Yeah, she'd be cool.
Fantasy IslandpassMr. RoarkeDeena: NOT Tattoo.
Moxie: Yeah, he didn't do it for me. But Mr. Roarke was kinda hot for an old guy.
Laverne and ShirleyCarmine
carmine raguso meme
CarmineDeena: The other guys were just kinda creepy.
Moxie: Agreed.
The Facts of LifeJo; Tootie; NataliepassDeena: Jo was cool. I want to hang out with the girl who breaks the rules.
Moxie: What about Tootie? You roller skate and she does too.
Deena: Oh yeah. I like Natalie, too.
Diff'rent StrokesMr. DrummondArnoldMoxie: So would you pick Willis, Arnold, or do the sugar daddy thing and go with Mr. Drummond.
Deena: Mr. Drummond. He'd be a good sugar daddy.
Dukes of HazzardBoBo
bo duke meme
Deena: I watched that show a lot.
Moxie: I actually didn't watch that show, but I remember it. Did I tell you I met the actor who played Bo?
Deena: Really?
Moxie: Yeah, he is a super nice guy and he is FINE.
FrasierNiles
niles crane meme
FrasierDeena: Frasier was alway so uptight. At least Niles could cut loose some times.
Three's CompanyJackJackDeena: Jack was sensitive. I like that.
Bosom BuddiesBuffyBuffyDeena: I can't really remember the other guy.
Moxie: No one can.
The Odd CoupleFelixpassMoxie: I never really watched that show.

You Can’t Fool Me, Mindy Kaling

Last week I was catching up on my stories, by which I mean going through the shows in my Hulu queue and watching them. One of those stories shows is “The Mindy Project”, starring the fabulously funny Mindy Kaling. I was the one person in America who did not watch “The Office” (TV is supposed to be an escape from reality and “The Office” was never that for me), but I liked her. I may be biased because my cousin Susie* looks like her. So much like Mindy, in fact, that people have called her Mindy on the street and had their picture taken with her and asked for her autograph. I could be making that last part up. But I think she told me that once. In any event it’s a good story. (Update: Susie confirms this has actually happened on several occasions.)

Back to my point. I was watching Episode 2, titled “Hiring and Firing.” It starts with Mindy riding the New York subway with her colleague. She’s carrying a beautiful blue handbag, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t known what kind of bag it was.

It was a Hermes Birkin bag.

Some of you savvy fashionista types will not need to read the next two paragraphs, because you know all about this handbag. For those of you who are unaware of the value or significance of this bag, please continue.

Now I’ve only seen a Birkin once before in the wild, and it was a long time ago. (Oddly enough, it’s been almost exactly 7 years.) You don’t see these bags on the arm of just anyone, mind you. That’s because they are expensive. And when I say expensive, I mean you could buy a 2012 Honda Civic LX with a few nice options for just about the same price. I know this because I just went on Honda’s website and priced a 2012 Honda Civic Coupe LX.

Honda, Civic, car

The car I could buy for the same price as Mindy Kaling’s handbag. Nice, isn’t it?

The same bag Mindy’s carrying on the show is sold here for $19,999.00.

I’ll give you a minute to pick up your jaw, which should have dropped at least twice by now. The fashionistas can keep sipping their lattes while they wait for us to catch up.

The character Mindy plays on the show is a OB/GYN. And she’s based in New York. Okay, based on those two facts alone, it’s conceivable that the character could afford a Birkin. Or that she’d have a gang of wealthy friends who all chipped in to buy her a Birkin once she graduated from med school. It’s possible.

But where my disbelief refused to be suspended, and where the title of this blog post comes from, is the fact that she is carrying a $20,000 handbag on the subway.

 

This, my friends, is a Hermes Birkin bag. Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum and mindy-kaling.com

Sorry, Mindy. You can’t fool me into thinking this character is willing to carry her Birkin on the subway. Not just because of the possibility of theft. But also because someone might breathe on it, or touch it without wearing cotton gloves. That is how I would be if I had a Birkin. Maybe I’m weird like that.

Because I have nothing else to do except avoid deadlines, I presented this inconsistency to Giles and Ms. Chick for their feedback. Giles was understanding but does not have the Expensive Handbag gene which tells you taxis are the only way to travel if you are carrying a handbag that could be traded for a kidney on the black market. Ms. Chick was unaware of the Hermes Birkin’s significance, but once I educated her, she was just as horrified as I was.

Since I figure I can’t get access to Mindy Kaling to question her on the handbag choice for her character on “The Mindy Project”, I called my cousin Susie, the one who looks like Mindy Kaling, to ask her what she had to say about all of this.

“I would definitely not take it on the subway,” said Susie. “She may have not even known what it was, as the character.”

“Oh, I think she knows,” I said.

“I could see her character thinking ‘Oh it’s so cool!’ but not have any idea how much the purse is. So she just carries it everywhere. I do that. One time I got a Coach purse as a gift and I was blown away at how much it cost,” said Susie.

“Did they get it from the Coach Outlet?” I asked.

“I have no idea.”

“Okay, well, the point is, you wouldn’t take a $20,000 bag on the subway,” I said.

“Right. Love you!” she said, and hung up. Susie is a very busy woman and does not have time for long rambling phone interviews with bloggers who only blog when they are avoiding deadlines.

So Mindy, you can’t fool me and you can’t fool your doppelganger, either. We are on to your Birkin-loving ways.

*Name changed to protect her identity, though if you see a woman who looks a LOT like Mindy Kaling it’s either Mindy or my cousin.

 

Turkeys Away in Cincinnati

Those of you who were beyond the zygote stage in the 70s may remember the turkey drop episode of popular late 70s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati”. This Thanksgiving I’m seeing people post clips from this episode all over the interwebs. I found the entire episode on Hulu, so while you’re sitting around debating whether or not you really want that third piece of pie, you can watch Les Nessman deal with his turkey-drop-induced PTSD.

Everything Must Change

Three years ago today, I got reduced to part-time hours at my office job. At the time I was relieved to not be completely laid off, but still frustrated that I wouldn’t be making as much money. I told my boss, “This is a blessing because now I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.”

I didn’t know what the next year held in store for me. Because by November 15 of 2009, my grandfather, his second wife, and Momcat had all died.

Grandpa and his wife died within 24 hours of each other in January. They had been married for a little over 10 years, I think, and had a lot of affection for each other. They traveled a lot and stayed fairly healthy up to the last year of their lives. Grandpa had just turned 95 about a month earlier.

Momcat was another story. She’d been in poor health for years, with autoimmune disorders and other ailments affecting her as well as chronic anxiety and depression. In September of 2009 she fell and broke her arm. Then she got pneumonia, had a heart attack in the hospital, and in early October she died at a rehabilitation facility from what the doctors suspect was a pulmonary embolism. She was 66, just shy of turning 67.

Since then, the holidays have been tough for me. To be frank, the last 4 months of the year are hard. Remember that TV show “Quantum Leap”, where the scientist would go back in time to alter events? There’s a part of me that wishes I could go back to that moment right before Momcat broke her arm. Or do you watch “Fringe”, where there’s an alternate universe that looks very much like this one, right down to the inhabitants? Sometimes I wish I could get to that alternate universe and spend time with Momcat again.

But I’m here, in this universe and without the means to bend time or travel through it. And it’s really hard sometimes. The last few weeks have been particularly stressful, probably because it was the second anniversary of her death and this Sunday would have been the umpteenth anniversary of her 38th birthday. I’m making it through as best I can. Some days are easier than others.

I titled this post after a song by Paul Young, who was big in the 80s. Because as much as I dislike change sometimes, especially when it means people I love are no longer in this world, I’m still aware that change is a part of this silly, mysterious, crazy, sad, scary, wonderful, amazing thing called life.

Getting Freaky and Funny with It

Today I finally watched the first two episodes of “American Horror Story”, the new freaky scary show on FX by Ryan Murphy, creator of the plastic surgeon freakfest “Nip/Tuck” and the high school song-and-dance freakfest “Glee.” The show definitely succeeded in scaring the crap out of me, which means I have to keep watching. Sometimes I’m masochistic like that.

Giles said I needed to balance out all the freakiness with something light & funny, so we watched Bridesmaids tonight. He’d already seen it, but I hadn’t. Aside from the scatological humor, which never appeals to me, I really enjoyed the movie, especially Melissa McCarthy. Oh, and Jon Hamm. Poor Kristen Wiig, having to do love scenes with Jon Hamm. Wonder how many takes she demanded needed.

Moral of the story: if you watch something scary, follow it up with naked Jon Hamm something funny.

jon hamm, kristen wiig, bridesmaids movie

So sorry about all the retakes, Jon. I am SOOOO sorry. (Courtesy annehelenpetersen.com)