It’s a party, it’s a birthday party! It’s your birthday party..! Sorry, got carried away.
Today I am watching Rory’s Birthday Parties.
So, first, a summary: It’s Rory’s birthday, which means: partaaaaay! Or, errrr, parties. Emily single-handedly decides to throw Rory a party with all of the people that I would never invite anywhere, and Lorelai (with the help of all the town lovelies) also throws her a party – a fun one. There is tons of Gilmore family feelings happening this episode, with every character’s and every Gilmore fan’s heart breaking at least a little.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
I remember the Gilmore Girls’ Friday night dinners used to stress me out. Now they do not, I actually love them a lot. I love that they are family dinners dominated by women, with relationships negotiated by women. I also love the push-and-pull that goes on, and the fact that all the actors involved are delightful.
Lorelai: Emily Gilmore, you could set your watch by her. Do you know what she did do last night?
Sookie: Wore jeans?
Lorelai: Served pudding!
Sookie: I was close.
I like this episode a lot because it does some brilliant ups and downs between hope for better family relationships and frustration that they are too different for amends to be as easy as a “day of shopping”.
Now, I’ve gone shopping with my dad. It is exactly like this episode. Him being perfectly serious about hideous, fancy-shmancy things, me being sarcastic about the whole deal, and us finally seeing eye-to-eye at some point during the evening. What I love about that scene at the mall is that through all the not-getting-it that they both have about each other’s ways, Lorelai and Emily love each other. Kelly Bishop and Lauren Graham are great at balancing out the strained history with the compassion and love.
Poor Rory. I would have hated my family if they pulled a huge birthday party with people I disliked without asking me. I understand her anger and her frustration. I also understand Emily’s heart was in the right place, and had little way of knowing (granted, because she did not ask) that Rory had no friends in Chilton. Emily thinks she is helping Rory be successful and happy in her new school. She is out of line not asking, and out of touch with the reality of high school politics, but her heart is in the right place.
That party looks like the most boring, tedious thing that’s ever happened ever. I repeat, poor Rory. I understand her snapping because Emily does not appear to care to get to know her, she just wants to brush all differences down the carpet and have her be the perfect Gilmore girl, the one Lorelai never was. Lorelai is right in calling Emily out on that. It just breaks my heart though cause I know they both think they are doing the best for Rory and for each other but they are just so so different. I identify super strongly with this and it breaks my heart.
Richard’s friends/business partners/whoever they are, giving Rory money feels incredibly weird. They don’t even engage with her at all, they just hand her money. It’s just weird.
After the boring party, comes the fun party! People from Stars Hollow, Lane, a cake with Rory’s face on it. Even the grandparents lighten up a bit.
Richard: I enjoyed the reading material immensely.
Rory: What’s the verdict?
Richard: I… am an autumn.
Richard: Isn’t it?
Richard and Rory’s friendship is very important to me.
And let’s talk about Lorelai and Luke though, just a little bit. It might just be me and my hormones, but that scene with the ice was sexual tension. Amy Sherman-Palladino was building that. Bit by bit, Lorelai and Luke joke-flirt, look at each other with sex eyes, go to picnics together, get “inexplicably” jealous of each other’s ex/lovers. In this blooper, Lauren Graham pretty much puts an end to the show, (SPOILER IN THE LINK) and this is from season 1?
I ship Rory and Paris. Not only do I think they should just make up and make out, but I think they are great and their friendship development is magical. Going from the girl-on-girl hate & competitiveness we all know from high school to an understanding of each other’s strengths and worth, to a fierce and beautiful friendship. And like, to hell with Tristan. Such a sleaze-bag. Sheesh.