I like this episode so so so so much. Reminds me (in a generally good way) of my own Application Anxiety when I was applying for universities.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
Rory freaks about about her university applications, Lorelai freaks out about them, Emily freaks out about them. Basically everyone is freaking out. Rory and Lorelai go have dinner with a Harvard alumnus and his family. Lane puts an ad for band members through which she meets
Seth Cohen Dave Rygalski, music geek and angel-face supreme. Taylor Doose wants to open an Old-Fashioned Soda ShopPE next to Luke’s diner.
This whole episode is full of brilliant dialogue. I want to quote it all. But I won’t. You’ll have to trust me and watch it.
Rory and Paris start freaking out
Honestly it doesn’t take a genius to figure out Hillary Clinton is not a super original essay topic choice. But, I mean, of course both Paris and Rory would be thinking about writing a Hillary Clinton essay. Doesn’t Rory want to be a journalist, though? How about writing about her beloved Christiane Amanpour and why Rory wants to be like her? Or about her mother and how she learned about resilience and independence? Or about basically whomever else that was personally influential to her, not to every single white lady in the country..? Anyway. They needed something to bring on the anxiety, I guess.
Did you catch that at the end of their seminar? When the Harvard dude is saying that the interview process helps weed out the hyper-intense candidates? That’s not what interviews are for, but hold on to that bit of dialogue.
Emily and Lorelai start freaking out
Emily bombards Lorelai with worries and statistics and “facts” about how difficult getting into Harvard is, which makes Lorelai anxious. (But like, duh, of course Harvard is hard to get in? Anyhoo.)
Lor’s rant is so good and so relatable in its urgency: “All those people coming from China and India and god knows where else, they’re all nuts for travelling. That’s why they’re travelling here. And jobs are dropping and dot-com bombing, and something’s acting like a yo-yo, I don’t know what but it’s not good – and over my dead body is Kate Hudson getting your spot, let me just say that right now!” Now catch your breath.
The Harvard graduate dinner
The Springsteens are nice and all but in being so “intellectual” they end up being ridiculously pretentious. “Please don’t ask ‘where’s the Diebenkorn'”? Seriously? Whatever, dude.
The girls are extremely skilled at making that whole experience relatable: trying to impress someone you know very little about is difficult, because you don’t know where to go with their prompts.
And my favorite bit – possibly of the entire season, because I laugh so hard every time – is when Lorelai gets fixated on the a sculptor’s name: Zoltan Kemeny.
I am so glad I am re-watching now. Honestly, if all you got from a Harvard education is that you can pressure your kids to know their Shakespeare and their geological (is that the word I’m looking for?) eras, they ripped you off. Discuss relevant things: current events, politics, how to solve problems, the economy. That whole trivia is so so useless, and in that sense it is also super privileged. But I mean, probably realistic for many “intellectual” Ivy league-ers.
It bothers me that they put Lorelai on the spot. She may not know where Vichy water got its name from (I can hardly think of a more useless factoid than that) but she has achieved so much more than probably any of them.
I have a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical question. Rory tells Carol (the other daughter) that Lorelai is not hard to please, and that she’d be happy with anything as long as Rory was happy. While we all want to think that is the case with our parents, it often isn’t. And Lorelai’s record shows she would not exactly be okay with anything, she just got lucky/worked hard so that her daughter would want the Ivy League deal. The few times Rory has been hesitant about her future or goals, Lorelai never takes it too well. When Rory applies to colleges besides Harvard (a normal thing to do) she freaks out. Hell, she even freaked out when Rory would hang out with Jess last season. Jump a few years into the future, and she doesn’t take (SPOILER) the fact that Rory wants to take a year off – a perfectly normal thing to do – to re-evaluate her life. Following that, when Rory decides to stay with her grandparents. Lorelai seems to respect Rory’s choices as long as they align with what hers would be. Hmmm. It is hard to tell, since Rory rarely does anything outside of the pre-set box for her.
Taylor schemes to open his Soda ShopPE (yes, with that P and E at the end, because aesthetic).
Taylor gets the most random ideas for things. He is so invested in keeping his town safe that he goes to ridiculous lengths, which I half-appreciate. I don’t understand why – besides to be his usual grumpy self – Luke won’t sell his space, though. I mean, it is money that he would get, that he is not getting now. He has to deal with Taylor for other things anyway. It makes sense to agree to do it.
That said, Taylor always manipulates the town and the laws to fit with what he wants to do. He treats the town like he is an overprotecting parent, and that’s not how democracy works.
Lane meets Dave
Ah, Dave Rygalski.
The episode ends with Rory and Lorelai understandably wigging out a little about their impending separation.
AHHH this one gave me all the nostalgic feels. I was so much better at getting into universities than getting a job. Heh.