I have always loved this episode (s1:e8, Love and War and Snow). So much happens expositionally, but rather than being bogged down, it is as light as a snowflake and interspersed with some very comic moments. The first moment that pops out is Sookie’s impromptu song/rap session, “Cookies for the love and the Dean and the cookies for the love and the Dean and the cookies for the love and the . . .” Love her so much. You know, I’m going to throw you a little scoop and share something that Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore) told me…. in person! As we were talking about the show, she said that she thinks Alex Borstein (originally cast as Sookie, but was unable to get out of another contract, so instead played a few episodes as Drella the harpist and Ms. Celine) would have played a better Sookie St. James than Melissa McCarthy. Whoa! I haven’t heard her say that in any public setting, so I’d appreciate it if you don’t send this viral and rat her out. 🙂 Admittedly, I don’t know either actor, and Kelly Bishop’s opinions must always be taken seriously, but I don’t think I agree with her in this instance. McCarthy’s portrayal of Sookie is light, bubbly, naïve, and a perfect foil to Lorelai’s often sarcastic humor. Borstein has a lot more snark, which, although funny, would have shifted the dynamic significantly.
The episode revolves around snow: magical to some (Lorelai), a nuisance to others (Luke), and another telling insight into the elder Gilmore household. I defend Emily Gilmore to the death, I do, but I have to admit, this episode does highlight her egocentrism, especially as it relates to her interpersonal relationships. She berates the snowstorm for keeping them housebound, but in the same breath asks why Lorelai isn’t coming, and gives her cook an earful for canceling. We also see how intimately Emily relies on her under-appreciated help, as neither she nor Richard have the first clue how to feed themselves without the servants there. Here we come to another dialogue gem: (Emily) “This is a serious problem. These Friday dinners are the only proper food that child eats all week.” (Richard) “Rory, are you in any way malnourished or in need of some international relief organization to recruit a celebrity to raise money on your account?” (Rory) ” I’m good.”
Always optimistic and problem-solving Rory steps in and convinces her grandparents to follow her to the kitchen to “whip up” something. The grandparents follow with much trepidation and stare into the (full) refrigerator with despair, stating that there is “Nothing. Not a blessed thing.” Rory lights up when she sees a frozen pizza– here is familiar turf for the younger Gilmore household. Emily is appalled– “Rory, that’s food you eat at a carnival, or in a Turkish prison.” Lack of a better plan forces them to let Rory have her way and cook the pizza. In the show, Rory is shown holding a frozen pizza box with the brand name “Mastroli.” Google searches turned up null, so I can only assume that someone printed this out specifically for shooting, so as to avoid product placement? For my own Friday Night Dinner, then, I couldn’t be accurate, but had to find a suitably Italian replacement: Digiorno. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a Nazi mom who doesn’t feed her child junk food. The only reason I don’t consider myself a hypocrite is because I also don’t eat it in front of him. 😛 My husband is much more diligent than I am in eating healthy. Thus, I had to take on the sorry task of eating this all by myself during Chomper’s nap time, while watching an episode of The Good Wife. Sad (not). Not as warm and fuzzy as the Gilmore household that night, though, believe it or not. There’s something about being snowed in that creates closeness and warmth inside. Rory and her grandparents bond over frozen pizza topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Richard and Emily joke around with each other, and Rory takes the opportunity to pull out a photo album and learn some stories about the family she has never known, as well as some of the background of the strain between her mother and grandparents. Perhaps this is the seed that is planted in her to restore some of those lost dreams of theirs: the coming-out cotillion, Yale, etc. It helps, too, that Lorelai isn’t there. Rory is given another opportunity to form her own relationship with her grandparents– a bond that can and should be very special in a person’s life. We’ll see more of this in an upcoming Friday Night Dinner, as well as Rory’s realization of its importance. It’s fitting that this dinner was so light-hearted, as it was a welcome change in the Godwin home after the pâté debacle. I’m sure Emily will put me through the wringer again soon, but for now, snow yourself in with a nice frozen pizza and a healthy salad on the side. (J/K– this is a DiGiorno stock photo. I ate mine with Cheetos.) Cheers!