LUKE: Okay, we’re supposed to follow the blue line, around the corner and then we should be –
LORELAI: Where’s the scarecrow when you need him?
Lorelai is referring to the 1939 musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz, produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was the #9 film of 1939, and a critical success on release, although so expensive to make that it didn’t make much of a profit for MGM. It won two Academy Awards for its music. After being broadcast on TV in 1956, and annually from 1959 to 1991, the film became one of the most famous in history, and is recognised as a cultural icon and one of the best films ever made.
Luke’s comment about following the blue line seems to remind Lorelai of the song Follow The Yellow Brick Road, where Dorothy (Judy Garland) is sent on her journey to find the Wizard by the diminutive Munchkins, after she is given the instruction to follow the Yellow Brick Road by Glinda the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke). The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) makes his appearance in the next scene, when the Yellow Brick Road branches off in two different directions, just as the hospital’s blue line does.
There will be many more references to the movie throughout the run of Gilmore Girls, and it serves as an inspiration for the show. Like The Wizard of Oz, Gilmore Girls creates a specifically American fantasy land which is both cosy and uncomfortable, with a story line which contains comedy and drama. Like Gilmore Girls, The Wizard of Oz is a quirky journey of growth where the lesson to be learned is that you already have everything you need before you even set out.
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