LORELAI: Well, you might want to find out. Ask a couple of subtle questions, you know, has he seen The Shawshank Redemption, did the setting seem homey to him? Stuff like that.
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 prison drama based on a 1982 novella by Stephen King called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. The story opens in 1947, and stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in the lead roles as two prisoners with life sentences who become unlikely friends and allies.
The film received critical acclaim, particularly for the performances of Robbins and Freeman, but was a box office disappointment. However, it became one of the top rented films in video in 1995, and was shown regularly on television from 1997 onwards, becoming one of the world’s best-loved films. It is currently #1 at IMDb.
Although “Shawshank” has become cultural shorthand to mean “prison”, I think it is safe to assume Lorelai and Rory have seen the film on either video or television.