Ms. Jackson

This 2000 song by alternative hip-hop duo OutKast begins playing in the background when we first see Tristan and Summer arguing; Summer identifies it as a “good song” before starting to dance to it.

Ms Jackson is a single from OutKast’s album Stankonia, which went to #1 in the charts and on the hip-hop charts. It won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, and is regarded as one of the best songs of the 2000s.

The song is about the difficulties of breakups, and the animosity that a woman’s mother often has for her daughter’s ex-boyfriend. It’s a hint of the anger that Lorelai feels toward Dean, although she hasn’t expressed it for fear of upsetting Rory.

“At least you had a boyfriend”

PARIS: So where is your boyfriend?
RORY: We, um, we broke up.
PARIS: Oh. Well, at least you had a boyfriend for a while.

Although she is socially awkward, I think Paris genuinely means this to be comforting. Notice that Paris has thin braided pigtails among loose hair – the same way Rory did her hair for the Bangles concert, where she and Paris bonded. Paris must admire Rory to some extent to copy her hair style. Also notice that Rory is willing to tell Paris the truth about her break up with Dean, whereas she avoided telling Louise when she asked the same question.

Madeline’s stepfather

RORY: Madeline, your house is beautiful.
MADELINE: Thanks, it’s my stepfather’s.

We learned in Paris is Burning that Madeline’s parents are divorced (she says her father gave her mother everything she asked for in the divorce settlement), which might explain why she was sent to a therapist. Now we know that her mother has remarried to a wealthy man. The fact that Madeline sees the house as her stepfather’s property rather than her home suggests that she hasn’t fully adjusted to the situation.

“Who’s watching the farm?”

MADELINE: You came!
RORY: Yeah.
LOUISE: Who’s watching the farm?

Louise continues to treat Rory as if she is some backwoods hick, even though she’s actually visited her and seen she lives in a normal house in a town – and was taken to a concert in New York by Rory’s mother. She really is quite a pain, and a bit of a ninny. (One of the reasons for her hostility may be that she and Rory appear to be wearing the same necklace, and have very similar red floral patterns on their dresses).


Sodom and Gomorrah

LANE: Oh my God, there’s a pool table.
RORY: And a deejay.
LANE: It’s like a teenage Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities north of the Dead Sea mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and throughout the Old and New Testaments. They were destroyed by God in fire and brimstone as an act of divine judgement against them for their numerous sins, and have become synonymous with any decadent vice-ridden area which refuses to repent. It is possible that the story was inspired by a real-life earthquake in the area thousands of years ago, but that isn’t certain.

There is a general belief that the city’s main crime was homosexuality (hence the word sodomy), but it was a whole raft of sins, including cruelty, violence, blasphemy, stinginess, greed, idleness, pride, indifference to the poor, and any number of ill-defined sexual abominations. The Bible calls them lawless and depraved.

Hearst Castle

LANE: Is this what your grandparents house looks like?
RORY: No. I mean it’s big, but it’s not this Hearst Castle-ly.

Hearst Castle was built for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst on a family estate between 1919 and 1947. It is located near San Simeon, California, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is situated atop a hill, with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean below.

Hearst Castle was designed by American architect Julia Morgan; it was originally meant to be a modest yet comfortable bungalow, but ended up a grand 56 bedroom, 61 bathroom, 19 sitting room mansion in an eclectic collection of styles that was based on the historical architecture of Europe. On 127 acres of garden, it had both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theatre, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo.

During the 1920s and ’30s, it was often visited by the political and Hollywood elite, including Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, James Stewart, and Bob Hope. Hearst Castle was the inspiration for Xanadu, the mansion in the film Citizen Kane, although not filmed there.

Hearst died in 1951, and in 1954 Hearst Castle became a State park in 1954, being opened to the public in 1958. Since then it has operated as a public momument, and attracts millions of visitors every year. The Hearst family continue to use the original Victorian-era house on the estate as a private retreat.

The interior scenes of the party at Madeline’s house were filmed at the Greystone Mansion in Beverley Hills – the same building which is used for exterior shots of Chilton Academy. It’s nowhere near as big as Hearst Castle.