Fossil Watch

PARIS: The period discrepancies. They were pretty blatant. I mean, forget that the nineteenth century didn’t include recessed lighting or the Fossil watch that your server was wearing, but water in that period would not have been served with cubed ice.

The Fossil Group is a fashion designer and manufacturer founded in 1984 and based in Richardson, Texas. In 2001, they bought Zodiac Watches, a Swiss company operating since 1882.

Buckingham Palace and I Love Lucy

LORELAI: Hey, did you ever see that I Love Lucy where she goes to Buckingham Palace?
RORY: Mom.
LORELAI: She tries to get the palace guard to break character. That was a funny one.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the monarch of the UK, located in the City of Westminster, the centre of London. It was originally a townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, and acquired by King George III in 1761. It was enlarged during the 19th century, and became the monarch’s official home on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Used for state functions and extending hospitality to visiting world leaders, it has been a focal point for the British at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

I Love Lucy, previously discussed and frequently mentioned. The episode Lorelai is talking about is Lucy Meets the Queen (1956), set during the season when Ricky is on his tour of Europe, and Lucy is accompanying him. Lucy visits Buckingham Palace as a tourist, and tries to make one of the Queen’s Guard outside the palace laugh by cracking jokes. The guards at Buckingham Place are famous for remaining stony-faced on duty – they are meant to be fined £200 if they don’t. They will sometimes smile and pose for pictures with polite, respectful tourists, especially children.

“What’s the white stuff?”

JESS: What’s the white stuff?
LUKE: I think it’s cheese – or cream.
JESS: And the green stuff?
LUKE: I think it’s … best picked off.

This is another “mirroring” scene for Jess and Luke, showing them side by side, dressed alike, and gazing at their soup with the same expression of confusion and distrust. It doesn’t make a lot of sense though. Luke runs a successful diner – surely he can tell the difference between cream cheese and cream? And why is he so horrified by fresh herbs? (I think it’s sage, but I’m not sure).

Luke is always telling Lorelai and Rory off for eating meat and junk food, advocating a healthy plant-based diet. It’s nonsensical that he would be unable to identify a herb and unwilling to eat it, or look disgusted by a bowl of butternut squash soup. I mean, if he hates meat, and he hates vegetarian food, what exactly does Luke eat?

Abbot and Costello

RUNE: Ah, methinks you’re right Squire Bracebridge, thus and verily.
JACKSON: And verily thus.
LORELAI: They’re the Old England Abbot and Costello.

Abbot and Costello, comedy duo previously mentioned. They were William “Bud” Abbott (1897-1974) and Louis “Lou” Costello (1906-1959). Their work in radio, film, and television made them the most popular comedy team of the 1940s, and the highest-paid entertainers in the world during World War II. Their popularity waned in the early 1950s and the partnership ended soon afterwards.

Chuck Mangione

RUNE: Welcome Lords and Ladies. I call upon these sprightly horns to commence our proceedings. [horns play] Hey Chuck Mangione, you wanna back up a step?

Charles “Chuck” Mangione (born 1940) is a flugelhorn player, trumpeter, and composer. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of Art Blakey’s jazz band, then formed The Jazz Brothers with his brother Gaspare “Gap” Mangione. He has released more than sixty albums, and achieved international success with his 1977 jazz-pop single, Feels So Good. His compositions have been used in films and for the Olympic Games. He played himself as a voice actor on animated sitcom King of the Hill (1997-2010).

“Your pod Grandpa is still happy as a clam”

LORELAI: Your pod Grandpa is still happy as a clam.

Pod Grandpa: A reference to the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers [pictured], previously discussed. Once again, Luke and Lorelai are shown using the same reference points.

Happy as a clam: American phrase meaning “happy and content”. It’s a shortened form of the 19th century simile, happy as a clam at high tide. It’s only at low tide that clams can be gathered for a meal, so at high tide they should be happy and safe.

“What do you and Dean talk about?”

JESS: Hey, what do you and Dean talk about? … I mean, does he know Björk?
RORY: I’ve played him some stuff.
JESS: Hm. So you got a teacher-student thing going?

Rory completely throws Dean under the bus at this point. She could have said, “Dean is a fan of Nick Drake, he actually got me into Pink Moon. And he loves Liz Phair and The Sugarplastic”.

She doesn’t mention that Dean likes old movies, and that they originally bonded over Rosemary’s Baby when they met, or watched Willy Wonka on their first date. She doesn’t tell him that Dean recommended Hunter S. Thompson to her.

The fact that she makes no attempt to defend Dean’s intellect, or even to tell Jess to butt out of her relationship with her boyfriend, is extremely telling. She does tell Jess that, despite his scepticism, Dean is exactly her sort of guy, but it doesn’t sound very enthusiastic – especially considering Rory couldn’t think of one thing she and Dean talk about.

Björk

JESS: It [their snow-woman] definitely has the most personality. Kind of looks like Björk.

RORY: That’s what we were going for.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir (born 1965), is an Icelandic singer and songwriter, known for her eclectic musical style that draws on a range of genres. Björk began her career at the age of 11 and gained international recognition as lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes. After the band broke up in 1992, she embarked on a solo career; she was always more popular in the UK and Europe than in the US.

Her most recent album at this stage was Vespertine (2001), and she had attended the 2001 Oscars wearing a white dress designed to resemble a swan, which along with being from Iceland, might have been factors which inspired Rory and Lorelai to turn her into a snow-woman. That Jess could recognise the snow-woman as being based on Björk shows that he is on a similar wavelength.

(We can see during these scenes that Lorelai and Rory obviously fixed up their snow-woman and gave her a new head, so that she looks like a pretty credible entry for the contest).