Jackson Melville

When Rory takes Christopher to Andrew’s book store, Stars Hollow Books, Sookie’s boyfriend Jackson is there. He introduces himself as Jackson Melville, even though subsequent episodes always identify him as Jackson Belleville. Maybe they decided that the original surname seemed like a reference to Herman Melville, one of Rory’s favourite authors, which didn’t really fit with Jackson’s role.

Mayor Harry Porter (David Huddleston)

During the town meeting we encounter the mayor of Stars Hollow, Harry Porter, who has been mayor for many years He was gradually phased out leaving Taylor Doose in sole charge of the town. Perhaps Harry entered a sort of semi-retirement or became a figurehead: he didn’t retire as nobody else was elected mayor and in fact the role of mayor apparently became more or less redundant.

Rosemary’s Baby

RORY (after being startled by Dean): God! You’re like Ruth Gordon just standing there with a tannis root. Make a noise.
DEAN: Rosemary’s Baby.
RORY: Yeah.
DEAN: Well, that’s a great movie. You’ve got good taste.

Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 horror film directed by Roman Polanski, based on the 1967 best-seller of the same name by Ira Levin. In the film, a young housewife named Rosemary (played by Mia Farrow) discovers that a cult has tricked her into bearing a demonic child. Ruth Gordon (1896-1985) plays Rosemary’s elderly neighbour Minnie Castavet, who is a leader in the cult; Gordon won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Minnie gives Rosemary a pendant necklace filled with tannis root (a fictional herb), which the cult apparently deploys as an all-round demonic treatment. As Minnie hovers around handing Rosemary tannis root in food and drink as well, it is hard to know which exact moment in the film Rory has in mind – or if she is so startled that she doesn’t quite know herself what she is saying.

Rosemary’s Baby was the #8 film of 1968, was acclaimed by critics, and is regarded as a classic movie. Dean is right that Rory has good taste. Fans of Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki) can enjoy this time during Season 1 when Dean quickly picked up on old film references and seemed to be an intellectual equal for Rory. It won’t last.

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki)

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki) appears in the first episode of Gilmore Girls, and is immediately set up to be Rory’s boyfriend with a meet cute that involves books and a movie reference. Dean was written to be the perfect first boyfriend for a teenage girl, which seems to mean he has almost no life or personality apart from being in love with Rory, and an obsessive jealous streak. I guess those are things that inexperienced teenage girls might find endearing. However, it didn’t take long for cracks to begin showing in the perfect Dean facade, so perhaps even the writers got bored with this conceit.

Jared Padalecki was not the first choice to play Dean: in the original Pilot episode, he was played by Nathan Wetherington, who gave him a slightly more bashful, skater-boy feel. Interestingly, in a later episode Lorelai says that Dean reminds her of Christopher, Rory’s father, and while Padalecki doesn’t really resemble David Sutcliffe, Wetherington looks much more like him.

Nathan Wetherington was considered for the role of Anakin Skywalker in the Stars Wars prequels, but took himself out of the running when he learned he had the role of Dean on Gilmore Girls, and also missed out on playing Seth on teen drama series The OC, so he’s had some unlucky breaks.

Radish rose

LORELAI: When did you get stitches?
SOOKIE: Friday night. Radish roses.

A radish rose is a radish cut into a rose shape to use as a garnish or plate decoration. They can be very simply done, or be elaborate – Sookie’s are surely very elegant.

It is notable that Sookie’s constant clumsiness was quietly phased out on the show.