Bad Seed

RORY: Nixon’s bad seed.

Bad seed, an American expression referring to someone who is evil or unprincipled by their nature, “born bad”.

The expression gained widespread notoriety through the 1956 psychological thriller The Bad Seed, directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Patty McCormack in the title role. It is based on the 1954 play of the same name by Maxwell Anderson, which in turn was based on the 1954 novel by William March. The film is about a sociopathic little girl, and was a hit at the box office, receiving positive reviews from critics.

Rory suggests that Paris was born from the “bad seed” of disgraced president Richard Nixon, to explain why she is such a bad president herself.

Xanadu

FRANCIE: This is Xanadu-levels of insane.

Xanadu, 1980 musical fantasy film directed by Robert Greenwald, and based on the 1947 film Down to Earth. Olivia Newton-John stars as Kira, a mysterious woman who is actually one of the Nine Muses from Greek mythology, while Michael Beck is a struggling artist who falls in love with her, and opens a nightclub called Xanadu with a former big band orchestra leader, played by Gene Kelly in his final role.

The film was savaged by critics and was a box-office bomb, helping to inspire the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards (The Razzies) – Robert Greenwald won the inaugural Worst Director at the Razzies that year. However, the movie’s soundtrack album, featuring music mainly by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra, was a huge commercial success, with the songs “Xanadu” and “Magic” both going to #1. The film has since become a cult classic, and it was adapted into a successful Broadway musical in 2007.

Music at the Dance Marathon

In the Mood

A popular big band era jazz standard recorded by Glenn Miller. It’s based on the 1930 composition “Tar Paper Stomp” by Wingy Manone, in a new arrangement by Joe Garland, with lyrics added by Andy Razaf. First released by Edgar Hayes and His Orchestra in 1938, the 1939 Glenn Miller version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983. It is considered one of the most important musical works of the 20th century.

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

A 1936 song by Louis Prima, who first recorded it with the New Orleans Gang. It’s been recorded many times, most notably by Benny Goodman. Part of the big band and swing eras, it’s a favourite for film and television soundtracks.

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home

A 1930 jazz song written by Fred E. Ahlert, with lyrics by Roy Turk. It charted in 1931, with highest-charting versions of that year by Nick Lucas, and Ted Weems, with both reaching #8. Nat King Cole’s 1951 version also went to #8, and it was most successful in 1952, when Johnnie Ray took it to #4.

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby

Previously discussed.

By the Beautiful Sea

A 1914 popular song by Harry Carroll, with lyrics by Harold R. Atteridge. Originally recorded by the Heidelberg Quintet, it topped the charts for six weeks during the outbreak of World War I.

These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)

A 1935 song by English songwriters Eric Maschwitz (under the name Holt Marvell), lyricist and Jack Strachey, the composer. It is said to have been inspired by a youthful romance with cabaret singer Jean Ross. The song wasn’t an immediate success, even after featuring in the 1936 London revue Spread It Abroad, until famous West Indian pianist and singer Leslie Hutchinson found the music on top of Maschwitz’s piano, and liked it. He recorded it the same year, and after this it became a great success, recorded by musicians all over the world, including Benny Goodman, and Billie Holliday, whose version peaked at #5 in 1936.

A String of Pearls

A 1941 song composed by Jerry Gray, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange. It was recorded by Glenn Miller becoming a #1 hit. It is a big band and jazz standard.

All the music at the dance marathon is provided by the band, The Swingin’ Deacons, a band from Lynchburg, Virginia. They have a 1999 album, House of the Blues Swings!

Liam Neeson

ANDREW: [in background] You went out with Liam Neeson! Are you kidding me?

William “Liam” Neeson (born 1952), actor from Northern Ireland. He began his career in the Belfast theatre scene, and his first film role was in Excalibur (1981). He rose to prominence playing the title role in Schindler’s List (1993), starred in dramas such as Nell (1994) and provided the narration for Everest (1998). In November 2002, his most recent films were Stars Wars: Attack of the Clones and K-19: The Widowmaker, although Gangs of New York was just about to come out. He has received numerous honours, including an OBE in 2000.

Liam Neeson was married to actress Natasha Richardson in 1994, a marriage which lasted until her death in 2009. Presumably, Andrew’s dance partner went out with Liam Neeson prior to his marriage (or prior to him meeting Richardson, which took place in 1993).

“We have time-warped with the best of them”

LORELAI: I have to say, for a couple of modern girls, we have time-warped with the best of them.

“Time Warp”, a song from the musical The Rocky Horror Show and its film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, previously discussed. It’s also the name for the dance which accompanies the song, and the song lyrics provide dance instructions. It was most popular in Australia, reaching #3 in 1980, but has remained a popular song ever since. It’s already been demonstrated that Lorelai and Rory are fans of the film.

Riverdance

RORY: Who’s Stanley Appleman?

LORELAI: Oh, he’s brand new in town. He works over at the hardware store, and the best part is, he used to be part of the touring company . . . of Riverdance.

Riverdance, theatrical show that consists mainly of traditional Irish music and dance. With a score composed by Bill Whelan, it originated as an interval act during the Eurovision Song Contest 1994. Shortly afterwards, it was expanded into a stage show, which opened in Dublin in 1995. Since then, the show has visited over 450 venues worldwide and been seen by over 25 million people, making it one of the most successful dance productions in the world.

Riverdance comes to Hartford every year. Did Stanley join the company while it was in Connecticut, or did he like the area so much he decided to stay there? How do you go from touring with Riverdance to working in hardware in a small town?

A Slightly Confusing Timeline

Lorelai seemed to meet Dwight on a Monday night, just before the auction on Tuesday. He asked if she could water his lawn, as he was leaving for a few days on an urgent last-minute business trip. As Rory was waiting for her with the pizza, Lorelai tried to put him off, saying that Dwight could show her some other time before he left on his trip. Dwight said he was leaving for his business trip at 6 am the next morning, so Lorelai reluctantly accompanied him to be shown how to use the spigot.

Even though Dwight supposedly left for his business trip on the morning of the day of the auction, Lorelai and Rory are not shown watering his lawn until about a week later – even though the business trip was only meant to be a few days. They have had Friday night dinner, and Rory is now wearing her school uniform, so they are past the weekend, and it is another Monday at the absolute earliest.

Somehow they just skipped an entire week of lawn watering and Dwight is still on his short business trip. I know I usually blame Daniel Palladino for these timeline inconsistencies and non-linear plotting, but this episode was written by Justin Tanner, a successful playwright, and a story editor on Gilmore Girls. This is the only episode he ever wrote.

Dwight

The Gilmore girls get a new neighbour in this episode, named Dwight, who moves into the house opposite them, previously occupied by a man named Beenie Morrison. Dwight is played by Jason Kravits, who had been involved with the Washington DC theatre scene, and then in a writer’s collective in New York City. From 1999 to 2001, he played the role of A.D.A. Richard Bray on medical drama The Practice.

As with so many of these characters, don’t expect to ever see or hear of Dwight again – he will disappear as mysteriously as Beenie Morrison after this episode.

Sardi’s

DEBBIE: Well, I felt obligated to tell the other moms about your little performance at school before they heard about it elsewhere.

LORELAI: Really, ’cause usually I like to meet up at Sardi’s after a performance, wait for the reviews. I hope The Times liked me.

Sardi’s, continental restaurant in the theatre district of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded by Vincent Sardi Sr and his wife Jenny Pallera, and first opened in 1927. It is known for the caricatures of Broadway celebrities on its walls, of which there are over a thousand. Sardi died in 1969, and the restaurant declined in the 1980s, being sold in 1986. After closing temporarily in 1990, it reopened with new staff.

The restaurant is considered an institution in Broadway theatre. It’s known as a place to gather before and after the theatre hangout, as well as a location for opening night parties, and was where the idea of the Tony Award was devised. Lorelai sarcastically puts herself in the role of an actor waiting at Sardi’s for the reviews of their performance in the New York Times.