Adore this photo given to me by someone who helped me out a great deal during the writing of “The Gilmore Girls Companion.” I thought I lost it shortly before we moved a few months back, but I recently found it again and thought I would share. Just one of those little touches that made “Gilmore Girls” so great.
Hi all. Just wanted to take a minute to tell you that Patty Malcolm, who was Lauren Graham’s stand-in for most of Gilmore Girls, finally has a Facebook Page up.
Those who’ve read The Gilmore Girls Companion already will know that not only was Patty’s role in the show very involved, but also that her story is one of the more intriguing ones from behind the scenes.
It’s not often that you have the opportunity to see an actor at the start of their career; it’s rarer still that you see them making the jump from stand-in to being a more traditional actor. I believe this Facebook page offers us a window into both. (There was a great deal that was going on in Patty’s career at the time that I was finishing up the book; I remember actually having to rewrite the end because of a career decision that she made.)
For those who are interested in how Hollywood really works and how exactly an actor makes it in “the business,” I would suggest “Liking” Patty’s page and following her progress; I can’t think of a better way to really understand how it all comes together.
Arieanna over at GilmoreNews.com discusses the significance that Lorelai places on Luke finally wearing the cap she bought him back in Season 1 in the episode 7.20 “Lorelai? Lorelai?” As noted in The Gilmore Girls Companion, it becomes to her a barometer for how she thinks he’s feeling toward her after their extremely awkward split.
Though this idea was really only touched upon in that Season 7 episode, it’s an example of a character detail the post-Amy & Dan contingent came up with on their own, and one that made perfect sense for the characters involved. (That said, the punch line — that Luke was only wearing the hat because he had misplaced the one he usually wears, was a tad too sitcom-like for Gilmore, I think.)
Though for many Season 7 will always be marred by the fact that the creator of the series was gone from the process, it nevertheless remains an interesting year of television, and one that I think people will come to better appreciate as time passes.
What do you think?
Thank you to Gilmore fan Cinzia, who has really been one of the biggest boosters of David Sutcliffe’s (Chris) new project: “Group: A Documentary Web Series.” I told Cinzia I would spread the word about this project; it’s one that sounds interesting for a variety of reasons.
First, of course, anyone from Gilmore Girls already has my respect and best wishes. More importantly, it is, in David’s own words, his “passion project,” and everyone should have the opportunity to bring their passions to life. (I speak from personal experience with The Gilmore Girls Companion — thanks to all of you for helping me bring THAT passion project to life!)
Finally, David is bypassing the whole Hollywood system by going directly to the people for help in funding this project, something I’m a great believer in.
The only challenge here is that there’s a ticking clock. David’s looking to raise $40,000 for Group by the end of June 12th, and he’s halfway there! The catch is that if he doesn’t raise the full $40,000, he forfeits whatever he has raised — just the way the Kickstarter site works. So check out his Kickstarter page, especially the generous “thank you” gifts he’s offering for pledges at various financial levels, and see if this is something you would like to invest in. Whatever you can afford, I’m sure he will greatly appreciate.
(Whew, OK maybe that will go some ways toward making up for my extremely stupid mixing up of Peak Practice and Private Practice in the book under his entry?)
Hi all. Just wanted to say that my wife and I (and two @#!$! cats) moved cross country from North Carolina to Arizona several days ago, so things have been pretty crazy. Now that we’ve gotten a great deal unpacked and Internet access again, I’ll be returning to the land of the living (online, anyway).
Many thanks for your patience and your kind emails during this time. I’ve tried to answer them all in the various hotels we’ve stayed at when possible, but do hit me up again at asberman813 (at) gmail.com if I missed your message.
All the best,
Cheers to Stacey who runs the bibliophile’s dream known as PrettyBooks for her generous review of The Gilmore Girls Companion. She’s been a supporter of the project for a long time — thank you so much, Stacey!
“When I first found out about The Gilmore Girls Companion, elation quickly turned to devastation when I realised that it couldn’t yet be bought in the United Kingdom. Four long months later, I received it as a birthday gift and eagerly began reading about a world I knew well and loved dearly.
Although unauthorised, The Gilmore Girls Companion should not be perceived as a money-making scheme created to exploit the Gilmore Girls’ large fanbase, but a well thought out project headed by A.S. Berman. The book is clearly written by a passionate fan and is detailed, well researched and informative. Berman must be the most knowledgeable person on the TV show on Earth, aside from the creators….”
Arieanna over at GilmoreNews.com has posted an interesting discussion question based on a line from The Gilmore Girls Companion: Are you mad about the amount of junk food the girls eat without suffering adverse reactions?
Even more interesting than the question is the answers she’s received so far: everyone seems to take this as just one more interesting quirk about Lorelai and Rory, which really surprised me. Yet, this quickly got me to thinking about the context of the question. My guess is that most of the people replying are either from outside the US or under the age of 30, or both. As American culture is the only one I’m intimately familiar with, I must focus on that.
(At this point I should say that if I could get to the heart of, and solve, this problem, I would not be writing books about popular culture.)
America’s Body Image Problems
For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard from people, either in person or through various newspaper and magazine articles, that Hollywood’s overabundance of impossibly skinny actresses and magazine cover models has damaged the self-image, and in many cases the health, of thousands of young women throughout the U.S.
Now as problems go, my knee jerk reaction is to say this is pretty low on the list of irritants that life can throw at you, especially when you stop to consider that people in many countries barely have enough to eat, and the predominant problem in this country is obesity, not its opposite. There is the tremendous urge to say don’t worry about what other people are doing, stop eating crap and get some exercise. And if that doesn’t work, accept the fact that we all get dealt a bad hand genetically in some way; there are worse defects to be hit with.
However, there’s also something to be said for all problems being relative. If the challenge of physical survival has been taken off the table, as it has been for most in the U.S., we’re left with second-tier challenges, within which the problem of body image neatly falls. And if you’re a young girl growing up in a society that worships slender women, your vision of your own body could well be negative if you don’t measure up. And to the little girl throwing up during gym class to meet an unobtainable ideal, her problem to her is as real (and potentially life destroying) as any other.
Yet the problem isn’t necessarily the thin actresses or the magazine covers or even the “worship” of slender women — there’s an argument to be made that the real problem is other young girls.
The Problem: Point by Point
Before we get to the root of the problem, it might be a good idea to take a look at how we got here.
Worship of Slender Women: We should probably say from the outset that this “worship” has been created and perpetuated by the media for the better part of 50 years or so. Many point to “Twiggy,” thought by many to be the West’s first “supermodel,” as the starting point for this obsession.
Yet few ask why print and film have tended to go after thin models and actresses to begin with. After all, you don’t have to go back too far in history to see that more realistic body shapes were all the rage for painters and sculptors back in the day. What happened?
In a word, technology. Painters and sculptors were in absolute control of what their models looked like. However, with the introduction of photography and filmography, the medium itself dictated what they would look like.
We’ve all heard that “the camera adds 10 pounds” or more; thanks to the mechanics of the equipment involved, that’s about right. As a result, women of so-called “normal proportions” tended to look huge on screens big and small, as well as on magazine covers. Since there was no way to tinker with this in the early days of the technology, the Powers That Be tended to look for uber skinny women to photograph. After years of getting used to a certain body type, those who make the images found themselves instinctively searching for women who fit that mold.
The short answer is they do. While young girls are comparing themselves to the latest roster of thin-as-a-rail CW beauties and the latest Cosmo girl, young boys are trying to live up to the pumped-up dude on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, the latest wrestling star, or Twilight hunk. While girls are constantly hit over the head with diet ads in magazines and on TV, boys are likewise inundated with Bo-Flex commercials, sports stars telling them what they need to do to be sports stars, superheroes with impossibly muscular builds, and buff action movie stars. (Back in the day, it was Charles Atlas ads in the backs of comic books and even a musclebound superhero toy called He-Man.) Quite simply, both sexes are equally inundated with impossible images.
Young Girls and Body Image: The problem may not be that girls are singled out by media with impossible body images, but that girls are more likely to verbally compare each other to them than boys. While few members of either sex tend to get through school without taking a few beatings, it’s fairly clear after decades of sociological research that American girls are more likely to verbally and emotionally abuse each other than resort to physical punishment.
Boys take their fair share of ridicule (I could tell you stories), but are also more likely to ramp up to out and out violence (I could tell you stories). Girls are more likely to play the humiliation card, be it spreading vicious rumors or name calling, which is where the body image problems come in. If you’re the tiniest bit larger than the rest, you’re screwed. Then again, if you’re not as well endowed as the rest, you’re screwed, too. In other words, you can’t win.
None of this really means much. As rough as things get, this is all part of growing up. The real problems begin if the young girl, pushed to her limits by the dove mentality (real doves, as in dove behavior, not the misbegotten notion of “peace doves”), slips into health-threatening, and in some cases life-threatening, eating disorders to try to change her circumstances.
As in many other cases, it strikes many as being far easier to blame Gilmore Girls and its junk food obsession, and the media as a whole, for causing what is a very complex problem. Nothing is resolved but a scapegoat is found, and increasingly scapegoats are all anybody is really looking for anymore.