22 Things You Might Not Know About Gilmore Girls

warner bros
warner bros

Gilmore Girls, which featured a young mother-daughter pair who lived in a small town where everyone seemed to talk a mile a minute, began airing on the WB in 2000. Seven years of pop culture references and family drama later, it finished its run on The CW on May 15, 2007—10 years ago today. Though it would return nearly a decade later via Netflix, here are 22 things you might not know about the original series.

1. The show was inspired by a trip that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino was on.

The trip took her through the small town of Washington, Connecticut, where she stayed at an inn. “We're driving by, and people are slowing down saying, 'Excuse me, where is the pumpkin patch?'" she recalled. "And everything is green and people are out, and they're talking. And we went to a diner and everyone knew each other and someone got up and they walked behind the [counter] and they got their own coffee because the waitress was busy.” Within 24 hours, she had worked out the show and written some of the pilot's dialogue.

2. Alex Borstein was originally cast as Sookie.

She had to turn down the role due to her work on MadTV. She ended up making a few appearances as the harpist Drella, though. Borstein is also married to Jackson Douglas, who ended up playing the Jackson that dated Sookie on the show.

3. Liza Weil, who played Paris, originally auditioned for the part of Rory.

She was told that if the show got picked up, Amy Sherman-Palladino had an idea for a part that she wanted to write specifically for Weil. She struggled with the part at first, saying, it “was scary to be a judgmental, mean girl.”

4. Alexis Bledel had never acted before she was cast.

Before she played Rory, Bledel's only role was as an uncredited extra in Wes Anderson's Rushmore. She was a student at NYU who was modeling part-time when she decided to try her luck and audition for the show. Other jobs she was applying for at the time: waitress and census-taker.

5. Keiko Agena, who played Lane, was 27 when the show premiered.

That makes her a mere six years younger than Lauren Graham (Lorelai), though their characters had a 16 year age difference.

6. The score was composed by famous songwriter Sam Phillips.

It was Sherman-Palladino’s husband and co-producer, Daniel Palladino, who thought to approach Phillips. The Palladinos had used some of her songs as placeholders in the pilot before it went to air. So they decided to contact Phillips, who accepted.

7. One of the show’s hallmarks was fast-talking.

The production had to completely adjust to accommodate this style of dialogue. Normally, one page of a screenplay accounts for one minute of screen time. But for Gilmore Girls scripts, a page was about 20 to 25 seconds. There were also fewer close ups than on shows with regular pacing, and they often re-shot scenes to lose a mere few seconds of time.

8. The cast didn’t always understand the pop culture references, but they went with it.

Bledel told Entertainment Weekly that “We’d have to look them up on our own typically. There were no explanations written in the script.” Graham recalled Bledel asking her who The Waltons were and thinking, “I’m so old.”

9. In the first season finale, Lorelai received 1000 yellow daisies as part of a marriage proposal.

But the shot required many more flowers than that. “A thousand yellow daisies actually sounds like a lot," Sherman-Palladino told EW, "but when you put a thousand yellow daisies in a big room, like our set, it’s kind of like a table arrangement. Three or four times we had to send people back to get yellow daisies. I think we wiped out yellow daisies on the West Coast.”

10. Chilton student Brad Langford disappeared toward the end of season two through much of season three.

His character explained his absence by saying that he had been starring in Into the Woods on Broadway. It turns out that wasn’t much of a stretch—Adam Wylie, who played Brad, actually had been starring in that show during that time.

11. Sherman-Palladino wrote Jess onto the show so that Lorelai and Luke had yet another reason to not date yet.

“We're dealing with two people who, if they just opened their eyes and stared across the table at each other, would go, 'Oh sh--, it's you," she said. "So when you're playing that game, you have to find obstacles that are real to put in their way.'”

12. One season after Jess first appeared on the show, there was talk of a spinoff for his character.

The third season episode “Here Comes the Son” was a kind of pilot for the show, which would have been called Windward Circle. But the WB found that it was too expensive to shoot in Venice Beach, where the show would have taken place.

13. Graham’s favorite scenes to shoot were the Friday Night Dinners.

Especially when they involved Kelly Bishop, who played Emily, arguing with her. But the shoots were long, involving multiple camera angles, and, she said, “The food was always terrible.”

14. In season five, Norman Mailer made a cameo for the episode, “Norman Mailer, I’m Pregnant!”

Originally, the script just called for a well-known author. They asked Mailer, who initially said no until the show asked his son to take a part as well. According to Mailer, “I told them I couldn’t memorize any lines; it had to be improvisation. The hard part was having to repeat things over and over.”

15. Another unexpected star on Gilmore Girls: Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.

He played Lane’s bandmate, Gil. How’d he get the gig? He said, “When I got the call, I was like, ‘Do you guys have the right phone number?’ They wanted a ‘rock star’ to [play] the guitar player [in Lane's band] and [the casting director saw me on] VH1's I Love the '70s.”

16. In 2006, Sherman-Palladino and Palladino announced that they would not return to the show for season seven.

They released a statement that said, “Despite our best efforts to return and ensure the future of Gilmore Girls for years to come, we were unable to reach an agreement with the studio and are therefore leaving when our contracts expire at the end of this season." Later, Sherman-Palladino would explain that she was particularly frustrated by The CW network not allowing the pair to hire more writers.

17. David Rosenthal took over as executive producer in the final season.

Of the new gig, he said, “I spent a terrific year last year working with Amy and Dan, and she was incredibly supportive, and she told me from the beginning that this was a distinct possibility that she would be moving on and I would be running the show. When she brought me in at the beginning of last year, that's one of the things she told me. She brought me in as an executive producer for that reason.”

18. Graham was also given a producer role in the final season.

According to Scott Patterson, who played Luke, there was a very different vibe on set after Sherman-Palladino left. He said, “There was a little more leeway in how things were shaped. The actors had more input than in the previous six years.”

19. Graham requested that changes be made to the series finale script.

She thought the episode was “too light.” Rosenthal listened to her and found a way to give more characters a moment to shine.

20. After it was clear that the show wasn’t going to continue beyond season seven, a spinoff with Rory was considered.

Graham had officially told the producers that she would not be returning, but discussed the possibility of producing a show about Rory. Eventually, they deemed the whole thing too complicated.

21. Sherman-Palladino has her own ideas for how the Gilmore story was supposed to end.

In 2009, she told Entertainment Weekly, “I wanted different things for Rory. I wanted her to follow a different sort of path… [go] off on her own adventure, which I guess she sort of did. I haven’t [actually] seen the last season, but I heard about it from other people.”

22. Sherman-Palladino had four words planned for the final words of the show.

But she still hasn’t revealed those words. She has said, “I feel like now I’ll let people down because it’s been so built up. ‘Really? That’s what we waited all these twelve years for? Well, thanks so much.’”

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The Elder Wand from Harry Potter Will Be Surprisingly Important in Fantastic Beasts 2

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

For about a year now, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been using an image of the Elder Wand in promotional teases, as pointed out by The Ringer. You surely remember the instrument—which is said to be the most powerful wand to have ever existed in JK Rowling's Wizarding World—from the original Harry Potter series. So just how important will it be to the Fantastic Beasts sequel? Extremely.

According to Pottermore, the Elder Wand (also known as the Deathstick or "The Wand of Destiny") is the most sought after of the three Deathly Hallows. According to "The Tale of the Three Brothers," a fairy tale often told to wizard children, the Elder Wand was given to Antioch Peverell by Death himself. Whoever was able to reunite the wand with the other two Deathly Hallows—the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility—would become the Master of Death.

As such, the Elder Wand is extremely dangerous—and can be made even more so, depending on the intentions of the wizard who possesses it. As Dumbledore once ​said in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, "Those who are knowledgeable about wandlore will agree that wands do indeed absorb the expertise of those who use them."

So how does all of this connect to Fantastic Beasts? While in disguise in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, Gellert Grindelwald didn't carry the Elder Wand—though we know from previous installments that he had acquired it by the time the first movie takes place. Grindelwald stole the wand from Mykew Gregorovitch, stunning the wizard to gain the allegiance of the Elder Wand, sometime before 1926. But while promotional stills indicate that Grindelwald will have physical possession of the wand in this second movie, which witch or wizard has the wand's allegiance is less clear—after all, Newt Scamander captured Grindelwald at the end of the first film, and Tina Goldstein disarmed him.

However, we know from the Harry Potter series that Dumbledore takes possession of the Elder Wand after a duel in 1945, which is the same year the Fantastic Beasts series will end (so it's pretty safe to assume that Dumbledore and Grindelwald will face off in the series' fifth and final film). And Dumbledore's own words about how he came to possess the wand in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are also particularly telling. "I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not to boast of it, and not to kill with it," he stated in the novel. "I was permitted to tame and to use it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it."

We'll have to wait until this weekend to see how it all plays out in The Crimes of Grindelwald, but this is one story that will take several more installments to tell.

Simon Pegg Says New Star Wars Films Are Missing George Lucas's Imagination

John Phillips, Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
John Phillips, Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

While many Star Wars fans were unimpressed with the most recent film in the Luke Skywalker saga, The Last Jedi, even those viewers would likely agree that the most recent slate of entries into the Star Wars franchise are much better than the prequel series ... right? Well, it might not be so black and white.

Simon Pegg, who appeared in The Force Awakens as Unkar Plutt, had previously slammed the prequels, specifically ​calling The Phantom Menace a "jumped-up firework display of a toy advert." But now he seems to have come to a new conclusion: Star Wars needs George Lucas.

"I must admit, watching the last Star Wars film [The Last Jedi], the overriding feeling I got when I came out was, 'I miss George Lucas,'" Pegg confessed on The Adam Buxton Podcast. "For all the complaining that I'd done about him in the prequels, there was something amazing about his imagination."

Pegg also shared the story of how he once met Lucas at the premiere of Revenge of the Sith, and that the legendary filmmaker gave him some advice.

"He was talking to Ron Howard and I think he'd seen Shaun of the Dead  because he immediately went, 'Oh hey, Shaun of the Dead!,' and shook my hand," Pegg recalled. "And George Lucas immediately changed his demeanor."

"Don't be making the same film that you made 30 years ago 30 years from now," Lucas told Pegg, according to the actor.

Of all the complaints about The Last Jedi, from Rey's parentage reveal to Luke abandoning the Force, the lack of George Lucas is not quite a popular criticism. But we are glad to know his influence is missed—by at least one person.

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