Gilmore Girls: The Deer Hunters   Rewatch 
October 19, 2014 2:07 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Rory has a hard time adjusting to Chilton and her car gets hit by a deer.
posted by Margalo Epps (10 comments total)
This episode is basically two different episodes for me because I watched it twice and something happened in between. During the first watch I was enormously indignant on Rory's behalf and completely onboard with her anger...and the second time I wasn't. The school's reaction still looked a little draconian to me, but I sided with Max more, probably because I knew he turned out to be a good guy later. The principal was still a dick about it, though.
posted by Mogur at 6:25 AM on October 20, 2014

I think this might be the last episode we see Alex Borstein as Drella the harpist. I strained a bit and heard tinges of Lois Griffin in her voice but it still blows my mind that she does that character. The GG wikia (beware, time suck plus spoilers everywhere) told me that she's married to the guy who plays Jackson!
posted by danabanana at 8:05 AM on October 20, 2014

Compared to my first watch, I find the inaccurate/unrealistic details of Chilton very distracting. For example, AP exams are offered once a year, in the spring. At a school like Chilton, a Shakespeare exam would not be based on dates and the other minutiae Rory stays up all night studying. Most of the exam would be analysis, though I understand that the former is probably more camera-friendly for studying.

Sometimes the show seems to go back and forth with its portrayal of Rory from- big fish in a small pond at Stars Hollow, discovers she's in over her head with a new group of peers- and -brilliant at everything she does, ridiculously successful despite handicaps. The first is more realistic and more relate-able (to me), since I've definitely done either objectively poorly or simply not as well as I hoped for my first assignments at a new high school, college and graduate school. Rory just seems to melt down at these challenges (at Chilton, Yale, and her internship), then magically becomes successful. I'd rather see her mope for a bit, evaluate her strengths and weaknesses, and soldier on. Either that or I, too, magically turn my setbacks into effortless achievements.
posted by casualinference at 10:23 AM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Back on Ye Olde TWOP Forums, there were endless discussions about how missing this one test should've sunk Rory's chances of being valedictorian. It's complete unrealistic for Paris and Rory to be the only high-achievers in a school full of Madelines and Louises.

And don't get me started on how moving from Stars Hollow High to Chilton would make it harder for Rory to get into an Ivy...
posted by donajo at 11:15 AM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, thank you for reminding me- there is no way that Chilton would allow a student to apply to 3 ivy league schools and nowhere else. It's also unlikely that anyone, but particularly Rory (white, female, Chilton student, single parent but functionally upper middle class) would be admitted to all 3 without being something like a nationally-ranked athlete and accomplished musician on some rare instrument and having outstanding leadership in community service. Her meltdown when she realizes that she's years behind in extra-curricular activities is a legitimate concern that's brushed away a few episodes later.

And the same thing happens at Yale. She laments spending a summer in Europe with Emily instead of interning at a newspaper, but it doesn't seem to hold her back at all.
posted by casualinference at 11:26 AM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought that Rory did great in this episode because imo the "test" wasn't actually on Shakespeare, it was on whether she'd know/figure out how to be entitled and pushy like the high flying rich girl she's supposed to be learning how to be, and she passed that test with flying colors by way of her total "and I'm going to blame a wild animal rather than take responsibility for my tardiness so THERE!" meltdown when she got to class late and was told she couldn't take the Shakespeare test. Congrats Rory! I don't even mean that ironically, I think that actually was the lesson she was supposed to learn, and she learned it really fast and really well. I like seeing her become less of a mouse and more of a lion, even though it also means she's probably going to become more of a jackass as well.
posted by rue72 at 2:36 PM on October 20, 2014

Yeah, when this show was originally airing I was a high school student at a crazy-competitive, academically-hardcore school, and it seemed to me that the writers had never even MET someone who went to a school like that. The portrayal of Chilton was just goofy unrealistic, and the idea that someone like Rory who, while bright, seemingly has no personality to speak of, no unique talents, and nothing that really makes her outstanding other than "has always wanted to go to Harvard; has young mom despite being white and upper-middle-class" would be considered even a possibility for Harvard admissions made me laugh. How hard would it have been to give Rory some kind of unique, amazing hobby? It would have actually fit her character to be, like, a world-class bassoon player or a world-renowned fly fisherman or a published author or something. I guess it would make her less "everygirl" but so does her outstanding ability to get into all these fancy schools.

And yeah definitely rolled my eyes at Lorelei's "But she was up ALL NIGHT, you guys!!" speech. Oh my god, if this school is as competitive as you say, so were all the other students in the class.
posted by town of cats at 9:05 PM on October 20, 2014

I'm curious about what you guys mean when you say that your schools were "like Chilton," because the thing that defines schools like Chilton is not that they are academically rigorous and competitive. It's that they are institutions that were created by the American upper class to propagate itself, and they are feeder schools for the Ivies. The rules are different for kids who go to those schools. Like, "Of the 79 members of the class of 1998 at the Groton School, 34 were admitted to Ivy League universities" different.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:29 PM on October 22, 2014

... there is no way that Chilton would allow a student to apply to 3 ivy league schools and nowhere else.

I posted something about this on the AV Club Classic website back during their Season 3 re-watch:
Yeah, as it's presented in the show, the Gilmores seem to have taken college application advice from Max Fischer. I like to think that there's a college counselor at Chilton that we never see, who keeps telling Rory to apply to less selective schools and who's being driven slowly insane by Rory's refusal to do so.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:44 PM on November 2, 2014

Wow, who's the child in this relationship again?
Lorelai continues to be unable to be around the parents of Chilton.
"What's exciting about a test?" "You play golf?" "You explain yours, I'll explain mine."
Should we be blaming all of Lorelai's wardrobe incidents on coffee?
"I won the whole crowd over. They made me queen."
"I like to be aware of my idiocy..."
Oh my god I love that lava lamp hippie bedroom so much...oh, wait, that's her closet.
I got hit BY a deer...
Enjoying Rory telling off Paris so much. Followed by Lorelai's "I thought this place was so great" rant.
Deer are the most dangerous animal.
"It's us, we're not here, we have a life, get over it."
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:32 PM on September 25, 2016

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