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The best Friday night dinner ever — CliqueClack Flashback

While watching a rerun of 'Gilmore Girls' - one of my favorite shows ever - I was thrilled to see my favorite scene of the entire series: the mother of all Friday night dinner fights. Perhaps, if you're a fan of the show, you loved it as much as I did.

One of my favorite shows of all time is Gilmore Girls. It’s one of the few series that I own in its entirety. I do a ritual re-watching of all seven seasons about once every two years. Despite this fact (about which I am only slightly embarrassed), I still don’t ever change the channel when I happen to catch it during the day on ABC Family.

On Thursday, I caught the last ten minutes of “Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” the 13th episode of season 6. I suddenly remembered the scene I was about to watch, which involved the most drawn-out, explosive, manic-depressive Gilmore fight ever. Unfortunately, the embed code was unavailable for the video of the scene, but here’s an old WB preview (doesn’t it look totally ’80s, even though it was only from 2006?):


(If you haven’t already seen it, you can check out the entire fight on YouTube.)

I loved the spastic way the argument was filmed — using shaky camera work and choppy editing — because it was so different for the show and because it added to the drama. The close-ups and quick cuts to different mini-scenes, showing several fights rehashing various buried grudges, added to the intensity. Even so, it maintained its humor, from Emily’s maniacal laughter to the sorbet “intermezzo.” In this way, it sort of reminded me of a Woody Allen movie — satirical, self-loathing and unconventionally funny.

This speaks to Gilmore Girls as a series, because — despite both Rory and Lorelai being extremely intelligent people, they definitely know how to goof off. It’s what they do best, and it’s why we love them (in addition to their Micro Machines-level speed-talking). Rory is an intellectual, a perfectionist who takes pride in her education. Lorelai, who dropped out of school but thrives on her uncanny street smarts, is more of a “student of experience.” Together they create a formidable pair, much to the awe of everyone in Stars Hollow. Emily and Richard are, of course, the upper-crust, snobbish grandparents with whom Lorelai — and, to an extent, Rory — clash horribly.

Season 6 (which set the groundwork for the major argument took place in episode 13) was different, in that Rory sought refuge in her grandmother’s home when she felt that she couldn’t confide in her mother. Unable to shower Rory with true warmth and affection, Emily offered her the poolhouse and thousands of dollars’ worth of redecorations in order to make her “happy.” When Rory — a shell of her former self — finally moved out, that action confirmed for Emily that she had, once again, failed to raise a child and that child had abandoned her.

Although delivered comically, the themes of rejection and shame in the family are present in the Friday night dinner fight. In true Gilmore form — utilizing passive aggression at its finest — they take breaks from berating each other to enjoy sorbet, rag on Shira Huntzberger, and to sit quietly while others argue different topics (some of which include Lorelai’s failure to marry Christopher when she got pregnant, and Rory’s refusal to quit the DAR).

When Lorelai and Rory finally emerge from the house, both looking shaken and exhausted by the evening, Lorelai simply says: “Well, I think we’ve officially reinstated Friday night dinner.” And then the episode ends. Just perfect.

What was your favorite Gilmore Girls scene?

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