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‘Gilmore Girls’: Alexis Bledel Didn’t Understand Every Pop Culture Reference: ‘I Don’t Know What We’re Talking About Most of the Time’

Showbiz CheatSheet logo: MainLogo Showbiz CheatSheet 11/10/2022 Produced by Digital Editors

Many OG Gilmore Girls fans know how much Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory loved making pop culture references, whether ranting, chatting with other people, or joking around.

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore | Neil Jacobs/Netflix © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore | Neil Jacobs/Netflix

However, it turns out that the show’s lead star, Alexis Bledel [Rory], didn’t understand a lot of the references on the show, saying, “I don’t know what we’re talking about most of the time.”

‘Gilmore Girls’ and its love for pop culture references

Right out of the gate, Lorelai Gilmore references American author Jack Kerouac while talking to a tourist passing through the town. Kerouac was an author famously known for his work on American life and travel. The comment was a sarcastic callback to Kerouac’s nomadic lifestyle in comparison to the man traveling to Hartford.

The Gilmore gals also perfectly knew how to inject some celebrity talk into their conversations, with many of them revolving around singers. When Rory moves from her public school to the very elite Chilton, she experiences a cultural shift, where she has to dress in school uniform.

The witty Rory remarks that she looks like she is about to hop into a Britney Spears music video. Spears broke into the music industry with her debut album in 1999, and one of her most prominent songs was “…Baby One More Time,” in which she dons a school uniform, albeit provocatively.

Other celebrities who were name-dropped in the popular series included Mariah Carey when Lorelai made a joke about the songbird’s widely panned movie Glitter. Avril Lavigne also has her moment to shine on the show when Rory famously says, “It’s Avril Lavigne’s world, and we’re just living in it.” Flo Jo is also mentioned in an early episode, with the reference alluding to her supersonic speed.

Alexis Bledel and the cast of ‘Gilmore Girls’ rarely understood what they were saying

Due to the fast-paced conversations on the show, it’s easy for one not to pick up on the popular culture reference. Many of the references may also pass newer generations over the head, as many are meant for children of the ’80s and ’90s.

However, even the cast of Gilmore Girls sometimes felt lost with the numerous obscure references. During an interview, many cast members admitted that they didn’t understand several of the pop culture references and only went with them because of the script.

Lauren Graham, who played Lorelai, said the show presents the references as part of a puzzle that’s not designed “so that everyone gets everything.” Scott Patterson [Luke] called the show an “educated person’s dream” to watch it and try to figure out what the characters are saying and who they’re referencing.

Patterson admitted that many of them never fully knew who or what they’re talking about, saying, “We sit there at table reads, and we all look at each other and go “Huh?'” Bledel also admitted in an interview (available on YouTube) as much, saying, “I don’t know what we’re talking about most of the time.”

The references related to the show’s audience

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The cast may not have understood what they were saying most of the time, but show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino claimed that the pop culture references reflected their audience. “Audiences are as smart as you’ll allow them to be. If you write dumb, then you’re just saying the audience can’t handle it,” she said.

Sherman-Palladino argued that audiences love smart material, and such shows do better than most. The producer might have used the same format for her other shows, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is currently in its fourth season and has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences.

RELATED: ‘Gilmore Girls’: Rory Gilmore Referenced Serious Issues in Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s Relationship Years Before They Divorced

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