For those Gilmore Girls fans who have been missing Amy Sherman-Palladino’s whip-smart dialogue (and for those whom have mentally blocked out A Year in the Life), deliverance has come in the form of a Jewish, 1960s housewife who lives on the Upper West Side and cooks a brisket good enough to always get her way. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has charmed viewers with its heart and fashion inspiration (where does one get a swingy coat?!?) since it premiered on Amazon earlier this month, but for Gilmore Girls devotees, it also offers something else: tiny Easter eggs that totally justify the hours you’ve spent bingeing Gilmore Girls on Netflix over and over again.
Mrs. Maisel’s Susie (Alex Borstein) has a lot in common with Gilmore Girls’ Luke Danes: a snarky streak, a penchant for hats, work in a food-service hangout spot… and a disgust with the way kids always have sticky jam hands.
“They’re always sticky, like they’ve got jam on their hands,” Danes ranted. “Even if there’s no jam. Somehow, they’ve always got jam on their hands. I have no patience for jam hands!”
Susie echoed a similar sentiment while inadvertently holding hands with Midge’s toddler-aged son. “Why is his hand sticky? Why is your hand sticky? Where has his hand been that it is now currently very sticky?”
“It was jelly, goddamit,” Midge finally answers. “Children get jelly on their hands.”
Another possible nod to Gilmore Girls was Midge’s wedding theme: Russian winter wonderland. It makes sense — after all, Midge was a Russian literature major — but it’s also the same theme Emily wanted for Lorelei’s wedding. “Snow-white roses, snow everywhere… yes, well, it would have been beautiful,” Emily lamented.
In many ways, Midge might have been the daughter Emily always wanted: She loves clothes, she understands the appeal of a doorman building, and, most importantly, she lives just a floor away from her parents.
There are a few other moments in Mrs. Maisel that might remind devoted fans of Gilmore Girls, like the use of the word “peckish,” a reference to mac and cheese as hangover food, and Midge and Lorelei’s similar childhood bedrooms. But it’s just as likely those moments are just familiar tics of the same writer instead of intentional references.
Sherman-Palladino received backlash after A Year in the Life included a fat-shaming joke (Lorelei and Rory shielding their eyes in disgust at a large man at the pool wearing a small swimsuit), and less than two minutes into Mrs. Maisel, Midge jokes about the benefits of having a fat roommate. Maybe Sherman-Palladino was doubling down, showing her critics she will include whatever jokes she gosh-darn pleases. After all, it was Lorelei Gilmore who once said, “Do they not understand that we are un-apologetic mockers?”