I love all things “Gilmore Girls,” and recently I furthered my addiction by finding one of the best GG podcasts around. Like Lorelai and Rory’s caffeine fix, I cannot shake “Under the Floorboards.” Each week, superfans Elizabeth and Rob discuss an episode and bring the magic of Stars Hollow into my life.
I recently chatted with them about the podcast and a really great side project they’re doing. For more information on “Under the Floorboards” follow them on Twitter @UtFpodcast and visit their website.
Tell me about your podcast?
Elizabeth: Under the Floorboards is a bit of a love letter to the geniuses that are Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino. Rob and I met on a Gilmore Girls Facebook group a few years back and recognized in each other the same fanatical spirit (which came to be when Rob realized I had named my 3-year-old daughter Lorelai). We watch each episode of Gilmore girls and then have a discussion about that episode… giving us ample opportunity to fangirl/boy out over the pop culture references, the music, the literature and the glorious quirkiness that is Stars Hollow.
Rob: We like to take it a step further by giving a little background info on many of the references throughout the series. Team Palladino gave us so many of them, that we notice a new one with each viewing. It’s fun to be able to point those out and I hope that we encourage other fans to check out new music, songs, books, etc.
Why a Gilmore Girls podcast? What makes yours stand out from the others?
Rob: Elizabeth and I were both looking for a Gilmore Girls podcast that embraced the spirit of the hardcore fandom. Each of us had been listening to the relatively few Gilmore girls podcasts available, and we just weren’t finding what we wanted: a podcast hosted by Gilmore geeks who LOVE every aspect of the show, and worship at the altar of AS-P and Daniel Palladino.
This is where our podcast differs from the others. Elizabeth and I are superfans who will only ever spout love and gooeyness for the Gilmore girls. We both began watching the show during its original run; we both have children; we are both products of 80’s-90’s pop-culture. Our goal has always been to provide a sort-of fan-based continuation of the Gilmore girls for all those fanatics like us.
Elizabeth: Watching this since the first run (we were approximately 19 and 22 respectively when Gilmore girls went on the air) and it having been such a big part of our lives since gives us a unique view on the show as a whole. Then, as we became parents, we began to see the parent-child relationships on the show in a more nuanced light. Now I can see the heart behind the decisions Emily makes when it comes to her relationship with Lorelai (for the most part). I can understand the terror that drove Lorelai to lose her ever-lovin’ mind on Rory when she fell asleep with Dean in Miss Patty’s dance studio. And I, even more, appreciate the beauty in the nature of the relationship between Lorelai and Rory (and hope in vain that one day my own Lorelai will proudly tell her friends that I’m her best friend. Hey, a girl can dream!). In addition, was raised and live in small town Connecticut. In fact, I live approximately twenty minutes away from the town that inspired the show, Washington Depot. I find that AS-P gets small town New England life so spot on and the fact that I’ve lived in very Stars Hollow-ish places gives me insight into what it’s like to have a Selectman (as opposed to a mayor), having the entire town know you broke up with your boyfriend by the very next morning, and just the way that small town residents tend to look out for each other (all while being a giant pain in your ass).
And in the end, we’re just everyday super fans. We don’t have any knowledge of the entertainment world so we’re not concerned when you can see a boom mic in a shot. We don’t care to harp on plot holes and show inconsistencies (yes, we know Kirk was once Mick). We just love the show for the feeling it gives us and for the comfort it has brought us in tough times. Stars Hollow will always feel like home and I’m happy to have the opportunity to gush about it every couple of weeks!
How many times do you record per week?
Elizabeth: The fact that small people live in our houses and rely on us for pretty much everything makes it so that we can’t really find the time to record more than once every 2 weeks. And even then, occasionally we have to go a bit longer in between recordings (see: the time my Lorelai decided to swan dive into our entertainment center mere minutes before we were supposed to begin recording… a maneuver that ended in three stitches and no Under the Floorboards that week). We’d love to record more often as we genuinely enjoy each other’s company (we tend to chat for another 10-15 minutes both before we start recording and after… even if it’s 1am and we both have to be up at the ass-crack of dawn to go to work the next day).
Rob: Elizabeth and I continuously breathe a sigh of relief that we have undertaken this podcast with another parent, who totally understands the demands and whacky, ever-changing schedules of family life. A single person would have dumped our asses months ago.
Now, I know the two of you break down each episode, what are some of your favorite Gilmore Girls episodes?
Rob: As any Gilmore fan is all too aware, picking a favorite episode can be tough. While there are many episodes- particularly in the first two seasons- that spring to mind, my absolute favorite has to be, S1, E9- Rory’s Dance. There is so much to love about this episode: Lots of Dean, Rory’s gorgeous dress, Dean, the smashed banana on toast, some great bonding between Lorelai and Emily, Dean putting Tristan in his place, lots of heavy emotion and Dean! (Yes, I’m in a pretty serious bromance with Dean.) This episode always transports me back to those innocent “firsts” of my teenage years.
Elizabeth: It’s so funny because generally when I love something as completely as I love Gilmore girls (say, The Beatles), I can never answer when someone asks me what my favorite song, book, etc. is. But with Gilmore girls… there is one episode I find myself turning on whenever I’ve had a bad day or just want something good in my life. Season 3, episode 7 “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” (aka “The Dance Marathon”) gives.me.life. I love the crazy antics of our favorite Stars Hollow eccentrics, Lorelai’s dress (which I plan to make for myself one day), the bickering match between Jackson and Sookie about “four in four” (because let’s be honest… dude be crazy)… it’s all gooooood. And while it ends in a breakup, I think it was such a pivotal moment in Rory’s character development… whether or not you’re Team Jess. And it’s written by AS-P and directed by Kenny Ortega… ‘nuff said!
Have to ask you… Team Dean, Team Jess, Team Logan, or Team None of them?
Elizabeth: The literary nerd in me is Team Jess all day, every day. I’m not usually a fan of the bad boy trope, but something about the way Jess’ character developed throughout the series led me to believe that he and Rory could have been something special. Although, I will say that I am completely fine if, in the revival, Rory is single or with someone entirely new. I don’t want AS-P to feel she has to somehow stunt Rory’s growth to give her fans one of “The Holy Trinity”. If it’s Jess, that’s fantastic! If it’s some brand new dude (as long as he’s awesome. And cute- remember Lorelai doesn’t want ugly grandkids), that’s great! All I know is… if it’s Logan… I burn our podcast to the ground and will salt the Earth. No, no, no… I’m working through this possibility in therapy. Ask me about it again once I’ve had a massage and some horse tranquilizers.
Rob: I’ll just start by echoing Elizabeth’s statement regarding Logan. Beyond the simple fact that I despise his character, I have spent many years arguing with my wife that AS-P never intended for Logan and Rory to stay together. Who could have guessed I would someday get the opportunity to find out if I’m right? *Gulp* As far as the other boys go, I’m Team Jess, but I like Dean more. I’ve engaged in many online “discussions” about the awesomeness of Dean, but I actually feel he is too good for Rory. In my opinion, the older and much-improved Jess is the ideal match for Rory.
You both are doing something else very different on your blog. One of you is reading all of the books that Rory has read in the series. And the other is watching all of the films Lorelai and Rory have watched in the series. How is that going so far?
Rob: Yes, Elizabeth is taking on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, while I opted for the significantly less intellectual Gilmore girls Movie Challenge (at www.deansblackwhitereadnights.blogspot.com). I am doing my reviews in chronological order, as they are mentioned in the series, and I’m currently up to movie #7, The Dukes of Hazzard. My reviews are just about enjoying the films, good and bad, and writing up something fun and silly. I think Lorelai and Rory would approve.
Elizabeth: For the past five years, I’ve been blogging about my challenge at www.blackwhitereadbooks.com . On top of my reviews of each book mentioned on Gilmore girls, I also review books I’m reading outside of my challenge. I’ve been working on this for half a decade and am only on season two, episode seven (“Like Mother, Like Daughter”), which should give you some idea of how dense some of the reading material is. And I will not admit how long it’s taking me to finish The Sound and the Fury. Let’s just say, I’m not a Faulkner fan. But this reading list that AS-P unwittingly created has changed my life in so many ways. It has improved my critical reading skills and has made me prioritize reading more than I ever have before.
You also do a Bunheads podcast as well. How often do you record for that?
Elizabeth: Stumbling Ballerinas is a fun podcast I do with the friends I made at the Gilmore girls reunion at the ATX Festival in Austin last June. We watch each episode of Bunheads together and take a shot each time there is a Gilmore girls or Amy Sherman-Palladino signature reference (Sam Phillips’ “la-las”, Sean Gunn as Bash the award-winning barista, “lay back and think of England”). As there are four of us all in different time zones, it’s even tougher to find the time to record. So there is currently no set recording schedule. However, seeing as there are (regrettably… damn you, ABCFamily!) only 18 episodes of Bunheads, we figure delays in between episodes isn’t the end of the world. And also… my old ass can’t handle being that drunk more than a few times a month. I’ve become a lightweight in my old age.
What are your feelings on the Gilmore Girls revival? Is there anything that you would like to personally see?
Rob: My feelings on the Revival pretty much go like this: Yeeeeeeeee-Hawwwwwww!…..Holy shit!…..Yeeee-Hawwwwww. Holy shit! It’s so wonderful and scary at the same time. The fandom has been begging for this for a long time. Now that it is actually here, I’m elated and terrified. While I’m completely confident that AS-P will deliver another season of pure magic, I can’t help but let those “what-ifs” sneak in.
Elizabeth: I second what Rob has said! I had actually known the revival was in the works in June… one of my friends/cohosts sat behind Amy and Daniel on her flight to the ATX Festival. She had the incredible experience of overhearing them speak about having “to rebuild Miss Patty’s. Luke’s. We’ll have to rebuild the entire town.” But even with that little bit of “insider” knowledge, I almost didn’t dare to let myself believe it. Because this is something we have been waiting on since the moment we learned that The WB/CW had canceled the series. I know that AS-P will write a series that will honor not only her original creation, but the fans that she now knows are so incredibly loyal and devoted to her work. I will admit that I’m trying to talk myself into being okay with it if Logan ends up endgame for Rory. If it’s meant to be… it’s meant to be. I’ll make my peace with that. Because I am placing all my faith in Amy’s hands.
After you are done with your Gilmore Girls and Bunheads podcasts, are there any other shows that you would like to tackle?
Elizabeth: If you listen to any of our podcast episodes, you’ll see how often Rob and I get… distracted… by references to other shows. Some we’ve had LENGTHY discussion about: One Tree Hill, Saved by the Bell (Rob is not a fan so that’d be interesting), Friends, Roseanne. I’m a casual fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Rob actually named his son after the character Xander… so I’d love for the master to walk me through it. And, of course, Golden Girls. We base our ratings system on Golden Girls. We like to call it “The OG GG” as it really was a trailblazer for all of the smart, strong feminist shows that have come since… including Gilmore girls. That show has held up so well over the years and I’d love to dissect just how ahead-of-her-time Susan Harris was. Also, since Rob hasn’t yet seen Bunheads, maybe we’ll have to start Under the Pointe Shoes.
Rob: One Tree Hill for sure! Saved by the Bell could be fun; we rarely disagree about anything Gilmore related, but a Saved by the Bell podcast would be one constant bitch-fest on my end. I’d also love to do a Buffy podcast, with a cool twist.
What are some of your favorite podcasts to listen to?
Rob: The original Serial podcast is what got me started. I was as addicted as the rest of the world. Next on my list would have to be the Nerdist Podcast. The Lauren Graham and Joss Whedon editions were beyond fantastic. Elizabeth has recently turned me on to The Shipping Room, which I admit to being a little jealous of because I swear that when I listened to the first episode I smacked my forehead and said, I should’ve thought of that! What a genius idea for a podcast, hosted by two awesome ladies.
Elizabeth: I go through phases and I am currently OBSESSED with Oh No! Ross & Carrie. I admittedly fell down a Scientology rabbit hole recently and Oh No fed that disease. They report on spirituality, fringe science and the paranormal by actually attending meetings, joining religions, undergoing alternative treatments and as they simply put it “we show up so you don’t have to”. They put themselves into awkward (and potentially dangerous) situations in search of the truth. As previously religious individuals (Ross used to be a creationist) who are now students of science, their insight into these groups is unique and fascinating. I’m also totally into The West Wing Weekly (Josh Malina and Hrishi Hirway’s new podcast discussing each episode of The West Wing), Serial (because I love to be a cliché), Nerdist, Welcome to Night Vale, Book Riot – The Podcast, Suck the Joy (Kathleen Wilhoitte, of Liz Danes fame, and her friend Kaore Bonell discuss what’s going on in the world), and Happier with Gretchen Rubin (because I like to pretend that one day my life will be organized).
What advice would you give to new podcasters?
Elizabeth: Be yourself. Don’t get caught up in starting right out of the gate with perfect audio (as our listeners can attest to, we’re still struggling with audio issues off and on), expensive equipment, an exact outline of what you’re going to do, or hold yourself to a particular length (Rob and I can’t seem to say the words “Stars Hollow” without it running at least 2 hours… on a good day). And don’t compare yourself to other podcasters. There are plenty of other Gilmore girls podcasts out there. We believe we provide a fresh and unique perspective on a show that has become such a big part of who we are as people. And honestly, that’s really all you need. Just do a podcast about something you enjoy talking about and the rest will work itself out!
Rob: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Make sure that whatever you choose as your subject is something you are passionate about. Podcasting should be a true labor of love. Most importantly, have fun!