She’s like Meg White with an overbearing Korean mother.
Please give a warm, spazzy FYA welcome to Kerry Winfrey as she takes the Smarty Pants stage! Kerry writes about YA for HelloGiggles, where she has a column called Young Adult Education, and she also blogs at Welcome to Ladyville. Kerry just happens to be a total swimfan for Gilmore Girls, so when she offered to share some of her scientific expertise with us, we immediately said yes, please and thank you (and pass the wine).
Poor Lane Kim. So often pushed to the side whenever Rory has a new dude, Lane never gets the credit she deserves. She’s probably Stars Hollow’s coolest resident (unless Taylor is hiding a secret stash of records under the floorboards at Doose’s Market). Lane is cool, creative, and she plays drums, for God’s sake! She’s like Meg White with an overbearing Korean mother. It’s Lane’s inherent coolness that makes me kinda-sorta hate what happens to her in the later seasons. Are we seriously supposed to believe that Lane is happy living in Stars Hollow? I mean, don’t get me wrong, the twinkle lights are great and all, but the music scene isn’t exactly hopping. And let’s not even start with how she gets knocked up after one terrible beach sex sesh (okay, let’s get started, just a little: Why, Amy Sherman- Palladino, whyyyyyyy?).
Unfortunately, Amy Sherman-Palladino and her top hat aren’t here to answer our questions. Instead, we can only reflect on the good times. The happier times. The pre-twins time. Here are some of the best episodes featuring our girl Lane Kim.
Double Date (Season 1, Episode 12)
Lane finagles her way onto a double date with Rory, Dean, and Dean’s weird friend Todd . Frankly, it’s hard for me to focus on the date because I’m too distracted by Dean’s mock-turtleneck-under-a-leather-jacket combo (ugh, classic Dean). Todd, who wears a beanie on his head and a flannel shirt tied around his waist, isn’t really Lane’s dream guy after all. His favorite movie is Beethoven (Lane: “The one with the dog?”) and his Fugazi shirt actually belongs to his sister. It turns out he’s just kind of dumb. Kudos to Lane for taking a chance, but you can guess what it gets her. That’s right: grounded. Again. Such is the life of Lane Kim!
One’s Got Class and the Other One Dyes (Season 3, Episode 4)
Mama Kim decides to choose Lane’s college so she doesn’t end up at one of those “schools that let boys and girls sit together in the cafeteria.” Frustrated by her lack of agency (and dreading going to a school that outlaws dancing, gum- chewing, and bowling), Lane decides to express her anger using the medium of disaffected teenagers the world over: hair dye. After rejecting pink (“pink is too Pink the singer”) and blue (not right for her skintone), she goes with purple. Her purple hair looks beautiful, but as soon as it’s done she freaks just thinking about Mama Kim’s reaction (the sight of Lane frantically running around her room with a towel covering her purple hair is reason enough to watch the episode). So Lane goes back to black, but at least she has a Polaroid to ensure the memory of her purple hair will live on forever…safely at Loralei and Rory’s house, because she can’t chance Mama Kim finding that picture.
A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving (Season 3, Episode 9)
Get ready to swoon, because, in my opinion, this episode contains one of the most romantic scenes in all of Gilmore history. And it doesn’t even involve a Gilmore! Lane has a complex plan to get Mama Kim to like her dream dude Dave Rygalski. It involves him pretending to be a Christian musician which, naturally, leads to him playing hymns at the Kim family Thanksgiving. It’s a Tofurky-filled affair that remains joyless until the dinner’s over. That’s when Dave leaves his decoy-Bible behind and Lane runs out to hand it to him. And then, to the tune of Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” Dave and Lane have their first kiss. I mean, come on. High school me would’ve died for this.
Keg! Max! (Season 3, Episode 19)
Hep Alien’s first gig happens to take place during one of the most dramatic (i.e. best) episodes of Gilmore Girls. Kyle (who turns up again later in the series, post-stint in the Navy, with a metal hook-hand to rival Buster Bluth’s) hosts a kegger while his parents are out of town, and things get a little rowdy. Lane calls Mama Kim to confess her love of rock and roll and Dave. Sure, she ends the night vomiting into the shrubbery, but at least she gets to play “Fell in Love with a Girl.”
You Jump, I Jump, Jack (Season 5, Episode 7)
After taking some time to “process” his feelings for Lane, Zack decides he’s ready to date. I mean, duh, Zack. Lane’s only the coolest girl in Stars Hollow. It’s hard for Zack to ever live up to the awesome boyfriend that was Dave Rygalski, but their first date (eating pizza and watching Stop Making Sense at home) sounds like the best date ever. The fact that their first kiss takes place while Brian is asleep on Zack’s shoulder is just a bonus.
He’s Slippin’ ‘Em Bread…Dig? (Season 6, Episode 10)
Hep Alien has a showcase (Lane: “Not a gig, a showcase!”) in front of label guys. Lane looks adorable, per usual, with her sequins and beautiful hair. As they set up at the club, Gil talks about how once he played there and threw up in the corner, after which some guy slipped in his puke and had to go to the hospital, so Gil stole his girlfriend and “shacked up with her for, like, a week and a half.” One of the best things about Lane is that her band allows Sebastian Bach to have a role on Gilmore Girls. He and his flowing mane are one of the best things to ever happen to this show. I should probably do a list of “Best Sebastian Bach Episodes.” Anyway, Zack goes on sort of a power trip because he’s jealous that Brian wrote a song for Lane, which he only did because Zack wouldn’t. Thus begins an extended homage to the 2004 Brian Jonestown Massacre documentary “Dig!” Much as Brian Jonestown Massacre self-destructed in real life, Zack destroys their shot by bringing in a new member (tambourine player Joel, who was actually in Brian Jonestown Massacre…how meta!) and acting like a jerk onstage. This all culminates in a fight with Sebastian Bach, which is never a good thing. Lane and Zack break up, but don’t worry guys! Things get better.
I Get a Sidekick Outta You (Season 6, Episode 19)
Lane’s wedding is almost ruined by the monstrosity of a tent her mother forces her to wear. Luckily, Loralei works some of her sweet seamstress magic and turns the dress into something beautiful (it’s still a little frumpy, but I hear Kate Middleton made sleeves cool again, so I guess she’s actually kind of on trend). After a Buddhist ceremony and a Seventh Day Adventist Ceremony, Lane and Zack host a big reception in the town square (twinkle lights everywhere!). Kirk’s bartending company Yummy Bartenders supplies the booze, which allows Kirk to say this gem: “They really have to be yummy. I'm talking mouth watering, tasty morsels of manhood, which by the way was the original name of the business but was taken already by a firm in Woodbridge.” As someone who’s attended a lot of weddings recently, I can say that Lane’s reception looks pretty awesome. There are hot dogs and fries, Hep Alien performs “I’m a Believer,” and everyone gets drunk. Also, “Heart of Glass” plays, which lyrics-wise is a terrible wedding song, but music-wise is a perfect choice for any occasion. Then, Lane and Zack ride off into the sunset together and I refuse to acknowledge anything that happened to them on the show after this episode.
So, are there any other Lane Kim swimfans out there? Holla back with your favorite episode and/or quintessential Lane Kim moment!