Okay, so… I have an announcement to make—one that involves a certain show set in a certain small Connecticut town made up of a certain set of unforgettably quirky inhabitants. As many of you know, I have a special relationship to that show and to an extraterrestrial musical ensemble depicted therein.
Starting April 16, I will be hosting virtual watch parties of Gilmore Girls, averaging 2 episodes per night.
Why? Well, as one of the aforementioned quirky townsfolk, I have a little secret I’ve been sitting on for the last twenty years. You ready for this?
I’ve never watched Gilmore Girls.
That’s right. Save for just a few scenes here and there (only the ones I was in), plus a commercial or two back in the day, I just never got into the series. I’ve read 37 scripts (again… only the ones I was in). I was part of about that many table-reads with the cast and crew. I spent hundreds of hours on set helping to make the show, so I certainly know it well. But not the way you do. I’m just not the same kind of GG fan, I guess you could say.
… but I could be!
Over the past decade, I’ve gotten to know many of you through social media and live events. And while most of us do share this show in common, I’d like to fully close the divide.
So, I’m going to finally watch the series, and I’d like you to join me in real-time. I want it to be the closest we can get to huddling together around the same TV, passing pizza boxes, Chinese take-out, perhaps a big basket of wink winkers!
Here are the details!
We begin with episode 1 on Friday, April 16th, 2021 at 7:30 PM PDT. Eight hours later at 3:30 AM, we do episode 2. I don’t expect everyone to be at both. These times were chosen to accommodate the most number of folks worldwide. Will we be able to sustain this schedule? No idea. A lot of this is going to be learning as we go, and we’ll adjust as best fits the community.
Where will this live?
Our community hub will be a new social media platform called Clubhouse. I’ve been talking about Clubhouse for the past few weeks. That’s because I’ve been thinking about using it in this way from the moment I joined. Clubhouse allows users to create audio chat rooms that can accommodate hundreds of people at once. This will allow us to all watch the show in separate locations while still being in the “same room” so to speak. And it’ll allow me to share DVD-style commentary that those who have watched the show a gazillion times might still find interesting.
How will it work?
I’ll open the room about 5-10 minutes before we’re set to start. The first 12 or so people who arrive will be invited on-stage with me. Only folks on stage will have their microphones on and be able to speak during the show. Everyone else will remain listeners in the room while we’re watching. If you want to be in that group of on-stage remarkists, come early!
Once the room is filled and we’re ready to begin, I will do a countdown for us all to start our Netflix/DVDs at the same time. I’ll also start a stopwatch which I’ll be recording from another device and broadcasting live on Instagram. If at any point your video chokes—or if you arrive late and want to catch up to speed—just go to my Instagram, check out where we are in the show-time, and fast forward to sync up with the group.
After the episode ends, I’ll keep the room open for another 45 minutes. I’ll let anyone from the audience who wants to come up on stage do so. And we’ll just gab about what we watched!
Okay, so this is a tricky one. Clubhouse is still in beta, so you can only join the platform if you have an invite. However, when you sign up, you’re given two invites. And if you spend time on the platform, they give you even more. That means there are actually quite a few invites out there in the world. I have 17 of them currently. I’ve been saving them up. Because in order to get as many fans into this as possible, we’ll need some degree of community coordination and we should probably start that now. Fans will have help other fans get onto the platform. That means if someone helps you, we’re relying on you to pass your invites onto other fans in need.
I think the best way to coordinate will be through the comment sections of any social postings I do regarding this series—including the ones I published directing you to this blog. So head there now, and get your invites or share your invites!
Once you join the platform, you should either follow me (@johncabrera) or the club Remarkist… or both. I’ll be creating these rooms under that branded club name. In fact, 10 of my invites are courtesy of the Remarkist club.
What is Remarkist?
It’s just a name I came up with when I first started thinking about doing this. I figured I should call it something that wasn’t tied to any one specific content brand. That’s for a variety of reasons… but mostly because I have a feeling this will be fun, and if it is, I’d want to continue with other shows. (I do a pretty mean Lost commentary, in case you haven’t heard!)
Some of you may already know that Clubhouse is currently for iOS only. That will no doubt change, but while they’re in their beta phase it’s 100% Apple. That doesn’t just mean iPhone, though. If you have an iPad, you can get onto Clubhouse that way.
But if you are not an Apple user at all, that’s okay too, because Android users still have a couple of options. As I said, I’ll be recording a stopwatch on my Instagram Live. The audio will be on, so you’ll be able to hear me along with the Clubhouse audio from my phone. You won’t be able to come up on stage during or after the episode, but perhaps other Android users will begin a side-chat on Insta to serve that part of the larger community.
There is another way, though. Android users have an unofficial Clubhouse app in the Google Play store. It seems to work pretty well and has most of the important features. I can’t really vouch for it, but many people are using it, so you may want to give it a try. Here’s the link.
Oh and I’m going to try to record these rooms. I want to keep an archive somewhere so folks can enjoy them with rewatches for years to come. If I’m able to get that going, you’ll notice a red-dot emoji ? in the title of the room. If you don’t feel comfortable being recorded for posterity, you should probably avoid coming up on stage.
And that’s basically it. Expect to hear much more from me in the lead-up to the “premiere”. I’m here to answer any questions you may have and hope to see lots of you on the 16th. And please please please spread the word. Tweet and post the link to this blog entry. Repost my social announcements. The more people we have attended, the more fun this will be. We may even attract some of the other cast and crew to join us over the coming months.
See you soon! Copper boom (what does that even mean? I guess I’ll find out!)