A pet peeve of many while watching fictional entertainments is whether coffee cups handled by actors are filled or not. Often, it appears they are not. This may be just a practical consideration for the actors and crew–real coffee could get heavy and cause wrist injuries if done over multiple takes and if spilled, cause burns or stain wardrobe and sets or even cause electrical hazards. However, watching this as a viewer can be distracting.
This erupted as a controversy with Gilmore Girls recently with the way Lauren and Alexis are seen holding their coffee cups in scenes and promo shots for A Year in the Life. Yes, in the grand scheme of the universe this is all a bit silly, but we take our Gilmore Girls seriously and coffee is central to the series (and my life, so I can relate).
In real life, Lauren shares Lorelai’s love of coffee while Alexis has stated she hates it so had soda in her cups instead. At least she’s saying some kind of liquid was in her cups.
Okay, so let’s examine the forensic evidence.
Above, we’ve got a double whammy. Neither have coffee sleeves, so the coffee couldn’t be hot. Also, at the angle they’re tipping their cups, there couldn’t be much in them, if anything at all.
Next, Alexis is holding her mug awkwardly. On The Tonight Show, she said that it was because the cup was large and heavy.
That coffee mug is almost as big as my face. I was set up to fail there, somewhat.
Yes, I too have thin wrists so these can be difficult to hold, especially if they’re hot (although doubtful if they were hot in these shots).
Lauren addressed the topic on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and tried to lay the controversy to rest.
I want to tell you one thing, that is a true thing. There is always coffee in my cup. Always. That is a pet peeve of mine.
I don’t know if this will quell the controversy. If there is coffee in there, why does it look odd? And just how much coffee? I’m sure we’ll find out it’s all a plot by the Russians.