Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the one where I'm way too into Friends (part 1)

I'm the sort of person that gets caught up in things/obsessed rather easily. When I realized I loved sweet potato Popchips I wanted them to be the thing I snacked on daily. Luckily though my obsessions have a decent ebb and flow to them, I don't generally get too obsessed for too long.

I used to watch Conan when I got into bed at night. But then Leno ruined everything and now Conan is on too late for before bed watching. So I switched to Sex and the City, but either that too was moved or I just stopped caring if I caught it. All this explains how I rediscovered my adoration for Friends. I forgot how annoying and un-worthy Emily was. How slippery, slimy and cave-manish Paolo was (by the way, if you have any interest in having your mind a little bit blown, click on the Paolo link and see what he looks like now). How Giovanni Ribisi was a random guy with a lost condom (accidentally dropped in Phoebe's guitar case) a few seasons before he became her doofus brother. Mainly I forgot how much I liked the core 6. So it began that every night I'd get into bed about 11pm, flip the cable box over to Nick at Nite and catch an episode or two (they air 4 episodes back to back but 2 usually does it for me) and then fall asleep dreaming of an over-sized gorgeous periwinkle apartment, perfectly smooth hair and endless cups of coffee (that may or may not be "stupid big cups which, I'm sorry, might as well have nipples on them" - according to Phoebe's then boyfriend Roger the shrink a.k.a. Fisher Stevens).

Cut to December. This year, for Hanukkah one of my brothers gave me the boxed set of of the entire series of Friends. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I think so too. Well about a week or so ago, all caught up on Shameless I decided to start re-watching Friends beginning to end. I've already barreled through the first season (very easy as the episodes are only about 22 minutes long) and I'm halfway through the second.

Here are some things I've discovered regarding season 1 and part of season 2 on my second go round of Friends:
  • Rachel wears an inordinate amount of outfits that involve shorts and tights.
  • If Friends were on today, the cast would have to dress soooo much sluttier. These ankle-length skirts and long sleeve t's are cute but they'd never cut it.
  • Considering the focal point of the show was Central Perk or Monica's apartment it is Chandler and Joey's apartment that goes through the most incarnations. They have a sofa that comes and goes, a desk that space shifts a lot and an open food pantry (behind the refrigerator door) that goes from overflowing, to pared down, to having doors on it, to completely disappearing.
  • The Carol that tells Ross she's pregnant is not the same Carol that delivers their baby.
Also odd, there's a book that comes with the dvd set. It's a full episode guide and it gives you a little back story on the characters. According to the book:
  • Ross is Monica's younger brother (even though he's clearly the older one and was 1000% the older one in the flashback prom episode when he was sporting Tom Selleck's 'stache)
  • Monica is blue-collar (instead of just barely less spoiled like her Long Island neighbor and schoolmate Rachel), she's also kinda badass. The book describes her as a brash NYer with a personality similar to Rosie O'Donnell or Sandra Bernhard. Uhm... ok.
  • Rachel leaves Barry at the alter after getting high with Mindy and realizing she doesn't want to spend her entire life living in Teaneck, New Jersey and because she can't picture Barry without a Mr. Potato head head. Friends ends up being the rare 90's/2000's sitcom where no one ever smokes pot (except for Jon "we gotta make this" Lovitz). Actually, they barely even drank. What a sober bunch of twenty somethings!
  • Phoebe is homeless and has a habit of crashing at the place of her one night stands. She has no belongings except for (ready?)... her BIRD and her guitar. Her bird?!
  • Joey makes ends meet between acting gigs with his other two jobs. You see, he's also a bike messenger and he's a bouncer at the hottest clubs in the city. You could have fooled me.
  • I didn't notice anything especially odd relating to Chandler but given the other surprises maybe I should re-read the book.
It is kinda cool to see how the character's were originally fleshed out, Monica being older would have definitely explained her control freak-ness but her being younger explains that huge Ross shaped chip on her shoulder. I'd like to see Rachel as a pothead and I'm really glad Phoebe didn't have a bird (for 10 seasons!). No doubt I'll have lots more to share with you on this series which has been off the air for 7 years. I like to stay current.

Hey, remember when they looked like this:


  1. I LOVED this post. Especially the backstory on the characters. Joey had two jobs?? Phoebe had a bird? Too funny. Oddly enough, Andrew and I have been watching Friends reruns lately too. It just seemed time to get back into it. We're always in sync, you and me.

  2. 1-I'm so glad!
    2-A bouncer, ha!
    3-You are? My god, we are insanely synced up. Where are you guys at now?

  3. We've been watching them out of order. So, one night, Rachel gave birth and the next night, Ross is at the airport trying to stop Emily from going to London or whatever. I hated her then and still do now. I think I hate her in real life too.


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