Sunday, January 31, 2010

TOW: Monica Gets a New Roommate

We open to Monica (Courtney Cox), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) gathered at Central Perk for the ubiquitous 'let us introduce you to our characters' set-up. Mostly it's just Chandler telling us of his naked, phone-as-penis, dream. The episode proceeds thus:

Ross(David Schwimmer): Enters Central Perk with the friggin' best.salutation.evarrr. The insanely Eeyore-esque "Hiii." I can't really fault him for being such a downer; his wife did just leave him for another woman. It's an unfortunate fact that I enter rooms this way, sad or otherwise. The majority of the Pilot episode is Ross moping. Scratch that, it's kind of the majority of the series. Chandler and Joey help him put together furniture and he whimpers over losing Carol. Really, lots of whine. But at the end we learn that he had a crush on Rachel when they were in high school. Can we get a big round of "awww"?

Rachel(Jennifer Aniston): This episode is pretty Rachel heavy. Well, obviously, she does leave her fiance at the altar. I will forever love her running into Central Perk, soaking wet and in her wedding dress.
Here we get to see Rachel grow and mature by saying she doesn't need her parents help! Cutting up her credit cards! Looking for a job! Becoming a waitress! She also says yes to Ross asking if he can, at some point in the future, ask her out.

Monica: Goes on a date with Paul the Wine Guy. Paul tells Monica he's been impotent since his wife left him. She has sex with him thinking she's 'cured' him. That is until she learns Paul used the same line on another Chef at the restaurant where Monica works.

Joey: Uhh, he just hangs around. And likes women. And ice cream. And wears horrible vests.

Chandler: He makes pithy, sarcastic a wonderful way. Chandler is my absolute favorite for ever and ever. I will name a pet Chandler Bing (and/or Chanandler Bong). Seriously.

So here are some things: What the eff is with Joey's appearance? I mean, really, people! Let's start with the hair, oh my God, the hair. Why, producers? Why did you do this to him? Is this supposed to be the typical New York Italian stereotype circa 1994? Because I think maybe Matt LeBlanc and the producers got 'Italian' confused with 'Beatle.'
friendscafe_dot_org_friendscaps_season1_episode1_001 Another thing, what's with the vest?

Every once in awhile, the light will hit it just right and give it the shiny, thicker texture of leather (!) Which is pretty awful, and also alarmingly close to S n' M wear. Not that I know what that looks like...But on further study, this particular vest appears to be an Oxford shirt that someone cut the sleeves off of (and hemmed very nicely). Typing that sentence made my brain ache, especially the hemming part. Seriously, why? Can you imagine what happened when I first saw this? My brain just died right there in a big ball of gooey greyness. Vests were big in the nineties, true, but this one pushes it (and me) right over the edge of sanity. Rachel runs into Central Perk in her sodden wedding gown, no one pays her any attention except for our lead cast. Let me say again: wet woman in a big, white dress that not one single person pays even a tad bit of attention to. You'd think this is something that'd catch your eye, but maybe soggy brides are common in Manhattan. question, do all single twenty-somethings in NYC spend their days watching telenovelas?'s this whole, Paul-broke-his-ex-wife's-watch thing that irritates me. Monica's stuff wraps up with her finding Paul's watch on the floor and stomping it. This was incredibly superfluous to me. By the time it happened, I'd already moved on. Paul was an ass, whatever, the end. I realize it's supposed to be a nice bookend to the story, but I really didn't care. may be a hopeless romantic, but I think the Ross and Rachel stuff was fairly well done. They introduce the elements of Ross crushing on Rachel all through high school and her not giving him the time of day. There's also a cute last Oreo moment. I don't think a t.v. show can go wrong with awkward-sexual-tension Oreo gags. Did I mention I kinda love the whole Ross/Rachel dynamic? Cause, really, I do. know I'm kinda picking on Joey here, but geez, what's with the character in this episode? He doesn't get a lot of screen time and doesn't really have his own storyline, but neither does Chandler and Matthew Perry is still able to set the character up well for later episodes. Joey is just...he's just not...right. There's no hint of the loveable doofus he'll become in a few episodes. Instead, Joey just seems like a douche bag. He's presented as a shallow womanizer with very few memorable aspects. Except the vest. That's not to say that there aren't hints of the genius to come. His 'grab the spoon' speech to Ross (you know the one; there are a lot of varieties of ice cream, just like there are lots of kinds of women) is amazing; it's exactly something that the Joey we know and love would say. Although, as a kid I had no idea what 'jimmies' were as I'd never heard of sprinkles referred to that way. All I could think was, "Why is he putting boys named Jimmy on his ice cream?" I may still be recovering from the emotional scarring that caused. goes out to find a job and comes back with designer boots. Awesome. episode also contains one of the most awesome 'Friends' moments ever during a discussion of Joey's appearance in a production of "Pinocchio."

The awesomeness begins around the one minute mark.

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Oh. My. God

So does he have a hump, a hump and a hair piece?" -Chandler, wondering about the man Monica's going on a date with.

"And I just won a million dollars!" -Chandler, responding to Ross saying he wants to be married again as Rachel walks in wearing her wedding dress

"If I let go of my hair, my head will fall off." -Phoebe, interpreting the telenovela.

"C'mon Daddy, listen to me! It's, like, it's like, all of my life, everyone has told me, 'You're a shoe! You're a shoe, you're a shoe, you're a shoe!' And today I just stopped and said, 'What if I don't wan to be a shoe? What if I wanna be a-a purse, y'know? Or a-or a hat. No, I'm not saying I want you to buy me a hat, I'm saying I am a ha-It's a metaphor, Daddy!"- Rachel, explaining why she left Barry at the altar.

"Okay, ummm-ummm, I'll just--I'll just be right back, I just gotta go ah, go ah"
"A wandering?" -Monica and Ross

"Aruba, this time of about your big LIZARDS!" Ross, bactracking from gushing about the place where Rachel was supposed to spend her honeymoon.

"Now I don't know whether to be hungry or horny."
"Stay out of my freezer." -Ross and Chandler after Joey's 'grab a spoon' speech

"I assume we're looking for an answer more sophisticated than 'to get you into bed'?" -Ross, explaining Paul's behavior to Monica.

"They're my new 'I don't need a job, I don't need my parents, I've got great boots' boots."


  1. This is the greatest idea for a blog!

    Chandler prancing out of the room making fun of Joey is hilarious.

  2. Thank you! I really enjoy your Sweet Valley High blog and Coffee at Luke's. I never watched Gilmore Girls, but your reviews make me want to.

  3. Thank you so much! Your blog is already making me want to watch Friends again.