Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sophomore Season

Originally Posted 4-27-08

The summer of 1995 was a crazy, crazy time.

“Did you hear Ben & Jerry’s have a new flavor coming out? Bury Jerry,” becomes a joke when Grateful Dead frontman dies of what doctors call “53 years of being Jerry Garcia.”

Windows 95 debuts, popularizing Minesweeper.

In a stunning display of democracy, people elect blue to be the new M&M color, to replace the deposed tan candy. That election was a crock. It's not as if we were able to vote to keep tan. Tan never announced he was stepping down, nor was he beholden to any term limits. He was thrown out of office. That's called a coup, and Americans not only sat back and watched it happen, they took part in the process. I hope you're happy, c. 1995 America.

The DVD format is formally announced, paving the way for Netflix and this blog.

The Rembrandts enjoy their 15 minutes of fame with the popularity of I’ll Be There For You, the theme from Friends. Then the public decided that they didn’t really need to hear another verse, a repeat of the chorus, a bridge, and a final repeat of the chorus.

While we, in the real world, lived through a months-long summer, the Friends’ summer lasted exactly as much time it takes Rachel to go from the Village, to JFK airport to pick Ross up, and back. This was, theoretically, a matter of hours. One of these hours probably isn’t the same length of time as a regular hour that you or me are used to. While Rachel was gone, her apartment entered a weird time vortex that only Einstein himself could adequately explain.

During this time, Phoebe took it upon herself to give Joey and Chandler haircuts.

Season One ends with no mention of Phoebe about to give haircuts. Usually, getting a haircut is much ado. You’ve been planning on getting it done for a few weeks before you finally get one. There’s mental preparation. I find it hard to believe that this was a strict action of impulse. And Monica would have been present for some of the pre-haircut discussion or at least one of the haircuts, and wouldn’t have offered the odd surprise, “Hey, guys, Phoebe gave you a haircut!” Unless, in this time, she ran off to inexplicably get a new phone.

I’m not saying that we need to know when they get a new phone. What I am saying is that she seems to have gotten it in the few hours when her brother was being picked up from the airport.

And maybe she’s behind the new foosball table in Joey and Chandler’s apartment.

It’s either that, or the Foosball Table Fairy, who I’ve always assumed was fictional, visited them. Maybe that’s how that particular fairy works. Kind of like the Tooth Fairy gives you cold hard cash for teeth, this fairy leaves foosball tables for impulsive haircuts. Well, no, that would make it an Impulsive Haircut Fairy.

The microwave isn’t new. It’s just huge. I don’t remember microwaves being that big. Maybe they got this model for when they nuke a whole turkey.

I don’t understand Central Perk at all. The small sign on the table (lower right hand corner) shows that they go so far as to reserve this area for whenever the any or all of the Friends are there. How do they stay in business?

I don’t like how there’s no continuity with Joey’s job. We know he’s a struggling actor and that he needs to pay the bills. He needs a day job, which was never established. Here he is as a cologne sprayer. Apparently, that’s what he does. Who knew?

And what’s up with Rachel’s skirt cape? Was this ever in style?

Overalls were. I remember. Even overall shorts were in style. Those aren’t just regular shorts. They’re cut-offs. I used to think girls looked cute in overalls, too. Wow, what the hell, right?

Oversized T-shirt, tucked into jeans without a belt. I’m pretty sure I had done that, when I needed to look nice, but not too nice. No belt, though? I’m pretty sure when I did that, I wore one of those braided leather belts. As for the oversized T-shirts, all of my shirts were slightly oversized. I never thought twice about it.

By the way, if you notice, Ross is using the old phone. What the hell is going on in that apartment?

I found the partially obscured poster bearing New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s name interesting. It doesn’t look like it’s a campaign poster. It doesn’t say “Vote for…” Maybe it’s because it was 1995, a year after his last election. The purpose of the poster was to just remind New Yorkers of him, since he was no longer governor at that time. Only some scoundrel covered part of the poster, no people pass it and say, “Who the hell is Mario Cuo?”

I found the window decorations of this music store funny and very 1995. Alanis Morisette, Seal, and behind Joey is Belly. Seems silly to go through the trouble of making that a music store, since they never go into or mention the music store. Unless, of course, it was actually a music store, and not some set, in which case it does make sense. People needed to get the Batman Forever soundtrack somewhere.

“Hey, I was an extra on Friends once.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah. I had my back to the camera the whole time, but I was sitting behind Monica in a restaurant scene.”
“Oh, you were the guy with the flattop?”
(uncomfortably long pause) “No. I was in another episode.”
“Which one.”
“Can we change the subject?”

Ross, Monica, and Chandler go to a concert. Who did they see? Mind you, it’s 1995.
Yep, Hootie and the Blowfish. They all got tickets to see them for Ross’s birthday, and his reaction wasn't, “Oh, God! Why?!”

Unfortunately, I don’t have the capability (knowledgewise) to capture parts of video, but it seems as if they opened AND closed with I Go Blind, which, I find, was actually a cover. They opened and closed with the same cover? It's not like these guys didn't have another hit. That seems a little sad. I doubt even The Rembrandts wouldn't do something like that.

I don’t like it when shows do this. They have a guest actor, and then the same actor comes back later as another character. Here’s Giovanni Ribisi, not playing Phoebe’s brother (I think. I’m not up to that part yet, but it’s something like that. He may be a half-brother.) I think when Ribisi comes back, someone should say “Hey, you look like that guy who left a condom in Phoebe's guitar case and then came back to get it back. That was a pretty memorable as it was a mildly odd occurance. If you were just some guy we saw on the street, I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But no, you're 'the condom' guy."

Here’s Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders performing Angel in the Morning at Central Perk. I can’t hear that song without drifting into Shaggy’s version.

You’re my angel in the morning, baby.
Closer to my peeps you are to me.

This is a shame, because those lyrics are ridiculous. “Closer to my peeps you are to me?” What the hell does that even mean?

Wait a minute, why is Chrissie Hynde playing at Central Perk?

Oh, crap, we’re in sweeps, aren’t we?

Yep, we’re in sweeps. Here’s Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy from yet another Thursday night NBC show, Caroline in the City. Strangely enough, no one says her name, so we’re left to assume that it is, in fact, her. Why else would Joey and Chandler run into someone in the street in November unless their show was on Thursday night.

According to IMDb, the night this episode aired, Chandler appeared on her show, and Ross appeared on The Single Guy. I can’t imagine this crap flying now. Liz Lemon would not be visited by a Dunder-Mifflin sales rep from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

This is probably the coolest clock ever. Although, we later learn that on every hour, the hips swivel, and the doll says, "Oh yeah!"

I'm sorry, but you lost me there. That's kind of an overkill.


Shar said...

nope, giovanni ribisi is just playing some random dude that puts a condom in phoebe's guitar case, then comes back for it :) that always bothered me too.

Shar said...

And yes! 'I go blind' was done originally by 54-40, who were pretty famous up here for awhile. They're from Vancouver.

Also, I'm glad you're doing this. I'm enjoying these posts immensely :D