Saturday, August 1, 2009

Across the Hall and Across the Pond

Originally Posted 7-26-08


Well, the two microwaves have moved back to their original home, and that could only mean that apartments have switched back to normal. This occurred while Joey and Chandler were out at a sporting event. Assuming this particular game didn't go into overtime (it was either basketball or hockey...I can't remember) I'm going to put the maximum time of Joey and Chandler being out of their apartment at four hours. Figure they show up a little early to the game. The game lasts three hours. Since it was either a basketball game or a hockey game, that means that they were at Madison Square Garden, which means they didn't even need to leave Manhattan. Benefit of the doubt, maybe they get a drink or two after the game, okay, maybe five hours. I'll even give you six hours.

In those six hours, Monica and Rachel packed up their own apartment, packed up Joey and Chandler's apartment, switched them, and unpacked. Aside from the legal issues that may arise from this, there's also the "no way you two were able to do that in six hours" aspect of the whole process.

In addition to all of this, imagine, if you will, two women packing all of the belongings of two 20-something single men. That means that they discovered their porn collections, had to get over that, and then make executive decisions as to where those would go in the old apartments. How do these four people look each other in the eye after something like that?

They even went through the trouble of remounting the extra microwave. You would think, time being as short as it is, someone would say, "Ya know, they don't really need two microwaves. If they actually can't do without both of them, we'll come back tomorrow and mount this extra one. Of course, putting this microwave back means changing the paper towel holder's position, too."


I guess to make up for switching apartments without permission—which can't be all that legal—they bought the guys the real Cap'n Crunch, as opposed to the generic Love That Crunch.


Early one episode, a walking anachronism of an extra enters Central Perk. It's 1998, but the guy in green is all decked out for 1993. Isn't there anybody to screen these extras?

It was almost fitting, because very soon after, we find out that it's a clip show.


Yep, here we see a 1994 Rachel entering Central Perk straight from the wedding that she bolted from. The next 20 or so minutes allows us to relive the last four years of the Ross and Rachel...thing.

There's no word in the dictionary, English or any other language, that describe just how terrible clip shows are. I know little about television production, but a clip show, to me, seems like a cheap way to get an extra week off. By submitting a clip show, the people involved are admitting that they are assholes. That seems strong, but clip shows are very clearly an easy way out. "What should we do this week?" "Eff it, let's do a clip show. We'll write five minutes of material, and we'll get some intern go through all of the archives to get any relevant clips from the past 90-something episodes. Phew! That was tough. I'm famished, let's get lunch."

So the loyal fans who read in the TV listings that that week's episode was new were disappointed.
Years later, someone who sat down just in time to catch an episode on syndication realizes that it's a clip show, and they just saw these some of these clips within the past month.
And the people who are going through the series on Netflix see that the disc they just got has six episodes, when in reality, it has 5.2 new episodes, and four-fifths of one episode is material that they just saw very recently.

Seriously, any true fan of a show is familiar doesn't need to rehash, and anyone not familiar with the backstory covered in a clip show wouldn't care about seeing the old stuff.

So, my open plea to whomever is out there listening. Stop making clip shows. We hate them.


If I had to salvage something from this clip show, it's the fact that we finally learn the physical address of the building where 67% of where the friends live.


Which apparently doesn't actually exist. They live on the corner of Bedford & Grove—even though the building shown in the exterior shots don't have the terrace that Monica and Rachel have—but if you type the address into Google Maps, they get you about a block or two away from that intersection. I mean, clearly, they'd use a fake address. There are a lot of crazies out there, and I wouldn't want my address to be used on some show. I mean most intelligent people know that it's a fictional show, but still...lots of crazies.


Joey and Chandler are in a doctor's waiting room when Chandler notices someone he wants to pick up. She picks up a copy of Cruising World. What kind of person reads Cruising World magazine? Well, boat enthusiasts, I suppose. A quick search tells me that this magazine doesn't actually exist. Some schnook in the props department had to make a fake magazine for a single-episode character to pick up in one scene. This is unlike in Season One when Ross was seen reading a fake anthropology magazine, because it's been established that that's the kind of magazine he would read. If you're going to make a fake magazine for a throwaway character, then why not make it something more general? Or something that won't make you wonder what kind of doctor's office this is that it's waiting room would carry such a specific genre magazine. Why not have her read a newspaper?

They could use some of the wasted manpower making a fake issue of Cruising World, and put that into producing a nonclip show episode.

So, Ross is getting married...again. I smell two-parter sweeps sensation with a cliffhanger.


But don't worry. As shown here, the opening credits shows clips to the episode you're about to see. Every major plot point that could be expressed visually is covered in the opening. Yes, even the biggest nonspoken "shocker" of the episode.


So, if you hadn't seen this episode, or any episode after this yet—I don't know, maybe you've been living in a cave—the whole Chandler & Monica thing was kind of ruined for you.

I should note that this shot was taken from the opening credits, and not from this part from the actual episode. Unfortunately, there's no way of proving this, because when this clip was shown, there wasn't any actual credits flashing on the screen. You'll just have to take my word for it.

So, Chandler and Monica did it, even though just one year prior, Monica clearly stated that it would never happen between the two of them. But he wore him down.

But who could really blame Monica?


After getting out of the shower, Chandler is sure to put on his bathrobe and his socks. Socks? Really, Chandler?

Well, it's a sweeps two-parter that takes place in England. We're going to need some British guest stars. Like:


Jennifer Saunders and what's his name McFamiliar Face playing Ross' soon-to-be parents-in-law.


And Hugh Laurie, an actor now known for playing an American doctor.


And then there's Richard Branson. What is billionaire Richard Branson doing playing a souvenir vendor on some American sitcom?


Oh, to remind everyone of Virgin Atlantic's presence.


Meanwhile, in New York, a very pregnant Phoebe is unable to go to the wedding, so she sticks around at Monica and Rachel's apartment. Why? Phoebe has an apartment of her own. There's no reason for her to be lurking around their apartment while they're out of the country. It's not like they have a pet that needs to be watched, and even so, you shouldn't make a very pregnant woman walk your dog, and you definitely shouldn't have her clean a litter box. Is she watching their apartment? Who's watching her apartment? She has said in the past that she lives with her grandmother, but she hasn't mentioned her in a while, and the actress who played her, Audra Lindley, died in the fall of '97.

I guess the original intention was that Rachel was going to watch over her while everyone was away. But she skipped town, leaving her extremely pregnant friend alone in her apartment. I hope Phoebe drank milk straight from the carton for stranding her there alone.

However, if you notice their phone managed to survive the entire season. It's odd that the phone that was broken late last season was not only fixed, but it was also the first phone in the show's four-year history to not be inexplicably replaced for more than one year.


Shar said...

I actually like clips shows (yes, I am weird). :)

Unknown said...

Phoebe was supposed to be pet sitting the duck and rooster. Rachel said she had to work as a way to get out of going, so bird sitting fell to Phoebe, though she did end up forgetting.

Dave said...

Although your photos aren't loading (so I can see what you posted), I can tell you this: the "microwave to the left on the counter is... a bread maker.