Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Crumbling Marriage

Originally Posted 8-7-09

At first glance, it seems that whomever has given up at finding new colors.

"Aww, jeez. We've already had to come up with four different colors. Let's just repeat them."

Actually, the Season 5 is a bit brighter. More vivid. Still, they could have gone with something other than "a different kind of purple."

Season 5 begins with Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar, and the rest of the wedding. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if they tape the season finale and the next season's premiere at the same time. They had to be able to secure the same guest stars, not that Jennifer Saunders is Britain's busiest television personality. Also, the characters' hair aren't that much different.

He's still sporting the ridiculous reddish hair.

Chandler gets back from London and cuts his hair. Ross does the opposite.

See, bigger than his wedding.

If this is the case, then how do they keep the studio audience about next year's premiere all summer long? At least I think that's a studio audience. I mean have you heard them? Every time someone kisses for the first time, it's a solid 5 seconds of screaming. It's the world's most irritating sitcom studio audience. It's probably the worst part of the show. It's one thing for a bunch of real people reacting idiotically to this sort of thing, you're just led to believe that they're idiots and they can't help it. If all of that is a laugh track, then the people who produced the laugh track should be locked in a room.

My original point? How do they keep the audience from telling people what happens? True, this is before the days when any jackass with a MacBook and a Gmail account could easily take advantage push button publishing. True, this is before the days of MacBooks, Gmail, and blogs, but you know what I'm saying. These people didn't want plot points getting out. I guess now, ten years after the fact, is not the time to think about that sort of thing.

Back to the wedding, although everyone in London is sporting the same outfits and haircuts as the last episode, Phoebe found it necessary to change her outfit midday on the day of the wedding. I thought about it, with the time change and everything, but it still doesn't really make sense. There's only a five-hour difference, so it's not like the ceremony and reception (when this phone call to Emily's mother was being made) was two different days on New York time.

Wait a minute!

Phoebe gets pregnant in January. Only being four-months pregnant in May, she should be able to fly to London. If not, then she seems to have spent April through October in her third trimester. I know my knowledge of pregnancy may be lacking, and that Lisa Kudrow actually was pregnant at this time, so you have to take that into account.

In the general scheme of things, it's nice that they kept the pregnancy to an actual nine months. Some shows do the season finale "I'm pregnant" cliffhanger, and then the baby is born next May for sweeps. One-year pregnancy, what? I'm looking at you, Mad About You.

So, Phoebe gave birth to her half-brother's triplets, and gives a touching talk about how she can't wait to be in their lives.

I'm pretty sure this is the last time we see these kids. Storyline-wise, Phoebe is constantly getting the shaft. That's too bad, because she is, by far, the most interesting character. She's just comic relief, which just proves the oft-made point: homeless teens are funny.

Secret boyfriend or not, the hyper-anal-retentive Monica would not allow anyone—anyone—to dance her her coffee table. She really is selective about her hangups. She later confronts Chandler about this, but not necessarily for the dancing on the table, per se. It's more about the dancing. The standing on the table is okay. Since when?

Now that Monica is the secret girlfriend, you would think that she would take this opportunity to rein Chandler in. She would force feed him rules like "no dancing/standing on the coffee table," or a rule I'm quite fond of: Enough of the goddamn vests already.

Monica drops the ball on nipping this habit in the bud, and as a result, the vests-a-continue.

Notice in this picture a "Reserved" sign is mounted on the napkin dispenser and lords over the table. I guess this is a clever way of explaining why a comfy chair, the couch, its corresponding table and the table adjacent to it is always available. But as we've discovered in the past with the smoking, the bringing in animals, making a ruckus, etc. Central Perk doesn't really observe any of its rules. I'm guessing the other regular patrons have yet to discover this, otherwise they would blatantly ignore this sign.

True, there was the one time when the area was taken, but once in four years (so far)? Astronomically unlikely.

So Ross is stressed out about the whole "wife being pissed because he said another name at the altar" thing. He tries to make himself better by drinking the "_epto Bismol." Ya know, if you don't have the rights to that first 'P,' then why have him put the bottle down so that the label is facing the camera. You could just put a plain label around a clear bottle with thick pink liquid, everyone would get what it is. I mean, I have Equate Maximum Strength Stomach Relief in my medicine cabinet. Same shaped bottle, same color liquid. It's the same stuff. Very recognizable. This logo even has the outline of a giant 'P' in the background. Why would a product named "_epto Bismol" have a...uh, forget it.

Either way, Ross shouldn't down that stuff so exuberantly. He's just asking for black stool.

Excuse me for pigeon-holing, but I would have to say that Ross, supposedly, is the "intelligent" one. Which is not to say the others are unintelligent, but if I had a general question about life, the universe and everything, I would go to Ross first. However, when Rachel gets a bloody nose, her first instinct is to put her head back. Ross does not stop her.

For as long as I could remember, this was not the thing to do. I remember it being explained that "they don't do that anymore," which leads me to assume that they did do it that way at one time, but they stopped. I don't know when that was. Let me tell you, as someone who used to regularly get nosebleeds, dipping your head back just causes the blood to go down your throat. "Unpleasant" would be one word to describe that the feeling of ingesting your own blood. "Also kinda gross" would be another three.

For some reason, I would expect Ross to know the proper procedure for a nosebleed. Apply pressure—or ice, if possible—to the bridge of the nose, and just wait it out. When all else fails, jam some tissue up the nostril.

I would actually be concerned, if I were Rachel's. This isolated nose bleed has lasted long enough for her to finish her drink at Central Perk, and then go up to her apartment to read. We've never seen her get a nosebleed before, and this seems to be a big one. Not just a big one, this is a two-nostril deal. I don't think I've ever bled out of both nostrils at the same time. However, if blood is coming out of both nostrils at once, that makes me think that the source of the bleeding is not actually in the nose, but somewhere above it. Like, maybe the brain? I'm no doctor, but if I start bleeding from both nostrils and I wasn't just struck in the face with a blunt object, my first response would be unadulterated panic.

I have to be honest, I didn't originally take this screenshot to relay my concern for Rachel's health regarding the long-lasting, double-nostriled nosebleed. It was to point out Architectural Digest.

"What is Rachel doing reading this fake magazine devoted to architecture?" I was going to ask. Then I was going to follow up with something to the tune of, "What the hell?"

Well, as it turns out, Architectural Digest really is a real magazine. So some props guy didn't have to make up some fake magazine prop for a few seconds of screen time.

Not only that, despite the name, Architectural Digest isn't about architecture. It's about interior design. So, this actually is a magazine that Rachel could be reading while she waits for her nosebleed to take its course.

This may be bad screenshooting on my end. The backstory here is that Monica and Chandler had planned a secret late night date. To establish the time, the shot opens with Chandler standing in the kitchen near a large-display digital clock that clearly reads "3:02."

We know why they, the makers, put that clock there. They needed a quick way to establish the time. But why is there, really, a digital clock on their kitchen table? There was never one before, and we don't see it later. There are already two clocks in the vicinity...the two microwaves, why do they need another one? That's just another clock to change during the whole daylight savings time. It doesn't even seem worth it to put a digital clock there temporarily. Not that setting a digital clock is the most difficult, time-consuming activity out there, but let's face it, it's not something you do unless you need to.

Really, the worst part of a blackout isn't the "What the hell am I going to do without electricity?" factor. It's, "Great, now I have to reset every single clock in my place."

Looking back at the New York's 1998 Gubernatorial Election, I guess it now makes sense that Democratic nominee Peter Vallone only received 33% of the vote. The Mario Cuomo poster is still up, yet no posters for Vallone. Cuomo was good, and all, but let it go. He's not coming back.

What's more distressing is the fact that every shot of someone walking outside seems to take place right across the street from Central Perk. You would think with Manhattan being Manhattan, there's more things to do and more places to go.

Fun fact, about the 1998 Gubernatorial Election in New York (as if the name of the loser wasn't "fun" enough) "Grandpa" Al Lewis ran for governor of New York as well for the Green Party. I even signed a petition to get him on the ballot. Not that I'm a big Grandpa Munster fan, nor do I believe that I think playing the Munsters' patriarch should automatically qualify you to public office.

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