Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knowing That They Know You Know, and etc.

Originally Posted 8-18-08

By pointing out favorite episodes, I'm kind of getting away with the purpose of this blog. That said, The One Where Everyone Finds Out is probably one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. I should say that the first two-thirds is my probably my favorite, but I'll get into that in a bit.

The episode itself is pretty well-written, as zany farces go.

It was during this episode where I discovered something interesting with the subtitles.

First of all, there's too many commas in the English (and the Spanish) subtitles. It should really say, "Doing it, doing it, phone doing it," meaning that phone sex was involved. That comma takes phone sex out of the equation. It just means that Monica was speaking on the phone, which isn't all that amusing—especially now that they've stopped changing phones as frequently. While this is not important and beside the point I'm trying to make, it should be noted.

However, the point at hand; I took five years of Spanish and two years in French in high school, and haven't put together more than two sentences at a time in either language since then. This means, if needed, I could speak very basic, very broken, and very hesitant phrases. If someone is speaking to me, forget it. But, if I'm reading it, I can get the gist of it.

The gist tells me that the French are kind of getting screwed out of a joke. The joke here is that Phoebe is asking Rachel a list of things, and Rachel answers each item on the list rapid fire.

In Spanish, she literally (according to Babel Fish) says "Doing it, telephone, doing it." They lose a "doing it," but whatever.

In French, it's "They were doing it. Same on the phone." I don't know, I guess that's funny. I just think "Le faisant, le faisant, téléphone le faisant," would be funnier.

That's not the only time that happens.

In Spanish, it looks like a pretty straight translation, and it is. In French, it doesn't look like it has the same feel.

In French, she says something like "They don't know that we know too." Again, the funny thing in the sentence is that Joey is supposed to be confused by it because you really need to stop and think about what she's saying to realize that she's right. If that sentence confuses French Joey, then French Joey makes American Joey look like a brain trust. French Phoebe should, instead, say, "Ils ne savent pas que nous savons ils savent que nous savons." That's the kind of thing that should confuse French Joey.

So, that was all in the first two-thirds of the episode. Then it turns into an annoying screamfest for the studio audience. The clever rouse between Phoebe and Chandler escalate, as does the screaming, and then they kiss.


Then Chandler announces that he's in love with Monica.


Monica comes out of hiding.


Shut the hell up, you morons. These are not real people.

Ugh, so irritating.

Also, in this episode, we get a pretty clear view of the fourth wall in Monica and Rachel's apartment. The apartment looks much smaller from Ugly Naked Guy/Ross' apartment.

In fact, the whole building looks different from every possible angle.

From Ross' place, it's a red brick building.

From down the block, it's beige bricks with no terrace, as I've probably noted before. I'm guessing there's a rational explanation for all of this that involves quantum physics, and is therefore over my head.

Emily's voice appears on an answering machine, which isn't all that odd. What's odd is how they give her credit. "Special Guest Caller," like this is an edition of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me.

I bet Emily wouldn't get Carl Kasell's voice on her answering machine. She would probably suck at "Bluff the Listner."

I can't really speak for Helen Baxendale, though. I know very little about her.

Ross' new place is pretty neat. How bad could it be? The guy who plays Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) from Sex & the City lives across the hallway. What's funny is that I just saw him in Groundhog Day playing the weatherman who stands in for Bill Murray's character while he goes to cover the groundhog. In glancing at his filmography, you learn that he also plays a frat guy in The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine, which is hard to imagine. Almost as hard to imagine as me actually sitting down to watch The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine. He also plays Lee Harvey Oswald in an episode of Quantum Leap. I remember that episode.

Wow, I'm getting way off subject.

During the first season, I made mention of the fact that there was some controversy in Friends because there were no black characters. There was one in the first season, and I thought, "Where's the controversy?" Well, since then, there haven't been too many black characters. I could probably count them all on one hand, even after suffering a horrible accident with a thresher. There certainly haven't been any recurring black characters yet.

I think the script called for a sassy black furniture saleswoman, and that's why they cast the nurse from Scrubs. I guess "sassy white furniture saleswoman" wouldn't get the job done. I just thought I'd note it, since I think she's the only black actor to get at least one line of dialogue this season.

Michael Rappaport play Phoebe's cop boyfriend. This was before The War at Home, so it's okay to like him here.

But I don't like him as much as I like...

Soleil Moon Frye, who appears as Joey's girlfriend who keeps hitting Joey. I admittedly have been harboring a crush on Frye since about 1985, when she was Punky Brewster. What red-blooded American elementary school-aged boy didn't have a crush on Punky Brewster in 1985? I mean really. Here, she proves that she's just as adorable. More so, because she's not forced to say things like "gross-a-roo."

And you really can't blame her for hitting Joey. Look at that sweater he's wearing. Seriously, Joey Tribbiani is the Cliff Huxtable of the 1990s, yet when you think of the sweaters, you think "Bill Cosby." Maybe it's because Cosby's sweaters were a bit on the ugly side, but for the most part, interesting, while Joey's sweaters are interesting in a "how interesting someone would get paid to produce a sweater so ugly" sort of way.

If I were to do an SAT-style analogy, I'd say:
Cliff Huxtable : sweaters :: Chandler Bing : ties

Monica seems to be wearing a "Neighborhoodie." I say "seems," because I don't remember neighborhoodies being a thing at this time. I know that when I was living in Philadelphia a few years later, it was a brief thing. It was a hooded sweatshirt that had the name of your neighborhood on it. I guess maybe it was a thing in New York a few years before it hit Philadelphia, but I find it hard to believe that a trend would take that long to go down the New Jersey Turnpike.

I also find it hard to believe that Monica would really wear a Harlem Neighborhoodie, being that she doesn't live in Harlem.

She's not representing her neighborhood. She's representing her liberal white guilt.

But enough about what people are wearing. What are people eating?

HEEZ-I, apparently. A name like that just says "delicious snacks." It sells itself.

Sometimes they cut to scenes around Manhattan. Not to establish the fact that they're in this particular place at that time, but to remind the viewers that this really does, indeed, take place in Manhattan.

The Jumbo Screen at Times Square is advertising Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. "Coming in November," the ad says. If you wanted, or needed, proof that all of those exterior in between shots were all shot at once when they were filming the first season, there you go. An advertisement for a movie that came out in November of '94.

Also in this shot; while it's never mentioned, it's evident that Chandler and Joey get caught up in the toy fad of the year. They each have their own Furby. I can't really see either one of them sitting down and teaching a Furby English.

That just seems like a lot of patience. Patience that Joey don't have, and patience that Chandler doesn't have time to have.

In case you're curious, "yoo?" means, "Why won't you play with me today?" in Furbish. Finally, a toy that guilts! That's what I'd want. A toy that demands regular attention. I have to say, unless it's able to carry on my genetic material, or at the very least purrs and meows, I really don't want to be tied to it long-term

Also, I can't find how to say "They don't know we know they know we know" in Furbish.

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