Saturday, August 1, 2009

Settling in With New Roommates

Originally Posted 9-10-08

Rachel moved in with Phoebe, which means that the show's producers are given no choice but to show us where Phoebe lives. We saw the apartment with she shared with her grandmother four years earlier, but since then, where one-sixth of the characters were living just wasn't important. So unimportant that she had apparently moved at one point since in the past four years, a fact that was never mentioned.

One of the first things I noticed was her funky yellow phone.

Also, she has 2000 bookends, or in this case, candle ends. I wonder why someone would buy bookends that are only good for one year. Well, they would still be functioning bookends past December of 2000, but it would look a little silly to leave them on display unless that year had some sort of significance (ex: a wedding).

Then I started to consider the possibility of a closetful of replacement numbers. There's a '1' waiting to take over for the last '0,' but then I started getting bogged down in other details. I imagined myself being the person that had to decide how many of each digit would you sell in a set. You'd want to be as accommodating as possible so that your customer doesn't have to run out and buy new bookends too soon, yet the more digits, the bigger the box of unused digits. Giving four of each digit, so that the customer would be able to use the product until 11110 A.D. would be ridiculous, but there would need to be a certain cutoff where you just cannot make the year. I wouldn't want to be the guy who makes that decision of when that year will be.

Then I started thinking about the graduation banner from my elementary school. It was the same banner used each year. It said, "Class of xxxx" in white felt letters sewn onto a blue background. The problem with that is that the the sign looked weird. Using the Class of 1989 as an example, "Class of 19" had yellowed from who knows how long the sign had been used. The '8' was cleaner looking from only being in commission for nearly ten years, and the '9' was relatively bright white, since it only saw the light of day once every decade.

The same thing would happen here. The "20" will get scuzzy from being exposed to the elements, but the last two digits would look cleaner.

Either way, it's just a bad product.

Later, we see that Phoebe has a new funky phone. This leads me to believe that it wasn't Monica that was insistent on getting new phones regularly. It was Rachel the whole time. And now she's taken this disease to Phoebe. At least Rachel allows her victims/roommates to choose phones that fit their personality. I just feel bad for everyone involved, because that seems like an awful quirk to have to live with.

During the one episode that turned into a 22 minute commercial for Pottery Barn, we find out that there's a Pottery Barn just down the block from Central Perk. You can barely make out the Mario Cuomo poster just above Phoebe's left shoulder. I'm glad, Oh good, it's still up.

Meanwhile, with Chandler gone, Joey gets a job at Central Perk to help make ends meet. He has qualms, because he feels weird working at the place where he spends most of his time. It's never really explained why he doesn't try looking for a job with one of the thousands of other employers in Manhattan.

Elle Macpherson temporarily moves in with Joey. She walks around in tops like this one.

I'm sorry, that seems like a bad design for a woman's sweater. Unless you don't mind guys staring. If you like having guys stare, then it seems like the perfect sweater. If you're her, though, do you really need more guys staring?

Do you think she's the one that decorated the fridge this way? I'm only asking because there seems to be a poster that goes right over the freezer/fridge divide. Which means you'd have to open and close both of them every time you wanted to open just one, or you would ruin the poster.

It's not like the poster wouldn't fit on the fridge. Just move it down a foot and a half.

Joey, it appears, has been enjoying Oreo O's cereal. It was for people who love Oreos, but knew enough not eat cookies for breakfast. According to Wikipedia, this cereal was introduced in 1998. Joey's going to be excited in 2001, when they add marshmallows. However, things turn grim in 2007 when, according to an e-mail from consumer relations, the cereal was discontinued because scientists found that it contained—wait for it—nicotine. NICE!

How does nicotine just end up in a breakfast cereals, and why does it take a group of scientists nearly a decade to discover it? Wouldn't this be the work of someone who created the formula?

This shot didn't make sense to me. Ross and Chandler appear to be hanging out, enjoying their respective drinks. I can't tell what Ross is drinking. It's either some sort of fancy beer or it's a bottle of Lea & Perrin's Steak Sauce. Chandler is drinking Snapple, which, for some reason, is out of his reach. Why?

Because the script calls for him to put his feet up on the table. I guess Chandler, the character, knew that that was going to be a possibility. Or maybe Ross is drinking the milk on the table next to him and Chandler is drinking the steak sauce.

No need to question what Ross is drinking in this scene. He's enjoying a nice bottle of 7 p. Sounds good.

One episode begins with Monica decorating a Christmas tree. I thought Monica was Jewish. I don't know exactly how Jewish. Apparently not very Jewish at all.

I guess I'm not one to speak. I'm half-Jewish, and I celebrate Christmas, but the secular parts of it. The tree, the presents, watching A Christmas Story. No nativities, church, or celebrating the birthday of someone who was actually born in late-March.

I don't know, though. Both of Monica's parents are Jewish.

Either way, the Christmas decorations are only up for one episode, even though the beginning of the next episode takes place about five minutes after the end of this one.

I don't care if you are Ralph Lauren. Who poses in an elevator?

Here's something funny I noticed.

Rachel is talking to Joey while two extras pass behind her. That's fine. I don't think twice about it. But then we cut to Joey, who delivers a line, and then back to Rachel.

Same extras. I know, I'm just being petty at this point. I've got something else!

Late last season, I noticed a mailman in a shot. Later, when I noticed the same mailman, I noticed that other extras were being recycled in the same episode. Well, here he is again! I mean it would make sense that we would see him again. His route covers Central Perk, the apartment building where Chandler, Monica and Joey lives, Ross' building and the Pottery Barn. So it's good that we have one mailman for this corner.

Except if it weren't for the mailman in the shot, I wouldn't have been able to figure out that this exact shot (with the same guy in Central Perk's window) keeps getting reused. I'd post that picture, but there's really no point. It's pretty much the same picture.

I can't fault the producers/editors/whomever for this. I think besides myself and maybe Rain Man, this has gone pretty much undetected for the last almost 9 years.

Apparently Rachel and Phoebe have already gotten sick of each other. They can't even sit at the same table at Central Perk anymore. I think it's kind of a dick move on their part. Phoebe's taking the whole couch area for herself while Rachel is taking up another table. Not cool, gals.

Phoebe is reading Life magazine. I thought that this had been out of print at this point, but it was actually a monthly publication. Its last issue was May of this year, before being revived briefly as a newspaper supplement in 2004.

Also, Joey and Chandler reconnect by playing one of the Twisted Metal games. I want to say this is three. What I do know is that my friends used to play this game. In this board, you're able to destroy the Eiffel Tower, to make it makes ramp with some sort of secrets abound. You're also able to run over mimes.

We don't have enough video games where running over mimes is an option.

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