Saturday, August 1, 2009

Going to the Chapel

Originally Posted 12-22-08

Season Seven, apparently, ends with such a big bang that they bring in big guest stars weeks before May sweeps even begins.

Denise Richards plays Ross and Monica's cousin. I'm not convinced that she's related to the Gellers. Richards just sets off the gentile-dar. Usually, they make an effort to cast people who could pass for Jewish. David Schwimmer? Check. Elliot Gould? Check. Courtney Cox? Ehh, passable.

Denise Richards? Not buying it. Why would they choose this all-out shiksa to play one of the Chosen Ones?

How many cousins do the Gellers have? Didn't another cousin—a semetic looking one—just get married? The two of them must be on opposite sides of the family tree. Otherwise, Ross and Monica would have seen this cousin at the wedding.

Winona Ryder, on the other hand, drinks Manishewitz wine; according to Adam Sandler. Fun fact, this episode aired eight months before she was arrested for shoplifting.

Another fun fact, the Eastside Building was built in 1933. Put that right up there with the many other things that the set designers needlessly add for reasons that beyond anything resembling logic. I mean, it's not like viewers would see a bare wall and say, "What building is that supposed to be?"

After three months of not hearing a single word about it, Monica's Porsche comes up. Rachel mentions that she saw the Porsche parked outside and says that she wants to drive it. Monica doesn't point out the obvious, "Yes, of course you saw my Porsche parked outside, it's my car and I live here. In fact, living across the hall from me, you probably see it a lot. Why mention it now?"

Instead, Rachel talks about wanting to take it out for a spin, which Monica quickly vetoes. We later find out that everyone else has been secretly driving the Porsche, unbeknownst to Rachel or us the viewers.

Anyway, Ross is put in charge of keeping Rachel from driving the car—protecting it, really.

He does so by throwing himself on it. I'm sure that's good for it, Ross. Monica wouldn't mind the dents and scuffs involved with that.

Of course Rachel is going to drive the Porsche. It's that kind of show.

Ross feels safer in the back seat, clutching to the front passenger seat for dear life. He'd probably be safer if he put a seat belt on, but whatever.

This isn't just a ride in the small stretch of street that we always see that is only occupied by vehicles important to the storyline. Normally, its empty, save for the occasional taxi cab that is being is entered or exited by a character before or after delivering lines, or a few parked cars that have to do with something furthering the story. Really, no one drives on the block unless its to conduct business that somehow helps or hinders the lives of six otherwise normal individuals.

There would be no problem with taking the car for a spin in this neighborhood. But Rachel intends to take it to the unsafe areas that can only be shown with the help of a green screen. Of course, that's when trouble happens.

Seriously, what's with the purple ties? Where the hell are they? Did they leave the city? NYPD do not wear purple ties, and I'm pretty sure this isn't the uniform of the New York State Police. I don't think any surrounding area's police force wears purple ties.

Actually, now that I think about it, his uniform doesn't have a shoulder patch that identifies what police force he serves, nor does he have a shield. Is he not a real policeman? That must explain why Rachel doesn't actually get a ticket. You can't get a real ticket from a fake cop.

Later, Ross supposedly gets a ticket from a similarly dressed fake cop. I hope he doesn't fall for the scam. Well, if he does, then I have a Nigerian prince friend for him to e-mail.

I was going to say something snarky about Jake. He enters the episode as an established boyfriend of Phoebe. Later he tells Joey and he and Phoebe have been dating for a month. Really?

No, actually, we do see them meet each other. He was seen a few episodes ago, checking Phoebe out. Monica thought he was checking her out. He and Phoebe went out and apparently kept seeing each other, not that we're privy to any of that information. I bet he even got to ride in the Porsche.

It's nice to know that Phoebe's relationship is going well. I would be hesitant to start a relationship with someone I meet at some place where I spend virtually all of my free time. I mean, what if it goes south? You're going to run into that person again. That is, unless you're Phoebe. In that case, the relationship will end unannounced, and he'll never be seen again—which I think is what actually happens to Jake. Jake wasn't even Phoebe's guest at Chandler & Monica's wedding. That's cold.

Speaking of Chandler & Monica's wedding, it's only a few episodes away. There is still plenty of planning to do.

Monica, being Monica, is doing her thing by reading only bridal magazines. If you notice, Phoebe's reading one too.

Apparently, that's all they can read when Monica's around. Rachel's forced to read Elegant Bride.

Luckily, when Monica's not around, Phoebe's able to read Cowboy Love, which I'm unable to find through Wikipedia or Google. Judging by the cover, it looks like it could be a trashy romance novel.

Now, I know what you're saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Yes, it's true, except not literally—no pun intended. That phrase is supposed to keep people from passing judgment on people based on their appearances. However, with actual books, you usually can judge one by its cover. They have marketing people who know how to design book covers to make sure that someone looking for some easy beach read doesn't end up buying a heavy nonfiction piece about genocide.

Rachel and Phoebe have to throw Monica a bridal shower. How do you think they prepare for that?

Multiple signs that tell the guests what kind of party it is they're attending. I guess they do this in case someone forgets. Also, if someone crashes the party, they're immediately brought up to speed.

Chandler didn't have a bachelor party. This is a missed opportunity for a good storyline. Here's what could have happened. Joey wants to throw one, but Chandler doesn't want one...or at least not one Joey would want to throw. Ross is on board, but only if its one that he and Chandler would want. Joey goes along, because a nerdy bachelor party is better than no bachelor party. So, they end up going to Adult Night at a children's science museum. Joey's upset, because his friend's having a bachelor party, but he's being forced to learn stuff. Well, when they get there, it turns out that Joey really likes scientific demonstrations geared towards children. I don't know, maybe he's able to make stuff blow up. Joey totally geeks out and ends up having a better time than Ross and Chandler. That could be a funny storyline.

Did I just accidentally do Friends fan fiction? Oh, man. That's a little sad.

Another thing on the prewedding to do list, get a hold of Chandler's dad, played by Kathleen Turner.

This is actually pretty effort intensive. First of all, they have to get to Las Vegas, where Charles performs his burlesque show.

Also, Chandler has to get over his extreme homophobia. He's actually more homophobic than you would expect a main character of a light-hearted primetime sitcom in the 21st Century to be. For example, Monica asks for one example of something bad his father did growing up.

"He had sex with Mr. Garibaldi."
"Who's Mr. Garibaldi?"
"Does it matter?"

An episode later, Phoebe calls him on homophobia. I guess what I find surprising about all of this is the fact that Chandler is hardly the straightest guy in any room. In fact, Rachel gets on his case about maybe watching ESPN instead of E! for once.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I could see how he could have, at one point, associated homosexuality as the house-wrecking lifestyle that tore his family apart. But you would think that as an adult he would have learned that not all gay men are Charles Bing.

I mean if anyone were to be the vehemently homophobic of the bunch, it would be Joey, and he seems okay. Now that I think about it, there aren't too many gay characters on the show. C'mon, people. You're airing the same night as Will & Grace at this point...look alive!

Side note about Chandler's parents. Their names are Nora and Charles. Nora Charles is the character played by Myrna Loy in The Thin Man series. I wonder if this was done on purpose.

Courtney Cox-Arquette's real life brother-in-law, Alexis Arquette. He's better known as playing George in The Wedding Singer.

During Charles' It's Raining Men number, Chandler admits that "growing up," he "was the one on the far left." First of all, that song came out when he was about 12. "When I was a kid..." I buy that, but he had already done a lot of growing up at that point. Also, I'm pretty sure that dressing your teenaged son in this outfit to rehearse a provacative dance with four others in similar outfits classify as some form of child abuse.

Another loose end to tie up: vows. This turns out to be a problem for them, and later, for me. They have trouble putting their thoughts and feelings into words.

PHOEBE: Why don't you say that it was love at first sight.
MONICA: Because it wasn't.
ME: Uh-oh, this sounds like a segue into a clip show.

Sure enough, two minutes and fifty seconds into the episode, we get fat suit Monica and Flock of Seagulls Chandler. We revisit every important scene these two have shared.

We're pretty much treated to the Cliff Notes of The One Where Everyone Finds Out. I'm pretty sure 20% of that episode is spliced into this episode. That then leads to the entire scene where Chandler proposes. The entire scene.

On the plus side, I was able to fast forward through a major chunk of this episode.

So, vows are done.

There is the issue of the guy officiating the ceremony. Joey gets a lead in a movie. He's playing an Italian immigrant fighting in WWI. He has to do full-frontal nudity, this is a problem because he's circumsized.

Scott Adsit and Mo Gaffney say that this will be a dealbreaker. What's strange is that at the time, Gaffney was the bigger name. Now Adsit is a cast member of 30 Rock, which is now on Thursdays on NBC.

Don't worry, though.

For reasons not explained ever, the fact that Joey isn't circumsized up not being a problem anymore, and he ends up co-starring with Gary Oldman.

Joey is stuck on the set on the day of the wedding and out of desperation, they get a Greek Orthodox minister to perform the service, only he speaks English, so it's really not all that Orthodox. Then Joey comes in just in time.

I don't need to show a picture of him performing the service in the WWI uniform, do I? I mean, I'm pretty sure it's used in the opening for the duration of the series. We've all seen it.

As for the wedding itself, it seemed nice.

Monica had to do it without the phase shifting dress that she got from the discount place in Brooklyn. She ended up giving it to that other woman in exchange for the rights to have the Swing Kings perform at the wedding.

We never see the Swing Kings at the wedding, which is good. I mean really, Chandler. Swing music when it isn't 1998? Why?

This wedding guest appears on screen for less than 8 seconds. She may have been given a name, but I can't say I remember what it was. Let's just call her "Probable FCC Violation," because "Extra Who Seems To Have No Other Reason To Be On Screen Except To Show Us Her Nipples" seems somewhat sexist.

At some point, we learn that the gang is staying on the 12th floor. What makes the 12th floor of this hotel especially interesting is the fact Room #1301 seem to be on this floor. Much like the sign for the Eastside Building, this is a needless addition. Only this one doesn't make sense. Wouldn't Room #1301 be on the 13th floor? And isn't the 13th floor bad luck?

Anyway, so Mondler get married, and that's that. Only...

Phoebe finds a pregnancy test and she thinks it's Monica's. I'm confused by Rachel's reaction. Okay, so we later learn that it isn't really Monica's, it's Rachel's. Spoiler alert, by the way. Of course, Rachel knows this, yet she looks completely surprised by the outcome of the test.

The reaction that seems more likely would be, "Holy crap, Phoebe found my pregnancy test." Rachel's reaction seems to say, "Holy crap, that's the pregnancy test that I took in someone else's bathroom and threw in the trash without seeing the results of for some reason. And I'm finding out that it came out positive just now as Phoebe was holding it. You'd think I'd wait around for the result and not just put it in Monica's wastepaper basket where it could be picked up." I mean, now would be a really good time to tell Phoebe that the test is hers and not to tell anyone. That would cut down on the confusion, but I guess that doesn't make for good sitcom.

The Season Seven special features came with a quiz about the wedding. All things having to do with the wedding. I fared very well, thank you. My prize:

I get an invitation to the wedding! Hooray. If you look closely, the date on the invitation says April 28th. The actual date of the wedding is May 15th. I wouldn't make that big of a deal about this, except the quiz I had just taken asked when the wedding was, and the answer was May 15th.

Really, April 28, 2001 is a more convenient date. That was a Saturday, while May 15th was a Tuesday.

Interestingly enough, according to the part of the invitation we see during the quiz, Rachel got the grilled salmon. Pregnant women should probably avoid seafood because of the mercury content found in fish. To her credit, Rachel didn't know that she was going to be pregnant when the wedding was going to take place.

If Rachel finds out that she's pregnant in May of 2001, then that must mean that the baby is born in February of 2002. That seems like a possible date for a major non-Phoebe character in a sitcom to give birth.

1 comment:

Shar said...

george! i knew he looked familiar!