Saturday, August 1, 2009

Predictable Holiday Fun

Originally Posted 3-19-09

As of some point between Halloween and Thanksgiving, Rachel said that Emma will be eating solid foods soon. Infants normally start eating solid foods at 4 to 6 months. So given the fact that it's November and a baby born in May isn't yet eating solid foods, it looks like summer of 2002 did, in fact, dissolve into thin air like most other summers in this universe.

Rachel's other sister—Christina Applegate, not Reese Witherspoon—drops by for Thanksgiving to see her new niece. That's nice. I say that because family doesn't seem to be that big of a deal to any of these people. Come to think of it, I can't remember Ross's son ever being present for Thanksgiving. You would think now would be the time for him to see his half-sister. No? Okay.

Aside from these sisters' rivalry, the storyline of this episode is also "Monica doesn't want the china to break." Since Chandler convinced Monica to use the wedding china for Thanksgiving dinner, and Monica showed an unusual amount of hesitation—even for her—to do so, I sure hope they don't break. That would seem an unusual amount of shit-com—even for Friends.

Well, the sisters start arguing, and that turns physical. Monica orders Chandler to put the china in the box.

What luck! The one dish that they happened to leave out was the dish that was closest to the the fight. You'd think everyone in the room would be more careful. I sure hope nothing happens to that plate that Rachel's hand is nearing for no reason.

Oh no! No one, and I mean no one, saw that coming. That's fine. The rest of the set is in the box and Chandler will put that box on a steady surface away from everyone else.

Or, in this case, on a chair in the middle of everything. I'm sure everything will turn out—oh, I can't keep this up. Chandler knocks the chair over and the whole box breaks.

And that's as imaginative of a storyline as we can ask for this late in the series.

I would have rather seen this:

CHANDLER: Let's use the wedding china.
MONICA: No, I'm afraid something will happen.
CHANDLER: So, we'll never use it? C'mon it's Thanksgiving.
MONICA: Okay, we'll use it. But let me repeat the fact that I'm afraid something will happen.
CHANDLER: Nothing is going to happen.
MONICA: I'm afraid something wi--
PHOEBE: (takes out a baseball bat and smashes each dish to pieces) There! Now I'm saving everyone worry.

Some may argue that Monica had it coming for serving red wine with poultry.

It's upsetting that the show is getting too...something. I still have another season and a half to watch. I'm not saying the series isn't something it's not. It's a good enough show for you to overlook the things like that, or it was.

It's a lot like Gunther's shirt. I see what you're trying to do, but this is a bit much.

Christmas isn't too much better.

Well, Selma Blair is there. That's not the bad part. She can currently be found on NBC's Thursday night lineup on that Australian remake. The one that no one says a single decent thing about, but is still on the air somehow anyway.

Nothing against Blair. It just turns out that this episode ends up being a clip show.

I don't know when this episode aired. It's sometime before Season Five, because Chandler isn't sitting next to Monica.

Why did Phoebe stop performing at Central Perk? The joke was that she was terrible, but that place looks pretty packed and all eyes are on her. That place isn't that crowded anymore.

I haven't been keeping track of the clips shown in each of these clip shows. I should have. I'm sure certain clips are repeated in other clip shows. I feel like they've forced us to sit through the original Chandler & onica hook-up every year since it happened.

I know that in the beginning of this project, I would point out a questionable fashion choice and wonder if it had ever really been in style. That was when I was watching episodes over a decade old. I'm now into the territory of episodes just over six years ago, so fashion missteps of then are too close to the fashion missteps of today to even realize that it looks silly.

That said, what's up with that extra's hair? That was never in. Not now, not six years ago, not ever.

At one point, Joey talks about investing in real estate. Because of this, we find out that Richard's apartment is for sale. That's great, because of all of the personality traits that Chandler has, 'irrational jealousy' is the one I love to watch.

Richard has done quite well for himself. He's got himself a big flat-screen TV.

Judging by this view of Richard's living room, the TV—which is mounted on the wall that Joey is facing—is actually positioned in a stupid place. It's perfect for the person sitting in the chair, but what about the people on the couch? I would argue that the flat-screen TV is a needless prop.

Television has completely altered interior decorating. The majority of us in the real world position furniture so that the television can be the center of attention. This, in turn, makes set design for television shows easier. Usually, living room furniture in sitcoms are positioned to face the fourth wall. Why? We need to see them. So, that's where they plop the TV, because it has to go somewhere. Nothing else interesting is going to be happening on that side of the room, that's why everyone sits in a semicircle, conveniently facing the cameras. TV came around, giving people a place to look in their living rooms, which made it easier for TV shows to explain why everyone in their living rooms were all facing one direction. Could you imagine a sitcom taking place before 1940? Why is everyone sitting that way? What's going on with that other wall? None of that would ever make any sense.

Just more proof of how Leonardo da Vinci was ahead of his time.

Getting back to the point I was trying to make. You can obviously get away with showing a living room without a TV, there's no need to give Richard a flat-screen TV. He's well-off. We know he's well-off. He's got nice furniture in a nice apartment that has a view of the Empire State Building, although you can't see it in this shot.

It only drives home the point that despite his riches, it's late-2002, and he still hasn't forsaken his VHS collection, or even put them in a less visible spot.

Interestingly enough, the idea of Joey investing in real estate isn't uttered any single moment after we see Richard's apartment. It's almost as if Joey wasn't really interested in investing in real estate, but he was only saying he was only so that Monica can tell him that Richard's apartment was for sale so that he and Chandler could go to his apartment, thereby setting off a chain of events that would be resolved easily.

Or maybe Joey decided to just blow his money on Flutie Flakes.

Speaking of product placement, Mike visits Ross for some bonding time. Being a dude looking for bromance—much like Paul Rudd's character in I Love You, Man opening March 20th (Honestly, I don't know why I just did that. No one's paying me. I really don't care if you see that movie or not)—he brings a six-pack of beer to Ross's.

It looks suspiciously like a six-pack of Foster's, but it's not because the logo prominently features a capital 'I.'

'I' is for 'Father's,' of course.

Phoebe, once again, gets the shaft. This time, not from the writers, but from the audience.

She meets Mike's blue-blooded parents, who are apparently played by actors that are in several episodes of two shows I don't watch—Heroes and 24. There's a bit of a culture shock. Phoebe feels out of place and the parents don't like the fact that their son is dating someone who talked about how a pimp once spit in her mouth.

Despite all of this, Mike tells Phoebe for the first time, in front of his parents and his parents' stuffy friends, that he loves her. I braced myself. When Chandler said it to Monica for the first time, the audience screamed so loud, it was almost as if these were two people who actually existed in real life. Mike says it to Phoebe...


Not even a polite golf clap.

So, apparently, Dermot Mulroney is working in Rachel's office. Seriously, I get him confused with Dylan McDermott. They have the same initials and both seemed like they were going to be sticking around for a while earlier this decade.

Only he appears to be working in Rachel Greene's office, and I was under the impression that Rachel spelled her name "Green."

The guy who plays Charlotte's second husband from Sex and the City plays a director on Days of Our Lives. Joey got Phoebe a gig as an extra. Instead of giving an inexperienced extra a role as a random person in the background, Phoebe has to do things in her scene. When she screws up, Mr. Director gives the extra with no lines all of the takes she needs. You'd think he'd fire her, or relegate her to some smaller role. Maybe he should stick to being a divorce lawyer.

Monica is reading Forbes and Rachel is reading Time Out New York. I liked it better when the characters read magazines that never existed. Now they're giving them magazines that actually exist. What am I supposed to make fun of?

Wait, why the hell is Monica reading Forbes magazine?

Ross and Rachel hire a nanny. I'm only mentioning this because I don't remember there ever being a nanny. I'm looking forward to the reason the show comes up with to explain how Ross and Rachel can hold on to their respective jobs virtually undisturbed and keep their social lives in tact without any sign of a nanny.

Netflix just sent me a few more episodes, so I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

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