Sunday, February 12, 2017

28 Day Friends Challenge, Day 12: Favorite Season Three Episode

Ah, Season Three, where the writers got over freshman awkwardness and tweaked their skills into creating some of the more memorable episodes of the early seasons. They had a bigger budget (as evidenced by better sets, more expensive wardrobes, and famous guest stars, just to name a few things), and the success of the show brings more of that, getting more extravagant as it progressed. But it really is at its best when the six main characters are showcased by themselves in a familiar location.

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"The One Where No One's Ready" is a perfect example of this. It wasn't necessarily a critical darling; professional critics called it "derivative" of Seinfeld, which may or may not be true as I never really watched that show, but I find it to be one of the most rewatchable episodes of the show. Everyone plays off of everyone so well, and it really does seem like they are all a family. The above pictured scenario is so damn hilarious that, if somehow one of my friends doesn't know about this show, this is one of the scenes I force them to see (the other is from a later season and it's actually a scene I'll discuss soon).

It isn't the central Ross and Rachel plot that I care about, which shouldn't come as a surprise, but Monica's. We've all been in that emotional part of the post-breakup, and watching her freak out about another woman in his life seems so real. (It's also hilariously outdated, but you can't do a show about the present worrying about stuff like that.) When my college boyfriend and I broke up, I saw him hanging with a girl at a little flea market outside the student center, and my heart fell to the floor. It was a girl he'd been in kind of a relationship before, and I had suspected he had wanted to get with her near the end of us, but it was still so painful. I remember heading back to my apartment, getting one of those red Solo cups, and filling it nearly half-full of Captain Morgan (topping it off with enough Coke to make it look like a regular beverage). I then wandered the campus in a haze, eventually bumping into them again, and oh my god was it awkward. Like, changing your ex's voicemail message to be about you possibly being on your period awkward. Basically, I was Monica.

Now, this episode is also gives me a reason to feel bad for Phoebe as a character. She kind of gets her own story (finding a fix for the hummus on her dress), while everybody else gets to have a "real" dilemma: Joey and Chandler are in an epic fight for chair dominance, Rachel and Ross have an argument over time management (I guess?), and Monica has her above-mentioned relationship mishap. Like, okay, I get Friends is an ensemble show, which means the main characters are always in each episode, and sometimes the main story has the other characters doing something random. The whole A-Plot and B-Plot thing. But the B-plot (and sometimes C-plot) was given to Phoebe more often than not, something the show actually jokingly deals with after Ross has to stop seeing Rachel because of Emily. Phoebe just easily "lifts out."

Despite all that, though, I do adore this episode and always looked forward to other ones that have the whole "bottle" approach to them. It may not advance the plot, but when you have excellent comedic actors, it doesn't necessarily matter all that much.

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