Saturday, February 25, 2017

28 Day Friends Challenge, Day 23: Least Favorite Couple

I know, I know, you assumed Ross and Rachel would be the winner here, but to be honest, while they are pretty terrible, they aren't anywhere close to being the worst. This was almost a tie, because Ross and Janice was pretty terrible, but the difference between them and who my final choice ended up being, though, is that the relationship was purposefully awful, an example of how fucked up Ross was after his divorce from Emily. Thankfully, it only lasted a single episode, unlike my actual least favorite couple.

Via Friends Wiki
When the writers presented Elle Macpherson's Janine as a woman who was not attracted to Joey, I was thrilled. She was immune to his "charms*" and encouraged Joey out of his uber-masculinized behavior, even if he did revert once Chandler reminded him that he was "acting like a woman." Sigh. She could have easily been a great recurring character who eventually moved out for whatever reason - to provide Rachel an apartment after Phoebe decided she liked living by herself, for instance - and could have been a great influence on Joey.

Then, inexplicably, Janine is all about her roommate. It was literally like a breaker exploded in her head. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen in real life; one ex was a good friend of mine before I suddenly realized that I had feelings for him, but my entire personality didn't change like Janine's. It just felt like the writers ran out of things for Janine to do (or had enough fans complain about her) that they had to give a good reason as to why she had to leave. I know that Elle Macpherson was there as a guest star and that this was probably written that way, but it's just so ... shallow. And that's me talking about a Friends character here. There wasn't a character arc for her, like there was for Kate (Dina Meyer), pictured below, where she had to decide what she really wanted and what was absolutely best for her (i.e. not dating horrible guys just to prove her worth as a person). Now, that wasn't actually a healthy relationship, although it did show Joey how shitty it is to treat someone like a playground for his own sexual needs.
Via Pix Cooler
And even though Kathy, played by Paget Brewster, did play a role in cementing the friendship between Chandler and Joey, she had her own story going on, too. It wasn't as detailed as Kate's, but she so easily fit into Friends gang that I, as well as the regular cast, got really upset at how the character was written out of the show**. Janine just didn't have that kind of staying power, especially since she was so thinly written: she was a dancer from Australia. That's it; that's all they gave us to go on. And she ended up basically being a snarky asshole that was never mentioned again***.

I will say that Janine brought out a lot of the sweeter, less chauvinistic qualities in Joey, like when he admitted he might need a countdown to each kiss that he and Janine would share in the future. But that's not really enough to bring the crappiness of this relationship back from the brink.


* I never really got why Joey was such a woman-magnet. Sure, he was cute and presumably good in bed, but nothing about him ever really convinced me that it could be true. Plus, he was kinda skeevy about going after women who were vulnerable and therefore "easy" to seduce, therefore plunging them further into pits of despair when he didn't call them back. 
** A better ending to their relationship would have been that Kathy was moving back to Chicago, but hey, let's have that whole conversation about how obviously she was going to cheat on Chandler when she cheated on Joey, except that Joey even admitted that they weren't exclusive but whatever. Ugh. Such bullshit. 
*** Now, her observations about Monica and Chandler weren't wrong, per se, but her mode of delivery was so out of the blue and contrary to the nice person that Janine was (although that was kind of her singular character trait; oh, and that she was a dancer. Did I forget to mention she was a dancer? Because Janine was a dancer.). 
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