Monday, September 22, 2014

20 Years of Friends - it's a Friend-a-versary!

Hi!

20 years, folks. It's been 20 years to the day since Friends first graced television screens in America. 20 whole years since Rachel raced into Central Perk wearing a wedding dress, bumped into her old friend Monica, and became part of our lives.



The One With The Husband Who Doesn't Get It
Well - I say our lives, but it's really a marmite show, isn't it? My husband cannot stand it. He absolutely does not get it, doesn't think it's funny, doesn't like the audience laughter, and doesn't watch it. He passes no remarks if I'm watching it, but I know it drives him up the walls. My mother never got it either - but my sister and I could spend a very happy half hour throwing Friends quotes back and forth at each other. I remember last year, I said something like "I have a really sore throat" and husband replied "Oh yeah, I had that, and a runny nose" and it continued, I have this, I have that -  then I said "Okay Ben, it's not a contest" - see, my sister would have WEEPED at that. He just looked at me and went "Who the hell is Ben?!" Sigh.

The One With All The Rewatches
It's something I never tire of - I'm currently halfway through Season 3 of a rewatch. My rewatches happen about twice a year - I start from the Pilot episode (one of only two episode names that doesn't start with The One With..., the other being The Last One) and work right up to the end. I got my boxset on Amazon for under €50 here - it's gone up over £70 now, but it's on sale regularly so keep an eye out - it's full of unseen footage and comes with loads of great extras (bloopers, interviews, etc). I do still watch any episodes I happen to catch on TV too.

The One Where The Kids Grow Up
Altogether, there were 7 children born on the show. Ben, Frank Jr. Jr., Leslie, Chandler, Emma, Jack and Erica. The actor who played Ben from seasons 3-8, Cole Sprouse, is 22 now. Frank Jr. Jr. (aka Dante Pastula) is 17; Leslie (Allisyn Ashley Arm) is 18; Chandler (Sierra Marcoux) is 16. The twins who played Emma (Cali & Noelle Sheldon) are 12, and the twins who played Jack & Erica would be 10 this year. Feel old enough?

The One With The Truth About The Big White Dog
You know that big white dog in Chandler & Joeys apartment? The one Ross rescued from the bailiffs when Joey went a bit mad with the cash in Season 2? This one?


It actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston. Some friends of hers bought it for her as a good luck present when she started acting, and she donated it to the show.

The One With The Creepy Fan Fiction
Ahh, you have to love fanfic writers. They really do put an enormous amount of effort into their work. You'd imagine there would be just a lot of Chandler/Joey stuff, but people have gotten really inventive. Not necessarily in a good way. There's this story, titled "The Abduction of Erica Bing" - in which little Erica gets abducted at her sixth birthday party. This one is all about Rachel as a child, and there are ones I wouldn't even link to - they go way, way into the dark side. Why you would want to take your favourite characters and introduce self-harm, rape and murder - I do NOT know, but it's there. It's all there.


The One With All The Guest Stars
I can't think of any other sitcom that had the kind of guest stars Friends could get. Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Fergie, Chrissie Hynde, Sean Penn, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, Danny De Vito - the list is endless. My favourite guest appearance had to be Brad Pitt, I thought he was absolutely hilarious.


The One Where Life Imitates Art
In the show, Monica and Chandler have fertility problems. In reality, Courtney Cox discovered that she has a rare antibody in her blood that will attack a fetus. In order to have her daughter, Coco, she went through IVF and had to give herself injections of a blood thinner daily. Right after one miscarriage, she had to film the scenes of Friends where Rachel was giving birth to Emma. Ever since I found that out, it makes me so sad watching her in that episode.

The One With The Best Poster Ever
I first saw this graphic over on Chloe's blog, and again a few days later on a blog I happened to find randomly. I tracked the poster down to iposters.co.uk and have bought 4 of them to date - my one takes pride of place on the back of my bathroom door, and it gives me a laugh every time I see it.


The One With The Catchy Music
The theme tune by The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You - was released as a single in 1995. Accompanied by a video featuring all 6 main cast members, it shot to number 1 in the US and Canada. It hit number 5 in the Irish charts. What I didn't know until recently, was that it was co-written by Allee Willis, who penned (among others) September for Earth, Wind and Fire. Other co-writers include Martha Kauffman and David Crane, co-creators of Friends. While the theme is catchy, it's not quite at the level of some of Phoebe Buffay's material. To this day I cannot hear or read the name Emma without hearing "Your name poses a dilemma" in my head. Her Christmas song, in particular the line: "Please tell Joey, Christmas will be snowyyyyyyyyyyyy" pops into my head randomly.

The One With The Inaccurate Quiz Results
On this Buzzfeed Quiz (you know how much I love a Buzzfeed quiz, Facebook friends) - I got Monica. Monica!! I KNOW!! You can take the quiz here and share your equally inaccurate results below if you want. Or not, whatever. I'm breezy.

The Best Ones
This varies from person to person. Actually - it varies from day to day if I'm honest. I have my favourite episodes - The One Where Ross is Fine, The One With Ross' Tan, The One With All The Cheesecakes, The One With All The Resolutions (leather pants), The One Where Ross Got High and The One Where The Stripper Cries are all favourites. Some of the lines still have the power to make me laugh out loud:

"The answer is - the brazil nut." "What was the question, what's more boring than him?"
"It's a Moo point. Like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's Moo."
"Go! Go Alan! Run you hairy bastard!!"
"I am *this* close to tugging on my testicles."
"He...he comes in here, Mr. Johnny new eggs, with his - his moving the mail and his *see ya pals* bleeeggggghh"
"Ohh, it's okay Pheebs" "Honey? That's your name.."
"I went to that tanning place your wife suggested." "Was that place........the sun?"

I'll stop, or I'll never stop. Thanks, Friends. Thanks for the arsenal of smart-arse responses. Myself and my slow wit are forever grateful.

And for the record - I really, really hope they never do a movie. Have we learned nothing from Sex and the City?



16 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT POST!! I am absolutely obsessed with Friends and watch it every day (seriously). I agree with what you say about a movie, also I am dead against a "reunion"! It should be left well alone, it's still perfect 20 years later! we don't need any reunions!

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    1. Ahh, a fellow addict :) I hate all the pushing for a movie, what would they even do?! Probably break a couple up, or kill someone - nope, no way. Leave it as it is!!

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  2. I lOVED this post so much! I became re-obsessed with Friends this Summer and have been watching it non stop on Comedy. I've so many favourite friends moments; I love Joey's "see ya pals" too, most of Chandlers lines, the Ross tan episode, that part in the cheesecake episode where Joey arrives at the end and takes his fork out of his pocket cracks me up every time! I still get a massive smile on my face when I hear Phoebe's "see? He's her lobster!" and since I heard that about Courtney Cox and her miscarriage I always feel so sad for her in that episode too. It's mad really when you think that it was part of our lives for so long. Like so many other 90's comedies it definitely helped form my sense of humour and i'm so grateful that it was such a witty, brilliant show!

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    1. The cheesecake one was so funny, I loved watching Chandler/Rachel work off each other, they didn't have that many episodes with a storyline just between them. It was always the topic of conversation in school - I remember the episode where Ross said Rachel's name at the altar - if we'd had mobile phones, they'd have been hopping after that one!! Not many shows would stand the test of time like this one :)

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  3. I got GARY! LIES! I'd rather Monica, I think she's the one I identify the most with, even if she is a bit anal about things!

    and Brad Pitt was def my fave guest star as well, even thinking of that episode has me cracking up! He was amazing in it. And I really think Ross is underestimated, some of his episodes are the funniest (that tan one! And the margaritas! )

    My fave quote that comes to mind is Chandler 'Oh, I know, this must be so hard. "Oh no, two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet's too small for my fifties AND MY DIAMOND SHOES ARE TOO TIGHT."'. And I love Phoebe's 'ROSSSSS CAAAAAANNN' to the tune of Roxanne

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    1. Gary??!! No way are you a Gary!! Brad Pitt mouthing "I hate you" is hilarious, makes me laugh so much. I used to hate Ross, but he is so funny - the margaritas one is hilarious!! "EEEE" :) Love that "Ross Can" line too, very funny :)

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  4. I own the whole entire 10 series boxset gizmo, think I got it for Crimbo from himself, and have watched only a handful of episodes. Never really bought into the whole Friends thing and it has contributed to my now absolute lack of tolerance for TV sitcoms with inbuilt laughter- you know where the "audience" cackle along- it drives me bananas I swear! I know I'm very much in the minority don't worry! :)

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    1. Honestly, my husband feels exactly the same, he cannot fathom why we need "the laughing" because "it's not funny" - I am well used to it! It's all down to taste, look at stuff like Breaking Bad or Sherlock or Doctor Who - all those shows have huge fan bases and I really don't get the appeal at all. I definitely think Friends is one of those love it or hate it things, there's no middle ground! :)

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  5. Oh my God I feel ancient - 20 years?! I remember vividly when it just came out (and I LOVED it)!

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    1. It's so scary to think that it's been that long! I forget that the nineties are so long ago now. x

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  6. Love this post and need that poster!! I love how phrases from the show still crop up in my day to day and have evolved too!

    For example:
    When someone asks me what Joanne's hubby Will does, I tell them he's a transponster because I haven't a baldy notion what he does.
    Whenever we want to treat ourselves and have a chipper, that turns into a lipper from chipper and now the laptop is called a lapper from topper. No idea why, it just is ;)
    When I'm having a sambo, in my head I always say "My sandwich... MY SANDWICH...."
    The phrase "kidney stones" can only be said one way and one way only, "kidney stoooones"
    Even the other day we were laughing about someone who'd had really dark fake tan on and we were joking saying she obvs counted Mississippilessly hehee

    I could go on for ever, best show that I could watch over and over and now you've made me want the box set :)

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    1. A baking transponster ;-) Ahh I do the sandwich thing too! And the Kidney Stones thing with Kidney Beans!! I do know someone who must always count Mississippilessly :)

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  7. Great post I've been watching the reruns lately!! Love Phoebe's little black curly hair song....

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    1. Altogether now! Little black, little black, little black, little black... :)

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  8. Brilliant post....I live for Friends and my son (9) is the same...He loves it. I had plans to do loads this sunday gone but Comedy Central had the top 20 episodes!!! I was disappointed that The Last One was no. 1 because there are so many other great ones but The One with Ross's Tan was no. 2, well deserved!!!! I have that poster as well but haven't hung it yet, it has to take pride of place somewhere!!

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    1. My 10 year old thinks Joey is THE MAN. I have to be careful what episodes he watches but he howled at the one with the leather pants! I also didn't think The Last One was the best, but maybe I haven't watched it enough! The bathroom was the only place I could get away with putting a poster up!

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