Friday, July 26, 2013

Friends Friday: Episodes 1.15 and 1.16 (Recaps)

Episode 1.15: "The One with the Stoned Guy"

Fantabulous episode on the docket this week! Aside from Ross' subplot (which involves him whispering "vulva" into Jan from The Office's ear), we have 2 amazing stories: Chandler's search for vocational meaning and Monica's attempts to impress the eponymous Stoned Guy.

Chandler gets promoted at his "temporary" job - so he quits to maintain his personal integrity. I have so been there. And then he discovers that he is most suited to do the job he just quit to maintain his personal integrity. And then he discovers that everyone as a price and ends up right back at the job that he quit to maintain his personal integrity. It's a very relatable dilemma, one that every person in their mid-20s has to face: is my job actually my career? And if it is... am I okay with that? Chandler, like so many of us, realizes that his corporate job is the closest thing he has to answer and decides to just go with it. And ends the episode with one of his immortal lines... "Yes, Fran, I know what time it is..."

Then we have The Stoned Guy. Jon Lovitz more or less walks away with the episode once he enters Monica's apartment as her high potential employer. There is some minor drama between Monica and Rachel beforehand about Monica not believing in Rachel's waitressing skills. Yawn. All of that flies out of my head as soon as The Stone Guy starts flinging gummy bears around and repeating "Tartlets."Plus, he gave me the line that, to this day, I exclaim whenever I encounter a particularly tasty dish.

Indeed, sir. Indeed.

All in all, this is one of the top 3 episodes of the season, hands down.

Too much pot and existential angst this week to get down to business...

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Phoebe: VII
Monica: VII
Rachel: IIII
Joey: III
Chandler: II
Ross: I

Best line (besides basically every one that Jon Lovitz says):

"I was the James Mischner of dirty talk" - Ross

Episode 1.16: "The One with Two Parts"

This is a long episode, one full of highs and lows. I mean, any episode with Mr. Heckles is pretty okay in my book.

I don't love the whole tortured analogy of Marcel as Ross' training baby, though it does allow Mr. Gellar to make an appearance and comment on sundried tomatoes. Plus, his offer to take Ross to Williamsburg to make up for not connecting with him as a kid is adorable. Jack! Why can't you be in every show?

There also some great guest spots as NBC cross-promoted its New York based shows. Helen Hunt from Mad About You shows up at the coffee house and George Clooney (who I kind of forgot was this gorgeous) is "Monica's" doctor in the ER hospital. When Rachel goes to the hospital and convinces Monica to commit insurance fraud, hijinks ensue! As the girls switch identities and end up dishing on each other, we learn more and more about the friends, culminating in the revelation that "I use my breasts to get attention." "We both do that!"

What makes this episode sing is the drama that goes down between Phoebe and Joey when he starts dating her identical twin, Ursula. It's a somewhat expected plot line - Joey is inexplicably drawn to the one person that would hurt Phoebe the most. What makes it transcend typical sitcom obstacles is that it elicits from Phoebe the first act of genuinely costly friendship on the show. She puts her own relationship with Joey on the line to give him closure. In the process, we see how deeply bonded these two are and how that bond will keep them from acting on their obvious chemistry. In later seasons, Chandler and Monica were able to move beyond friendship because their friendship hadn't deepened to the relational level that made having something more too risky. Joey, however, has that level of friendship with each member of the group and thus can't act on any romantic feelings that he might develop for the girls. We see that with Rachel later on...

Three hook-ups this week: Joey & Ursula, Rachel & Billy Dreskin, and Chandler & Nina. 

The Great Hook-Up Round-Up:
Phoebe: VII
Monica: VII
Rachel: V
Joey: IIII
Chandler: III
Ross: I

Best line:

"That was just Monica - she's drunk again." - "Rachel"

And last but not least, see the AV Club's recap and here

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