Friday, August 9, 2013

Friends Friday: Episodes 1.19 and 1.20 (Recaps)

Episode 1.19: "The One With The Evil Orthodontist"

For me, this is kind of a snooze of an episode. Most of the energy is focused towards resolving the ridiculous obstacle thrown up between Ross and Rachel - the eponymous orthodontist. Really?


I have little patience for this at this point in the season. I mean, yeah, it's fun to see Jennifer Grey guest as Mindy and yeah, I guess it's fun to see Rachel have some more closure about the Barry thing (which I assume is how they justified the Deus Ex Barry that came in the last episode). But really? This isn't funny or dramatically compelling. The only thing that this further creates curiosity in my mind is how the $%*# Barry gets these women to sleep with him?!

Other than that, the only other highlight is Chandler obsessing about calling/receiving a call from a girl he likes. First, he doesn't want to call her too soon so that she doesn't think he's needy...


Then after he does, he tortures himself waiting for her to call him back. Hilarity ensues and this episode (barely) justifies its existence.

Oh yeah, and there's another Gunther sighting. Can we take a moment and grieve the fact that it's taking this long to make him a recurring side character? I just love that bleached blond coffee god...

No new sex this week - though I guess we're supposed to be judging Rachel for sleeping with Barry, so take a moment and do that. *Pause* Mmkay, moving on...


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

Ross 'n' Rachel State of the Union
Ross likes Rachel: 19
Rachel like Ross: 0
They like each other but aren't together: 0
They like each other and are together: 0
Nothing's going on: 0

Best line:

"So basically, that's how a bill becomes a law!" - Chandler in the first of many fake conversations

"God, I miss just being needy..." - Chandler on being needy and rejected

Episode 1.20: "The One With The Fake Monica"

The clouds have parted! The fog has lifted! Meaning and order have returned to the cosmos!

Marcel is outta here - hallelujah! Though, of course, the friends have to make a show of being sad about this completely un-sad/amazing turn of events...


It was seriously about time that Marcel made his exit. Again, I think that these episodes are mostly about clearing the necessary space for Ross and Rachel to get together. In the last show, we saw Rachel definitively close the door her ex. In this show, we see Ross forced to move on from his codependent girlfriend-replacement pet when Marcel reaches sexual maturity (Ross, maybe you'd care to join him and ask Rachel out?!).

I'll grant the writers this - at least this episode's arc mechanics are played out in a much more entertaining light than "The One with the Evil Orthodontist." It's endearing to see Ross stressing about which zoo he can send Marcel to, a la the college admissions process. And it's delightfully creepy to see Harry Shearer as an animal fight booker - his offer to set Marcel up against a blind rabbit and give Ross 20% of the gate is played to horrifying greatness.

The A plot line of the episode is the Fake Monica of the title. Monica has her identity stolen and, when she goes to confront her thief, realizes that the fake version of her life seems much more appealing than the real version of it. Fake Monica is basically a Manic Pixie Dream Girl but without the romantic overtones (who, BTW, hates Dead Poet's Society - is she dead inside?), and she opens Real Monica up to a different side of her. This story seems surprisingly poignant to me... now that I'm Monica's age, I can understand what it feels like to have doubts from time to time about the path you're on. For Monica, she is feeling the burden of her own uptightness and need for control. Though we know from the word go that she can't keep this up forever, by the end of the episode, we find ourselves hopeful that this experience will actually inspire her to loosen up a little bit. Or maybe not.

Finally, let's just take a minute to revel in the brilliant C beat of the show: Joey has to come up with a new stage name and Chandler convinces him to make it Joseph Stalin. HILARIOUS. His eventual alternative, Holden McGroin, is equally inspired. This is the first episode that fully commits to Joey's dim-wittedness and it gives Chandler a chance to shine.

Oh, and also, turns out that Rachel is weirdly good at tap dancing. Nice to know....

Y'all, I think these two weeks have conclusively killed the Sexysex Hypothesis. Yes, there has been some sex, but no new partners. I guess we just need to wait for Joey to fully channel the power of his master pick up line: "How you doin'?"


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

Ross 'n' Rachel State of the Union
Ross likes Rachel: 20
Rachel like Ross: 0
They like each other but aren't together: 0
They like each other and are together: 0
Nothing's going on: 0

Best line:

"Let's just say that my Curious George doll is no longer curious." - Rachel

"Joseph Stalin is the Fiddler on the Roof!" - Chandler

And with the AV Club recaps...

No comments:

Post a Comment