It all started with Chandler, as it often does with me, that dry humor drawing me in and making me laugh, despite myself. Rock. Hard place. Me. I, too, thought he was gay at the start, and who would blame me? Now, I think maybe he was where the idea for a metrosexual started. His sartorial use of the sweater vest as a bold statement, his awkwardness with women, they were all signs. But not of his sexual status, as I found out later. They were instead signs of his lack of game. Luckily, he had Joey around to teach him the things he wished to know, the things he never dreamt of, and the things he was slightly horrified by. In the end, he gets the girl, he gets the children, and he gets the house in the suburbs, but no one ever gets to figure out just what his job was.
And how about that girl he gets? Monica WAS always the fastidious one (okay okay, the anal one), always having a place for everything, and wanting everything in its place, but you had to admit she did know her man (for the most part). She knew that Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, scared the bejeezus out of Chandler, because his legs flailed about as if independent from his body. She also knew that if she herself flailed like a shark, she could get him into bed (that one bombed). She also seemed to be jealous of everyone, though, condemning Rachel for kissing Ross on her engagement night and stealing her thunder. Listen. That’s the sound of thunder being stolen. Did you blame her for being jealous of Ross’s relationship with their parents though? How often did she have to hear how he was their medical marvel? Thankfully, that ended once she got the Porsche. Tell us how to pronounce it, Joey. In the end, what we remember most about Monica was her passion for everything she did, and that’s good enough for me.
Ah, Rachel, who had her own club named for her in high school. So what if it was the I-Hate-Rachel-Green-Club, it had Brad Pitt in it, so it couldn’t have been all bad. A girl who leaves a man named Barry Finkle (Farber, whatever) at the altar can’t be all bad, though. I’m a shoe. What if I don’t want to be a shoe? Her on-again, off-again relationship with Ross was the cornerstone of the show, sincerely. But she wasn’t all about the nerd boy turned nerd man. Her career blossomed over the course of ten years. From coffee girl, who could never remember an order, to Bloomingdale’s, to Ralph Lauren (where she most definitely did not sleep her way to the top, but she did start smoking to do so), she only had to kiss one guy. Let’s not forget that Mark guy, who seemed to show up at the most (in)opportune times for the lady and her sometimes-beau. The final arc of the show, though, owes all it was to Rachel, though, because it forced her to make a huge decision that we all knew she would make in the end, but could it have come any later? I wiped the sweat off my brow after that one. And so, Rachel Karen Green will always hold a special place in my heart, if only for the hairdo (that only lasted one season, for god’s sake, people), and the commitment to style that was better than anyone else on the show. You got anything without Ralph Lauren on the pocket?
And I can’t mention Rachel without Ross, as they were two halves of the oft times illfated couple, but I couldn’t help rooting for them. And for the record, they were ON A BREAK, no matter what she says. Ross was the smartest dummy I have ever known. I mean, how could he not know his wife was a lesbian (yes, Joey, I know that was the good part), and how could he think anything would have gone on with Rachel and Mark? Condoms are also effective only 97% of the time. And who could forget Marcel, his surrogate child, or sweet little Ben, whatever his last name ended up being? I loved Ross for his devotion to Rachel (break notwithstanding), and to his friends. And yes, Ross, you looked better in ugly naked guy’s apartment than he ever did.
Smelly cat. Smelly cat. What are they feeding you? I don’t know, but I’m sure that quirky vixen herself, Phoebe, knew. She was the ultimate in comic relief from the start, if only for her crunchy granola beliefs and her wide eyed wonder at the world, even though a pimp once spit in her mouth. She also freaked out some parents with her little ditty about where beef comes from. And that’s how we get hamburgers. She dated all the strange guys too, the yins to her yang. Everyone recalls David, the scientist guy who compared her to a statue of Stalin in Minsk. Or her fake kite designer boyfriend, Vikram, who tended to stalk now and ask questions later. And finally she finds true love with a guy Joey found by shouting out “Mike!” But I will always remember her for her songs, or the fact that she too owns a threadbare robe that can barely contain her breasts.
Last but not least, there’s Joey. How you doin’? The catchphrase heard ’round the world on Thursday nights when Joey would routinely hit on women and have his roommate serve them pancakes in the morning while letting them down easy. At other times Joey was like a child though with the things he didn’t know. Supposably. It’s a moo point. You know, like a cow’s opinion. It doesn’t matter. It’s moo. But we felt for him at times, he of the jazz hands and the inability to speak French no matter how hard he tried. I’m Joey. I’m disgusting. I leave my underwear in other people’s apartments. And he was there for his friends when it mattered. Who cares if he had ridiculously small feet?
They were my friends too, if even for just a half an hour (sans commercials) every Thursday night at eight. And boy did I love it when they would occasionally do those 40-minute shows. They will always be my friends, too, through the magic of DVD seasons (I own them all) and through the glory of syndication. Even though I own every episode, I still have to watch if they happen to be on TV and I flip by. And sometimes I even have the Joey special while watching. Two pizzas! Indeed.