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Addresses to Fandoms

Friends fans, a question: was Chandler/Monica always a planned/pending thing, or did that just come out of nowhere one day? What with my total lack of knowledge on chronology, I'm not sure quite how long they've been together, but every time I see super old episodes it seems like they have a lot of moments together. I've always been curious whether that is foreshadowing or if they just created something out of surprise chemistry.

Come to think of it, how about Ross/Rachel? After the first time they broke them up, did they intend that to be the endgame again one day, or was it just a well they went back to whenever creativity failed them? As a syndication-based fan, it is extremely difficult to think of this show as being renewed from one year to the next instead of just springing forth, fully formed, as a 10-season block.
---
For Glee fans: So dollsome put forth this extremely wonderful poll, which consisted of one ticky box to be checked if you would like a drabble written based on her knowledge of your fandom ways. I was going to be selfless and pass, but then I saw that I would be the very first participant (stalking LJ: it pays), so I decided I wasn't being a nuisance at all. AND LO, THERE WAS WILL/TERRI FIC OVERNIGHT. Brilliant missing scene. This happened.
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For Office fans: office_meta has been devoid of my wit lately, which is clearly Tragedy to the highest degree, but I've finally come out of my Viewing-Party-induced bliss coma and agreed to process it and move on. Furthermore, because I believe in preserving original perceptions where possible and have mostly avoided spoilers, each episode gets written about without reference to anything that might have happened later. Mostly.

7x08, "Viewing Party"
This episode would have been better without Michael and Andy acting like idiots. I mean, that's my default feeling; the show would be better without them at all times, but they were such specifically ruinous effects this evening. Even Erin wasn't that bad in comparison to them. And even so? This episode was just my favorite thing ever, SEASON CHAMPION.

Running Commentary
(plus some other things at the end because my brain couldn't process that much exquisite joy live)

-THAT'S you delivering on the Scranton Strangler business? Wow. No, I get it, that's a completely appropriate payoff for something that took you a year to set up. Did you get the guys from How I Met Your Mother, Barney/Robin Wrecking Division, to help you come up with it?

[*already breaking rules* Wait, there's a little more coming to this, right? In that case, I thought the chase was pretty funny, and I loved this cold open. With Gabe's ineffectual leadership, Angela being disgusted with the word "copycat" ("Why do you have to drag cats into it?"), them passing around a bowl of popcorn, Jim's wise musings on the need to see the sort of events that, if you didn't see them live, you wouldn't really care about seeing at all...basically, everything right up to Michael's irrelevant TH.]

-I already adore the fact that they are using the word "Gleek." It makes me hate both Michael and Erin a little less to know that they make wise viewing choices.

-Kelly ranting about the lack of continuity just made my heart soar with the eagle's nest.

-AND WHAT WAS WITH JESSE'S SUDDEN TURN ON RACHEL; WHERE THE HECK DID THAT COME FROM? OK, not only do I love her for choosing this as the thing to be most indignant about, but right now my heart's deepest desire is for Kelly to secretly write fanfic in which she works out her feelings on this issue. In fact, my newest challenge for the fanfic world is to pen Glee fic as Kelly. Layers!

-"Honestly, that show, it's just -- it's irresponsible?"
LoL. Hey, as long as we're talking about it, what was with making Jan a whackjob after season 3?

-"Try and hide it from me, I will track this party down."
"Why would I hide it??"

Am I crazy, or do I actually not hate this dumb-off between Andy & Erin? I'm fond of the fact that even though she doesn't get it and he knows it, he makes a second joke about it just to keep her laughing. I...think it's cute how cute he finds it. So long as he understands that he is to spend the rest of this show pining, Toby-style, for the girl he'll never get. 

-Oh, my God; Gabe in jeans; this should not delight my brain as much as it does.

-Erin giddily running from room to room to announce the show is starting = me, every night at 7, rounding people up for our respective shows ("The Amazing Race!" "House!" "Survivor!" "Don't forget about The Office later!" "Medium!")

-I am also Kelly, and Phyllis is my mom.
"Who's that?"
"Finn."
"Who's that?"
"Rachel."
"Which one is Glee?"
"You have to stop."


Me last week: I'm really glad I'm not one of those people who can tell babies apart, or the lack of continuity would have bothered me.
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who can tell Glee episodes apart. So unless you can prove that this episode can be assumed to take place a month earlier than its airdate, I am twitchy and irritated that they've already had Halloween, yet this is the episode that aired on October 21st. I am unmoved by such things as real-life filming logistics!

[Still really glad they got to use actual clips and react to canon scenes, though. I don't know if I should be thanking FOX for sharing clips of their show or NBC for permitting the footage to be shown, but either way, I heartily approve this cooperation between the networks]

-Kelly, still owning all of the best lines (and being me): You know what, I'm so confused; is this a Glee watching party or is this a Glee pausing party? Because we keep stopping it to get a history lesson on television...

-I don't know about Friday Night Lights, but Dianna Agron did appear on Numb3rs (also CSI: NY), and was great. I WILL TV-HISTORY SCHOOL YOU, OSCAR. DON'T EVEN TRY ME.

-Pam's pink outfit w/ silver heart necklace is so ridiculously pretty that not even the crying baby can distract me. That said, I love her exaggerated baby rocking motions, and Dwight the Baby Whisperer is an amazing sight.

-In the background, I think my ears are picking up a song I don't recognize and probably intentionally skipped during "Duets." Stop thwarting my plans, Office.

-Andy. Did you honestly just invite me to explain why Erin likes Gabe? Off the top of my head:
* He is tall and lanky
* His hair is slightly better
* He has prettier eyes
* He is quiet
* He does not burst out into random song
* He is shy and awkward, and does not make generally make a public spectacle of himself
* He's got more power than you do
* He has not ruined anyone's wedding by tearing a vital part of anatomy
* Again: He does not burst out into random song.
* Yet he is still musical
* He looks hot in jeans
* He spent a semester in Japan, and has not referenced this fact 698 times

-Take notes, everyone, Jim just lost a fight for my affections. HOW DARE YOU CHECK SPORTS SCORES IN THE MIDDLE OF GLEE. IS NOTHING SACRED. Or to quote Kelly again, "Was it worth it, Jim?!" Yeah, yeah, run away in shame.

-Aw, just noticed there's a picture of Erin on Gabe's nightstand.

-Gabe has a chin-up bar. I will put up with watching Andy's failed attempt to use it just for that tidbit of knowledge.

-Just like I am willing to put up with Michael's childish sulking in the kitchen just for the sight of Gabe's exasperated patience running out. Poor Gabe. How long until Michael is gone forever?

-SO MUCH LOVE for referencing Dwight & Pam's short-lived friendship in "The Injury"!

-THIS EXCHANGE.
Dwight: I will require beer and pizza.
Pam: Absolutely.
Dwight: From Jim.
Jim: I don't think that's going to happ --
Pam: DO IT.
Jim: What kind of pizza would you like?

-The only reason I'm not grossed out by the pig in a blanket eating pigs in a blanket is that the edible version actually looks really good. I am focusing on those.

-"Beer me." All of this is SO AWESOME.

-Kelly screaming in panic as the cable goes out: ME!!!!
(but don't worry, Kelly! It was widely regarded, in my journal, as the worst episode yet by virtue of having no good moments at all. You didn't miss anything.)

-Erin father-figuring Michael is just super, super weird. I wish this scene did not exist. (edit: in fact, I wish the entire last 2-3 minutes did not exist; everything after Pam talking to Angela is unwatchable.

Except this: awwww, it's actually kind of sweet the way Michael threatens to kill Gabe if he breaks Erin's heart. Not so much when he threatens to also kill Gabe's entire family. But the basic sentiment behind the original warning is nice)

P.S. If this is what one instant of a song stretched out over the universe sounds like, I want more of it. Pretty! Wish I could hear it without seeing Andy doubled over the toilet. >.<

In Conclusion
* Jim & Pam & Cece's reverse cycling were just about my favorite baby storyline since she was born. I can't even form words about it because it was all THAT WONDERFUL, and included bonus Dwight-antagonizing-Jim moments to boot!

* The Dwight/Angela stuff was excellent too.

* Really, the only parts of this I did not like were the ending, Andy, and Phyllis' ULTRA CREEPY attempt at girl talk (even dim-witted Erin knows enough to run from that conversation).
-----
7x09, WUPHF.com
Running Commentary
-Stuff that was happening 8 years ago: people were just getting their drivers' licenses. Oh, for the LOVE OF, do not add "being 24, my age or even slightly younger" to Erin's list of perfect-life accomplishments. Are you trying to make me give myself a concussion via headdesking? 

-Jim shakes his head disapprovingly, but I think a little part of him is still snickering at the "bigboobz" password.

-Do you know, if WUPHF doesn't pan out, I think Ryan could have a very successful future in late night commercials.

-Does Pam not remember the last time Ryan offered to let her invest in something? Something about writing him a check for $50 and he'd turn it into $5,000? How much of the bedroom set did that buy you?

Ugh, this whole TH of hers angers me. Putting Pam in placating pink will not distract me...for long.

-Jim's TH about being an amazing salesman (proof: convincing Cece carrots > boobs) is much better. :D

-"A commission cap takes away my incentive to sell, so you realize I have no reason to work now, right?"
Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy Jim when he is being passive-aggressively sarcastic, particularly toward authority figures? [foreshadowing alert: this feeling won't last much longer.]

-Stanley's dream to live in a lighthouse that can be launched into outer space may be the best thing he has ever said.

-For some reason, the phrase "Not a digital rape whistle" cracks me up. Make humorous images using this caption, STAT.

-Erin seems strangely self-aware in this episode, keeping close and stern tabs on the waste of expensive company printer ink for personal use. Whatever brain food she's been over-consuming lately, keep it up.

-And now for a scene that blows me away:
One, I ADORE that WUPH is actually Kelly's brainchild, born of her need to reach Ryan at all times, no matter what. Like a little yipping dog (complete with precious demonstration!)
Two, Ryan repeatedly calling her "baby" erases my ability to hear anything else.
Three, Ryan putting his arms around her with a patronizing soothing little kiss just out-cuted Jim/Pam for the season. This is bliss.



-Speaking of: ANGELA/RANDOM DUDE = #1 ANGELA OTP. I had absolutely no idea how nice it would be to see her flirt with someone presumably normal. Marry him, stat! We'll learn his name later!

-Jim's childish, whiny ploys for Pam's attention are making me sad and uncomfortable. Please stop.

-Given the angle on Michael, how is there room for a camera guy to be filming inside the tiny closet with Ryan? And furthermore, why would he be hanging out inside the closed closet with Ryan? Is that the punishment they create when camera guys show up late or goof off -- they have to cater to Ryan's nonsensical ramblings all day until someone opens the door to give them a break?

-Darryl hauling Ryan out by his collar and throwing him into a chair = GREATEST THING DARRYL HAS EVER DONE.

-I love the cacophony of sounds that the incoming WUPHF makes. It's musical. I want it to exist just for that. Alas, Ryan has decided to sell the company. Good for investors, little sad for me. I got very attached to the project in the last half hour.

-OK, seriously, do we have to keep playing the Jim vs. Gabe game? Because Jim is going to keep losing. I'm sorry. I don't know how my alliances have shifted; it's gross and weird and I very much do not approve of myself, but it's just -- I am so fond of Gabe, between his musical soundscapes and his apparent discomfort with nudity, and if Jim and Pam are not going to follow through on even semi-public displays of affection anymore then I will look to other characters for my entertainment.

In Conclusion
I wound up really enjoying that by the end? I think it got better as it went on.  Jim's subplot devolved pretty quick, but if Jim is the worst thing about an episode then it's some pretty good times indeed. I also really liked the stuff with the Hay Place out in the parking lot, but honestly, an episode full of Ryan taking center stage as his sketchy self, promising everything and nothing with all his best buzzword lingo, is my favorite thing in the world. I adore his weasel ways. This is why he's always among my top 4 characters, this is why!
--------
7x10, "China"
Damn, this episode was irrelevant. It was just so, so incomprehensibly dull. Except for that one amazing part.

My Only Thoughts
* Oh, can there PLEASE be a $100,000 life insurance policy on Erin and will someone please assassinate her for my birthday?

* Awww, Gabe gets all twitchy at the sight of roaches. I love him so.

* I love that there is a wild boar head in Dwight's office. I don't love the MoseLite replacement who keeps following him around. Mose or nothing, bitches. (Or Rolf.)

* For a while, I enjoyed Pam doing office-administration type tasks. I prefer to believe she succeeded on her own, or with Jim's help. I mean, it's not like he has any incentive to do other work.

* Darryl's war on text messages fell into the "incomprehensibly dull" part of the description, but the adorable pigeons in the parking lot with ice-cream coated heads is the most worthwhile closing tag I've seen for some time.

* THE AMAZING PART: Apparently Jim & Pam took my Ryan/Kelly comment as fightin' words and decided to fight for their title after all. Finally.

"It's just, this office administrator thing, I don't want to --"
"What?"
"Fail! I don't want to fail. Again."
"You didn't fail."
"That's what you said about art school, and that's what you said about sales." Awww. But he sincerely believes it.
"And you didn't fail those things either." AW. This, this, this is all I ever ask for, supportive!Jim. And then, the point where I realize she's trying not to cry is what causes my exaltation to take off like a lighthouse shooting into outer space.
"Well. I'm not an artist. And I'm not a salesman. So what would you call it?"
"Hey..."

WHAT IS THIS, is this a resurgence of Stress Relief-style viewer ecstasy, with the reassuring hug & cheek kiss?? WHY YES, YES IT IS. Dead now. Dead of joy.

Now I just want to know why the hell they cut away from that so fast, as if the sight of their once-trademark ship was burning the lenses.

* Plus a bonus hug at the end?? Starving people have to be reintroduced grad -- haha, what am I saying? More, more, always more, I love you.

Up Next: I am scared that I will not enjoy the Christmas episode as much as I hope I will, because everyone else loves it and I don't like things other people do; also, Holly's existence does not really mean anything to me. On bright side, NBC is replaying the episode just over an hour from now, so it'll very conveniently be like recreating the original airing.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
dollsome
Dec. 24th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
I LOVE THIS SEASON OF THE OFFICE!!! Thank you for aiding me in reliving the happy times. :D

Also -- the Christmas episode involves a wonderful plot for Jim and Pam! That's encouraging, right?

Thank you for reccing my fic, & also giving me the reason to write it in the first place!
rainbowstevie
Dec. 25th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Welcome on both counts. Mutually beneficial fandom things, that's what LJ is all about.

And aw, you're right, I did really enjoy the Christmas episode in spite of my Grinchy self.
dollsome
Dec. 24th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Also: I, too, have always wondered that about Chandler and Monica! I always kinda get the vibe that it was a surprise, oh-look-chemistry! thing. But then I can't be sure.
rainbowstevie
Dec. 25th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
My heart wants very badly for it to be surprise chemistry, and yet I still have not found a straight answer. Of course, I also haven't looked for a straight answer, because I don't want to be proven wrong. It would be really fantastic if it had just happened.
eleigh
Dec. 24th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
I've never been sure about Monica and Chandler. I wasn't involved in Friends online fandom at all, if such a thing existed. They were together for 5 years, though, so half the show's run.

I tend to think that they planned for Ross and Rachel to be end game though because they put so much into them being RossandRachel that I think they had no other option. At least not without pissing off a lot of their viewers.
rainbowstevie
Dec. 25th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Only 5? Not insubstantial, they just make so much sense that it feels like more. 5th season seems like a late start for something that wasn't the central ship. I'm glad they got rolling on it when they did.

I figured Ross/Rachel was a little more cut-and-dried, though, yeah.
eleigh
Dec. 25th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
Yeah there was 1 season of being in a mostly secret relationship, 1 season of an open relationship, 1 season of living together, 1 season of being engaged, and 1 season of being married.

I think Monica and Chandler did become the central ship. Ross and Rachel had their moments and became a pop culture shorthand for on again off again relationships but Monica and Chandler have one of the best television proposals ever.
muzzy_olorea
Dec. 24th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
My Friends time was before online fandom time so I don't really know what the thinking was behind it but my guess is that Ross/Rachel were definitely going to be endgame. I think when a show introduces an OTP so strongly in the first season, it's a given that they will be the overriding arc of the show (unless you're Without A Trace, of course ...).

Chandler/Monica was a surprise thing, I think. The way the audience sees them together for the first time is in a "morning after" scenario when they wake up in bed in London and like "what have we done?!?! in the Season 4 finale/Season 5 premiere so I think it was definitely meant to shock. They were together from then on. I think in the seasons before that, you might see them sharing moments but not necessarily in a shippier way than any of the other friendships. I have a friend who is a hardcore Chandler/Rachel shipper because she loves all their moments together but obviously that never became a romantic thing.
rainbowstevie
Dec. 25th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
a) Your explanation for Ross/Rachel makes a lot of sense, yeah. I think I just wanted confirmation after that episode where Ross says they haven't been a couple in six years, because that is a WAY LONG TIME to take a hiatus from a ship.

b) Oh, thanks! That clears it up substantially. I definitely did not know how they started before. Sounds...not like the way my soulmate ships usually start, but clearly it worked out.
aries11
Dec. 28th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
As far as whether or not the writers intended all along for Chandler and Monica to get together, that's still a mystery to me. I watched the show from beginning to end, and I can definitely say it was a huge shock out of the blue when Monica popped out of Chandler's bed at the end of S4! However, after watching older episodes years later, I discovered that there were many tender moments between the two of them beforehand. I guess in my preteen years, I just didn't notice or appreciate them.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if they introduced Chandler/Monica as maybe a secondary ship for people who weren't as big a fan of Ross/Rachel, or those who did like them but needed another ship to bide their time until R/R finally got it together (I include myself in this category).

In any fandom where I have a ship, I usually have a secondary ship. In Harry Potter, my main ship is Ron/Hermione, and my secondary is Harry/Ginny. In NCIS, my main ship is Tony/Ziva, and my secondary is McGee/Abby. Chandler/Monica therefore was my secondary ship for Friends.
rainbowstevie
Dec. 29th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
I like your theories, and I love people revealing to me that the start of their relationship was a shock at the time -- awesome trick, TPTB.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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