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Friends is currently playing "The One The Morning After," or by its preferred title, "The First One Where Ross and Rachel Prove They Are The Worst 'Romantic' Couple in Television History." I can feel this deranged smile of barely-contained axe-murderer rage involuntarily creeping across my features as we speak. This scenario was not quiiiite as bad as proper cheating, mostly because Ross is a giant goober and has like no redeeming...boyfriend...qual...

...I'm sorry, I'm currently mesmerized by Rachel's screeching and hitting. It's so vicariously satisfying! Evidently I'm just going to take all the cheating scenarios in all of fiction and view them through my special other-fandom lenses until I'm satisfied. It's kinda working for me.


Final verdict: ...curses. I forgot how much I actually really enjoy this one, as a standalone Friends episode. I mean, from a narrative arc and in context it is an awful decision on the writers' part and I feel sorry for all those shippers, but I wasn't there for the arc in real time.

From here, I love the inherent humor of Ross trying to kick Copy Girl out, Rachel's betrayed stare in the coffee shop (Ryan Murphy's Doppelganger Gunther: *trying to contain his glee*). the subsequent anger and insults, the awesome side theme of the other four trapped in the bedroom, the crazy final act where Ross pulls out like 18 different Romantic Boyfriend Emotions I would not for the life of me believed he had in him and actually tugs at the heartstrings with his apologies, and how Rachel crying and finally calling time of death on their relationship actually breaks my heart. That is some fantastic dramatic acting, making me care out of nowhere.

So, yeah. Turns out this is maybe a really well done way to blow a couple up. It could have been a great conflict to overcome, even if the ultimate resolution took a year or two or even more to achieve, had it then been a one-and-done. Instead of a tortured, twisted barbed wire tangle of ugliness and messy one-sided jealousy. (I feel like no matter how many times I say it, the degree to which I loathe Ross/Rachel is never apparent enough. )

[A solid paragraph of Ross/Rachel hate I have thoughtfully hidden from view.]
Probably because my hatred renews itself every time I see them on a TV list of some kind, where it's like everyone just got selective amnesia about how very many things went wrong with that "star crossed love" by the end. How anyone could honestly still want them together after not only this breakup, but also Emily, Rachel ruining that perfectly acceptable marriage, their own drunk marriage & very real divorce, gross one-night hookup, how a baby failed to bring them back together - because sure, THAT'S the way to my heart, detached coparenting - is beyond me. And then the "victory" is a thoroughly unsatisfying "wait the series ending and we have to decide we love each other after all!" where you never get to see them be happy and content together again*? Just. So. Much. Fail.
*According to Wikipedia, they even managed to wreck that along the way. I don't honestly remember this part, but "To give her a reason to stay he kisses her and they sleep together. In the morning, when Ross thinks they are back together he's stunned when she says "It was the perfect way to say goodbye"??? Oh my god, that makes the whole airport chase-down even less satisfying. Planning a move to France was bad enough on her part, but if she was willing to walk away after that, what exactly is left to care about?


tl;dr/ignore that whole last paragraph: this is somehow one of the better Friends episodes in the series, whaaaat?

edit: It is now an hour later and How I Met Your Mother is showing "Benefits," otherwise known as The One Where Barney Smashes TVs, Dubs Things Awfsome/Awesful, and Blurts Out His Secret Love Twice. I will always be a sucker for season 4, particularly this episode, and Hayley Taylor's You're the one that I put on a pedestal... rolling over the end will always get to me the most. This is a nice way to close my night.
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edit #2: The couch-potatoing continues (well, I have the TV on as background while I'm online); Scrubs is in season 4, Molly Clock is in the picture, everything gets better by the half hour.

And while I am talking about All Of The Sitcoms, and because the Janitor just caught Elliot before she fell on the wet floor and it reminded me of Mike Heck, I caught up on two more episodes of The Middle, which is officially more episodes than I've ever seen in a 1-month period before, and...sometimes I almost want to cry at how much I love this show. I mean, Brick still makes me long for the day this actor gets gruesomely murdered on a crime show (I'LL 'WHOOP' YOU GOOD), but everything else about it is so unflinchingly perfect and funny and sweet and still bizarrely close to reality for being as silly as it is. Proper family sitcoms - there's just no better form of television.

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