I checked out season 2 of Friends from the library, after having finally made my peace with the early seasons and accepted that they are NOT all weird anomalies that seem like a precursor to the "real" Friends. Mostly because after checking out a few DVDs, I have finally figured out the chronology of this show and which events happened in which season.But the MOST exciting part is: I DISCOVERED MULTIPLE EPISODES I HAVE NEVER SEEN. Like many long-running shows I met in syndication, they have just managed to skirt past me in some kind of blind spot. I never even know I've missed them. Until a miracle happens and I discover them.
These episodes include The One....
-With the Breast Milk (THE OMBRE COWBOY. And Emily Procter, hi there! I'm also compelled to point out the women are being super weird in this one, because...yes. Human body fluids are gross. And generally not processed and pasteurized).
-Where Heckles Dies (which is amazing. Especially if I try not to think too hard about what might have been those garbage bags, considering they were trying to recycle an old high school yearbook and was there seriously not enough cool stuff to hold an estate sale? BECAUSE I THINK MAYBE THERE WAS. Still, I got to pretend I was in one when they were commenting on all the stuff)
-With Phoebe's Husband (gotta say, not missing much. Also could have lived without ever knowing Joey appeared in a porno, albeit in more of an "extra" role).
-With The List (hee! both the list and the Mockalate)
-With Phoebe's Dad (DO YOU KNOW how delightful it was to find a random Christmas episode? So delightful)
-Part 1 of After the Super Bowl (I love part 2, but I had no idea of the delightful existence of Delusional Stalker Brooke Shields. Nor did I realize the one I saw had aired after the Super Bowl).
-With the Chicken Pox (gross, unexpected Charlie Sheen)
One day, I would like to do some sort of giant post where I talk about some of my favorite vs. least favorite arcs or themes in the series (for instance, how much I love Emily when Rachel isn't kvetching about it nonstop -- TED MOSBY'S PREDECESSOR RIGHT THERE -- and how I will literally turn off the TV when Carol and Susan appear. Today is not that day. But only because I am struck with a profound need to run down all my favorite bits in season 2, such as:
-ROSS VERSUS RUSS. Every second of that is magical. "And it takes him like, I don't know, uh ... hello, like a WEEK to get out a sentence?" / "Annoying, isn't it?"
-The One Where Eddie Won't Go -- the "WTF???" faces that Chandler makes behind Eddie's back are truly priceless. Also the smugness of that ending -- that ending is glorious.
-The bullies at the diner...most excellent. I like when shows embrace bullying for its true comedic value. (side note: I just saw this one for the first time a couple of months ago. The little ankle-biting dog is so freaking adorable I can hardly stand it. Especially when he's hanging halfway in the car doing his ferocious little growl. You have no idea how horrified I was when I thought Phoebe killed him, but fortunately he just came back twice as cute with a little wrapped-up paw)
-I was shocked and delighted to see Phoebe's grandmother. I always thought she was an off-screen legend, like Maris.
-The One with the Baby on the Bus -- oddly enough, I remember the baby getting lost story, but I had no memory of Phoebe singing in the library. I do know that the first part contains one of my favorite quotes of all time, though, as they're flipping a coin to decide whether the baby clad in duck or clown print attire is Ben:
Joey: OK. Heads is ducks. Because ducks have heads.
Chandler: ...what kind of scary-ass clowns came to your birthday??
-My favorite hobby, of late, is just admiring the clothes on the women. Sure, some of them look a little tacky and dated, but so MANY of them make me think, "I want that. I want to find that in a thrift store and wear it."
-One of the best things about the DVDs is the special feature where you can click on highlighted objects in the set, and it takes you to a short interview clip explaining how it came to be part of the set or what it means. I am a HUGE fan of set design on TV shows, and I wish it got more attention in mainstream media. Like, what they do is way more interesting than anything a director does. There's so much fascinating thought that goes into it -- these people almost know the characters better than the writers, and help shape their personalities just as much -- and the best part is that they tend to highlight features I never even really noticed. Like that yellow frame around the peephole in Monica's apartment door -- I have literally NEVER wondered what it actually is or thought of it as an item rather than just paint. Apparently it was originally a mirror; the mirror broke, and they decided to put what remained of the frame there an accent.
Bonus tiny clip for Survivor talk:
OH MAN. Three boots in, and the three people I dislike are out. I'm pretty sure this has literally never happened before.
Also, it was super heartwarming and wonderful to see the Brains tribe screaming for joy over not losing for the first time ever.