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  1. We Know You Know We Know – Our Top 20 Episodes of Friends, Part One

    September 19, 2014 by HeadOverFeels

    Posted by Kim and Sage

    On September 22, 1994, Ross Geller, while sitting in a coffee shop with his friends said, “I just want to be married again!” and then Rachel Green burst through the front doors in her wedding dress.  TWENTY YEARS AGO.

    *Obligatory OH MY GOD I AM SO OLD moment*

    I can’t remember a time where I didn’t love Friends.  It’s become a part of my DNA in the twenty years since its premiere.  I quote it in some capacity, be it a line, or saying something in Chandler-speak, on almost a daily basis.  I know I’m in a REALLY bad place if a repeat on Nick at Nite can’t make me laugh.  The mutual love Sage and I shared for this show became the very foundation of our friendship when our friend Angel looked at us and said, “You guys should team up for Friends trivia because you’re equally insane about it.”  It’s my ultimate comfort show and it seems to be the same thing for so many of our readers, as all of our character appreciation posts rank among the most viewed on this site.

    What is so special about Friends is that it is both a very specific slice of its decade (it is SO 90’s I can’t get over it) yet it also remains timeless in its stories and its themes and its characters. There’s a reason why Friends trivia is packed every time we go (and have our asses handed to us because there are people out there more fanatical that us, if you can believe it): everyone sees a bit of themselves in this show, be it in the characters or the situations they get themselves into.  People will still be saying “Gum would be perfection” and “WE WERE ON A BREAK!!” when the fortieth anniversary rolls around.  It’s that timeless.

    When I first broached the idea for this anniversary post to Sage, we both thought it would be an impossible task to narrow down our list to twenty (you all witness the bloodbath when it came to picking our X-Files episodes after all).  Turns out, it wasn’t that hard.  While there were several episodes that we were sad to leave out (“All The Thanksgivings”, “The Kips”, and “The Cheesecakes” were on that list), we were very much of the same mind when it came to the best episodes of Friends.  The best episodes ARE about the monumental and iconic moments of the series, but they are also the ones that fully utilized one of the best ensembles in TV history.  We felt very strongly that each of our twenty had to showcase the entire cast well because as Joey proved, these six characters are best when they are together.  So I’m not going to SAY that this list is the definitive one, but I’m going to strongly suggest it.

    Screw it.  These are the best twenty episodes, end of story.  Deal with it.

    — Kim

    20) “The One with the Holiday Armadillo” (7 x10)

    You’ve got plenty of Thanksgiving episodes ahead of you on this list, but “Holiday Armadillo” is the only Christmas-themed episode to sneak into our Top 20.

    If you follow me on Twitter, then you’re probably familiar with my opinion on early-series Ross. I’ll leave that version be for now. This list is a celebration, not a lecture. Instead, I’ll talk about how much I adore him at this level. At this level and in this armadillo suit.

    Ross’s determination both to teach his son a few things about Hanukkah and to make sure he has a fun Christmas sets Monica’s apartment as the stage of “the Easter Bunny’s funeral.” The wardrobe department outdid itself with Ross’s “weird, turtle-man” suit, the armadillo get-up he re-classifies as “Santa’s representative to the Southern states aaaaannnnd Mexico!” He’s at his best when he’s at his goofiest, and the show takes this opportunity to mix in a little farce. The Holiday Armadillo is joined by Chandler’s constipated-looking Santa Claus, who does his part to get Ben to pay attention to the story of “theeee Maccabees!” and then eventually by Superman, who is less helpful.

    “The Armadillo was actually not so thrilled about that part!”

    The B-plot is less cartoonish than the A, but a solid usage of all the apartment-switching that goes on these later seasons. Phoebe’s apartment is ready for Rachel to move into, but Phoebe feels insecure about their plans when she sees what a blast her future roomie is having at Joey’s. This very plotline is why I don’t understand the anti-Rachel/Joey camp when they contest that the show laid no groundwork for the pairing. It may not be romantic at this point, but Rachel and Joey are clearly bonding in a new way. Matt and Jen are a fun pair to watch and always were. (See: sailing on the Mr. Beaumont.) Their responses to Phoebe’s “gifts” are a delight, from Rachel’s cool-girl reaction to the tarantula to Joey’s panicked fall off the drum set to their A-for-effort duet of the one song they know.

    Rachel Joey Tequila

    Phoebe was panicking for nothing; of course Rachel wanted to go live with her girlfriend. But plans change when they arrive at a fully renovated one-bedroom. Even the contractors ship it, people.

    –Sage

    Best Line:

    Phoebe: Monica and Chandler said that you were having so much fun here. And apparently no amount of drums or tarantulas is gonna change that.

    Rachel: Phoebe?

    Phoebe: Hm?

    Rachel: Did you get all this stuff for Joey to try and drive me out of the apartment? Honey, if you wanted to do that, you might as well just gotten him a fish. You know how fish freak me out!

    19) “The One with Phoebe’s Wedding” (10 x 12)

    Weddings gone awry is a classic trope that just about every sitcom has done and one that Friends visited three times over the course of its ten-year run (more on one of them later).  The final season of Friends spent a good chunk of its time tying up all the loose ends of the series, making sure all of our beloved gang (except for Joey because of that stupid spin-off. #neverforget) got to the places in their lives where we would be happy leaving them, knowing that they are okay.  What makes “Phoebe’s Wedding” so special is the way that the gang rallies around Phoebe (who more than any one of them, had relied on her friends as her family of choice) as she marries her perfect man in a ceremony that was traditional, yet so unique that it could ONLY be Phoebe’s wedding.  There are wonderful callbacks to previous moments in the series, from Monica being Phoebe’s Maid of Honor, just as the girls planned out when Rachel got to be Monica’s (“Yeah okay, you laugh now, but she’s gonna be yours.”) to Joey still being ordained so that he can step in when the blizzard prevents the minister from getting there (stepping up from his position of Phoebe’s dad, which don’t get me started on that scene, cause I will short-circuit my computer from all my tears).  I love how eventually the entire gang gets involved in the wedding, from Chandler walking Phoebe down the aisle (“Aren’t you cold?” “I don’t care, I’ll be my something blue!” “You look beautiful.” #cryingforever) to Ross escorting Rachel and Chappy in the procession.  Because even if it wasn’t how Phoebe and Mike intended, it wouldn’t have been right if all five of Phoebe’s best friends, who had been there with her through so much, hadn’t all be involved in the wedding.

    Let’s discuss that perfect man, shall we?  While I always carried a secret torch for Joey and Phoebe (please, you did to), I recognized that it would be horribly clichéd if they ended up together.  Friends was better than that.  While Phoebe had some great suitors over the years (David, The Cop [till he shot a bird]), no man balanced out Phoebe Buffay like Mike Hannigan did.  On paper, you would have never thought that these two would work.  Mike was blue-blooded and a bit privileged (but with the soul of an artist) while Phoebe was daffy and free-spirited and had lived on the streets.  Yet they lit each other up.  Mike accepted everything about Phoebe at face value and embraced (and defended) her weirdness.  He became her anchor and she helped him embrace his own quirks.  He viewed every day with her as an adventure.  There could have been no man more worthy of her wonderfulness.

    But the best part about the episode is how the wedding ended up taking place in front of Central Perk, this magical coffeehouse where Phoebe Buffay found her true family and became the person that Mike fell in love with.  Looking back, it couldn’t have taken place anywhere else.

    — Kim

    Best Line:

    Phoebe: So there’s no one to walk me down the aisle and… well, I would just really love it if you would do it.

    Joey: Seriously?

    Phoebe: Yeah, you’ve… you know, sort of been like a dad to me. I mean, you’ve always, you know, looked out for me and shared your wisdom…

    Joey: I am pretty wisdomous.

    Phoebe: So… what do you say?

    Joey: Are you kidding? Phoebe, I would be honored.

    Phoebe: Oh, thank you. I hope… I hope you know how much you mean to me.

    Joey: Listen, I hope…that you know…I don’t want you to see your father cry, GO TO YOUR ROOM!

    18) “The One where Mr. Heckles Dies” (2 x 03)

    I should no longer be surprised that Kim and I share a brain, but I was pleased to see that she also put this unassuming little season two episode on her shortlist. So much went down that year, particularly with Ross/Rachel and Monica/Richard; and there a lot of “event” episodes, some of which we’ll run into later. But “TOW Heckles Dies” stands out as a character study on Chandler Bing: insecure, dissatisfied, emotionally stunted.

    I could have done with years more of Mr. Heckles weirding out the entire building. He made a big impact in a small amount of screentime, and it’s obligatory Friends fan behavior to yell “HECKLES!” when one sees Larry Hankin in anything else. But Friends killed him off to give Chandler his A-ha moment. Oprah would be proud.

    Heckles goes to the lord with a broom in his hand, presumably in the process of sending a message to “Noisy Girl 1″ and “Noisy Girl 2.” Then he sends them another, more inscrutable message. He leaves the contents of his entire apartment to Monica and Rachel. And while they sort out the remnants of his life, Chandler notices some striking parallels. Kooky hermits aren’t born that way. Heckles wasn’t always alone. He used to be the funniest guy in the room too. Chandler projects, assuming that Heckles alienated himself. And then Chandler decides that if he doesn’t stop rejecting the women he dates out of pickiness, he’ll eventually have to trade women in for snakes.

    Chandler: “If I’m gonna be an old, lonely man, I’m gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I’ll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y’know. Crazy Snake Man. And I’ll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids will walk past my place, they will run. ‘Run away from Crazy Snake Man,’ they’ll shout!”

    Though Crazy Man With A Snake would have been a better Friends spin-off than Joey, this was not to be. As his girls counsel him, Chandler isn’t in any danger of ending up alone. He wants too badly NOT to be.

    The rest of “Heckles Dies” consists of conflict between other Friends. Rachel and Monica clash over ownership of their apartment when Rachel wants to bring some of their dead neighbor’s kitschy aesthetic into Apartment 20. (“Is this tacky or what? We have to have this.”) And Phoebe delights in infuriating Ross by proclaiming her disbelief in evolution (“It’s a nice story, I just think it’s a little too easy.”) and later, gravity. (“I don’t know, lately I get the feeling that I’m not so much being pulled down as I am being pushed.”) She knows exactly what she’s doing and Ross is just begging to be knocked off his high horse. He thinks of himself as someone practical and grounded, but Ross is definitely not as in control of his emotions as she is. (“Is there blood coming out of my ears?”) And Bravo, Lisa Kudrow, because you can practically see the evil gleam in Phoebe’s eyes when she knowingly exploits that.

    –Sage

    Best Line:

    Rachel: Hey, Chandler. Monica broke my seashell lamp.

    Chandler: NEAT. I’m gonna die alone.

    Rachel: …Okay, you win.

    17) “The One with All the Resolutions” (5 x 11)

    When we first started putting this post together, much like we did with The X-Files and The Office, Sage and I independently made lists of episodes we would consider, exchanged them, and then pulled out all the ones we had listed in common (FORTY EPISODES #mindmeld) and then submitted episodes that we would fight for.  “The One With The Resolutions” was on my list, and I was SO HAPPY when I got a text message from Sage during her rewatch saying “Yeah, I am with you one ‘Resolutions'”.

    The premise of the episode is simple: the gang makes their New Year’s Resolutions (“JUST THE ONE DIVORCE IN ’99!!!”…which is hilarious considering the events of the season finale in Vegas).  These resolutions vary in degrees of difficulty.  Chandler vows not to make fun of his friends for a week.  Rachel promises not to gossip.  Ross vows to try something new every day.  Joey decides to learn guitar.  Phoebe decides to become a pilot.  And once and for all proving that I am Monica and she is me, Monica promises to start taking more pictures of the gang.  Where “TOW All the Resolutions” succeeds is in the execution of just how hard it is for the gang to keep their resolutions (“Hornswaggle? Oh, this must be killing you!”).  Phoebe, much to Chandler’s chagrin and torment, is a terrible guitar teacher, from her “no strings policy” to her names for guitar chords (“Now, I don’t know the actual names of the chords but umm, I-I-I made up names for the way my hand looks while I’m doing them. So then, this is Bear Claw. Okay, umm, Turkey Leg and Old Lady.”).  Rachel finds out about Monica and Chandler and then can’t tell anyone without breaking her no gossip rule (“All right, how about I go over there and I will walk into Chandler’s bedroom and I will see that thing that I think that I know is actually the thing that I think that I know!”).  However, the shining moment of the episode comes from Ross and his Leather Pants.

    I said it in my Ross Appreciation Post and I’ll say it again here: David Schwimmer never got enough credit for his brilliance as a physical comedian AND for the way he would use his voice to convey sheer and utter horror (I often wonder if they ACTUALLY put him in pants that were too small for him in this scene or if he was just ACTING like they wouldn’t come up.  Thoughts?).    Our favorite Ross is an unhinged Ross, and the way David builds Ross’ panic in this scene is fantastic.  If you don’t have tears rolling down your face by the time Ross dejectedly comes out of the bathroom, clutching his balled up leather pants over his junk, you may want to reexamine your sense of comedy.  Ross gets himself in ridiculous situations as the series progresses…the teeth bleaching, the spray tan…but the leather pants take the cake.  Bonus points to Joey for being the voice of reason on the other end of Ross’ phone call.

    Joey: Ross? You okay?

    Ross: They’re still, they’re still not coming on man and the lotion and the powder have made a paste!

    Joey: Really?! Uhh, what color is it?

    Ross: What difference does that make?!

    Joey: Well, I’m just—if the paste matches the pants, you can make yourself a pair of paste pants and she won’t know the difference!

    He’s putting out fires everywhere, people.

    — Kim

    Best Line:

    Chandler: I can’t take it any more! So you win, okay? Pheebs? Flying a jet? Better make it a spaceship so that you can get back to your home planet! And Ross, phone call for you today – Tom Jones, he wants his pants back! And Hornswoggle? What? Are you dating a character from “Fraggle Rock”? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    (more…)


  2. In Appreciation of Chandler Bing

    January 4, 2014 by HeadOverFeels

    Chandler swallow our feelings

    Posted by Sage

    We’ve arrived at the conclusion of our Friends appreciation posts, and who better to take us home than Chandler Muriel Bing?

    In the original character descriptions of our six favorite New Yorkers and obviously influenced by classic British comedy, Chandler is said to be “droll,” “dry,” and “a wry observer of everyone’s life.” (“You know what’s weird? Donald Duck never wore pants. But whenever he’s getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist. I mean, what is that about?”) But those few words barely scratch the surface of where Matthew Perry took this character.

    I’m struggling to put my lifelong affection for Chandler Bing into words. How can I possibly do justice to the caretaker of the WENUS? The late-bloomer who first touched a girl’s boobs when he was 19? (“Thanks, man.”) The blabbermouth who was the first to spill the beans about Ross’s love for Rachel? He was the type of half grown-up who I now know actually litters the NYC landscape. Stuck for most of the series in a dead-end, boring desk job, all the romance and fun in Chandler’s life was outside the 9- 5. He was together enough to take care of Joey, but forever unable to resist a Baywatch marathon or making their apartment into a cozy home for a couple of farm animals. (“Do you guys know how to get a chick out of a VCR?”) He rocked many an old-school bowling shirt and got overly excited a lot. (“Chandler, you’re panicking.” “Yes! Join me, won’t you?”) People sometimes assume that he’s gay because he has a “quality.” (“Good, cause I was worried you guys were going to be vague about this.”) He had a partying college friend nicknamed “Gandalf.” He was a bro to Ross and Joey, but thoroughly capable of and happy to spend many a girls’ night with his ladies.  Chandler didn’t have much of a childhood, so the family of friends that he’s created for himself means everything to him. He’s legitimately torn up in the arc where Joey gets rich and moves out of their apartment for a period. It still hurts to think on it. Hey, at least we got to meet Eddie. (“Well, see ya, pals.”)

    By all accounts, Matthew Perry’s addition to pain medication stayed hidden and untreated for so long because he maintained his professionalism and work ethic on set. So, though his fluctuating weight had us fans concerned about Matthew’s health, Chandler Bing remained completely unaffected. The impact endures. SEVERAL comic characters on TV right now owe a characteristic or two or ten to Miss Chanandeler Bong. But no one will ever fully take his place. Here’s why:

    1. His Sardonic Wit

    Chandler Bing sarcastic comment

    Like so many of us, Chandler’s immediate response to any tense situation (or any situation, really) is to crack a joke. And why not? People in general take themselves and their problems too seriously. When things got deep on Friends, Chandler was always there to help us navigate those choppy, emotional waters. Whether he was eating Monica’s organic hair wax to stay alive through Ross and Rachel’s marathon breakup (“Not the USED wax.” “Because THAT would be crazy.”) or smoothly trying to transition his relationship with Monica from casual hook-ups to decidedly less casual hook-ups (“Y’know, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked up the term goofing around in the dictionary. Well, I have, and the technical definition is, two friends who care a lot about each other and have amazing sex and just wanna spend more time together. But if you have this new fangled dictionary that gets you made at me, then we have to, y’know, get you my original dictionary.”), the Chan-Chan man set the tone for the humor of the whole show.

    Chandler Bing I make jokes

    Not that it didn’t get him into trouble, of course. Chandler’s mouth has been known to end relationships, botch job interviews (“And then it was really hard to sidestep that ‘duty’ thing.”), and earn him plenty of enemies in the tri-state area. But who cares? Because he’s got 5 people who understand him, and that’s all he needs. Being universally liked versus cracking your friends up daily? No contest.

    Janice what a small world friendsChandler I never run into Beyonce

    Chandler often got the glory of the straight-faced punchline. The other characters would set ‘em up, and he’d knock ‘em down. This one still makes me giggle, after roughly 20 years.

    Ross: “You uh, you don’t believe in gravity?”
    Phoebe: “Well, it’s not so much that you know, like I don’t believe in it, you know, it’s just… I don’t know, lately I get the feeling that I’m not so much being pulled down as I am being pushed.”
    [Knock at door]
    Chandler: “Uh-Oh. It’s Isaac Newton, and he’s pissed.”

    I could copy and paste Chandler lines from here until forever, but that’s not why you’re here. Or maybe it is. Just know that in researching this post, I was in laughter-tears only 1/4 of the way down his IMDB quotes page.

    2. Forever Alone

    Chandler I love you oh crap

    Shame on the women of fictional New York for not realizing what they had in Chandler Bing. Then again, it was his romantic trials and tribulations that made Chandler build up his sarcastic deflection methods, so thanks. From his early days of not scoring, (“Didn’t you read The Lord of the Rings in high school?” “I had sex in high school.”) to his adult days of not scoring (“I wanted to wear my bathrobe and eat peanut clusters all day. I wanted to start drinking in the morning. Don’t say that I don’t have goals!”), Chandler gave the less romantically successful of us someone to identify with and root for. We even shipped him and Janice for real for a bit, didn’t we?

    Janice Oh My God

    But Chandler’s lack of game was all in his head. He set himself up to fail because he was convinced that he wasn’t good enough to be happy. Remember: broken home. It’s a real testament to his friendship with Joey that they stayed strong despite their uneven distribution of confidence with women. It probably helped even the scales that Joey thought Count Rushmore was the guy who painted the faces on the mountain. Anyway, turns out the universe had big love plans for Chandler and they didn’t involve him turning into Crazy Snake Man. We’ll get to that soon.

    Chandler Hopeless and Awkward

    3. His One-Man Sponsorship of Joey Tribbiani’s Acting Career

    Joey and Chandler thumbs up

    Maybe Chandler really believed that Joey would hit the big-time someday. Or maybe he just supported him because he was his bestie and acting was his dream. Either way, any butt-double gigs or off-off-Broadway Freudian musicals Joey booked, he owed entirely to his roommate.

    Joey Chandler Glass

    He’d joke about the bill Joey’d rung up with him, but Chandler never expected his goofy friend to pay his tab. Beyond the cash for stage-fighting workshops and headshots, Chandler’s support extended to attending every awful play he ever starred in (“So I’m gonna get on this spaceship and go to Blangon 7 in search of alternative energy fuels. And when I return, 200 years from now, you’ll be long gone. But I won’t have aged at all. So you tell your great, great great grandaughter to look me up. Cause Adrian, baby, I’m gonna wanna meet her.”), attempting to physically tackle him to the ground so as to not embarrass himself in Soap Opera Digest, and being a test contestant as Joey prepped for an audition to host the hottest new game show on the planet, Bamboozled.

    Chandler Bing Best game ever

    It was this brand of casually selfless encouragement that made Friends so much more than a generic sitcom about 20-something white people. And for that, Chandler deserves all the Wicked Wango cards.

    4. His Dancing

    Chandler Joey Dancing

    Let’s celebrate Chandler’s physicality in general, but ESPECIALLY his uber-white dance moves. And let this flaily abandon be an example to us all.

    Chandler Mini Wave

    Chandler never let his lack of skills stop him from embarking on a victory dance, and neither should you.

    Chandler Bing Dancing on Table

    5. His Nubbin

    Chandler Bing third nipple

    Chandler is so special that he is actually a mutant. In the second season, we find out that Chandler has a non-fuctional third nipple (Monica was the only one who knew about it – FORESHADOWING) when the gang was throwing out each other’s secrets. It’s overshadowed by the revelation that Joey shot a fully clothed part in a porno, but it returns in the third when Chandler has it removed. (“Two nipples, no waiting.” “Just like Rachel in high school.”) Yes, Chandler did away with his tiny nubbin, and when he missed the aforementioned easy Rachel joke, fears that with it, he nubbinectomied “the source of all” his power. Two-nippled Chandler is still hilarious, though we missed that weird little thing for the rest of the series. Let’s celebrate our differences! A little nubbin is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Continue Reading


  3. In Appreciation of Rachel Green

    September 1, 2013 by HeadOverFeels

    Friends Rachel Make Decisions
    Posted by Sage

    Recently, my dad interrupted one of my The-Big-Bang-Theory-doesn’t-deserve-all-this-Emmy-attention rants by arguing that the Friends are just as emotionally staid as Sheldon and company. That statement is patently false; and in defense of my beloved show, Rachel is Exhibit A. From spoiled Long Island rich girl to fashion executive and single mom, it’s she who has the widest, series-long character arc.

    The inciting incident of the whole show just happens to be the disheveled bride’s arrival at Central Perk (“I just want to be married again…” “…And I just want a million dollars!”). It’s through Rachel that we’re introduced to the group of coffee-loving, hardly-working twenty-somethings who would become the West Village Six.

    And, like the rest of the six, the Rachel we grew to love over the course of nine seasons was hardly the archetype (here: recovering prom queen) we met in season one. While the rest of the Friends had a laser-focused want or two in those initial years, whether it was job or relationship related, Rachel’s goal was just to figure out what it was that she was even looking for. (“Ahh, the lesser known I Don’t Have a Dream Speech.”) Her openness and vulnerability is what softened her. Rachel was much more savvy and adaptable than she gave herself credit for, and Jennifer Aniston’s superb comic timing brought out her sarcastic wit (“Oh, there he is: the father of my child, the porn king of the West Village.”) Sure, she made some mistakes along the way. She wasn’t supposed to put beef in the trifle; 18 pages IS a lot to ask someone to read in the middle of the night (front AND back); and her decision to spend $1,000 on Mrs. Whiskerson was a little rash. (“Every time this cat hisses at me, I know it’s saying ‘Racheeel.'”) She was sexy, but, like everyone ever, occasionally became a bumbling mess in front of the object of her desire. Much of her screen time was spent will-they or won-they-ing with Ross, and theirs is one of the ships that’s practically defined that term for American audiences. But you also couldn’t go wrong by combining Rachel with any other Friend. See for evidence: Rachel teaching Joey how to sail on the Mr. Beaumont; Phoebe and Rachel running together in the park, each in their own style; Monica and Rachel switching places on their double date with two dreamy and slightly familiar-looking doctors (“I use my breasts to get other people’s attention!” “Hey, we BOTH do that.”), and Rachel attempting to get Chandler un-handcuffed from her boss’s desk.

    And so, our Friends character appreciation series continues with Rachel Karen Green. Isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?

    1) She’s gonna make it after all.

    Friends Rachel You're A Shoe

    For those of us who have done this in the real world, we know that striking out on one’s own in the big city actually looks more like renting out a hovel at the farthest reaches of the least-trendy borough and STILL calling one’s parents twice a month for money than an 800-sq-ft room in Monica’s purple apartment. But for Rachel Green of the Long Island Greens, cutting one credit card in half is twice as anxiety-inducing as all that. But surely, whether you’re a shoe or a hat, we can all agree that it’s really unfair how much money that “FICA guy” takes out of our paychecks.

    In the later seasons, it was easy to forget that the Bloomingdale’s buyer and Ralph Lauren merchandising manager was once the most forgetful (but cutest!) waitress at Central Park. But then sisters Amy (Christina Applegate) and Jill (Reese Witherspoon) would show up to remind us and Rachel of the life she probably would have ended up living if she had become Dr. Mrs. Barry Farber, D.D.S. (“You decorated dad’s office and now you’re a decorator? You know what? I went to the zoo yesterday and now I’m a koala bear.”)

    Friends Rachel Assistant Buyer

    It was a blow to feminism when Rachel gave up an exciting job with Louis Vuitton in Paris to stay in New York and play house with Ross. (Yes, you read my Joey/Rachel shipper shade correctly.) My head canon is that turning down that gig made her an even more coveted get for fashion head hunters and she ended up running shit at a New York-based line. Not bad for the cheerleader who once went out with Wallas Pinser just so he’d take her SATs.

    2) Her life partnership with Monica.

    Friends Monica Rachel Emergency Call

    Rachel has no plan when she escapes to the city except to find and reconnect with her high school best friend, Monica Gellar. She’s having an identity crisis and the only person she can count on to get her through it is someone she hasn’t even spoken to in years. That’s how hard they BFF, you guys. None of Rachel’s richie-rich shopping buddies ever came close to taking Monica’s place. You know how you know which popular girl actually has a soul? Find the one with a fat best friend.

    Monica Rachel College Party

    Before Rachel arrived, Monica’s city family consisted of Phoebe, who’s often on a wavelength that’s impossible to access, and a bunch of boys, who ate all her food and made fun of her boyfriends. When Rachel came back into her life, Monica got a sister (she IS the daughter Judy never had) – someone to write messages for her on the mirror, cover her with a blanket when she falls asleep on the couch, and fight with over Jean Claude Van Damme. Rachel could also be counted on for some much needed real talk, whether in regards to questionable dating decisions (“It’s like inviting a Greek tragedy over for dinner!”) or kitchen fascism (“No, Mon. YOU want to put the marshmallows in concentric circles. I want to do this.”) According to Joey (sorry), Ross and Rachel’s marriage is canon, and Monica and Rachel are now sisters for realsies. So the show’s finale was the end of one era and the start of a new one.

    Friends Monica Rachel End of an Era

    3) Her powers of seduction.

    Friends Rachel Joshua CherryFriends Rachel Joshua Cherry 2

    Jen Aniston doesn’t get the credit she deserves for her aptitude for physical comedy. And it didn’t get much better than in Rachel’s ill-fated pursuit of client/crush Joshua (JOSH-UA) in Season 4. We all have that person who we just can’t help but make idiots of ourselves in front of, every single time we’re in their presence. Rachel’s first move on Joshua results in him taking his nephew to a Knicks game instead of her, and from there, the downward spiral is steep and fast. She unpacks every trick in her arsenal, even reaching back to her high school moves and pulling – most sadly and hilariously – her cheerleading uniform out of mothballs.

    Friends Rachel Joshua Knee kiss

    We’ve all been there, Rach. Well, maybe not all the way down there, but close.

    4) She’s a fangirl.

    Friends Rachel Joey Slap

    What could be better for a soap opera super fan than waking up to Jessica Lockwood in your apartment (“MONICA!!!”) or being a plus one to the Soapies? Gal Pal Rachel Green is the only Friend who expresses the correct amount of excitement over having access to a celebrity like Joey Tribbiani. Basically, if I had to pick one of the six to eat ice cream and marathon Scandal with me, it would be her.

    5) She’s her own Windkeeper.

    Friends Rachel Never Ever Hurt Me

    Rachel Green would NEVER let anyone wash his feet in her pool of inner power, even Ross.

    “The One With the Morning After”, the season 3 episode where Ross and Rachel have a long and painful breakup, is emotional and raw for a primetime sitcom. It had to be. After the lengths the showrunners went through to convince us that they were soulmates, whatever was going to break these two apart had to be bad. I’ve always been on Rachel’s side in the “we were on a break” debate (“Then you sure had a hell of a time at the wake!”), and, as much as these 22 minutes of television broke my teen heart, I was always proud of her for standing up for herself. She chooses Ross because she’s confident that he’s a good guy. A NICE guy. That illusion crumbles with the copy girl situation, and the cracks were already showing before that in his petty jealousy of Mark and, simultaneously, Rachel’s happiness with her new job. (Ross really was the worst sometimes.) It was at that line in the gif above – “I used to think of you as somebody who would never, ever hurt me.” – when I knew that the episode wasn’t going to end with them tearfully getting back together. “This can’t be it,” Ross says. And Rachel, who’s not letting anyone – not even someone she loves – steal her wind says, “Then how come it is?”

    Continue Reading


  4. In Appreciation of Ross Geller

    July 24, 2013 by HeadOverFeels

    Posted by Kim

    Last night I was having tacos and frozen Coronas (I KNOW right?) with some friends when the conversation subject inevitably came around to television, more specifically classic television shows that we didn’t discover till late in their runs or even after they went off the air.  My friend Nicole starting talking about how she really didn’t discover/fully appreciate Friends until the repeats started airing on Nick at Nite.  This naturally led to a discussion of the characters and which ones were our favorites.  “I can’t decide between Chandler and Joey,” Nicole said.  “But I do know one thing…and that’s that I HATE Ross.”

    Excuse me?  Ross Geller is AWESOME.

    There has been a lot of hate directed at Ross lately, most notably with this list on Buzzfeed and that makes me sad.  Much like Ted Mosby, Ross is a bit of a sad sack and a downer.  He’s REALLY geeky and pretentious about it.  He’s a know-it-all.  He whines and complains A LOT.  He’s neurotic and maybe uses a bit too much hair gel.  But he’s also a devoted friend and a hopeless romantic.  To borrow lyrics from the theme song, Ross is the kind of guy who will always be there for you when you need him.  Ross was often the straight man/romantic lead, especially in the early seasons, which can be a tough role to handle.  Despite earning an Emmy Nomination for the first season, I never felt like David Schwimmer got the credit he deserved for how good he was as Ross.  Ensembles NEED a Ross to work and I can’t imagine what Friends would have been like without him. 

    Thus I bring you ten reasons why I love Ross Geller…

    1) PIVOT!!

    I mean…who HASN’T balked at an outrageous delivery charge?  I once went to Ikea and when I found out that the delivery charge would be more than the purchase itself, I stubbornly put all my purchases on the bus and (rather disastrously I might add) hauled them back to my Upper West Side apartment with just my best friend to help me.  Ross’ outrage is perfectly understandable!  I would have done the same thing.

    Also let’s take a moment to appreciate David Schwimmer’s fantastic vocal delivery in this scene, and in many scenes throughout the series (“It tastes like feet.” is another one that comes to mind).  Because you KNOW that the script probably said “Pivot.  Pivot.  Pivot!  PIVOT!!”  But Schwimmer imbued the dialogue with creativity and pure Rossness.  Yes, I just made that a word.

    2) His Music

    “Emotional Knapsack” would TOTALLY be a number one hit, am I right?

    3) He follows beauty and fashion trends

    Spray Tanning:

    Just remember to count “Mississippilessly” next time you get a spray tan, buddy.  (And this episode has made me afraid of spray tanning booths for life, and I will never ever go to one.)

    Teeth Whitening:

    “What’s the matter with ME?  You’ve got a black light!  It’s 1999!”

    Setting a new trend with Paste Pants:

    Schwimmer rarely got credit for what a BRILLIANT physical comedian he was on this show.  The paste pants sequence ranks among on of my favorite scenes of the entire series.  “The lotion and the powder have made a PAAAAAASTE!!”

    4) Rachel’s Birthday present in Season One

    Yes, the Ross and Rachel dynamic got a bit tiresome in the later seasons with their on again/off again-ness.  Yes, you wanted to scream at the TV “OMG will you make up your mind and decide if you REALLY want to be together or not?!” on a weekly basis.  But come on…season one Ross?  How could you not love him?  How could you not root for the eternally geeky guy to finally get together with the head cheerleader?  If you didn’t you were watching the show wrong.

    In getting Rachel the cameo that she had offhandedly mentioned that she loved, Ross proves that he is the type of guy who remembers things.  He’s thoughtful.  He listens.  He’s the type of guy who would get you presents just to make you happy and because he knows it is something you would love.  That’s pretty dreamy in my book.

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  5. Unpopular Opinion: Rachel Green Should Have Ended Up With Joey Tribbiani

    April 3, 2013 by HeadOverFeels

    Rachel Joey look

    - Posted by Sage

    As shippers go, I’m fairly conservative. I usually stick to the canon, largely because real life is disappointing enough and I don’t need to set my heart on any more lost causes. But I do carry a torch for a few misfit couples (Toby/CJ, what you could have been!) – the ones that never really got there but I just can’t quit.

    Rachel Green and Joey Tribbiani are #1 on that list. One of the reasons that Friends is my favorite sitcom of all time is that the writers developed a handful of 11th hour stories for our characters that changed the game, but still made sense. After years and years (and yeaaaaars) of Ross/Rachel drama and copy girls and “we were on a break,” the show managed to get me quickly and completely on board with Joey/Rachel. But then, they expected me to get off that ship just as quickly. I’m here to tell you that putting Rachel and Ross back together at the end of the series was sentimental and just plain wrong. Take away the fear of a fan uprising and the plans for a Joey spin-off, and the choice is clear: Joey and Rachel are the real soulmates.

    Here are the top 7 reasons why I will go down with this ship:

    1. The whole thing started with them getting to know each other better.

    Rachel Joey award show

    We’re not talking about friends who have suddenly found themselves attracted to each other after years of platonic intimacy here. Remember that Joey first hit on Rachel in the pilot. On her wedding day. And if you argue that point on Rachel’s side, I direct you to “The One That Could Have Been” for proof that she has been harboring a latent boy-girl thing for him.

    So no, this isn’t about surprising sexual feelings or a drunken hook-up. (We’re not against drunken hook-ups here at Head Over Feels, whether they are of the televised OR personal variety. We have a drunken hook-up to thank for Mondler, after all.) How WONDERFUL is it that Joey and Rachel’s feelings for each other developed just because they got to know each other even better? Before Season 8, these two didn’t find themselves alone in storylines together very often. So, when they moved into Chandler and Joey’s old apartment together, there was plenty of new material to mine. I know from holding my ground in some bitter ship-battles that not everyone agrees, but to me, taking these characters down this path felt completely organic. Why? I’m glad you asked…

    2. Rachel had FUN with him.

    I love it at Joey's Rachel

    Rachel Green had the richest journey of any character on Friends, except for perhaps for Frank Jr. – husband, father, pyromaniac. By Season 8, she’s a self-sufficient professional on her way to being a single mom. But deep down, she’s still the popular, rich girl who had it easy in high school (aside from the “hermaphroditic cheerleader from Long Island” rumor) and isn’t always the most composed or mature person in the room…

    …Except when Joey’s the only other person in that room. Rachel obviously loves Monica desperately – she is her person – but it must have been freeing for her to move from the land of 11 classifications of bathroom towels to Joey’s House of I Don’t Give A Shit. And it’s not just the loosey-goosey housekeeping rules that she loves about being “the hottest roommate” Joey’s ever had. They have the same sense of humor (“Erectus?” “No, homo!”) and a similar glass-half-full, go-with-the-flow quality. And don’t even try to substitute the steamed vegetables that come with your steak for a half-pound lobster if you don’t want to make Joey Tribbiani fall deeply in love with you.

    I’ll say it again: Rachel is going to be a SINGLE MOM. She’s dealing with an unexpected pregnancy and the father of her child dating other women. Spending time with Joey allows her to focus on the good stuff, take things as they come, and be excited about her new life, instead of worrying. No wonder she’s so grateful to him.

    3. Being in love changed Joey. And he was fine with it.

    Joey Tribbiani We love her

    But really, this arc was Matt LeBlanc’s most Emmy-worthy work on this show. This is JOEY TRIBBIANI, as I screamed to Kim on Avenue A last night while talking about this post. Joey doesn’t share food, and he certainly doesn’t let himself be completely obliterated by his feelings for a girl. He doesn’t hold his best friend while she watches a scary movie, “terrified” of what’s going to happen. But if Barney Stinson can become a one-woman guy, why can’t Joey? He has even mushier insides than the Barnacle.

    There are so many lovely sequences in the R/J episodes where Joey is trying to make sense of his feelings, either to himself, his friends, or a very cute dog. Joey is an innocent, which is why we found his womanizing endearing and not gross. We forgive it, because we can see that he’s just not ready. But he’ll get there. Way back in Season 5, he shows that growth for the first time. Joey sees Monica and Chandler cozily working on a crossword puzzle together and dreams about himself in Chandler’s place:

    Monica: “But that’s good that you’re not in love with me, because you just want a girlfriend!”

    Joey: “No, I don’t think it’s just about just getting a girlfriend. Y’know? I mean, yeah, I can get a girlfriend! Yeah, we could sit in the chair and do crosswords, but y’know are we ever going to have, y’know, the closeness like – like you guys have?”

    Chandler: “Well y’know, Monica and I were friends before we started dating. So maybe – maybe that’s it?”

    Joey: “Friends first? That’s interesting.”

    Isn’t it, Joey? It is, indeed, very interesting.

    4. It made Ross do this:

    I'm fine Ross Gellar

    Ross, understandably, doesn’t know what to do with himself when he finds out that Joey and Rachel are making a go at a relationship. And his meltdown is just gorgeous.

    *See “Pi-vot!”, “MY SANDWICH?”, and “Get off my SISTER!” for more evidence that an unhinged Ross is the BEST Ross.

    Continue Reading


  6. “And long story short: we did it.” – The Best “Morning After” Scenes

    February 5, 2013 by HeadOverFeels

    Congrats on the sex!

    Posted by Sage

    I like to think I know you guys pretty well. Thus, I’m guessing that you’re pretty excited for tonight’s episode of New Girl. Considering the way my timeline blew up last Tuesday night, we’re all pretty invested in the budding attraction and possible romance between Jessica Day and Nick Miller (Nick Miller, from the streets of Chicago.) I usually catch up with the loft crew on Hulu on Wednesday morning. But immediately after it aired, I got a text from Blog Wife ordering me to find some way of getting my hands on the episode ASAP. Because it was “up there with Jeff and Annie in the season 1 finale. And ‘Casino Night.”‘ “Casino Night”?  The standard to which I hold all “my-ship-is-setting-sail” moments? I think I can make time for that.

    And was it ever “Casino Night” good. If I had had a pack of cigarettes on hand, I would have smoked them all at the same time. And I don’t smoke.

    As much as I re-watch and flail over THE moments, my favorite part is what comes after that first kiss, love confession, or oops-we-accidentally-naked. From the preview clips, we can tell that tonight’s New Girl starts right where the last left off.  And I am jonesing for some awkward, “what did we just do?” shenanigans. To prepare, I’ve collected a few of my favorite “Morning After” scenes from television and movies. Join me in the gutter, won’t you?

    Chandler and Monica – Friends

    Friends had been dropping hints about Mondler for an entire season, but this reveal still broke my teenage brain. I particularly enjoy how Monica is looking relatively calm, while Chandler is clutching the sheet to his body like a virgin on prom night. (We’ll get to one of those later.) Even though this hook-up was set up like a drinking-sad/comfort-sex mistake, we all knew these two were in it for the long haul. And, bonus, in the 7th season episode “The One with the Truth about London,” we get to see how the whole thing actually went down.

    Ross and Rachel in Vegas – Friends

    There’s something that you really need to know to truly understand me as a person. My Friends OTP isn’t Ross/Rachel. It isn’t even Chandler/Monica, though they’re a close second. I will forever carry the banner for Joey/Rachel, and I will and have gone down with that ship.

    That’s a whole post on its own. But the main reason I changed allegiances is that I got the Ross/Rachel fatigue. The high drama moments were exhausting. This Ross and Rachel, the exes and friends who are kind of still weird around each other, are my favorite. Instead of dealing with an emotional crisis, they’re dealing with the fallout of epic drunkenness and a wedding that was, to quote Ross, “Nevada’s fault.” Helllooooo, Mrs. Ross. Hellooooooo, Mr. Rachel!

    Brodie and Rene – Mallrats

    Brodie hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for Sega

    “What are you doing? You promised me breakfast.”
    “Breakfast, shmreakfast. Look at the score, for Christ’s sake. It’s only the second period and I’m up 12 to 2. Breakfasts come and go, Rene, but Hartford, “the Whale,” they only beat Vancouver once, maybe twice in a lifetime.”

    Brodie Bruce’s ideal post-coital plans involve a few hours of video games before an afternoon of Olympic-caliber loitering. But Rene decides it’s still a better deal than being fucked in the back of a Volkswagen by a husky Ben Affleck. That’s what they’re talking about, right?

    Jim and Michelle, sort of – American Pie

    For everyone who ever wished they could have the fun night AND the bliss of waking up alone. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t have it all.

    Continue Reading


  7. Kim’s Top Five Episodes of Friends

    January 24, 2013 by HeadOverFeels

    Posted by Kim

    Friends will forever be my favorite sitcom.

    Yes.  Even more than my beloved Community.

    I grew up with Friends, as it premiered when I was 15 and ended when I was 25 (ugh, now I feel OLD).  It (along with The X-Files and Dawson’s Creek) defined event television when I was in college.  I often had rehearsal on Thursday nights, but I would set my faithful VCR (remember when you had to do that? #theworst) and everyone would come over to my apartment afterwards to watch together.  I lived for the day when a season would get released on DVD and I could marathon it.  The day of the finale, my best friend and I ordered The Joey Special (TWO PIZZAS?!) and watched our favorite episodes all day and then cried while watching the finale.

    As a side note we did the same thing earlier that year when Sex and the City ended, except it was cosmos instead of pizzas.  2004 was a rough year for TV lovers.

    Friends remains my ultimate TV comfort food.  I tend to watch the entire series every year or so, so asking me to choose my favorite 5 episodes is a bit rough.  But I’ve done it AND I have ranked them.  So here we go…

    5) “The One Where Ross Got High” – Season Six, Episode 9

    All of the Thanksgiving episodes are CLASSICS.  One of my favorite traditions is watching all of the episodes while I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner…it’s the perfect way to pass the time while the turkey is in the oven.  So why THIS Thanksgiving episode?  Because I can never imagine an English Trifle without beef sautéed with peas and onions.  Because whenever I am stuck somewhere I don’t want to be I do this.   And because this is one of the greatest 96 seconds to ever happen on television:

    If you watch the DVD commentary for this episode, you’ll learn that it took them FOREVER to get through this scene as the audience was laughing too hard with each confession.  Amazing.

    4) “The One With The Prom Video” – Season Two, Episode 14

    Also known as the episode where Joey buys Chandler a gaudy gold bracelet that says “Best Buds” and they become bracelet buddies (THAT’S WHAT THEY’LL CALL US!!).

    Also known as the episode with  first appearance of Fat Monica. (“Shut up, the camera adds ten pounds!!” “How many camera are ON you?”)

    Who am I kidding?

    This is the episode where after MONTHS of torturing us with one of the most epic kisses ever and then immediately breaking up when he wrote a list comparing her to Julie (“She’s not RACHUM?!”), Ross and Rachel FINALLY got together for good.  Well until mid Season Three anyway ;-)

    “See?!  He’s her lobster!!” is one of the best responses ever.  I remember screaming and jumping up and down when this happened.  I should have known THEN what kind of fangirl I was.

     photo shipperheart_zps97bfcc5e.gif

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