The One With The Videotape

This episode focused on one major plot. Many episodes of Friends usually have two or three different stories going on, but this particular one mainly revolved around Ross and Rachel. There was a minor subplot going on with Monica and Chandler, but it wasn’t too critical or dramatic. Basically, Monica and Chandler had met a couple while they were on their honeymoon named Greg and Jenny, who also lived in New York. Monica and Chandler absolutely love them and are excitedly trying to call them up to set a date to meet, but realize they had received a fake number. They try to figure out why Greg and Jenny would do such a thing, and Monica blames it on Chandler and his bad jokes while Chandler thinks it’s because of Monica’s annoying questions. Once again, this is character emphasis. Monica is obsessive and often wants to know everything about everyone, and Chandler always makes bad jokes that aren’t funny to others. It’s interesting to note, however, that Chandler’s bad jokes and other characters’ negative reactions toward them is what actually makes it really funny and a comedy for the viewers.

So now that everyone knows about Ross and Rachel and the pregnancy, they want to know how it came to happen. Ross and Rachel disagree over “who came on to who first”, each insisting it was the other person. All the other friends believe Rachel over Ross.

It turns out Ross has the whole thing on videotape, and the story goes back to six weeks earlier, when Ross went to Joey for a problem: that he hasn’t had sex in six months.

Joey tells Ross of a story to use that he made up himself. It’s supposed to be so romantic that it’ll get any woman to sleep with him. The story begins with “Years ago, when I was backpacking across Western Europe..” and it’s so general and plain, but the way Joey recites it is hilarious. Ross decides to tell this story to his date that night, with hopes that it’ll work, but it ends up failing completely because the the woman keeps interrupting Ross.

Watch these hilarious scenes on video:

Joey tells Ross that he must not be delivering the story correctly, and tells him to record himself on videotape to try to see what he’s doing wrong. When Ross begins recording, Rachel comes in the room all of a sudden, and that happened to be the night they had sex, which is how Ross had it on tape.

Ross gives the tape to Rachel for her to destroy, but when she’s about to do it, all the friends stop her because they want to know the truth about “who came on to who”. This is a great moment because of the perfect timing when all of them jump up at the same time to protest. It shows how the ensemble works so well together.

So they watch the tape, just the beginning part, to see who really initiated it. Ross and Rachel are both confident that they will prove the other wrong. Then in the videotape, Rachel starts saying, “Did I ever tell you about the time that I went backpacking across Western Europe?” and this is huge twist and also the big moment of the episode. All the other characters and the viewers now know that it was Rachel who came on to Ross first, since she tried to use the Europe story. The question that was introduced in the beginning is finally answered at the end.

Rachel is totally shocked because she didn’t think everyone else would know about the Europe story, since she heard it from her friend Irene, who heard it from some guy named Ken Adams. Turns out, Ken Adams was actually Joey. This is another great twist to surprise the viewers and make the storyline so clever.

This was an especially awesome episode of Friends. All the events and details managed to merge together and all went back to the videotape. The script and lines were fantastically written.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this episode was that Rachel was finally proved wrong. Most of the time in Ross and Rachel’s relationship, Rachel is always portrayed as being better than Ross, and it always seems like she thinks she’s superior over him. It adds to her spoiled and sometimes selfish character. Rachel gets her way all the time, and it was nice to finally see Ross be the correct one.

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October 24, 2010. Episode 4, Season 8. 3 comments.

The One Where Rachel Tells…

Monica and Chandler are at the airport, getting ready to go on their honeymoon. Another newlywed couple also on their honeymoon that’s standing in the ticketing line ahead of them gets bumped up to first class, courtesy of the airline. Monica and Chandler tells the worker that they, too, are on their honeymoon, but those seats were the last ones remaining. Monica tries to get into the first class lounge anyway, but gets kicked out. When Monica and Chandler arrive at the hotel, they realize that the same newlywed couple is also there, and they had just gotten the honeymoon suite, courtesy of the hotel. This really infuriates Monica and she yells at the couple for screwing her over all day and getting free stuff, although it’s not exactly the couple’s fault.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the writers of Friends do a great job of emphasizing characterization in each episode. Once again, Monica’s obsessive and compulsive nature is shown through this storyline. This personality makes her very loud often times, and even in this episode she ends up creating conflict and screaming at the couple who were innocent and did no wrong. She gets hot-tempered when she’s angry, and is unable to think things through. However, Courteney Cox plays this side of Monica brilliantly and it adds to the comical touch of the show.

Meanwhile, Rachel gets ready to tell Ross that she’s having his baby, but Ross mistakenly thinks that Rachel wants to start a relationship with him again. When she finally tells him that she’s pregnant and he’s the father, Ross is completely surprised, shocked, and taken back. David Schwimmer does an amazing job in this scene. During just one minute, Schwimmer brings out numerous facial expressions that perfectly describe Ross’ current condition.

Watch this scene in video:

In the end, Ross calms down and goes to Rachel at the gynecologist’s office. He tells her he’ll be with her through the whole process, and the two see their baby for the first time through a sonogram. This is a very heart-warming and touching moment, and a nice way to close the episode. It shows that Friends isn’t just about being funny all the time, but it really touches on the special relationships these characters have with one another. It’s especially meaningful that Ross and Rachel are about to have a baby together, because they are the core couple and their storyline was a central to the show as a whole throughout the ten years it ran. This baby set a whole new level for the relationship between Ross and Rachel, and it really got viewers excited to see what’s in store for them in the future episodes. This was probably the reason for the immense popularity of the eighth season.

October 10, 2010. Episode 3, Season 8. 5 comments.

The One With The Red Sweater

In This Episode..

Monica and Chandler’s wedding is now over and the friends are checking out of the hotel. Monica realizes that she is no longer a bride and becomes depressed. Chandler promises her that he will develop the pictures from the disposable cameras they took at the wedding so that she can look at them and cheer up. However, Chandler has misplaced the cameras somewhere and cannot find them. He and Ross decide to go to a stranger’s wedding at the same place and take pictures, making it look like it’s Monica and Chandler’s. He even kisses the stranger bride for a photo of him and “Monica”.

Monica, on the other hand, is back at home and struggling with the temptation to open all the wedding presents. She is unable to control herself and ends up opening all the presents without Chandler. When Chandler returns, he becomes angry, but the two decide to call it even since Monica knows the pictures are not real and Chandler had kissed another woman for the fake photos.

Meanwhile, Rachel gets ready to tell the father of her baby that she’s pregnant, and the friends are still curious as to who the father is. Joey realizes he saw a guy with Rachel in their apartment about a month ago, but he didn’t get to see his face. He remembers that the guy left a red sweater, and the friends think it belongs to Tag (Rachel’s ex-boyfriend). However, it turns out Tag just has the exact same sweater, and he’s not the father. The mystery is finally solved at the very end of the episode when the red sweater is revealed to be Ross’, and therefore he is the father of Rachel’s baby.

THE FINAL, BIG MOMENT

One of the things that makes Friends such an awesome show is the incredible acting done by the actors. In this clip, for example, Joey’s facial expression of complete surprise and his “OH MY GOD!” are just perfect for the scene. It takes him extra time to figure it all out compared to Monica and Phoebe, which also describes his character well (a little slow, not as bright or intelligent).

What They Do Well

Every episode of Friends does a great job on adding elements that accurately portray each unique character. In this particular episode, Joey had ordered porn and watched it in all the friends’ hotel rooms, which shows his immature side. But his loyalty is also shown when he proposes to Phoebe because he think she’s pregnant and wants to be there for her. This is a nice, touching moment in the midst of all the comedy. Although a very hilarious character, Joey can be serious at times, too.

Monica’s obsessive personality is also well illustrated. When she becomes hooked on something, she cannot let it ago and often gives in to her temptations. Even in this episode, she cannot refrain herself from opening all the present and ultimately ends up opening every single present without Chandler. The writers show Monica’s weaknesses and the “messy” side of her character through this storyline.

October 3, 2010. Episode 2, Season 8. 4 comments.