People often accuse my generation of being full of molly-coddled late bloomers but it looks like this trend started quite a while ago...
I found it surprising the Friends™ are already in their mid-20s by the start of the show. Now I can see why. Growing up with the show it always seemed like their lifestyles, troubles and the scrapes they got into were all the preserve of young adults on the cusp of responsibility. (At least for the first few series).
As a long term student (due to changing course) I’ve felt like I was lagging behind the expected point of my life for several years.
Unexpectedly, researching the ages of the Friends™ has reassured me that it’s not unusual, in our modern society, for people in their mid-20s to remain lost and directionless. And with large gaps in their knowledge. I suspect it’s not as usual for the gaps to increase as much as mine seem to, but overall it appears this project will be good for my mental health!
But still Rachel, your bloody laundry...
Perhaps I’m showing my privilege but I was also under the impression that laundromats aren't really that common anymore? Probably because I lived in shared houses at university rather than the high rise flats of New York. My privilege is also mirrored by Rachel’s in this episode after her dad gives her a car. I was lucky enough to have the same experience a few years ago when my dad got sick of me borrowing his. So REALLY, hitting that dog was his fault.
Continuing the series’ exploration of the difference between male and female experiences of dating, both Chandler and Phoebe attempt to end relationships. With varying success. The sudden off-screen appearance of these relationships to facilitate the story-line has been reflected in my own life. I’ve discovered Rachel Number 1 and Ross Number 2 have ended their break! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
Its good news all round as this episode introduces one of the best recurring characters in Friends™. Oh my god! It’s Janice!!
Although she's clearly written in this episode to be a one-off, Maggie Wheeler does such a fantastic job of making Janice much more than a silly voice, that it’s no surprise they brought her back again and again. And this time she doesn’t even need to utter her famous catchphrase!
If you’re playing “watch along with Real Live Friends” there are a couple of other things to look out for this episode. Firstly, check out Ross’s weird tucked in shirt in the opening scene. He looks like a Hare Krishna got stuck in a transporter with an extra from Spike Jonze’s Her. Although, much like the dungarees a few episodes back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone wearing something similar on a fashionable street in London.
To recap (if you're not watching): Joey tricks Monica into going on a double date with his ex and her new partner. But Joey tells the ex that Monica is his new squeeze and tells Monica he’s still with the ex, and that the new partner is her brother. Needless to say HILARITY ENSUES but I found it interesting seeing this early Joey go to almost Always Sunny in Philadelphia levels of ass-holery.
Real Life Sitcom Moment of the Week:
“The One Where We Could Have Died”
Speaking of shared houses, my current flat (essentially a converted drive-way latched onto another house) has been causing quite a lot of trouble this week.
We were about to make dinner on Sunday when suddenly all our taps stopped working. After failing to get in contact with the landlord we were forced to get a takeaway. I later found out he was “having some work done” and neglected to tell us as he “assumed we would be out”. At dinner time. On a Sunday.
Still that pales in comparison to our other discovery this week that our boiler is supposed to terminate outside and that at any point in the last six months we could have been suffocated in our sleep by an unexpected backlog of Carbon Monoxide.