Going skiing with my Real Live Friends seems to be one of those things we’ve been talking about since we left university but never made happen.
Somewhere out there there’s a poor, lonely, camping trip waiting for all of us.
“The One Where I Start to Wonder”
The world has gone wedding mad. Ours is now less than four months away, Prince Harry is getting married, and now Phoebe’s brother is too.
The news seems to hit Monica pretty hard and, just like Meghan Markle, she jumps at the first millionaire she has a chance with.
Not sure I’d be impressed if I thought I was going for dinner, but was forced to take an eight hour flight from New York to Rome instead. Monica even calls him out on his earlier behaviour, but it seems she’s falling for him by the end.
It’s not the only part of the show that’s a little problematic.
We get more gay jokes about Chandler’s dad, and the bulk of his quest to stop smoking (after only two weeks, the wuss…) revolves around a hypnosis tape that accidentally makes him think he’s a “Strong Independent Woman”. Other commentators have suggested this is Chandler showing latent transexual tendencies and that it’s mockery of him, and his camp-ness here, is part of the shows wider trans/homo-phobia.
I’m usually quick to criticise the show for it’s over reliance on “Gay Jokes” but I’m not sure I agree with this.
Apart from the line about Chandlers’ dad I don’t think this episode is being homophobic. It’s neither criticising Chandlers’ behaviour nor suggesting there is anything inherently funny about camp-ness, or femininity in men. We know his actions are the result of the tape and the humour is from seeing a, usually non-camp, straight, character acting in this way. It’s the juxtaposition and the other characters reactions that is amusing, along with Matthew Perry’s hilarious, over-the-top performance.
I find the shows attitude to Frank Jnr much more troubling. And not just because of my own latent emotions regarding the topic.
I wonder, is my secret half-brother single? Married? Engaged to a much older woman? Should I have invited him to our wedding?! It’s too much to take in.
With this storyline the shows doing the opposite of the Chandler plot. We’re still laughing at the incongruity of it all, but the end result of what it says about our culture is much worse.
All the characters are put out by how inappropriate it is for Frank Jnr’s teacher to marry him at eighteen, especially an over-protective Phoebe (considering she’s only met him twice…). But wait, in the end they all come to accept the happy couples love!
Is Friends™ condoning an older woman taking advantage of a vulnerable young adult just because she wants babies? A young adult who’s recovering from one of his lungs collapsing, amongst other things?! And Friends™ is saying this is fine?
Yes, yes it is.
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
We went to our wedding venue the other day, and I was relieved to see it’s as nice as we remember.
Less nice was the food. We were there to taste a few of the options available to us on the big day, only to be served a truly disgusting starter.
When my fiancée questioned whether it was actually what we were supposed to be served, it turned out that, no, it was not. They hadn’t bothered to get in the correct ingredients for us. Even though they’d already put it back by two weeks to GET the right ingredients.
We were left wondering why they'd even bothered to get us there.