The one about Friends


The entire series of Friends was released on Netflix on January 1, just in time for my maternity leave to start.  Friends is the perfect show to watch when you’re dealing with the rhythms of a new baby because it’s so lighthearted that you don’t need to concentrate on it for more than a snippet at a time. It’s perfect to have on in the background while breastfeeding, pumping, changing diapers, or while you’re dozing off at 2 in the morning. Plus, I’ve already seen each episode so many times in syndication on TBS that I approximately know each story line very closely, making it easy to dip in and out.

Today, I finished the 230th-some episode, which means I’ve been watching Friends for over 90 hours. When you watch something for that long, you’re bound to have questions. I’ve discussed it with Mr. B, but now I’m putting these questions out into the world, since the show’s re-release hasn’t prompted that many  thinkpieces  (except for this one, this one, which is a whole DISSERTATION, and this one, which is a PODCAST. ):

  1. How the hell did Joey afford anything until he became Dr. Drake Ramoray full time? He lived in what was at least a $2100 apartment and regularly went out on dates, to the coffee shop, etc. For that matter, how did ANYONE afford anything? Rachel didn’t start making good money until 3 years in, Monica was only a second-rate chef until she started working at Alessandro’s, and Chandler had a lowly corporate job until he got promoted.
  2. How did Rachel get any of her jobs? She seems to be completely incompetent and is even fired when she interviews for Louis Vuitton. How did Ross get away with getting her a raise at Ralph Lauren? Additionally, how were any of her outfits work-appropriate? Also, it seems like she was wearing short skirts well into winter.
[<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-9945" src="" alt="enhanced-buzz-2039-1375898888-12" width="580" height="386" />](   3. Why was Monica so selfish and and why did she let Chandler pay all of the money he saved from his job over years for the wedding?   4. Why don&#8217;t they ever emphasize the fact that Monica, Ross, <a href="" target="_blank">AND Rachel are Jewish</a>? T<a href="" target="_blank">he fact that Rachel is Jewish</a> is mentioned maybe once, even when it&#8217;s so obvious that she&#8217;s a JAP,  and in later episodes, Ross and Monica have Christmas trees. There is the Holiday Armadillo, but even in that, Hanukkah falls kind of by the wayside.   5. Where are all the <a href="" target="_blank">non-white people</a> in the show? And I don&#8217;t just mean Charlie. Also, why was her name Charlie? WTF?
[<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9937" src="" alt="The_One_Where_The_Stripper_Cries_3" width="480" height="314" />](   6. Why does Monica name her baby boy Jack after her dad if her mom and dad always favored Ross since he was a &#8220;medical miracle&#8221;? By the way, as a Jew, you&#8217;re not supposed to name babies after living relatives.   7. Why does Phoebe marry Mike? He totally does not seem like her type, at all. He&#8217;s so straight-edged and she&#8217;s so zany. He seems very&#8230;corporate and bland. Paul Rudd is such a funny guy and he is so underutilized in the show, except in the episode where he plays piano.
<img class="aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="500" height="240" />   8. David also does not seem like Phoebe&#8217;s type, AT ALL.   9. Rachel and Ross: It&#8217;s supposed to be the greatest romance in sitcom history, but I&#8217;m not feeling it. They have nothing in common, even when they were going out I didn&#8217;t find their relationship believable, and I found them getting back together totally impossible. I mean they couldn&#8217;t even live together when their daughter was born!  10. Speaking of birth: There is no way you would not find out you&#8217;re having twins.  11. <a href="" target="_blank">How is Joey Ross&#8217;s best friend</a>? He is totally not his type (i.e. stupid)  And how do Chandler and Ross not do more stuff together or seem closer? They were college roommates, so it only makes sense that they have more funny escapades than Ross and Joey.  12. Also, based on the back story of the show: i.e. Ross and Monica are brother/sister, Rachel is Monica&#8217;s best friend from high school, and Chandler is Ross&#8217;s roommate, the four of them should be much closer than the other friends. They are not. Why?  13. Why do they all call each other &#8220;Honey&#8221; so much?  14. How was Matthew Perry allowed to gain weight so much through seasons 4-7?  15. Why is Ross always making fashion mistakes (i.e. the girl&#8217;s shirt, the spray-tan, the white teeth, etc.) Do paleontologists even care about that?
[<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9942" src="" alt="Frien1019" width="342" height="328" />](  16. <a href="" target="_blank">None of them look 25</a> when the show starts.  17. Why did Rachel and Monica never wear bras on the show? (no picture necessary)  18. Chandler is in the field of big data before it&#8217;s known as big data. Why aren&#8217;t the Friends more impressed? Or even know what he does?
<img class="aligncenter" src="" alt="" width="500" height="240" />  19. <a href="" target="_blank">Where is Ben in season 9 and 10</a>? Free Ben! And poor Emma just basically feels like an afterthought in general.  20. The duck and the chick: Why?<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-9938" src="" alt="Chick-and-Duck-Friends" width="580" height="345" />  21. How was there not more cultural blowback about the jokes about Monica&#8217;s weight and Chandler constantly alluding to the fact that watching Miss Congeniality and enjoying musicals made him seem gay?  22. Additionally, how did they all constantly make gay jokes but were accepting of Carol and Susan&#8217;s wedding?  23. How were they all in the coffee shop at what was seemingly the middle of a work day for days on end?  24. Seriously, how did Ross not get fired for sleeping with Elizabeth?  25. And how did he even manage to get her? How did anyone in the show manage to have <a href="" target="_blank">as many partners as they did</a>?  26. Why are all of their cultural references from, like, the 70s, when they were maybe 8 or 9 years old?  27. How did Rachel have the mental energy to go through her pregnancy basically alone? Not to mention work a full-time high-powered job, and live in her friend&#8217;s ghetto apartment?  28. Who decided that Chandler&#8217;s last name would be Bing?  29. Why does Chandler date Janice  in the very beginning if he hates her?
[<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-9941" src="" alt="friends-janice-2_610" width="580" height="324" />](  30. How does Monica always have enough food to feed the random people that are constantly stopping by her apartment? And did her grandmother really paint the apartment purple?
[<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-9939" src="" alt="article-2192882-14AB7867000005DC-193_964x585" width="580" height="351" />](  31. How do none of the props in the apartment ever change, even though it&#8217;s 10 years later?  32. Why were all the sets for the restaurants and anywhere that wasn&#8217;t the apartment/coffee shop so ugly?  33. Joey and Rachel&#8230;seriously, what were they thinking with that story line?  34. Why overalls?
[<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9943" src="" alt="9a0f68652b5e13316874dfa8e148272d" width="500" height="600" />](  35. Are Ross and Rachel still not over each other, six years later?  36. Who reserves a table for <a href="" target="_blank">10 years</a>?  37. Why was every episode &#8220;The one about..&#8221;? The show is so mainstream it&#8217;s not smart enough to have sarcastic titles.  38. How are they all <a href="" target="_blank">so selfish</a>? <a href="" target="_blank">They basically</a> hang out at the coffeehouse, Monica&#8217;s apartment, Joey&#8217;s apartment, and just complain about their own lives without any regard for others.