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Old 02-09-2015, 02:16 PM
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Re-watching Friends


I have gone through the first four seasons of Friends on Netflix the last couple of weeks for the first time since the DVDs came out which was probably around ten years ago.

A few observations:

It is generally well preformed but Lisa Kudrow shines as the sharpest and funniest actor in the group. I never really appreciated her much when it originally aired but she can make weak gags funny. All six were good but she was the best.

Matthew Perry seemed to take success the hardest. He lost a ton of drug weight other the first couple of seasons to the point where he looked kind of sickly.

The prevalence of land lines and answering a machines in the plots must be like a time machine to younger people these days who are watching for the first time.

The show holds up so far. I don't plan to re-watch the entire run as I remember the show starting to fall apart in later seasons but so far so good.
  #2  
Old 02-09-2015, 03:38 PM
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I've just started watching on Netflix; I didn't get into the first time around due to children arriving.

I agree about Lisa Kudrow. Her timing and talents really fit that role. She also wasn't asked to carry a lot of the show.

I'm mostly struck by how amazingly beautiful everyone was. It's actually distracting.

And also by how thin Courtney Cox was (I'm on Season One). Was this something people commented on the time or is it just me?

Well done show.
  #3  
Old 02-09-2015, 03:45 PM
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There always seems to be a rerun on one channel or another and if it's an episode I like (yes, I recognize all the episodes by their titles ) I often stop to watch.

Although the show really started to suck right about the Rachel pregnancy era, I watched to the bitter end. Unfortunately the storylines started to decrease in quality, but at the same time I think the individual actors really found their comedy chops.

I pretty much hated Ross for the first several seasons, but David Schwimmer could be pretty funny when he was acting like a goof ball, such as "PIVOT!" and the one with the leather pants. Courtney Cox was never hilarious but she became easier to like as time went on.

I always loved the Thanksgiving episodes with my favorite being the one where Ross and Monica's parents are there.

<Mrs. Gellar> Rachel, no you weren't supposed to put beef in the truffle. It does not taste good. <Mrs. Gellar>
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:25 PM
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Courtney Cox had a great rear end during the Friends' years. I mean, it's literally distracting once you notice it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:30 PM
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I always thought Matt LeBlanc was underrated on Friends. It takes a genius to play an idiot with that much conviction and heart. His facial expressions alone always got a laugh. Perry and Schwimmer were much better at the overall physical stuff, though. They all had different strengths which is what made it such a strong ensemble show.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
I pretty much hated Ross for the first several seasons, but David Schwimmer could be pretty funny when he was acting like a goof ball, such as "PIVOT!" and the one with the leather pants. Courtney Cox was never hilarious but she became easier to like as time went on.
Aw, Ross was always my favorite character. The leather pants episode is a classic. "The lotion and the powder have made a paste!"

Monica started out as loveably OCD, but got more and more shrill as the show went on. Courteney Cox deliberately played up that aspect of her character because she thought it made her funnier, but to me it was just annoying.

When I watch the show now I have a much better appreciation for both Chandler and Phoebe.

Last edited by SaharaTea; 02-09-2015 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:34 PM
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Chandler and Joey were the best characters early on (seasons 1-3).

Ross shined in seasons 4 and 5. Post-second-divorce he was able to let loose and return to his high school creeper/awkward self.

Monica got funnier as the show indulged her neurotic tendencies. Boy, she was smokin' early on when she was basically a toothpick.

Rachel was at her best during the first Ross encounters. She floundered after that. The whole pregnancy, Joey-likes-me thing was utter dogshit.

Phoebe was always the least funny and most forced. Quirkiness is fine, but when you have no purpose other than to be the "weird one" you're just a typecast. She could have never been written into the show and virtually nothing substantive would have changed.

Friends went from amazing early on, to mainly narrative midway, to completely stale, run-of-the-mill cliche toward the end.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:34 PM
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The earlier seasons seem much more dated than Seinfeld does, despite starting later, I guess that's the price of trying to be too trendy. Or maybe too twenty something. Or are those the same thing?
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:45 PM
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The earlier seasons seem much more dated than Seinfeld does, despite starting later, I guess that's the price of trying to be too trendy. Or maybe too twenty something. Or are those the same thing?
<'Japanese' Phoebe> You are the Emperor of Last Year. <'Japanese' Phoebe>
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:38 PM
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The earlier seasons seem much more dated than Seinfeld does, despite starting later, I guess that's the price of trying to be too trendy. Or maybe too twenty something. Or are those the same thing?
Agreed. Everytime someone says that "I cannot tell the difference between now and the 1990's" or words to the effect, I want to say, that they should watch the first few seasons of Friends.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:33 PM
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Loved the show. Rachael and Phoebe were goddesses. Jennifer Aniston is still one one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.

I thought David Schwimmer was the best at the physical comedy. Chandler and Joey were my favorites.

To me, the show was at its best when the 6 were only interacting with each other. It was hard to watch the 'Mark' subplot, or the 'Pete' or the Tag'....
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:02 PM
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I've been watching it on Netflix, having not watched more than 25% of the episodes before. I'm only up to season 3, and I keep falling asleep, but whatever. It's fun and I enjoy it.

One thing so far is why do they all hate Janice so much? So she's a little loud but she seems to genuinely care about Chandler and honestly seems like a lot of fun. They're so snobby about her. I would rather hang out with her over Rachel for sure.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:16 PM
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My 14 year old son has been watching them straight through on Netflix. I think he's on season 6 or 7.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:22 PM
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I've been watching it on Netflix, having not watched more than 25% of the episodes before. I'm only up to season 3, and I keep falling asleep, but whatever. It's fun and I enjoy it.

One thing so far is why do they all hate Janice so much? So she's a little loud but she seems to genuinely care about Chandler and honestly seems like a lot of fun. They're so snobby about her. I would rather hang out with her over Rachel for sure.
She gets a lot more annoying later on.

Quote:
Chandler: "Yeah, I know, but all of those little annoying things she did before we fell in love? Like her voice, her laugh, her personality—Well, they’re all back! Y’know? And she’s picked up like nine new ones!"
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:23 PM
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I didn't like Phoebe as a character (that is to say, were she real, she's not someone I'd likely be friends with) but I have a genuine appreciation for Kudrow's comedic talents.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:35 PM
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Agree with the person above about the technology, or lack thereof. No computers or cellphones. I also like to see the 90s fashion.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:35 PM
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The producers sure had fun making Ross look like a complete idiot and at least half an asshole, but to be fair, they also let him date some of the hottest women ever on a sitcom.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:58 PM
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The prevalence of land lines and answering a machines in the plots must be like a time machine to younger people these days who are watching for the first time.
Friends Rebooted
http://www.nerdist.com/vepisode/nerd...ends-rebooted/
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:13 PM
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The producers sure had fun making Ross look like a complete idiot and at least half an asshole, but to be fair, they also let him date some of the hottest women ever on a sitcom.
Aisha Tyler is MINE, you hear me? MINE!! What? She's married? No matter what she says, she has a fine ass.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:17 PM
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Agree with the person above about the technology, or lack thereof. No computers or cellphones. I also like to see the 90s fashion.
Not entirely correct; they had cellphones about midway through the series, and computers played a role in at least some episodes (the one that comes immediately to mind is the one where Ross fakes his own death to see who comes to his memorial service).

I loved "Friends" from beginning to end - I recently re-watched it, too, and enjoyed it immensely. I have to say my least favourite character is Phoebe, for the reasons mentioned (there's only so much quirky I can take, apparently).

My favourite "Friends" moment - Joey never leaves home without a fork. The episode with all the cheesecakes featured Rachel and Chandler together, which was not a usual pairing, and I thought it showcased how strong they all were - it didn't matter the pairings, they all were fantastic comedic actors.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:46 AM
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The actress who played Janice was almost cast as one of the regulars. Monica, I think. I think I'd like to hear her normal voice.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:48 AM
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Almost by accident my wife and I found ourselves watching an episode of Friends last week. It just happened to be on and after about ten minutes she turned to me and asked if she could turn it over as it was annoying her.
My reply was "Of course, we never liked this the first time round did we?" (My favourite US comedy of that period was "The Larry Sanders show")
My fleeting impressions was that it hadn't got any better with time. Not sure what it is about it that rubs me up the wrong way but it never raises a smile for me (or my wife).
I suspect it may be the seemingly desperate way in which everyone tries to shoehorn in a "funny" response. Too many writers trying to get their gags into the show perhaps?
They seem like they are in a competition rather than a comedy show.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:36 AM
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The actress who played Janice was almost cast as one of the regulars. Monica, I think. I think I'd like to hear her normal voice.
She's on a very early episode of "Seinfeld" as a girlfriend of George's. They all think George got her pregnant because he used a defective blue condom Kramer gave him.

She was also on the very first season of Ellen Degeneres' first sitcom when it was called "These Friends Of Mine" (and was a blatant "Friends" copy.) She uses her real voice in both.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:16 AM
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I was inspired to re-watch a handful of first season episodes based on this thread. I remember thinking the show was actually fairly daring and "edgy" (how's that for a 90's cliche term?) when they first aired. Now...not so much.

One sure sign of changing times is the squeamishness the show has over homosexuality. I remember being actually very impressed that a prime time sitcom would dare bring up the topic of Chandler *maybe* being gay. Because that was a subject that TV shows NEVER broached - unless it was some one-off guest star ushered onstage for a Very Special Episode, and then promptly whisked away. But nowadays, watching the persistent gay panic that Chandler and Joey have in almost every other episode is just painful and forced. It's like the show is determined to remind the audience "They're NOT!!!!!! GAY!!!!!!"


Even worse is Ross's ex-wife and her new girlfriend Carol and Susan in their few appearances. I can get that Ross would have some resentment towards them, but they seem to be written as castrating bitches who are out to make Ross miserable. Carol is the one going through a pregnancy and major life change, yet this is entirely Ross's story and she is simply there as a difficulty for him to deal with.

In fact, the whole time-line of Carol's pregnancy doesn't even make sense when I think about it: I could buy her not realizing she was a lesbian until she met Susan, but when did she get pregnant??? It's not like getting divorced can be done in a day - there must have been a transition period in which it could be assumed she and Ross were NOT having sex. The only way it could logically work is if she deliberately had sex with Ross one final time during their divorce proceedings with the intent of getting knocked up. And if so, that makes her a terrible, TERRIBLE person.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:36 AM
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In fact, the whole time-line of Carol's pregnancy doesn't even make sense when I think about it: I could buy her not realizing she was a lesbian until she met Susan, but when did she get pregnant??? It's not like getting divorced can be done in a day - there must have been a transition period in which it could be assumed she and Ross were NOT having sex. The only way it could logically work is if she deliberately had sex with Ross one final time during their divorce proceedings with the intent of getting knocked up. And if so, that makes her a terrible, TERRIBLE person.
There's a later episode where Ross says they had sex one last time to try and save the marriage. The show starts with his divorce just being finalized and Carol already being a couple months pregnant.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:04 AM
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I find it unwatchable, mostly due to the over use of the canned laughter. Every. Single. Line.
gets a laugh. It's cloying and annoying.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:14 PM
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I


In fact, the whole time-line of Carol's pregnancy doesn't even make sense when I think about it: I could buy her not realizing she was a lesbian until she met Susan, but when did she get pregnant??? It's not like getting divorced can be done in a day - there must have been a transition period in which it could be assumed she and Ross were NOT having sex. The only way it could logically work is if she deliberately had sex with Ross one final time during their divorce proceedings with the intent of getting knocked up. And if so, that makes her a terrible, TERRIBLE person.
You will be surprised at how easily people can start "fornicating" (its a Friends reference figure it out ), no matter how poor their relationship. Especially, when they are in close proximity.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:55 PM
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Agree with those who say they are bothered by the continual jokes/laughing. There is no dialogue. The whole show consists of funny line/funny line/funny line. With canned laughter to follow.
If you actually bother to think about some of the lines that get the canned laugh - they are not funny at all. But the audience has been trained that 'Canned Laugh on Friends = Joke'. Therefore 'Friends Has the Most Jokes And Is The Funniest Show Ever'.

/Grumpy Old Fart Mode Off/
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:21 PM
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I've been thinking of finally watching Friends. I've seen exactly one (1) episode, and that was while staying in a hotel room in Kuala Lumpur in 1999. But the wife and I are going through The Big Bang Theory now, and that show is so good that I wondered if it might make earlier shows like Friends pale in comparison.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:21 PM
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She was also on the very first season of Ellen Degeneres' first sitcom when it was called "These Friends Of Mine" (and was a blatant "Friends" copy.)
These Friends of Mine actually predates Friends by several months. IIRC, there was even a joke in a later Ellen episode where someone mentions Friends and she says something like "We were here first".
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:27 PM
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I was inspired to re-watch a handful of first season episodes based on this thread. I remember thinking the show was actually fairly daring and "edgy" (how's that for a 90's cliche term?) when they first aired. Now...not so much.

One sure sign of changing times is the squeamishness the show has over homosexuality. I remember being actually very impressed that a prime time sitcom would dare bring up the topic of Chandler *maybe* being gay. Because that was a subject that TV shows NEVER broached - unless it was some one-off guest star ushered onstage for a Very Special Episode, and then promptly whisked away. But nowadays, watching the persistent gay panic that Chandler and Joey have in almost every other episode is just painful and forced. It's like the show is determined to remind the audience "They're NOT!!!!!! GAY!!!!!!"


Even worse is Ross's ex-wife and her new girlfriend Carol and Susan in their few appearances. I can get that Ross would have some resentment towards them, but they seem to be written as castrating bitches who are out to make Ross miserable. Carol is the one going through a pregnancy and major life change, yet this is entirely Ross's story and she is simply there as a difficulty for him to deal with.
I know this thread is a few months old, but I saw a link to it in another thread and figured it wasn't too old to comment on. I definitely agree. I started watching the show as a teenager and remember thinking the same thing about Carol/Susan. Half the time the joke seemed to be "They're lesbians! Teehee! Lesbian wedding!" Even then, I found it juvenile. The Joey/Chandler stuff didn't seem as dumb, but it doesn't sound like it's aged well, either.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:59 PM
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I was inspired to re-watch a handful of first season episodes based on this thread. I remember thinking the show was actually fairly daring and "edgy" (how's that for a 90's cliche term?) when they first aired. Now...not so much.

One sure sign of changing times is the squeamishness the show has over homosexuality. I remember being actually very impressed that a prime time sitcom would dare bring up the topic of Chandler *maybe* being gay. Because that was a subject that TV shows NEVER broached - unless it was some one-off guest star ushered onstage for a Very Special Episode, and then promptly whisked away. But nowadays, watching the persistent gay panic that Chandler and Joey have in almost every other episode is just painful and forced. It's like the show is determined to remind the audience "They're NOT!!!!!! GAY!!!!!!"


Even worse is Ross's ex-wife and her new girlfriend Carol and Susan in their few appearances. I can get that Ross would have some resentment towards them, but they seem to be written as castrating bitches who are out to make Ross miserable. Carol is the one going through a pregnancy and major life change, yet this is entirely Ross's story and she is simply there as a difficulty for him to deal with.

In fact, the whole time-line of Carol's pregnancy doesn't even make sense when I think about it: I could buy her not realizing she was a lesbian until she met Susan, but when did she get pregnant??? It's not like getting divorced can be done in a day - there must have been a transition period in which it could be assumed she and Ross were NOT having sex. The only way it could logically work is if she deliberately had sex with Ross one final time during their divorce proceedings with the intent of getting knocked up. And if so, that makes her a terrible, TERRIBLE person.


It's a time capsule. Just think about how Chandler's transvestite dad is handled.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:12 PM
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I loved Friends when it was first on, and have seen a few episodes since then, and I think it holds up pretty well.

Chandler was always my favorite - his sense of humor is most like mine, but I could never be as funny as him. Phoebe got my all-time favorite Friends line, though. Talking to her annoyingly over-cheery boyfriend (played by Alex Baldwin) she says, "You're like Santa Claus... in Vegas... on Prozac... getting laid!"

The what-if episode - where Monica is still fat and Joey is a very successful actor - is one of my favorites, as is the one where Ross writes and hosts a trivia quiz for the gang. Ooo, ooo, and the Hanukkah Armadillo!

And I must admit I had a serious crush on Courtney Cox back then.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:40 AM
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I liked the one that had George from Seinfeld in it interacting with Phoebe and he was the exact same George character.

It's interesting watching comedy shows with the laugh track removed. Here's one of Big Bang Theory - it just sounds like a normal conversation we all might have rather than anything particularly funny (I know Big Bang has a live audience but the point remains)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKS3MGriZcs
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:49 AM
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Whenever I see an episode from one of the earlier seasons now, I'm struck by how every scene between Chandler and Monica seems to hint at their coming relationship. I doubt the writers had anything of that sort in mind at the time, but I find myself interpreting every scene between them as budding romance now.

Also, I agree Phoebe was by far the funniest character in that whole ensemble, and that Lisa Kudrow's performance had a huge amount to do with that. "They were threefold" remains my favourite line from the whole show.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:29 AM
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One thing Friends has taught me is my fashion sense ended in the 90s because just about everything they wear looks fine to me and looks like stuff I would wear.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:40 AM
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She's on a very early episode of "Seinfeld" as a girlfriend of George's. They all think George got her pregnant because he used a defective blue condom Kramer gave him.

She was also on the very first season of Ellen Degeneres' first sitcom when it was called "These Friends Of Mine" (and was a blatant "Friends" copy.) She uses her real voice in both.
She was also a recurring character on Everybody Loves Raymond and used her normal voice.

I loved Janice - thought she was hysterical. "Monica and Rachel had syrup - now I can get my man to cheer up!"
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:37 AM
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Whenever I think of Janice and her voice I hear "I love the way you look EVERY night, Chandler!" over The Way You Look Tonight.

Me and my daughter are Friends fans. In our house if anyone for any reason says, "I fell asleep" someone else will say incredulously, "You fell asleep?"

Last edited by Biggirl; 05-09-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 05-09-2015, 01:53 PM
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We were on a break!
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:54 PM
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Chandler was always the best character.
I'd have loved for more science-based jokes for Ross.
Joey's descent into near mental reatardation was not nice.
Monica got better and then worse.
Rachel got better (and hotter)
Phoebe was the odd-one-out. As some have said, they could've lost her after a couple of seasons and nothing would've happened.
Janice would've been a good replacement for Phoebe. The show tried, unsuccessfully, to make her the bad guy, but aside from her voice, she was a OK.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:52 AM
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One sure sign of changing times is the squeamishness the show has over homosexuality. I remember being actually very impressed that a prime time sitcom would dare bring up the topic of Chandler *maybe* being gay. Because that was a subject that TV shows NEVER broached - unless it was some one-off guest star ushered onstage for a Very Special Episode, and then promptly whisked away. But nowadays, watching the persistent gay panic that Chandler and Joey have in almost every other episode is just painful and forced. It's like the show is determined to remind the audience "They're NOT!!!!!! GAY!!!!!!"
I think this has changed but is still very present in US culture among young men, but now it is a sort of over the top homoerotic joking to prove you're not gay. Like hey man......wanna suck my dick? Hah nah man jking sort of thing.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:58 AM
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They're terrible people.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:13 AM
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Ross was a terrible father because the roughly nine and a half hours a year that we saw of him didn't include more of Ben? A sitcom should have acknowledged 9/11?
Watching these four idiots attempt to act their way through this stupid skit makes me appreciate real shows like Friends all the more.
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:12 AM
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I think this was absolutely the best sitcom ever, by miles. It always made me laugh, and I am a tough audience.

I agree about Kudrow, but I had a real weakness for Perry/Chandler. Cracked me up.

I had a really nice encounter with Perry... it was shortly after the show went off the air, he was playing in a poker tournament that I was also playing in. He kept getting up to go outside to smoke, and everyone was remarking that he was really unhappy about people bugging him for autographs. He would keep his head down and try not to be noticed.

I never ask for pictures or autographs when I see or meet celebrities, and i don't understand why people do it. But I will tell them I like their work. In Perry's case I was, as I say, a huge fan and the show had not been over long. So I decided I wanted to tell him how I felt, and I got up and followed him outside. When I first spoke, he got this pained look on his face, like "PLEASE don't..." But I said "I don't want to ask you for anything, but I had to take this opportunity to thank you, because the show overall, and you particularly, have brought me so much pleasure for so many years." His face lit up with a huge smile and he thanked me back, very sincerely. I felt really good about that.

(It's my karmic balance for the time I told the Richard Pryor fire joke while Richard Pryor was listening, fresh out of the hospital, and I had no idea until he cornered me...ouch)
  #45  
Old 05-14-2015, 10:22 AM
ivylass is offline
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I watched a Behind the Scenes show (on E!, I think) and David Schwimmer did something very smart. Both of his parents are attorneys, and he convinced the rest of the cast that they should agree to be paid the same amount of money per show right from the beginning. That way, Warner Bros couldn't play one against the other, swapping out characters who demanded more money to bring in cheaper actors.
  #46  
Old 05-14-2015, 11:39 AM
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I watched a Behind the Scenes show (on E!, I think) and David Schwimmer did something very smart. Both of his parents are attorneys, and he convinced the rest of the cast that they should agree to be paid the same amount of money per show right from the beginning. That way, Warner Bros couldn't play one against the other, swapping out characters who demanded more money to bring in cheaper actors.
Really? I'd heard that Cox was paid more than everyone else the first season (40k per ep vs 25k) as she was the "star" of the series (if you watch, the first few eps were focused on Monica) but as the show evolved to more of an ensemble thing and gained popularity, she was fine with everyone making the same (80k per ep) when season two started (unlike, say, Rob Lowe). I think season three is when they held out for megabucks as a group, as word got back that syndie rights were going for crazy money.

As you might guess, I was a big fan of the show early on. To me, one of the best elements was the sibling relationship between Monica and Ross, which seemed funny and yet realistic for 20-something siblings. ("Mom and Dad are coming over for dinner. Are you going to mention the whole pregnant-lesbian-ex-wife thing? 'Cause that could really take the pressure off.")
  #47  
Old 05-14-2015, 01:27 PM
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Cox was the star when it started? All she had was that Springsteen video going for her, right? I figured Perry and Kudrow were the stars. Perry had appeared in a lot of sitcoms by then and Kudrow had been and still was the Ursula character in Mad About You.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:33 PM
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Really?
Clarification...in season 2, Aniston and Schwimmer were paid more, then starting in season 3 they took a pay cut and would only negotiate salary as a group.
  #49  
Old 05-14-2015, 02:21 PM
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Cox was the star when it started? All she had was that Springsteen video going for her, right? I figured Perry and Kudrow were the stars. Perry had appeared in a lot of sitcoms by then and Kudrow had been and still was the Ursula character in Mad About You.
I never saw it, but I've heard that Cox fronted a failed sitcom called the Misfits of Science, and she had done a popular turn before that in a recurring role at Alex Keaton's girlfriend on "Family Ties" (19 episodes), as well as a feature film ("Masters of the Universe"). Aside from Kudrow's hilarious bit as Ursula, Cox is the only one I'd ever seen. Before it became the Ross and Rachel show (the reason I stopped watching about five seasons in), the A plots were about Monica and the B plots about the others.
  #50  
Old 05-14-2015, 02:54 PM
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Something that always distracts me when I watch the shows now is how much Jennifer Aniston changed over time. Or actually, it's more like trying to put my finger on exactly what changed. Something about her face is different, starting I think, in the third season. Obviously weight loss will change one's face, but it's more than that. I can't remember if I actually heard she'd had plastic surgery or if I'm confusing it with the Rachel character. Her voice seems to have change in some way also, though again I can't quite pinpoint how. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?
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