Dee Discusses: Friends Season 2

Posted: March 31, 2014 by Dee in Dee, Friends, General Media, Sitcoms, Television
Tags: , , , , , ,

So I started to talk about my Friends re-watch and got sidetracked. Season one was discussed here! I own the whole series on DVD and it was a blast going through all of them again. It’s amazing how much I remember about the show even all this time later. In detail! I still maintain it’s an excellent show and it got plenty of laughs out of me, some of them for the first time since I missed references and context before. I’m so glad I did this. At the end of season one, we met all of our main characters and their dynamics: Rachel was Monica’s best friend in high school and ran out on her wedding, Ross is Monica’s brother and was in love with Rachel, Chandler and Joey lived across the hall and Chandler was Ross’ college roommate, and Phoebe used to live with Monica but is now just one of their friends. The six friends navigated career and relationships with one another, and Rachel found out that Ross was in love with her. She had to be pretty oblivious, although she did acknowledge she knew he liked her in high school. Still, she was trying to cope with real life for the first time and had an affair with sexy neighbor Paolo. She went to the airport to talk to Ross and see where they could go, but he brought home his new girlfriend Julie. Womp womp.

Season two mostly revolved around the Ross and Rachel thing, which I should really just suck it up about, because it’s ten seasons of it. And these were the early days. I can see why they were more tolerable in the beginning when it was new. Rachel finds herself jealous and emotionally all over the place, resenting Julie and not thinking about the whole ‘I could just tell Ross how I feel and end this nonsense early.’ But that wouldn’t be good TV. Eventually she does let it slip in a drunken phone message, while on a blind date, and Ross thinks about it. Chandler and Joey, being the geniuses they are, suggest that he makes a list about the two girls and compare them to make a decision. On it Ross records the things he doesn’t like about Rachel, but finds that the only flaw Julie has is she’s “not Rachel.” Oh by the way, he ended up kissing Rachel before telling Julie they were breaking up, which honestly should have been a red flag for Rachel later on. But more on that. This did lead to a hilarious song by Phoebe about “He must decide!” Also why were you not more pissed off he didn’t tell Julie? Or you know break up with her first? That would bother me a lot, Rachel.

Anyway she finds the list and gets extremely upset, and I rather like that scene because she points out that all the insecurities you tell about yourself, you don’t want the other person to think them. And he wrote it all out there. So fair enough. They don’t end up getting together until several episodes later when the gang sees a video from Monica, Ross, and Rachel in high school. Rachel’s date apparently ditched her before the prom, and Monica’s parents persuade Ross to dress up and surprise her. He nursed a crush on her by then so he gets his hopes up, but when he comes down Rachel’s boyfriend showed up and they ran off. This leads Rachel to forgive him and they start dating. I did appreciate that it wasn’t easy for them to immediately go from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend. Rachel has trouble at first seeing him in that way, but they have a sweet “first date” and that leads to their first time. They have a few more hiccups but end the season together and functional.

The other main story is about Monica and her new boyfriend Richard (Tom Selleck). He becomes a major guest star for the rest of the series, and he was a fan favorite. He’s twice her age and friends with her parents, but they have immediate chemistry after seeing one another again. They try to keep their relationship secret because of how inappropriate it is, but it does come out eventually. Everything seems to be working all right for them, except Richard reveals he doesn’t want to have any more kids. Monica very¬† much wants to be a mother, so that’s a deal breaker. He agrees that he might be willing to try it again for her, but his lack of enthusiasm lets her know it’s not going to work. Sadface. This is particularly hard for Monica because she had a bad year career wise. She got fired and tried a variety of jobs, eventually taking a job at a diner that she hates.

For the other friends, Joey gets a regular part on Days of Our Lives where he strives, but he gets killed off because he says that he writes some of his own material. The writers kill him because of that. Whoops. For a time he becomes very successful and moves out, leading Chandler to get a new roommate, who is completely insane. I love Eddie (Adam Goldberg). He is one of the funniest guest stars they ever had and pretty much all of his scenes kill me. Eventually they phase him out by pretending he never moved in with Chandler and that Joey never left. So they work that out. Phoebe goes looking for her father and ends up meeting her half-brother Frank Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi) instead. It’s great looking back on this because all of the guest stars I’ve mentioned here are ones that come back regularly over the next few seasons. Friends was great about knowing what characters worked and how they could be used to further the main plot. I don’t know that I realized how well designed and organized the show was, because at the time I wasn’t thinking analytically and just watching it week to week as a fan.

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