Dee Discusses: Friends Season 3

Posted: August 17, 2014 by Dee in Dee, Friends, General Media, Television
Tags: , , , , , , ,

No, I haven’t forgotten this project. What’s amazing to me about Friends is that I can come and go from this show, and I still remember each season. A lot of the episodes blend together for me, but when I look at the episode list I go “oh that season!” This one featured the explosive break up of Ross and Rachel, and the aftermath lasted until the very end of the show. I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of will they or won’t they, and I dislike even more the back and forth part. I do understand that sometimes it happens that way, especially when a couple are in a close group of friends and have to see each other constantly. It would be very hard to get over a person when you never get time apart. There are a lot of arguments about whether “on a break” is an acceptable excuse, so I’ll talk about that in a bit. But in general I didn’t like Ross and Rachel, and I was always more interested in the others.

At the end of season 2, Ross and Rachel were together, Monica broke up with Richard because he didn’t want to have more kids, Joey got a job on Days of Our Lives and then lost it, and Chandler and Phoebe had stories that weren’t really as important. I love those two though, and they got slightly bigger parts here. Chandler spends the season trying again with Janice and pushing past his commitment phobia, only to find out she kissed her ex-husband and went back to him. Poor Chandler. His immaturity and issues with relationships last the whole show, and he’s by far the least successful friend in terms of romance. At least before his great love, which we’ll get to in season five. His past is a big part of that, where his parents’ ugly divorce really sold to him that love/commitment doesn’t matter. It’s funny they use that in the Rachel and Ross break up, where he falls to pieces a bit because he’s reminded of his parents. Funny/sad, I mean.

I really love Rachel’s main storyline this season, regardless of the break up. She finally quits working at the coffee shop and decides to go to work for real. She pursues her love for fashion, and she’s excited when she gets a job in the business thanks to a handsome stranger named Mark. Ross’ jealousy gets intense here, which was a big warning flag. For me, I enjoyed this time around because I identified with Rachel’s position now that I’d gotten out of college and got into the work force. Pursuing her dream job and getting it, that’s very important, and it means all of her attention and energy was poured in that direction. Ross thought it was about Mark, with her late hours and distraction. I think it was impossible for him to see the big picture because he went for what he wanted from an early age, he went to school and got his doctorate, etc. He was too wrapped up in his own insecurities. This led to an explosive break up where Rachel says they need to take a break from each other, and Ross immediately sleeps with another woman. Rachel tells him the next morning she wants to make up, and he hides his hook up from her, but she finds out. This leads to an entire episode of them breaking up, with the friends locked in Monica’s room.

This was a gray zone, and I think it was clever of them to use it that way. You could acknowledge both sides of the issue. But in general, people, it’s never a smart idea to immediately hook up with someone else after a big fight. No matter what they say. But I’m not so sure if I would call this cheating. It was questionable. This is a situation where the two of them might have done better if they had space. Instead they started breaking the group up, until they decided they had to make peace at least long enough to give their friends some relief. By the end of the season it looked like they might have a reconciliation when they go to a beach house with the group, and Ross brings his new girlfriend.

Phoebe is the one who brought them to the beach house, and this was a big season for her as she got in touch with her family members. She got closer with her half-brother Frank, and she also met her “real” mother Phoebe. I kind of wish the Ross and Rachel stuff at the end of the season hadn’t detracted from such a major storyline for Phoebe, but that’s how sitcoms go. Meanwhile Monica spends the season trying to get over Richard, and she has a hard time finding a job. She meets super rich Pete, who wants to be an Ultimate Fighting Champion for some reason. That was a silly storyline. Joey has a real love storyline where he falls for his co-star Kate, and he’s heartbroken as she’s dating someone else and then gets with him. But she leaves for a better job. It matured his character a little.

Notable hilarious storylines this season included Ben Stiller’s guest role as a very angry date of Rachel, Monica mistakingly changing Richard’s phone message after hacking into his phone, them creating a giant stick to poke Ugly Naked Guy across the street since they think he’s dead, the famous Little Women/The Shining story with Joey and Rachel with the freezer, and the adoption of the chick and the duck for Joey and Chandler. Aw, the chick and the duck! Cutie pies. This season was chock full of good storylines and it was more serial than the previous two. There were less random stories, and every episode seemed like it was geared toward a greater picture. In retrospect I liked the complicated nature of the Ross and Rachel break up. I just got tired of it by the last season. Strap in, self, it only gets more frustrating.

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