Tuesday, June 08, 2010

tv meme, day 7: least favorite episode(s) of your favorite tv show

While it pains me to say it, my beloved Friends does come with its flaws. Though it's mostly an endearingly joyful show full of hilarious gags and great cast chemistry, there have been missteps in its 10-season run. And in no particular order, these are my most "meh" episodes of my favorite show.

The One Where Heckles Dies (Season 2)
When the minor character of the grumpy neighbor of Monica and Rachel's, Mr. Heckles, passes on, and the gang is left to rummage through his leftover belongings, the episode that results is an uncharacteristically melodramatic one from the likes of otherwise fun-loving Chandler. When Chandler notices too many parallels between the single loner Heckles and himself, he dips into a wee bit of a depression in which he tends to lash out at the rest of the group at the drop of a hat. It's no fun to see Matthew Perry deliver these kinds of mopey monologues, so thankfully they avoided writing them in subsequent seasons.

The One with Ross' Tan (Season 10)
Now, I've had a long relationship with Ross' character, and though he tends to be my sixth favorite friend, I still pull for him (and he's particularly funny when he's geeking out about dinosaurs), but in this episode, in which Ross has a run-in with a spray tan booth, reality is suspended moreso than usual - and for a terribly unfunny subplot at that. Ross of course goes back to the booth in order to even out his too-dark tan, somehow gets confused about the system of front first, back second and gets a double-tan on the front side. Yeah okay - because a man with a Ph.D. would somehow misunderstand something that a Los Angeles mall babe would understand on a daily basis.

The One in Massapequa (Season 8)
Now this one's not a total loss here. Most of the episode is quite enjoyable - Monica trying to write a speech as tear-jerking as Ross' for their parents' wedding anniversary party and Ross and Rachel being forced to make up pretend details about a wedding that never actually happened. The real trouble here is the case of the NBC sitcom guest gone wrong. And to think that they somehow screwed up having Alec Baldwin as a guest. He plays Parker, Phoebe's date to the part, who's impossibly positive, to an annoying extent. You know when the characters are being driven just as crazy as the viewers that something's gone wrong with the writing.

The One with Ross' Grant (Season 10)
Here's another case of the big-name guest star causing some problems. Aside from the fact that Aisha Tyler's character of Charlie was sort of a strange series of episodes for the show (her personality seemed to just mold to whatever it needed to), add to that Greg Kinnear's character of Charlie's ex-lover who happens to be in charge of whether or not Charlie's current lover, Ross, gets his much-needed research grant. Of course Kinnear goes out of his way to make it difficult for Ross, but since we have no relationship with this character, it's hard to find his shameful attempt to destroy our own Mr. Geller comical. And of course Charlie gets whisked away by this charade in the end.


Unknown said...

Curiously I don't remember most of those eps lol.

Andrew K. said...

HEY. Luke, isn't the episode with Mr. Heckles when Phoebe and Chandler sang "Endless Love" in the closing credits? That's actually one of my singular favourite FRIENDS moments :) They are the two best friends.