Wednesday, March 14, 2018


The problem with Spring Break

Do you ever take a nap-- not a long one, but just a reasonable 45-minute respite-- and then when you get up you just... can't... get.... going? For whatever reason, coming back from Spring Break has been like that for me. It's just a slog for some reason. 

When I was teaching the first class back of Criminal Law, I was in the middle of explaining something about burglary and for some reason, as I was talking, I began wondering why it always seemed like Phoebe never quite fit in on "Friends."

It's not a pressing issue. I had to shake my head, literally, and re-focus. 

That's what it is like.

I'm pretty sure that I will get my groove back soon; if I don't it could be disastrous!

But, seriously, is anyone out there with me on this Phoebe thing?

Amen to the post-SB malaise.

Amen also to existential Phoebe question. First, an admission: I never loved Friends. I watched it regularly (perhaps even religiously) but only because it was on TV (very often between Seinfeld--my choice for greatest 30-min comedy show ever--and Mad About You).

Right. What was up with Phoebe? Was she ever really explained? She was like a stray dog Monica and Rachel found on the side of the road coming back from the Louis Vuitton and then brought her home to stay forever. Monica and Rachel were lifetime friends from their upwardly mobile Jewish subculture, dreaming about living independently in Manhattan and waiting for the perfect husband to show up. Phoebes was from another planet.

BTW: Maybe Joey was the parallel on the boy side. Chandler and Ross, the college friends with similar intellectual gifts but also similar insecurities, offered an easily digestible origin story. How did Joey find his way into their lives? how did Chandler meet Joe? What made them best buds?

As I say, I have no love for Friends (mainly because I thought it was a silly show market-tested to appeal to a certain demo and thought through exactly one episode ahead of the production deadline--unlike The Office, which seems to fit together with mind-blowing precision and continuity over the course of nine seasons).

And perhaps that is all too harsh...but you asked...and this is better than trying to figure out how not to tank in my 2:55...
I hadn't thought about the Joey side of things, but you are absolutely right. The cover story was that Phoebe was Monica's roommate who kind of got forced out by Rachel, and then Chandler and Ross were college roommates, and Ross and Monica were siblings, and Joey was Chandler's post-college roommate. But, you're right, that doesn't tell us anything about how Phoebe and Joey hooked up with the rest of them in the first place.

Plus, Phoebe's back story is so dark: Mom committed suicide, dad abandoned them, she lived in a box. It just doesn't fit!
I've never watched it.

and after everything.... I think that was a good thing. lol

This was an interesting alternative ending suggested by a fan on Twitter (@strnks) that was circulating a couple years back:

“I’d have ended Friends by revealing it was all the meth-addled fantasy of a homeless Phoebe as she stared through the window of Central Perk.

Each kooky aside, each time she made everything about her, each example of how she’s an outsider….it all makes sense. All 10 seasons were merely her fevered imagination, projecting herself into the lives of the others. All she ever wanted was…Friends.

The final scene would be Phoebe walking away from Central Perk, with the Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler and Monica characters making a reference to “the crazy lady who always stares at us.” They all have different names and personalities.

Phoebe walks past a furniture store and catches her reflection in a mirror. The name of the store? “Ursula.”

Finally she returns to the park where she sleeps in front of the fountain. A broken lamp stands next to her bench. It starts to rain. From behind, we see her put up six dirty, but brightly coloured umbrellas.

Fade to black.”
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