Friends S2:E14 – Howdy, cowgirls and cowboys. Long time, no see. (Considering that we last convened a short four days ago for the special Friends Super Bowl episode, let the record reflect that my previous statement was said in jest.) Regardless of proximity to our last encounter, it’s great to see all of you on this lovely Monday afternoon and let me also say Happy Iowa Caucus Day! If you’re a political junkie like me, you’re probably way too consumed by nervous anticipation for tonight’s proceedings to be too worried about dissecting an episode of television that first aired twenty years ago. The old me (and when I say old me, I mean the me that wrote Season One of this blog series) would have used something as massive as the Iowa Caucuses as an excuse to mail in today’s assignment and write as little as I could possibly get away with in order to complete the post. However, considering that “The One with the Prom Video” (today’s episode) is one of the most famous Friends episodes of all-time and further considering that I have grown this year into a model employee here at theLeftAhead, it would be hard to justify not doing our due diligence on this one. (Taking a moment to turn and yell over to me editor…You here that, Mr. James? Growth.) But just because our minds are distracted by the monumental political history that stands to be made just a few short hours from now, doesn’t mean we can’t channel our fixation on Iowa into the work at hand. For example, both the Republican and Democrat caucuses tonight appear to be very close and will likely both end up having a runner-up that comes just short of winning. That runner-up in each party (if the results are as close as they appear that they might be) will be forced to play that miserable game we call What If. Yes, indeed. Whomever comes up just short tonight (whether it be Trump or Cruz on one side, Clinton or Sanders on the other) will be doing the torturous dance of going through every little detail of every single possible thing they could have done differently to win. What if I had done this campaign event instead of that campaign event? What if I had spent more money on grassroots GOTV instead spending more money on television ads? And so it will go for the candidates that come up just short tonight. Therefore, in honor of the pour souls who will soon be playing the What If game in Iowa, I present to you a gigantic Friends What If visa vie the following: What if Jack and Judy Geller hadn’t decided to turn Monica’s room into a gym?
Whenever you’re ready, let’s proceed down the rabbit hole. If Jack and Judy hadn’t decided to turn Monica’s room into a gym, then they would have never brought boxes of Monica’s childhood stuff over while visiting Monica and Rachel’s apartment. If Jack and Judy hadn’t brought boxes of Monica’s childhood stuff over while visiting Monica and Rachel’s apartment, the gang would have never discovered the videotape with footage from Monica and Rachel’s prom. (Do you see where I’m going here?) If the gang had never discovered the videotape with footage from Monica and Rachel’s prom, Rachel would have never witnessed Ross’ selfless act of getting dressed to take her to the prom. If Rachel never witnessed Ross’ selfless act of getting dressed to take her to the prom, the audience would have been deprived of one of the greatest moments in (not only Friends but all of…) television history. Yes, thank you Jack and Judy Geller for putting the events in motion that led to THE KISS. What a spectacular moment. A moment so spectacular (and famous for that matter), it has already been talked about ad nauseam. So rather than blabbing on about it for any extended length of time, let me just state the obvious. This was a huge moment for the show. Sure, even if the Geller’s hadn’t decided to turn Monica’s room into a gym, Ross and Rachel would have probably gotten together another way. After all, they are each other’s lobster. But thank you Gellers that you did decide to turn Monica’s room into a gym because it’s hard to imagine a Friends universe that doesn’t include THE KISS. So with today’s important episode now thoroughly dissected through the lens of the What If game, in closing, let me just say that on a day like today (where the gravity of the Iowa Caucuses make writing a Friends blog post seem like the least important thing in the world) I want to once again thank you for staying loyal to me and this utterly crazy ten year journey that I signed us up for. I couldn’t do it without your support and it’s good to know that no matter how far away the finish line is or how ridiculous it sometimes seems to keep pushing forward in hopes of seeing my vision for this Friends 20/20 project through to the end, you’re there continually supporting this dream. In other words, you’re there serving as the Chandler financial support to my Joey acting career. “Is this friendship? I think so.” On that note, good luck to all of the candidates tonight in Iowa. To those of you who end up being the unfortunate ones left playing the What If game, remember…don’t pull a Howard Dean, you will live to fight another day. See you in New Hampshire.
Recap in the Key of Phoebe – This is the one where Rachel rejects Ross when he pleads with her that they are meant to be together, Joey gives Chandler $812.00 and a ridiculously gaudy bracelet as a thank you for all of the financial support he’s received from Chandler over the years, Monica has to suck up her pride and tell her parents that she got fired from her job in order to try and borrow money from them, Phoebe uses a clever metaphor to encourage Ross in his attempt to rekindle the magic with Rachel, and it all pays off at the end when Rachel watches the prom video and then kisses Ross confirming that Ross was in fact right all along when he declared to Rachel, “You’re my lobster.”
Gandalf Gaffes – None. Flawless episode!
Chan Man Quip of the Week – [The Setup] The gang is at Monica and Rachel’s apartment going through the boxes of Monica’s stuff that her parents had brought over. They discover a video in the box and decide to put it on. After the gang sees Rachel in a dress, Monica realizes what the video is of and reports, “You know what this is, this is us getting ready for the prom.” Rachel responds, “Oh.” Looking embarrassed, Ross immediately cuts in after that pleading, “You know what, you guys, we don’t have to watch this.” The gang, in unison, rejects Ross’ suggestion and continues to watch the video. A few seconds later, a heavier set Monica appears on the screen and Joey cries out, “Some girl ate Monica.” Offended by the insult, Monica fires back, “Shut up, the camera adds ten pounds.” [The Knockout] Chandler does not miss a beat in responding with one of his most famous sarcastic remarks of the entire series, questioning Monica with, “Awe, so how many cameras are actually on you?”
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