tv review · Uncategorized

I rewatched Friends..

I have to admit I did not like Friends as much this time around since I watched it for the first time 3 years ago. I had forgotten most things that happened aside from some memorable one liners (We were on a break!!!). So after rewatching all 10 seasons again, I realized that while it is a good background show to have you’re doing laundry or whatever and does have moments of great depth and relatability but there are definitely some cons that I just couldn’t ignore. Here are my stray thoughts upon rewatch.

The humor

While I absolutely adore comedy today such as The Good Place and Parks and Rec, there is something about the blunt sarcasm in Friends and other sitcoms that I totally love especially when Chandler is talking to Joey or Ross. I missed that from today’s comedies. It is especially apparent in Friends considering the characters are pretty sarcastic personality traits themselves. The jokes become pretty repetitive and formulaic but I didn’t expect anything radically different when it comes to sitcoms.

Rachel

I would argue that this show revolves around Rachel. The show begins and ends with a big decision that Rachel has to make. I really like her character growth throughout the seasons especially when it came to her career and I wish it had continued during the later seasons. I have to admit, I have a much better appreciation for her now growing up though I wish I could say the same for Ross.

Themes of Friendship!

The greatest thing about Friends is how it so accurately portrays the nature of friendship and big life events that happen when you’re in your late 20’s and early 30’s. Things like quitting your job to pursue something you actually love. Getting fired from your job. When your deepest relationship is with your friends. Trying to get pregnant. Deciding whether to commit to a relationship or even marriage. Deciding if you want kids etc. A lot of their feelings and love and devotion between friends and SO’s, these themes of finding your one true love is of course is as universal now as it was in the 90’s. I truly believe this is what makes Friends really work, the chemistry and bonds between the characters. I absolutely love the episodes when they’re doing things together such as the episode where Ross is trying to hurry everyone up for the paleontology banquet and everyone is taking their goddamn time or all the Thanksgiving episodes.

Problematic Jokes

I understand this show was written in the 90’s but I had no idea how pervasive the “gay” jokes were and it got really annoying after a while. There were whole episodes dedicating to making fun of the guys and whatever feminine habit they adopted. For example, in the episode where Joey carries around a bag, all of the friends make fun of him for carrying a purse. Or the time when Joey’s roommate who is a woman decides to spruce up the apartment and teaches Joey how to arrange flowers and Chandler furiously berates him. Or the time when Chandler plucks Joey’s eyebrows and soon after they insist they have to do something manly in order to idk continue being men? There are also way too many jokes about Ross using lotion (how that’s hilarious I don’t know). Even Monica is implicit in this, often calling Chandler and Joey girls after she does a masculine coded trait. For example, in the last episode of Season 10 she breaks Chandler and Joey’s game table, she says “I’m going to go check on the twins, see ya girls!” You could argue that these male characters do not fit stereotypical male characteristics and that makes it ok that they make fun of each other for not being “manly” cause none of them are anyway. However, it’s clear to me that in the end, the male characters continue to dig themselves deeper into the masculine stereotype they so rigidly define and never get out of it.

On the flip side, I have to give credit where credit is due although I have to admit for every credit, there is a counter..credit?. This show arguably revolves around a female main character who used to be the popular girl and is sexually promiscuous and is not punished for it (even though the show makes too many references to her being slut). Ironically, though, Rachel continues to call Ross’s female love interests sluts or whores.  The female friendships between the female characters are so wonderful and there’s numerous episodes revolving around Monica’s and Rachel’s friendship which was great to see.

The prominence of lesbian jokes also became grating. There are so many jokes about Carol being a lesbian for none other than her being a lesbian. But they did at least show Carol and Susan in a caring relationship which is something. The only thing Friends can’t be considered really is racist although how much credit should be given to them considering there were very, very few POC in the show itself? Friends does not quite stand up to the test of time but I do understand it was a product of its time.

Way too many relationships with people who you know they’re going to break up with

There are so many random extras in the show that serve as love interests that last no longer than an episode! It came to a point where I knew something had to be something wrong with the love interest. For example, Ross finds a love interest who was interested in his paleontology book in the library. She seems to be perfect: she loves paleontology and is also very good looking but come to find out she has a disgusting apartment and is a hoarder. I was frustrated at the number of “filler” love interests that came in that stood no real chance and that kind of took the fun out of it for me. I really like that Phoebe ended up with someone outside of the group, plus her and Mike are the real OTP to me.

Ross and Rachel storyline

Obviously this storyline is very hit or miss with audiences. While I found them entertaining, I never understood the appeal especially near the end, when people would come in and out of their lives and you knew they were going to break up because of course Ross and Rachel were going to end up together. Honestly, if I had it my way, I would have paired Ross with Julie from Season 2 or Charlie from Season 10 and Ross would have been with Gavin though admittedly maybe these options would not have provided enough tension? I did like that through this on and off relationship though we get to explore Ross and Rachel’s insecurities and flaws from Ross’s fear of Rachel cheating on him to both of their respective possessiveness. It would have been nice if some of those flaws had been addressed before you know, Rachel gave up a dream job in Paris for him but who cares about that when you have a hot on and off relationship with Ross right? There is a definite appeal to their story but I got tired of it very easily.

Chandler and Monica

Chandler and Monica have some very sweet moments. I especially loved Chandler’s speech to the mother about adopting her kids when Chandler tells her I’ll learn to be a good dad once the baby is born but Monica? She’s already there. She’s a mother without a baby. But I did not like their relationship dynamic after the initial stages, it just made it seem like Monica was a mom and Chandler was her kid. Chandler had so much character development from his commitment issues to opening up about his feelings and being more emotionally mature but Monica? her character development went to a standstill after she broke up with Richard which on this rewatch, I’m forever bitter about it. They were so freaking good for each other. I was also bothered by the fact that hereafter whenever Richard was mentioned, Chandler got really, really insecure about it and Monica had to convince him that he was better than Richard (even though in what ways I cannot tell you) considering Monica basically spent the entire relationship tutoring Chandler on how to even be in a relationship. Chandler did get better near the end though.

Conflict

The biggest issue I have with Friends is the constant usage of lying to build conflict. Every single episode is built on someone telling a lie to another friend and by the end, the truth is revealed. It made it really hard to understand why they were even friends and made it hard to distinguish their motives from one another. It does do very well setting up drama though. I was reading this one review about Friends and he stated that Friends was basically “a soap opera disguising itself as a comedy” which I have to agree with.

Stray Thoughts

– I think the Vegas episodes after Season 5 were among the best of the entire series. I completely love the Rachel and Ross dynamic (among the best of their acting) and their little marriage storyline was so funny

“Heelllooooo Mrs. Ross, Hellloooo Mr. Rachel!! LOL

-lots of filler storylines near the end – like Ross wearing a girl’s shirt, Joey not liking sharing food, Monica’s hair problem at the beginning

– ross and rachel storyline is sooo overdrawn. It should have ended at least 3 seasons earlier. literally everyone was better than them for ross and rachel than either of them.

-those computers and cellphones look so much older and bulkier after 3 years of not watching this show

-how awkward must it be if you say someone else’s name other than your betrothed at your own wedding? I’m looking at you Ross..

-is it just me but did Joey just get dumber and dumber with each season?

-it was so funny when the friends made fun of Ross for how many marriages he’s had

 

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favorites · Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

December 2016 Favorites

I know 2017 is already here but I kind of want to rewind back to December again in some ways because December was an unexpectedly good month for me. That’s the thing about the Christmas season, everyone just seems to be in a better mood than usual and you are just extra cruel to do anything bad to someone at Christmas so usually they just wait until the 26th to do something mean. At least in my experience. Maybe you’re the Grinch. I don’t know. Over Christmas, it was almost a constant influx of guests at my house and I got to spend time with family that I hadn’t seen in a really long time (3 years in fact). It’s crazy how someone can change in that time and your perceptions of them are kind of blown out of the water.

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Our family photo is so on point. My cousin in the back is posing like a fucking bodyguard. My brother is separated from us by the stairs…

Of course, the more important part is getting to eat all the food..

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Do you know how you can tell this is a Viet gathering? All of those aluminum trays..
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Mama D’s pasta. It was so delicious and the service was even better than the food.
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Omg this is making my mouth water. Cream Pan’s strawberry croissant with cream inside and powdered sugar on top. 

I also got to enjoy the season with my friends. We went ice skating and I suck at ice skating so, so much that it was shameful. I had to have someone holding me throughout most of the allotted time  but it was still fun nonetheless.

I also went to see the Christmas lights near my hometown. It is insane how creative and decorative people get with their Christmas lights.

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This was the sweepstakes winner for this neighborhood.

There are some crazy lights during this time of year. I also went to see a single house where the whole house was covered in lights and it changes colors and you can even tune into a certain radio station to listen to it while you watch it.

I did my annual tradition of Secret Santa; I got Exploding Kittens that I’ve been wanting for a while. This is so fun and very nearly the perfect icebreaker. The rules are so simple anyone can play and there’s both luck and strategy involved. Basically your goal is to not draw an exploding kitten. I played a lot of games in general in December like poker, Heads Up, Monopoly, and Forbidden Island but this one’s my favorite.

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I actually didn’t listen to a lot of Christmas music in December which is kind of unforgivable but I did listen to Pentatonix’s Christmas album with Hallelujah being my favorite out of the songs. In terms of other music, I fell in love with The Weeknd’s new album Starboy. I honestly like all the songs but my favorites are Six Feet Under and Party Monster. I also liked the hip hop song Black Barbie by Nicki Minaj and Mike Will Made It. It was nice to go back to popular hip hop last month.

Writing this post made me really happy. I mean writing on this blog makes me happy in general but it was nice to go back down memory lane. Wow, I’m making it seem like this was 10 years ago even though it was only last month. But yeah, that was my December. Let me know what your last month of 2016 was like =)

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favorites · Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

February/March 2016 Favorites

 

Warning: Extreme Ranting Ahead..

Omigosh was February and March hectic. The beginning of March was especially stressful since my phone and wallet actually got stolen while I was taking a midterm at a theater near my school (yeah I actually have class in the movie theater). And yeah, some student decided it would be fun to steal my stuff WHILE I WAS TRYING TO PASS COLLEGE. Can you be any more cruel? But the police found them so it’s all good but then the next day I lose my apartment keys and then I found out I couldn’t call anyone so I had to buy a new SIM card and I was out all last week because my fraternity had rush and also my  new credit card isn’t working and I didn’t get the job I wanted..and because I had to cancel my credit card, my order for The Winner’s Kiss COULDN’T COME IN. Ok I’m done. Be calm, Carolyn.

It’s like the bucket of problems got dumped on me this month. And I’m telling you it’s not even the big problems that really frustrate me, it’s the addition of the little things. But on a side note, I’m so thankful to my friends and my sister for being so emotionally supportive during this time. I’ve honestly never felt so loved and I feel like everyone deserves a chance to feel this way at least once in their life.

In other more pleasant news, I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time and I did not know eyebrow shaping could make such a difference but it does! I also went shopping a lot because shopping is actually really therapeutic. I had my spring break where I honestly spent it all trying to find PAs to shadow (Why is this so hard?) and hanging out with my friends. If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I went to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. It was so pretty!! I’m not a big flower person but one look at these flowers and I was converted.

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Ah, so serene..unlike my life

Makeup

I think getting my eyebrows threaded got me really into more of the possibilities of makeup and I’ve been loving it.

I would highly recommend the Nyx eyebrow pencil. It just gets so much coverage with so little ink and the color is perfect for my brows. I’ve also been loving my Nyx liquid eyeliner as well.

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This post was not sponsored by Nyx, fyi

 

Clothes

White crop top from forever 21- so pretty and summery; I can’t wait to wear it in the upcoming weeks because it is so hot here in Socal.

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This post was not sponsored by Forever21 but that tag is all kinds of cute. 

Apps

Google Opinion Rewards-Basically you do free surveys for free money to buy things on the Google Play Store. You can’t really go wrong with that. I buy games and ebooks with it. Surprise, surprise.

Songs

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Hymn for the Weekend-Coldplay’s new album is so awesome and I think this one’s my favorite out of all of them.

One Call Away by Charlie Puth– A random surprise

I Won’t Let You Walk Away-more EDM

Youth by Troye Sivan-My youth is yours.. This song has been playing nonstop for me. I even internally fangirled when I heard it playing at Starbucks

Wild by Troye Sivan– I love the melancholy in this song.

Lost Boy by Troye Sivan-I normally would not like the beat of htis song but something about it is just so charming and yeah this has been a Troye Sivan month. No shame.

Recommendations from Summer and Joey 

Your Lie in April OST– AHH so beautiful, it makes me want to cry. Thanks for the rec Summer!

Smoke-filled room remix– I actually usually don’t like remixes but I really liked this one. Thanks Joey, I’ve been looking at all your retrospective posts for music recs 🙂

TV

This whole month I haven’t watched basically anything but FRIENDS and this is actually the first time I’ve seen Friends. I know, I know, how can a lover of comedy not  have watched Friends by now. Well, funny story, I didn’t like Friends at first. I thought it wasn’t funny..but I’m officially converted! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. It’s hilarious and charming and Joey and Chandler are probably my favorites haha 🙂

 

Well that’s it! Hopefully, hopefully, April brings better luck. Fingers crossed.

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