Sunday, March 22, 2015

Binge Watching Friends on Netflix

My boyfriend was in Truro today for work, which marks the first full day I've been by myself in the apartment since we moved in. It was kind of weird since I've never lived on my own. I lived with my parents and then with roommates, so even when I was home by myself I was never really, totally by myself. I did live with my first boyfriend very briefly but that was such a clusterfuck it doesn't count. Co-habiting is technically living with someone, except there isn't really anywhere you're not allowed to go so it's also kind of like being on your own. I think. I don't know.

Anyway, he wasn't home, and I wasn't at work or school which doesn't seem to happen very often, so I figured I'd do a little baking and get the apartment cleaned up a bit. As I was scrubbing with a folded up corner of paper towel and two different types of cleaning spray, trying to figure out how to get the little specks of dirt out of the latches on my windows, I recalled when the guys I hang out with back home told me I was the Monica of our social group. At the time I thought that designation was totally unfounded - me? The Monica? Surely not. My favourite character had always been Phoebe. But quickly I realized that between my neurosis, and my love of all things food, the comparison was pretty on point.

With that seed planted in my mind, I remembered that Friends is on Netflix now. So, at the risk of screwing up my boyfriend's recommendations, I settled down to folding laundry, doing yoga, and watching Friends, which is basically what I envision stay at home moms do from the time their kids pass the fuck out to the time their husbands come home.

It's been probably two or three years since I've watched an episode of Friends (whenever the last time I lived somewhere that had cable was). But the episodes and the characters are so ingrained in my mind - like many children of my generation, television practically raised me. And Friends premiered in '94, when I was three. It's just always been there.

It's weird going back and starting the series from the beginning coz first of all the girls' fashion sense is just so innately nineties it's adorable.
i think my mom actually has this same top in the back of her closet
Also they (the Friends) just all looked so young and cute back then. Of course Jennifer Aniston looks exactly the fucking same now. Which is amazeballs. Just sayin.

One of the other things I noticed watching the first season is that, you know, Ross used to be fun. He had a zest for life. He made jokes. He had a pet monkey. He... he did fun things. In later seasons, it seems to me, repeated heartbreak and emotional trauma turned him from that loveable nerd, to a whiney, obnoxious husk of a man. To that point, I'm pretty sure the first use of the word "friendzone" was used to describe Ross' relationship with Rachel.

These are the things I notice now. Now that I am not three. I only watched maybe fourteen or fifteen episodes, which seems like a lot but I had it on in the background all day while I did other stuff. I've been very careful with Netflix since the time I was living with my first set of roommates and I sat and watched Pokemon on the couch for, like... a long time. I didn't move. I couldn't control myself. Anyway, I've treated Netflix somewhat like cocaine - it's alright to dip your nose in once in a while, but when you're naked on the couch in a pool of your own sweat for days at a time, then it's time to stop.

Another thing I noticed today (about Friends, not... whatever that last tangent was about), which of course totally blew over my head as a child, was that the Friends are surprisingly non-judgmental about sexual promiscuity. It seems to me that every show has something negative to say about that (for example, I've been watching a lot of Frasier lately and on that show Roz is almost constantly badgered and harrassed about sleeping with lots of dudes. Mostly by people who call themselves her friends. Also her boss. Ha ha, it's funny coz she's a slut. /sarcasm). From what I've seen so far, Friends doesn't really go there. The girls date (and presumably bone) lotsa different people. So do the guys. It becomes a joke with Joey but it's not really chastised so much. Sexual conquests amongst the Friends are applauded, both male and female. That means a lot to me. I've been pretty sensitive to women's issues lately, to the point where I feel personally attacked and threatened whenever any woman is judged by the number of men she's slept with. I realize this is probably a topic for another post. What I'm getting at is that it's nice to watch a sitcom and not feel gross because the girls get referred to as garbage to be picked up. I'm pretty sure it passes the Bechdel test too, I wasn't really paying attention but I think it does.

So that's what I have to say about that. Even after twenty plus years, Friends is still a pretty good show.

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