Husband Bear and I have become addicted to Friends.
It started a couple of months ago when I realised one of the new digital channels was repeated the show twice a day and that, using our snazzy new hard drive recordery thingie, I could automatically tape it WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO PUT A VIDEO TAPE IN. Magic!
Of course, I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time. I was a teenager in the 90’s. My friend, Rachel (who I was always jealous of because, um, she got got to have the same name as one of the characters from the show … hey, I was fifteen. Give me a break!) and I used to have Friends marathons (watching actual videotapes, TAPED FROM THE TELEVISION), at her place at the weekend and we knew just about every line from every episode. This depth of knowledge was only surpassed by our deep and detailed familiarity with the movies Circle of Friends (“I may look like a rhinoceros, but I’ve got quite a thin skin, really, so you’d better not mess me about” “I won’t mess you about, Benny”), and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (“I invented post-its” “But I thought of making them yellow!”).
Bear, however, came from a family where watching American television is kind of up there with putting bits in the mouths of horses (his mum is a super awesome horse whispery type person), so while he knew just about every quote from all of the Blackadder seasons, he’d never watched Friends.
The first time I put it on, he grumbled and rolled his eyes and left the room, muttering stuff about “bloody American crap” and “it’s not comedy if it doesn’t star Stephen Fry”.
The second time I put on an episode, he stayed in the room, but he spent the whole time on his computer looking at Reddit. That was fine. I didn’t care if he didn’t like it. I LOVED watching Friends again.
I loved Chandler’s incessant joking, Ross’ drippiness, Joey’s goofy charm, Phoebe’s loopiness, Rachel’s “selfish brat with a heart of gold routine” and Monica’s neurosis. I didn’t care that, basically, it was a show about pretty people living in cool apartments that they never would have been able to afford in the “real world” given the fact that, for most of the series, only two of them have steady jobs.
I still remembered most of the lines, whooping when my favourites came on (“We’ll call you FLAME BOY” … “Mr Bing’s office? he can’t come to the phone right now. He’s having sex.” “You’re over me? When were you … under me?” “Well the cow in the meadow goes moo … Well the cow in the meadow goes moo … Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up and that’s how we get hamburgers …” Okay, I’ll stop now). I was in heaven.
When I put the third episode on, Bear stopped reading Reddit.
Well, I should clarify that. He still PRETENDED to be reading Reddit, but I sneaked a look at him and I saw that his eyes were not on the netbook screen. They were on the TV SCREEN!
Then … HE LAUGHED!
“What are you doing?” I asked. “Are you watching Friends? But it’s not British!”
“I’m only watching because the girls are hot,” he argued.
I pretended I believed him. I knew he needed to keep up his high-brow, British-comedy-watching persona. I didn’t comment when he stopped even pretending to be reading Reddit. I didn’t say anything when he laughed so hard he nearly cried at some stupid thing that Joey did (I suspect Joey is his favourite).
When I put an episode on one day and he said, “Hang on! Don’t start without me!” I knew I had him.
Then, Bear gave me the Friends box set for Christmas – the one with EVERY SINGLE EPISODE!!!
I secretly suspect the present was as much for him as it was for me, but, seriously, could that present BE any cooler?
Now, it’s almost a given that, at a certain point every evening, one of us will casually say, “You wanna watch some Friends?”
I love Chandler and Phoebe the best. Leigh has the hots for Monica and laughs every time Joey pulls a funny face. It might not be the coolest of TV shows. I’m sure we should be spending our nights watching Deadwood or Dexter or Skins.
But hey, do any of those shows have SMELLY CAT?