Amurri dating

Amurri, the 34-year-old daughter of Susan Sarandon and Franco Amurri, and Martino, a 38-year-old former soccer player, are the parents of 5-year-old Marlowe Mae and 3-year-old Major James. She was born on Friday, March 15, 1985. Is Eva Amurri married or single, who is she dating now and previously? As of 2020, Eva Amurri is married to Kyle Martino. On 15-3-1985 Eva Amurri (nickname: Maria) was born in New York, United States. She made her 5 million dollar fortune with How I Met Your Mother, Mercy, That's My Boy. The actress is married to , her starsign is Pisces and she is now 35 years of age. Amurri and Martino, an NBC sports analyst and former athlete, welcomed son Mateo Antoni Martino on March 13. The couple finalized their divorce on Feb. 4, according to court documents obtained by ... The way they were. Eva Amurri and Kyle Martino announced their plans to separate in November 2019 after eight years of marriage, but they had a lot of highs together along the way. Following their ... Dating, Pregnant & Divorce. Following a blissful dating period, Eva Amurri and MLS star Kyle Martino – her boyfriend at the time – got engaged in December 2010. Via Twitter, she made the announcement and labeled future husband Kyle “the most wonderful man on the planet.” 11 months into their engagement, Eva and then-fiance Kyle got married. Who is he dating right now? Franco Amurri is currently single.. Relationships. Franco Amurri has been in a relationship with Susan Sarandon (1984 - 1988).. About. Franco Amurri is a 61 year old Italian Writer born on 12th September, 1958 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. His zodiac sign is Virgo Eva Amurri’s estranged husband Kyle Martino is confirmed via Us Weekly to be 'dating again,' and on exclusive dating app Raya. The actress, 34, is currently pregnant with her third child with ... See all Eva Amurri's marriages, divorces, hookups, break ups, affairs, and dating relationships plus celebrity photos, latest Eva Amurri news, gossip, and biography. Eva Amurri is currently single. She has been in one celebrity relationship averaging approximately 9.2 years. Her only marriage lasted 8.3 years. Who is she dating right now? Eva Amurri Martino is currently single.. Relationships. Eva Amurri Martino was previously married to Kyle Martino (2011 - 2019).. Eva Amurri Martino is rumoured to have hooked up with William S. Tribell (2007 - 2008).

God's punitive judgement on wayward nations after many warnings (worth reading)

2019.10.22 02:22 Timamanakum God's punitive judgement on wayward nations after many warnings (worth reading)

Click link to read full articlehttps://www.controversyextraordinary.com/2014/12/gods-punitive-judgment-on-wayward-nations-after-many-warnings.html
An atheist scientist has accused God with a flood of adversarial adjectives. In his book, he wrote -
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." (God Delusion. Chapter 2 p.31)
Breaking down the paragraph, here is the list of the freak accusations against the Creator by the freakiest of freaks, Richard Dawkins:
  1. Unforgiving control-freak
  2. Vindictive
  3. Bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser
  4. Misogynistic
  5. Homophobic
  6. Racist
  7. Infanticidal
  8. Genocidal
  9. Filicidal
  10. Pestilential
  11. Megalomaniacal
  12. Sadomasochistic
  13. Capriciously malevolent bully
Unforgiving Control-Freak?
Unfortunately, for this scientist, his understanding about a creator in charge is nil. Anyone accusing somebody to be an "unforgiving control-freak" without basis is a freak himself like Dawkins! The less-than-zero god of Dawkins is all of these, yet he is petty?
As recorded in the history of God’s nation, because of human greed and caprices, the Israelites suffered with rigor in the hands of the cruel Egyptians for four hundred years.
GENESIS 15:13-16
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full*.*
Why did it take that long? God is a forgiving God, waiting patiently for people to repent and realize the consequences of their iniquities. The timing was not only for the Israelites, but also for their enemies.
His being a forgiving God spells His long-suffering for the Amorites. Who are these Amorites?
The Amorites were an ancient nation mentioned frequently in the Old Testament. They were descended from one of the sons of Canaan (Genesis 14:7). In early inscriptions, the Amorites were also known as Amurra or Amurri. The “land of the Amorites” included Syria and Palestine. Some of the southern mountains of Judea were also called the hill country of the Amorites (Deuteronomy 1:7,19-20). Despite their strong numbers and military might, the Amorites were destroyed due to their worship of false gods. Israel’s conquest of their land was part of God’s judgment on the pagan Amorite culture. The Amorite nation had plenty of time to turn from their idolatry, but they despised God's goodness and longsuffering and refused to repent (Romans 2:4). The Lord’s judgment upon them was severe, and anyone who imitates their rebellion will eternally regret it (Romans 2:5; Matthew 10:28; Revelation 2:22-23). (Ref: Norman Geisler and Joseph M. Holden, The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible, Harvest House Publishers, 2012).
II PETER 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward*, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.*
This is because His desire is for all men to be saved.
I TIMOTHY 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved*, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.*
This long span of years - four hundred - proves God's patience and forgiveness for the abuses of the Egyptians against the Israelites and the grace of His forgiveness and patience towards the Amorites (used interchangeably with Canaanites). But seeing that the hardness of their hearts and the degree of corruption the Amorites have accumulated in their ungodly way of life, God ordered the Israelites to get rid of these people. This was after God liberated the Israelites from Egypt. For this, isn’t Dawkins accusing God for being "bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser?"
For us to understand the order of God, let us look into model cases in the Bible of annihilation of nations. In various verses, one can read: "wipe them out," "throw them into confusion," "make them turn their backs and run," "drive them out of your way,""strike them down" "dispossess," "drive out," "thrust out," "destroy them," "subdue them before you," "annihilate," "deliver them over to you," "defeat them," "give kings into your hands," and "wipe out their names from under heaven." But according to Analyst Glenn Miller (ChristianThinkTank.com, 2000), when these are grouped into two categories- dispossession versus destruction - the first comes out with 33 occurrences, and destruction only11 occurrences, with a ratio of 3:1.
Recognizing the intent of the 'punishment' explains the order. Accordingly, God was destroying a culture and its carriers, and not necessarily all the individuals in it. In brief, the model cases, as explained by Miller were as follows -
(1) In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities were destroyed without human agency, and that the vegetation was destroyed. God used some type of natural disaster to accomplish the destruction.
(2)The Flood of Noah was the largest annihilation/judgment to date and it involved people, animals, and much vegetation (Gen 6-8).
(3)The Amalekite initiative looks like an ordered annihilation;
1 Samuel 15:3 (KJV)Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
The annihilation was to punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. The Amalekites are a predatory, raiding, and nomadic group.
(4) In the book of Jonah, what is there is an 'averted annihilation'.
JONAH 1:1-5 (KJV)1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep......
In short, the people of Nineveh, confronted with warning, responded and averted the annihilation.
From these model cases, the obvious pattern is that the annihilations are judgments over cruelty and violence of an extreme and widespread nature, preceded by long periods of warning or exposure to truth and therefore, with opportunity to change outcomes. But the list of Amorite/Canaanite "religious" practices included: (1) Child sacrifice (with at least some of it in fire); (2) Incest; (3) Bestiality; (3) Homosexual practices; and (4) Cultic prostitution (Miller, 2000; Hobrink, 2011).
Reality dictates that there are people who have no right to live in a civilized society. Governments of almost all civilized nations impose capital punishment for people who are found to be prejudicial to the existence of the better elements of society.
The Bible teaches that children, unlike their evil parents, are welcome in heaven.
MATTHEW 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children*, and forbid them not, to come unto me:* for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Here’s an archeological account on the land of Canaan suggesting that children were also afflicted by the sexually transmitted diseases prevalent in Canaan during the time that God commanded Israelites to claim the land of the Amorites!
God's express command to Israel was to destroy or drive out the Canaanites (Deuteronomy 7:2, 3). And Joshua went at the task in dead earnest, God himself helping with mighty miracles. In reality, GOD DID IT.
In excavation at Gezer, Macalister, of the Palestine Exploration Fund (1904-09), found, in the Canaanite stratum, which had preceded Israelite occupation, of about 1500 B.C., the ruins of a "High Place," which had been a temple in which they worshiped their god Baal and the goddess Ashtoreth (Astarte). It was an enclosure 150 by 120 feet, surrounded by a wall, open to the sky, where the inhabitants held their religious festivals. Within the walls were 10 rude stone pillars, 5 to 11 feet high, before which the sacrifices were offered. Under the debris, in this "High Place," Macalister found great numbers of jars containing the remains of children who had been sacrificed to Baal. The whole area proved to be a cemetery for new-born babes.
Another horrible practice was that they called "foundation sacrifices." When a house was to be build (sic), a child would be sacrificed, and its body built into the wall, to bring good luck to the rest of the family. Many of these were found in Gezer. They have been found also at Megiddo, Jerico and other places.
Also, in this High Place, under the rubbish Macalister found enormous quantities of images and plaques of Ashtoreth with rudely exaggerated sex organs designed to foster sensual feelings.
So, Canaanites worshiped, by immoral indulgence, as a religious rite, in the presence of their gods; and then, by murdering their first-born children, as a sacrifice to the same gods. It seems that, in large measure, the land of Canaan had become a sort of Sodom and Gomorrah on a national scale. (Ref: Halley's Bible Handbook, Archaeological Notes: Canaanite Religion, pp166-167)
The Macalister mentioned here is Robert Alexander Stewart Macalister (1870-1950), an Irish archeologist who was responsible for the excavations at Gezer, one of the earliest large-scale scientific archeological excavations in the region. Gezer is said to be between Jerusalem and Jaffa. (Ref: http://archaeology.tau.ac.il/azekah/azekah/2-uncategorised/156-cont-23)
The height of the evil being practiced in Canaan was their cruelty against their children!
DEUTERONOMY 18:10-12
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD*: and* because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Canaanites butchered their children and burned them in the fire to make an offering to their false gods.
JEREMIAH 19:5They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind:God is a God of justice. A God that allows ample time for repentance; but justice requires equity and equal rights. We are allowed to move with freedom, to live in comfort, to satisfy our desires carnal and spiritual, but not to the expense and detriment of others who have the same right as our own!MATTHEW 7:12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you*,* do ye even so to them*: for this is the law and the prophets.*God commanding the Israelites to annihilate the ungodly Amorites and Canaanites is God's wise way of instilling in their minds that they must live in God's justice if they have to live in peace. Cleansing in a civilized society is a must!
LEVITICUS 20:10-11, 16
10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
DEUTERONOMY 22:22
If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman***: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.***
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2017.12.31 01:27 namkcuR An Extremely Long Season-By-Season Look At Friends...

Hello! I’ve never posted on this reddit before but have been watching Friends, my favorite sitcom ever, for 20 years. I’ve recently been re-watching some of it for the umpteenth time and I’ve been observing a certain trajectory to the show as a whole, season by season. I like to write, so I started writing an admittedly long-winded season-by-season commentary, focusing mainly on overarching plots - when they're there, when they're not, when they're good, when they're bad, etc - and using this to create a certain trajectory, with peaks and valleys and all, for the show. This is going to be very long, and I’m thinking no one is going to finish it, but I hope at least some of you will take the time to read it...  
Season 1: The Beginning, Rough Around the Edges
Everything has to start somewhere. The first season of Friends, while funny, is a show that doesn’t know quite what it is yet, whose characters are more first-draft than final draft. Phoebe is more hippy, Joey is more New York-Italian-tough-guy, Ross is more serious than he would become later, Rachel is less assertive, etc. The show on the whole also has, at least to me, a more cynical outlook at times in comparison to the more sentimental one it would soon take on; a little more of an early-90s vibe as opposed to the mid-late-90s vibe the show is largely known for. At times, I said.  
It’s got its share of memorable episodes, of course - The Pilot, TOW The East German Laundry Detergent, TOW Underdog Gets Away, TOW The Monkey, TOW Rachel Finds Out, etc. TOW The Blackout is probably the first bonafide ‘classic’ Friends episode.  
In terms of over-arching plot, Ross’s unstated love for Rachel is about all there is. The show would get much more intricate and purposeful with its plotting down the road, more polished as a whole, and its characters would become more fleshed out, but for this first season, it was rough around the edges, and at times felt almost like a different show than what came later.
Season 2: The Show Finds Its Identity While Having Growing Pains
Season 2 felt more polished right from the start, with Chandler and Joey’s haircuts, and a somewhat tighter focus on plot. I say somewhat, because while Rachel’s lusting for Ross while he’s with Julie is the main overacting plot for the first half of the season, that first half also contains a lot of standalone stuff - Heckles dying(TOW Heckles Dies), Phoebe’s ice-dancer husband(Steve Zahn)(TOW Phoebe’s Husband), Chandler and Joey babysitting - and losing - Ben(TOW The Baby On The Bus), etc. It’s good stand-alone stuff, but they still haven’t mastered the art of plotting. Nor the pacing of a season.  
The whole first half of the season leads to the TOW Ross Finds Out/TOW The List twofer. This is a significant event and the first time Friends hinted at being something other than just another sitcom. R&R come thisclose to getting together and then the list blows it. And this where the pacing issue comes into play. After this twofer, the next episodes are TOW Phoebe’s Dad(Christmas episode) and the TOW Russ(still one of the weirdest episodes of the show imo). After this is TOW The Lesbian Wedding, which is sort of a stand-out event, and is to be applauded as such a thing was very progressive for 1996. And after that? TOA The Superbowl 1&2.  
This was kind of just a big commercial for the show. Stunt-Cast-A-Palooza. It was probably significant in showing that Friends had made it and was here to stay, both just in the fact that it got a post-Superbowl episode, and in the fact that they got the kind of star power they did to participate in it. It’s like a time capsule of 1996 with Van Damme(a superstar in the 90s), Julia Roberts(already one of the biggest movie stars of all time and in her prime then), and Brooke Shields(also in the prime of her celebrity). Still, it has little baring on and makes little reference to anything that had been going on in the show(other than Marcel). It’s almost like it’s out of the timeline.  
So after TOW Ross Finds Out/TOW The List, five episodes - and when it aired, two-and-a-half months - stood between it and TOW The Prom Video. This matters because for me, not just this episode, but the whole run from TOW The Prom Video to, maybe the end of the season, but certainly to TOW Eddie Won’t Go, is the first time Friends fully realizes its identity, and the first time it really becomes great. The prom video itself is the first introduction of Fat Monica, Rachel with her old nose, and Ross with a fro and mustache, all of which would be hallmarks of flashbacks going forward. Ross and Rachel finally get together, Monica dates and falls in love with Richard, Dr. Drake Ramoray and Days Of Our Lives become part of the show, and Chandler and Joey get their recliners for the first time. It just feels like after taking steps towards finding its identity, the show starts really resembling itself all at once.  
So season 2 is a big step up from season 1, but it would be better if it didn’t have the five-episode patch of just kind of waiting between TOW The List and TOW The Prom Video, and if it ended stronger. Its last two episodes are one of the least effective instances of stunt-casting in the show’s history(TOW The Chicken Pox, Charlie Sheen) and one of the shows most lackluster, uneventful season finales in TOW Barry And Mindy’s wedding.
Season 3: The Show Refines its Identity, Approaches Peak
If the show found its identity in season 2, it refined it in season 3. On the heels of season 2’s second half, season 3 became even more plot-heavy while also offering more classic individual episodes than ever before. The first third of the season focuses on Ross and Rachel’s steady relationship and Chandler and Janice’s relationship(the only time in the series Maggie Wheeler would be around for an extended arc) and contains classics like TOW No One’s Ready(one of a handful of Friends episodes that transcend the show to be simply one of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time), TOW The Football(in the upper echelons of Thanksgiving episodes), and TOW The Flashback(essentially a 20-minute prequel to the entire series).  
The first third of the season ends with TOW Rachel Quits, which sets up the second third of the season, which focuses mostly on the events leading up to Ross And Rachel’s breakup. It all leads up to TOW Ross And Rachel Take A Break and TO The Morning After, a seismic event in the Friends universe and maybe the most dramatically heavy episodes in the show’s history(though Ross was an idiot to jump into bed with another woman so quickly). They’re well-done, and sad to watch. This part of the season concludes with TOW The Ski Trip, an interesting look at what happens in a group of friends when two of them break up.  
The reason season 3 isn’t quite up at the top of my rankings is because its third third is, on the whole, not as strong as what came before. It deals with the fallout from Ross and Rachel’s breakup, Monica and Pete’s relationship(i.e. Jon Favrau’s arc), and Joey and Kate’s almost-relationship. It’s tricky getting people to feel invested in relationships any of the main cast has with guest actors, because those relationships are nearly always doomed. Guests will only ever be around for a finite amount of time, so they always come down with what I call guest-lover-itis, where a sudden reason must be found for them to no longer be suitable. In this case, it’s that Pete wants to be an ultimate fighter and that Kate gets a job in LA. Pete’s arc leads to some genuinely funny moments(“See this circle I’m making? That’s my zone of terror.”), but it’s also silly on its face that software engineer with no fighting history would ever do that. Kate’s arc never really goes anywhere and ends up being somewhat forgettable.  
The season ends with TOA The Beach, where the main goings on are that Ross finds out Rachel still loves him, and Phoebe meets her birth mother, Phoebe Sr. The cliffhanger finds Ross having to decide whether to go into Rachel’s room or his new girlfriend Bonnie’s room. There isn’t much drama in this cliffhanger for me because there’s no way I believe Ross would think for even a second about not going into Rachel’s room. With Emily the following year, that relationship was built up over half a season at least, but the amount of screen time Bonnie had prior to the moment in question could probably be measured in scenes rather than episodes. So the tension they’re trying to create doesn’t quite work for me. So while it’s better than the previous finale, I’d say the show hadn’t yet figured out how to end a season with a bang.  
So, season 3 was very strong on the whole, refining the identity it had found by the end of season 2, developing the characters further, both regular and non-regular(Janice and Frank Jr. are given more time and we are introduced to Alice and Phoebe Sr., and also the chick and the duck), and taking big steps in terms of getting more plot-heavy. It gave us some of the series’ most memorable episodes(TOW No One’s Ready, TOW The Football, TOW Ross and Rachel Take A Break, TOW The Morning After), but relatively speaking, fizzles out a bit toward the end.  
It’s probably in the upper echelon of Friends seasons, but is still only approaching the peak.
Seasons 4-5: The Peak
Season 4, imo, is Friends’ greatest season. The characters finish the journey from the first season’s ‘first drafts’ to fully-realized final drafts. They got most of the way there in season 3, but the finishing touches are put on in this season. “How you doin’” is born for Joey. Ross and Rachel settle into their post-relationship selves. Phoebe’s hippiness is reduced down to the level it would remain at for pretty much the rest of the series. Monica’s OCD reaches 100%(showing up at The Dirty Girl’s apartment to clean, going all out when she’s living in the guys’ apartment). Chandler’s sarcasm starts thawing a little bit.  
What really makes it the greatest though is all the plots. The plotting was never more intricate and dense than it was in this season. There is just so much going on. First, in the second episode, TOW The Cat, Chandler and Joey are robbed. This is a plot point to set up Chandler’s big gesture of emptying his savings to replenish their furniture later on. But those few episodes where they’re sitting on patio furniture and in the canoe have a unique flavor of their own.  
Then comes the ChandleKathy/Joey arc. It’s not often any of the individual friendships on the show were really challenged, so it was interesting see this dynamic between Chandler and Joey. It was a good story. I recall Paget Brewster being pretty popular with everyone, and I think Cox/Aniston/Kudrow actually tried to get the writers/producers to let her stay around more, but it wasn’t possible, so Kathy gets guest-lover-itis and cheats on Chandler.  
In amongst all of this, Monica gets the Alessandro’s job that she’d have for most of the remaining series. Just thought I should mention that.  
Phoebe has her pregnancy storyline, and it’s probably the best storyline the character ever had. It added depth to the character, allowed for many funny situations, allowed Frank Jr and Alice to have their biggest chunk of screen time(I love them), and if nothing else, was the impetus for TOW The Embryos, which joins TOW No One’s Ready as one of those episodes that’s bigger than Friends.  
The apartment swap is so much fun, allowed for several great stories to be told, and again, those episodes when the guys are living in the big apartment, everyone eating off the foosball table, have a unique flavor to them that places them instantly at a specific point in the timeline.  
Finally, there’s Ross and Emily and Rachel and Joshua. I feel like Ross and Emily had a believable whirlwind romance, which was given half a season to develop, while Rachel and Joshua’s wasn’t as believable, but it wasn’t supposed to be either. It served it’s purpose of making Rachel realize how upset she was about Ross and Emily.  
If there was one thing Friends hadn’t been able to do in previous seasons, it was to finish out the season in a way that put an exclamation mark on everything that came before, to have the whole season building towards something big. They figured it out this time, expanding the finale to one hour, which would be the standard going forward. TOW Ross’s Wedding, which could just as well be called TOI London, is one of the series’ greatest finales(imo only TOW Monica and Chandler’s Wedding can compete) with one of the more memorable sitcom cliffhangers ever when Ross says Rachel. Yet, as big as that was, it was the episode’s C Story(the B Story was Chandler and Joey’s fight, I think) that really turned the show on its head. When Monica popped out from the covers and said ‘Do you think he knew I was here?’, it is a pivot point for the entire series.  
Season 5 picks up right where season 4 left off, in more ways than one, as the high-level plotting continued. This season doesn’t have as many plotlines as the previous one, but it’s got enough, between Monica and Chandler sneaking around, Joey helping them, and Ross trying to save his marriage after saying the wrong name and then dealing with the fallout when he can’t save it. Emily was made much bitchier this season, but it had to be, as Helen Baxendale needed to make an early exit due to her real life pregnancy. So Ross ends up kind of losing everything - his marriage, his apartment, and then his job after having a meltdown over his sandwich. He ends up homeless and unemployed, living with Chandler and Joey for awhile. This whole ordeal loosens the character up in a way that would become permanent. It’s good character writing, imo.  
Monica and Chandler sneaking around is a celebrated plot, but while I enjoy it, I do feel like it strains credulity at times. Like, the others should’ve figured it out way earlier. Are they really buying Monica’s having to go back for her jacket thing when she and Chandler get to the hospital for Phoebe’s labor after the others? And when Joey puts it together and starts freaking out and yelling and pointing and then they drag him into the bedroom, are Rachel and Phoebe, sitting right there, not asking what is going on? Also, after Rachel finds out and point blank confronts Monica about it and Monica lies, does she really think Rachel is buying it? It’s a fun storyline for sure but it could’ve been a little more believable.  
So everything kind of culminates with TOW Everybody Finds Out, which joins TOW No One’s Ready and TOW The Embryos as one of those episodes that is very famous outside of Friends. They go through a whole charade with very memorable word play(They don’t know we know they know!) and Monica and Chandler finally admit to everyone that they’re in a relationship.  
Around this same time, Ross has just won Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment and is getting back on his feet(the process of his moving in gives us highly memorable moments like naked Ross, Ross getting the cold shoulder from his neighbors for not giving money to the super, the absolutely classic ‘PIVOT’ plot in TOW The Cop, Ross pretending to be watching TV and surfing, Joey mistaking Ross’s apartment for Hot Girl’s apartment, and Ross screaming GET OFF MY SISTER!).  
So by the time the season is two-thirds over, the two major plots have sort of wrapped up. There is, I think, a general consensus that seasons 6 and 7 had a wheels-spinning feeling about them, that the writers were starting to run out of ideas, and that the plot stagnated to a certain degree as a result. I think there is an argument to be made that this started in the last third of Season 5. Once Monica and Chandler are out of the closet as a couple and Ross is moved into his new place, there’s a sort of leveling off that occurs after all the activity of season 4 and the first two-thirds of season 5.  
This last part of the season focuses mostly on Chandler and Monica growing closer after going public(One year anniversary, getting past the all-over-each-other phase), Michael Rapaport’s arc with Phoebe, and the Vegas story that closes the season. I like the Phoebe/Gary arc mostly because Rapaport probably makes the character funnier than he is on paper, and it gave us TOW The Ride-Along, which is one of the high points of the season, but the character catches guest-lover-itis when he shoots a bird and Phoebe has to end it, so the whole thing is of not much consequence.  
The whole Vegas thing…I’m not wild about that finale. It’s a big set piece where nothing much happens. Joey finds a hand-twin. Phoebe gets in a feud with an old lady over a slot machine. Ross and Rachel draw on each other and get drunk. Monica and Chandler have a stupid fight over Richard, gamble, and almost get married. Ross and Rachel do get married in what in hindsight feels like a stunt of a cliffhanger. I don’t know. It’s not bad. It’s funny in a lot of places, but it’s the first time the show feels a little bloated, a little unfocused.  
This is, for the most part, a magnificent two-season peak, but it ends with a feeling of wheels spinning and plot stagnation that would pervade the following two seasons.
Seasons 6-7: Plot-Stagnation, Leveling Out
From the way I’ve titled this, you might think I’m pretty negative on these seasons. I’m not. These seasons are funny more often than not, but my whole point writing all this is to point out the ebb and flow of the show in terms of plotting, and these seasons are, I think few would argue, lacking in that department, especially compared to the two seasons that preceded them.  
From the dissolution of Ross and Rachel’s relationship in season 3 to ChandleKathy/Joey to Phoebe’s pregnancy to Ross and Emily to Ross saying Rachel to Monica and Chandler sneaking around and Ross falling apart, the show had been a rollercoaster for the better part of three very plot-heavy seasons. But now, the focus was firmly on the advancement of Monica and Chandler’s relationship, and that plot was essentially a straight line from moving in with each other to engagement to marriage, with no real conflict. The other characters aren’t given much in terms of overarching plot either(except for Ross becoming a professor), and so you end up with a high occurrence of stand-alone - sometimes pretty random - plots, and an increasing reliance on big-name guest stars and other stunts.  
Season 6 had the Elle McPherson arc, the Reese Witherspoon two-parter, the Bruce Willis arc, the polarizing “TO That Could Have Been” two-parter, and Tom Selleck’s return in the finale(more on that later). All together, that makes up about half the season. I’m not trashing these things by any means(though I do usually skip TO That Could Have Been) - the Bruce Willis stuff is great fun and I don’t mind Elle McPherson’s arc at all(I know some have strong negative feelings about it, but she’s gorgeous and Joey is hilarious with her, the only bad part is she comes down with one of the lamest cases of guest-lover-itis when she just decides she hates Monica and Chandler), but it does illustrate the point that this type of stuff was being leaned on in lieu of meatier over-arching plots.  
Still, the season has some great stuff going for it. TO On The Last Night is a great bottle episode that gives the transition from Monica+Rachel/Chandler+Joey to Monica+ChandleJoey+(eventually)Rachel the import it deserves. It is indeed “the end of an era” and the show was right to make a deal out of it.  
TOW Ross Got High is the series’ greatest Thanksgiving episode imo, with an almost operatic structure where peoples frustrations and mistakes throughout the episode all come out in a rising crescendo after which Judy and Jack Gellar address all of them one by one. It’s so, so good.  
TOW With The Routine and TOW With Unagi are other classics as well.  
TOW The Proposal is a good finale but not a great one. It’s a major event, but every time I watch it, the Richard stuff and the Chandler misleading Monica stuff seems more and more contrived. I feel like it should’ve been more about what a major thing it was for the character of Chandler to be ready to propose marriage but instead he has to almost lose her so that they can do the ‘Tom Selleck returns’ stunt. I don’t believe that Monica would be seriously thinking about leaving that quickly just because Richard showed up out of nowhere nor do I believe Richard would suddenly want kids four years after he didn’t. But it’s still a great moment when Monica and Chandler finally do get engaged.  
Season 7 sees an even larger reliance on guest stars and stunts. During February sweeps, they aired four “super-size” episodes - TOW Rosita Dies, TOW They All Turn Thirty, TOW Joey’s New Brain, and TOW The Truth About London. These are mostly entertaining, particularly the latter’s insight into what happened the night Monica and Chandler hooked up for the first time, and TOW Joey’s New Brain, featuring Ross and his bagpipes, which is absolutely classic what with Phoebe singing along and Aniston unable to keep it together. TOW They All Turn Thirty, however, is problematic with regards to timeline issues, plus the ‘lift and slide’ thing seems like a re-hash of ‘PIVOT!’.  
This season contains more guests than any other. Eddie Cahill as Tag is the only “arc” of the season and he’s pretty boring, a pretty nothing relationship for Rachel, which to her credit she realizes and ends. But the amount of one-offs is staggering.  
Kristen Davis in TOW Ross’s Library Book as Joey’s love interest is cute but ultimately not too memorable.  
Jason Alexander in TOW Rosita Dies as essentially a suicidal version of George Costanza that Phoebe talks off the ledge, and is funny because Alexander is funny.  
Susan Sarandon(and her daughter Eva Amurri) in TOW Joey’s New Brain as the DOOL actress he’s replacing is effective and memorable, because Sarandon is a really great actress.   Gabrielle Union in TOW The Cheap Wedding Dress is fun, not so much because of her, but because her plot leads to a classic Ross/Joey scene where they do each other’s dirty laundry in front of her(“Where do you think we lost her?” “Probably somewhere around gonorrhea”).  
At this point, two of the most egregious cases of stunt casting in the show’s history come back-to-back. Denise Richards in TOW Ross and Monica’s Cousin does very little aside from tossing her hair in a pretty dumb episode. Winona Ryder in TOW Rachel’s Big Kiss is more entertaining but still just a big gimmick. They’re just killing time with these episodes.  
The best part of the season by far is the end. Whereas some of the above is clearly stunt-casting, Kathleen Turner was an absolutely inspired casting decision for Chandler’s often mentioned but never seen cross-dressing father. TOW Chandler’s Dad is one of my favorite Monica/Chandler relationship stories because it shows her pushing him to do something he’s uncomfortable with and sort of afraid of but should do. It’s kind of touching when his dad says “I wouldn’t miss it for the world”. BTW, Mark Consuelos is yet another one-off guest appearance in this episode.  
TOW Monica And Chandler’s Wedding is one of the series’ best finales. Really the only bad part about it is that I don’t really believe Chandler would ever really leave Monica at the altar, but he gets talked out of that pretty quickly, so it’s fine. Aside from this, it’s great. A whole season severely lacking in plot was entirely about the lead-up to this event, so it needed to deliver, and it did. It features the return of Kathleen Turner(and Morgan Fairchild) as well as the last of the season’s long list of guest stars in Gary Oldman. Joey and Oldman spitting at each other is much funnier than it has any right to be. They two of them really sell it. Turner and Fairchild together is damn near magic. “Aren’t you a little old to be wearing a dress like that?”/“Don’t you have a little too much penis to be wearing a dress like that” is one of the funniest exchanges of dialogue there is in the show. The whole thing with no one believing Ross could kick Chandler’s ass is great too, and Joey’s performance as minister cracks me up every time.  
Dramatically, they nailed the emotion when Monica and Chandler are saying their vows, and their love for each other really comes through.  
It’s a great moment for a couple that had been together for three years and hinted at on the periphery for four years before that, and it sort of brings to end that period the show that was all about their journey from friends to husband and wife. But as with the C story in TOW Ross’s Wedding, the B(perhaps C again?) story in this one turns the show on its head again. Phoebe and Rachel find a positive pregnancy test in Monica’s trash can. That’s all it was. So Monica is pregnant, we’re made to think. Chandler overhears Phoebe and Rachel talking about it and thinks so too. But at the very end, Aniston, with just a nervous facial expression and an unsure reading of the word ‘yeah’, blows everything up again just like Monica popping out of the covers three years earlier blew everything up. It’s one of the show’s best cliffhangers.
Season 8: Rejuvenation and a Would-Be Ending If you were a fan of the show in the summer of 2001, you know that that cliffhanger had created a buzz around the show that hadn’t been there since at least season 5, if not season 4. Was Rachel really pregnant? Who’s the father? I remember, leading up to the premiere, there was an ad set to Enya’s “Only Time” where it was suggested that Tag, Joey, or Ross could be the father.  
Once the season started, the show’s ratings were higher than they’d been in a while. Rachel’s pregnancy had given the show an overarching plot with a focus it hadn’t had in years. As a result, the show was being praised by critics in a way it hadn’t been in years.  
It must also be mentioned that this is the season that started airing just two weeks after 9/11. The country was in need of good escapism, so the timing+renewed focus on a high-profile plot rejuvenated the show with fans and critics alike. It’s inarguable that this season was seen as a comeback, and it’s easily the best of the later seasons imo.  
I should mention that, while this season relies far less on stunt casting than the previous one, there are some instances: Sean Penn’s two-episode arc as Ursula/Phoebe’s boyfriend, Alec Baldwin’s one-off(ok, he cameos at the end of the previous episode as well) as Phoebe’s boyfriend, and of course, probably the most famous guest spot in Friends history, Brad Pitt’s appearance in TOW The Rumor(This is a fun episode, but Pitt seems somewhat out of place).  
Still, those instances are far fewer than in season 7, as this season doesn’t need them as much. The first part of the season with the slow reveal of Rachel’s pregnancy to her friends, then of who the father is, then to Ross, then how it happened in TOW The Videotape and onward is so good. The way the whole thing complicates their lives from a dating perspective and from the perspective of the two of them being in each other’s orbit more intimately again is done slowly, gradually, and really well. Examples are when Rachel tries to date in TOW Rachel’s Date and Ross’s arc with Mona. Mona was one of the most likable guest lovers the show ever had, and her case of guest-lover-itis was one of the best - that she just couldn’t handle the situation. And who could blame her after meeting Dr. Greene(in his greatest appearance imo, I’m always dead when Ross gets the message about the stripper) and then Rachel moving in with Ross?  
Anyway, moving on…  
Joey and Rachel is a polarizing subject, and a lot of people hate the pairing. I’ll be clear - I basically hate it too. However, I actually like the initial arc from TOW Joey Dates Rachel to TOW The Tea Leaves. That arc works for me, because it’s really good character work for Joey, it allows him some growth. it is totally plausible to me that after living with Rachel for two years, he might develop feelings for her. It is totally implausible to me that she would ever reciprocate those feelings, and the fact that she turns him down without hesitation is why the arc works. I have no problem with it. Literally everything after this arc involving that relationship, I hate. But we’ll get there.  
The latter part of the season keeps things going strong with episodes like TOW The Baby Shower, where Rachel freaks out about being a mom, and also featuring the classic “Bamboozled” B story, and TOW Rachel Is Late, which features a really great comedic performance from Aniston. It all leads up to a kiss between Ross and Rachel as she goes into labor.  
The finale is one of the better ones, and even with the nothingburger Phoebe/Joey story with the guy with the broken leg, would rank higher if not for that cliffhanger. The episode balances comedy - all those women, including Janice, coming and going while Rachel is stuck in the early stages of labor - and drama - the emotion of Rachel giving birth to Emma - very well, and it’s a very satisfying episode. Until the end.  
Ok, I’m just going to say this: As the years go by, I become more and more sold on the idea that the show should have ended with this episode. Season eight should’ve been it. Seasons 9 and 10 shouldn’t have happened.  
Ross and Rachel growing slowly back together had been happening all season and it led to that kiss as they were leaving for the hospital, and then another one after Emma was born. All they had to do was say, ‘ok, we’re together now’, and it would’ve felt like a totally organic, non-contrived, satisfying conclusion. Ross and Rachel would be together, Monica and Chandler would be happily married, and it would be a great ending. What would we lose there that we gained from the last two seasons? We wouldn’t get to see Monica and Chandler become parents and we wouldn’t get Phoebe’s happy ending with Mike. I could live with that. Maybe they could’ve brought David back for Phoebe at some point in the season.  
The cliffhanger is just so frustrating. Phoebe has convinced Ross that he and Rachel should be together, he’s on his way, and then Joey accidentally proposes? Come on. The idea of an accidental proposal is dumb enough, but then Rachel accepting it? Her self-esteem was never that low. The whole thing is just so, so contrived. The Joey/Rachel thing was over, why bring it back?  
Making Rachel pregnant in the first place was sort of the last card the writers had to play, a hail mary, a masterstroke that bought the show back to relevance and won it its only Best Comedy emmy. It was a triumph. But when they had Joey accidentally propose and Rachel accept, it was the signal that they were out of ideas. The show should have ended with Ross walking in that room and the re-uniting with Rachel.
Season 9-10: Overstaying The Welcome
I don’t want to come off as too harsh on these final seasons. It’s Friends, so it’s still going to be funny fairly often. But not as funny as it once was, and the over-arching plots, which is what this whole thing is about, were just not very good. A lot of the time, not all the time, but a lot of times, in these final seasons, it felt as if the vitality had been taken out of the show, like it had run out of creative gas. Friends is so beloved in its afterlife because it’s a warm show, it’s like comfort food most of the time. But in these final seasons, it feels less warm more often than not. It feels strained. It feels, at times, like the people making it were just cashing checks, biding time. Like a show past its prime.  
We can’t know how Season 9 would’ve turned out if it’d been the last one as originally planned, if the network hadn’t gotten on its knees during the holidays and begged for one more season. There was some tension with Ross withholding that message from Rachel and Rachel getting upset enough about it to move out. If season 9 was the last, then the Joey/Rachel storyline from TOW Rachel’s Dream to TOW Ross’s Tan would never have happened. From this perspective, Season 10 was definitely a mistake, and season 9 would’ve been stronger if it’d been the last.  
But even then, the gymnastics they had to do to have Ross and Rachel not get together after Emma’s birth but wait another year are just a bridge too far after years of waiting. The whole thing with Ross being thisclose to getting back with Rachel and then backing out because ‘When you thought Joey was proposing, did you say yes?’ was so dumb. The only good thing to come out of that was the slapstick between Ross and Joey in TOW Emma Cries. On top of that, the Tulsa storyline was very meh as well. This was all the early part of the season and would have happened even the season had been the last.  
Once they knew season 9 wouldn’t be the last, things really take a turn. The character of Charlie is introduced, and while I’m a fan of Aisha Tyler, I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to buy her being attracted to Joey. The Dumont Mulroney arc happens too, which I’m really really not a fan of.  
They do the infertility thing with Monica and Chandler. I think that that subject matter was a bit too heavy for Friends, and I think they kind of skirmished around it rather than diving in. I get that they needed to move Monica and Chandler’s storyline forward and they didn’t want to do another pregnancy storyline, but this felt rushed and half-baked, and the John Stamos drop-in is dumb.  
I said earlier that the initial Joey/Rachel arc in season 8 worked because Rachel didn’t reciprocate. This is why the storyline at the end of season 9 and beginning season 10 is so bad. It’s never believable that she would fall for him. Watching the writers try to dumb her down to make her fit with Joey, like when she laughs at some dumb thing only Joey would laugh at in Barbados, is insulting to the character, and painful to watch. She may not have been an intellect like Ross, but she had a head on her shoulders and was never anywhere near that immature. Just terrible.  
Barbados is my least-favorite of all the finales. A huge set piece where the only things that happen are that Rachel kisses Joey and Phoebe chooses Mike, which are both bad for me(I like Paul Rudd, but I’m a Phoebe/David shipper).  
I feel like I’m being too negative, so I will pause to say that of course there are good and even great moments in these final seasons. Like I said before, the slapstick in TOW Emma Cries is gold and Gunther cracking up in the background ever Ross gets punched and fractures his hand in the space of ten seconds kills me every time.  
Christina Applegate’s appearances in TOW Rachel’s Other Sister and TOW Rachel’s Sister Babysits are great, the best guest spots of the last two years pretty easily.  
TOW The Lottery is a great bottle episode that has a real old-school Friends vibe to it. Season 9 was getting bashed pretty heavily by the fandom as it was airing, but everyone seemed to like this episode.  
TOW The Memorial Service is a lot funnier than it probably should be with all the pranking and the ridiculous premise of staging your own fake memorial service. Somehow, it works really well.  
Monica singing with her boobs showing was pretty funny, and there were some good Phoebe/Mike moments too, even I was rooting for David.  
In season 10, as has been mentioned many times, Schwimmer’s performance in TOW Ross Is Fine is great and the only thing I ever want to watch from that storyline. TOW The Cake is a fun little standalone episode. Phoebe’s wedding is pretty in the snow and well-done(although Monica is OTT there). It hits you in the feels to see a character you love get a happy ending, even if it’s not the happy ending you wanted.  
Unfortunately there are some issues in season 10 as well…obviously the Joey/Rachel stuff at the beginning, but also a pretty weak Thanksgiving episode and the Devito appearance which felt like an SNL skit.  
So…the last run of episodes. Look, they’re well done, with the Anna Faris arc and Rachel leaving both leading up to TOW Rachel’s Going Away Party and The Last One. It’s just that it feels too late for R&R. It’s well-acted, and the emotion is there, but I just…the last-minute airport dash thing is sort of cliched, and the whole thing ends up not feeling all that authentic to me after the two prior seasons of just keeping them apart at all costs when they so obviously should’ve been together from Emma’s birth on.  
I don’t understand why they were so insistent on keeping them apart on until literally the very last minute. Look at a show like Frasier - Niles and Daphne were allowed to be together and it ended up being a beautiful love story. People didn’t stop watching because they were together. The story didn’t end because they were together. It will forever be the biggest mistake, the biggest error in judgement, the writers ever made - to keep R&R apart for so long, that is.  
They could’ve re-united when Ross didn’t get the annulment at the beginning of season 6. This could’ve been an opportune time to put them back together. Early in season 5, Rachel told Ross that she still loved him, but he was still trying to make his marriage to Emily work. Now, maybe enough time has passed that he’s ready. Except they finally confront each other and she says ‘But that was different, I was in love with you’, and instead of admitting he has feelings, he just says ‘Yeah, RIGHT….you’re right, it’s different’ etc. They could’ve gotten back together right then and then the Vegas finale would’ve had more long-term meaning. But of course that couldn’t happen.  
They could’ve re-united after Emma was born. That would’ve been even better. Their reunion could’ve been more powerful and their love story elevated. Instead of any of this, we’re left with a cliched airport dash and we don’t even get to enjoy them together. And Joey and Rachel trying to make out had to be endured before that.  
All this said, Schwimmer and Aniston delivered from an acting standpoint and that’s what nearly saves it. Monica and Chandler becoming parents is also a nice moment, but somehow not as emotional as it would’ve been if Monica had been giving birth(I understand why they couldn’t do that). The Last One is a well-done episode, but it’s a little overwrought, really sad, and I find it difficult to watch.  
These last two seasons have their share of funny and touching moments, but on the whole they’re not enough imo to make them feel wholly necessary, the overarching plots are very lacking more often than not, and I remain of the opinion that season 8 would’ve been a higher note to go out on and a more satisfying way to re-unite R&R. I don't mean to be so negative about the final seasons. I really don't hate them. I just think they're of a considerably lower quality, which the exception of some episodes, than what came before.  
So, that concludes my commentary. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you got something out of it.
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2017.12.31 00:08 namkcuR An Extremely Long Season-By-Season Look At Friends...

Hello! I’ve never posted on this reddit before but have been watching Friends, my favorite sitcom ever, for 20 years. I’ve recently been re-watching some of it for the umpteenth time and I’ve been observing a certain trajectory to the show as a whole, season by season. I like to write, so I started writing an admittedly long-winded season-by-season commentary, focusing mainly on overarching plots - when they're there, when they're not, when they're good, when they're bad, etc - and using this to create a certain trajectory, with peaks and valleys and all, for the show. This is going to be very long, and I’m thinking no one is going to finish it, but I hope at least some of you will take the time to read it...  
Season 1: The Beginning, Rough Around the Edges
Everything has to start somewhere. The first season of Friends, while funny, is a show that doesn’t know quite what it is yet, whose characters are more first-draft than final draft. Phoebe is more hippy, Joey is more New York-Italian-tough-guy, Ross is more serious than he would become later, Rachel is less assertive, etc. The show on the whole also has, at least to me, a more cynical outlook at times in comparison to the more sentimental one it would soon take on; a little more of an early-90s vibe as opposed to the mid-late-90s vibe the show is largely known for. At times, I said.  
It’s got its share of memorable episodes, of course - The Pilot, TOW The East German Laundry Detergent, TOW Underdog Gets Away, TOW The Monkey, TOW Rachel Finds Out, etc. TOW The Blackout is probably the first bonafide ‘classic’ Friends episode.  
In terms of over-arching plot, Ross’s unstated love for Rachel is about all there is. The show would get much more intricate and purposeful with its plotting down the road, more polished as a whole, and its characters would become more fleshed out, but for this first season, it was rough around the edges, and at times felt almost like a different show than what came later.
Season 2: The Show Finds Its Identity While Having Growing Pains
Season 2 felt more polished right from the start, with Chandler and Joey’s haircuts, and a somewhat tighter focus on plot. I say somewhat, because while Rachel’s lusting for Ross while he’s with Julie is the main overacting plot for the first half of the season, that first half also contains a lot of standalone stuff - Heckles dying(TOW Heckles Dies), Phoebe’s ice-dancer husband(Steve Zahn)(TOW Phoebe’s Husband), Chandler and Joey babysitting - and losing - Ben(TOW The Baby On The Bus), etc. It’s good stand-alone stuff, but they still haven’t mastered the art of plotting. Nor the pacing of a season.  
The whole first half of the season leads to the TOW Ross Finds Out/TOW The List twofer. This is a significant event and the first time Friends hinted at being something other than just another sitcom. R&R come thisclose to getting together and then the list blows it. And this where the pacing issue comes into play. After this twofer, the next episodes are TOW Phoebe’s Dad(Christmas episode) and the TOW Russ(still one of the weirdest episodes of the show imo). After this is TOW The Lesbian Wedding, which is sort of a stand-out event, and is to be applauded as such a thing was very progressive for 1996. And after that? TOA The Superbowl 1&2.  
This was kind of just a big commercial for the show. Stunt-Cast-A-Palooza. It was probably significant in showing that Friends had made it and was here to stay, both just in the fact that it got a post-Superbowl episode, and in the fact that they got the kind of star power they did to participate in it. It’s like a time capsule of 1996 with Van Damme(a superstar in the 90s), Julia Roberts(already one of the biggest movie stars of all time and in her prime then), and Brooke Shields(also in the prime of her celebrity). Still, it has little baring on and makes little reference to anything that had been going on in the show(other than Marcel). It’s almost like it’s out of the timeline.  
So after TOW Ross Finds Out/TOW The List, five episodes - and when it aired, two-and-a-half months - stood between it and TOW The Prom Video. This matters because for me, not just this episode, but the whole run from TOW The Prom Video to, maybe the end of the season, but certainly to TOW Eddie Won’t Go, is the first time Friends fully realizes its identity, and the first time it really becomes great. The prom video itself is the first introduction of Fat Monica, Rachel with her old nose, and Ross with a fro and mustache, all of which would be hallmarks of flashbacks going forward. Ross and Rachel finally get together, Monica dates and falls in love with Richard, Dr. Drake Ramoray and Days Of Our Lives become part of the show, and Chandler and Joey get their recliners for the first time. It just feels like after taking steps towards finding its identity, the show starts really resembling itself all at once.  
So season 2 is a big step up from season 1, but it would be better if it didn’t have the five-episode patch of just kind of waiting between TOW The List and TOW The Prom Video, and if it ended stronger. Its last two episodes are one of the least effective instances of stunt-casting in the show’s history(TOW The Chicken Pox, Charlie Sheen) and one of the shows most lackluster, uneventful season finales in TOW Barry And Mindy’s wedding.
Season 3: The Show Refines its Identity, Approaches Peak
If the show found its identity in season 2, it refined it in season 3. On the heels of season 2’s second half, season 3 became even more plot-heavy while also offering more classic individual episodes than ever before. The first third of the season focuses on Ross and Rachel’s steady relationship and Chandler and Janice’s relationship(the only time in the series Maggie Wheeler would be around for an extended arc) and contains classics like TOW No One’s Ready(one of a handful of Friends episodes that transcend the show to be simply one of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time), TOW The Football(in the upper echelons of Thanksgiving episodes), and TOW The Flashback(essentially a 20-minute prequel to the entire series).  
The first third of the season ends with TOW Rachel Quits, which sets up the second third of the season, which focuses mostly on the events leading up to Ross And Rachel’s breakup. It all leads up to TOW Ross And Rachel Take A Break and TO The Morning After, a seismic event in the Friends universe and maybe the most dramatically heavy episodes in the show’s history(though Ross was an idiot to jump into bed with another woman so quickly). They’re well-done, and sad to watch. This part of the season concludes with TOW The Ski Trip, an interesting look at what happens in a group of friends when two of them break up.  
The reason season 3 isn’t quite up at the top of my rankings is because its third third is, on the whole, not as strong as what came before. It deals with the fallout from Ross and Rachel’s breakup, Monica and Pete’s relationship(i.e. Jon Favrau’s arc), and Joey and Kate’s almost-relationship. It’s tricky getting people to feel invested in relationships any of the main cast has with guest actors, because those relationships are nearly always doomed. Guests will only ever be around for a finite amount of time, so they always come down with what I call guest-lover-itis, where a sudden reason must be found for them to no longer be suitable. In this case, it’s that Pete wants to be an ultimate fighter and that Kate gets a job in LA. Pete’s arc leads to some genuinely funny moments(“See this circle I’m making? That’s my zone of terror.”), but it’s also silly on its face that software engineer with no fighting history would ever do that. Kate’s arc never really goes anywhere and ends up being somewhat forgettable.  
The season ends with TOA The Beach, where the main goings on are that Ross finds out Rachel still loves him, and Phoebe meets her birth mother, Phoebe Sr. The cliffhanger finds Ross having to decide whether to go into Rachel’s room or his new girlfriend Bonnie’s room. There isn’t much drama in this cliffhanger for me because there’s no way I believe Ross would think for even a second about not going into Rachel’s room. With Emily the following year, that relationship was built up over half a season at least, but the amount of screen time Bonnie had prior to the moment in question could probably be measured in scenes rather than episodes. So the tension they’re trying to create doesn’t quite work for me. So while it’s better than the previous finale, I’d say the show hadn’t yet figured out how to end a season with a bang.  
So, season 3 was very strong on the whole, refining the identity it had found by the end of season 2, developing the characters further, both regular and non-regular(Janice and Frank Jr. are given more time and we are introduced to Alice and Phoebe Sr., and also the chick and the duck), and taking big steps in terms of getting more plot-heavy. It gave us some of the series’ most memorable episodes(TOW No One’s Ready, TOW The Football, TOW Ross and Rachel Take A Break, TOW The Morning After), but relatively speaking, fizzles out a bit toward the end.  
It’s probably in the upper echelon of Friends seasons, but is still only approaching the peak.
Seasons 4-5: The Peak
Season 4, imo, is Friends’ greatest season. The characters finish the journey from the first season’s ‘first drafts’ to fully-realized final drafts. They got most of the way there in season 3, but the finishing touches are put on in this season. “How you doin’” is born for Joey. Ross and Rachel settle into their post-relationship selves. Phoebe’s hippiness is reduced down to the level it would remain at for pretty much the rest of the series. Monica’s OCD reaches 100%(showing up at The Dirty Girl’s apartment to clean, going all out when she’s living in the guys’ apartment). Chandler’s sarcasm starts thawing a little bit.  
What really makes it the greatest though is all the plots. The plotting was never more intricate and dense than it was in this season. There is just so much going on. First, in the second episode, TOW The Cat, Chandler and Joey are robbed. This is a plot point to set up Chandler’s big gesture of emptying his savings to replenish their furniture later on. But those few episodes where they’re sitting on patio furniture and in the canoe have a unique flavor of their own.  
Then comes the ChandleKathy/Joey arc. It’s not often any of the individual friendships on the show were really challenged, so it was interesting see this dynamic between Chandler and Joey. It was a good story. I recall Paget Brewster being pretty popular with everyone, and I think Cox/Aniston/Kudrow actually tried to get the writers/producers to let her stay around more, but it wasn’t possible, so Kathy gets guest-lover-itis and cheats on Chandler.  
In amongst all of this, Monica gets the Alessandro’s job that she’d have for most of the remaining series. Just thought I should mention that.  
Phoebe has her pregnancy storyline, and it’s probably the best storyline the character ever had. It added depth to the character, allowed for many funny situations, allowed Frank Jr and Alice to have their biggest chunk of screen time(I love them), and if nothing else, was the impetus for TOW The Embryos, which joins TOW No One’s Ready as one of those episodes that’s bigger than Friends.  
The apartment swap is so much fun, allowed for several great stories to be told, and again, those episodes when the guys are living in the big apartment, everyone eating off the foosball table, have a unique flavor to them that places them instantly at a specific point in the timeline.  
Finally, there’s Ross and Emily and Rachel and Joshua. I feel like Ross and Emily had a believable whirlwind romance, which was given half a season to develop, while Rachel and Joshua’s wasn’t as believable, but it wasn’t supposed to be either. It served it’s purpose of making Rachel realize how upset she was about Ross and Emily.  
If there was one thing Friends hadn’t been able to do in previous seasons, it was to finish out the season in a way that put an exclamation mark on everything that came before, to have the whole season building towards something big. They figured it out this time, expanding the finale to one hour, which would be the standard going forward. TOW Ross’s Wedding, which could just as well be called TOI London, is one of the series’ greatest finales(imo only TOW Monica and Chandler’s Wedding can compete) with one of the more memorable sitcom cliffhangers ever when Ross says Rachel. Yet, as big as that was, it was the episode’s C Story(the B Story was Chandler and Joey’s fight, I think) that really turned the show on its head. When Monica popped out from the covers and said ‘Do you think he knew I was here?’, it is a pivot point for the entire series.  
Season 5 picks up right where season 4 left off, in more ways than one, as the high-level plotting continued. This season doesn’t have as many plotlines as the previous one, but it’s got enough, between Monica and Chandler sneaking around, Joey helping them, and Ross trying to save his marriage after saying the wrong name and then dealing with the fallout when he can’t save it. Emily was made much bitchier this season, but it had to be, as Helen Baxendale needed to make an early exit due to her real life pregnancy. So Ross ends up kind of losing everything - his marriage, his apartment, and then his job after having a meltdown over his sandwich. He ends up homeless and unemployed, living with Chandler and Joey for awhile. This whole ordeal loosens the character up in a way that would become permanent. It’s good character writing, imo.  
Monica and Chandler sneaking around is a celebrated plot, but while I enjoy it, I do feel like it strains credulity at times. Like, the others should’ve figured it out way earlier. Are they really buying Monica’s having to go back for her jacket thing when she and Chandler get to the hospital for Phoebe’s labor after the others? And when Joey puts it together and starts freaking out and yelling and pointing and then they drag him into the bedroom, are Rachel and Phoebe, sitting right there, not asking what is going on? Also, after Rachel finds out and point blank confronts Monica about it and Monica lies, does she really think Rachel is buying it? It’s a fun storyline for sure but it could’ve been a little more believable.  
So everything kind of culminates with TOW Everybody Finds Out, which joins TOW No One’s Ready and TOW The Embryos as one of those episodes that is very famous outside of Friends. They go through a whole charade with very memorable word play(They don’t know we know they know!) and Monica and Chandler finally admit to everyone that they’re in a relationship.  
Around this same time, Ross has just won Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment and is getting back on his feet(the process of his moving in gives us highly memorable moments like naked Ross, Ross getting the cold shoulder from his neighbors for not giving money to the super, the absolutely classic ‘PIVOT’ plot in TOW The Cop, Ross pretending to be watching TV and surfing, Joey mistaking Ross’s apartment for Hot Girl’s apartment, and Ross screaming GET OFF MY SISTER!).  
So by the time the season is two-thirds over, the two major plots have sort of wrapped up. There is, I think, a general consensus that seasons 6 and 7 had a wheels-spinning feeling about them, that the writers were starting to run out of ideas, and that the plot stagnated to a certain degree as a result. I think there is an argument to be made that this started in the last third of Season 5. Once Monica and Chandler are out of the closet as a couple and Ross is moved into his new place, there’s a sort of leveling off that occurs after all the activity of season 4 and the first two-thirds of season 5.  
This last part of the season focuses mostly on Chandler and Monica growing closer after going public(One year anniversary, getting past the all-over-each-other phase), Michael Rapaport’s arc with Phoebe, and the Vegas story that closes the season. I like the Phoebe/Gary arc mostly because Rapaport probably makes the character funnier than he is on paper, and it gave us TOW The Ride-Along, which is one of the high points of the season, but the character catches guest-lover-itis when he shoots a bird and Phoebe has to end it, so the whole thing is of not much consequence.  
The whole Vegas thing…I’m not wild about that finale. It’s a big set piece where nothing much happens. Joey finds a hand-twin. Phoebe gets in a feud with an old lady over a slot machine. Ross and Rachel draw on each other and get drunk. Monica and Chandler have a stupid fight over Richard, gamble, and almost get married. Ross and Rachel do get married in what in hindsight feels like a stunt of a cliffhanger. I don’t know. It’s not bad. It’s funny in a lot of places, but it’s the first time the show feels a little bloated, a little unfocused.  
This is, for the most part, a magnificent two-season peak, but it ends with a feeling of wheels spinning and plot stagnation that would pervade the following two seasons.
Seasons 6-7: Plot-Stagnation, Leveling Out
From the way I’ve titled this, you might think I’m pretty negative on these seasons. I’m not. These seasons are funny more often than not, but my whole point writing all this is to point out the ebb and flow of the show in terms of plotting, and these seasons are, I think few would argue, lacking in that department, especially compared to the two seasons that preceded them.  
From the dissolution of Ross and Rachel’s relationship in season 3 to ChandleKathy/Joey to Phoebe’s pregnancy to Ross and Emily to Ross saying Rachel to Monica and Chandler sneaking around and Ross falling apart, the show had been a rollercoaster for the better part of three very plot-heavy seasons. But now, the focus was firmly on the advancement of Monica and Chandler’s relationship, and that plot was essentially a straight line from moving in with each other to engagement to marriage, with no real conflict. The other characters aren’t given much in terms of overarching plot either(except for Ross becoming a professor), and so you end up with a high occurrence of stand-alone - sometimes pretty random - plots, and an increasing reliance on big-name guest stars and other stunts.  
Season 6 had the Elle McPherson arc, the Reese Witherspoon two-parter, the Bruce Willis arc, the polarizing “TO That Could Have Been” two-parter, and Tom Selleck’s return in the finale(more on that later). All together, that makes up about half the season. I’m not trashing these things by any means(though I do usually skip TO That Could Have Been) - the Bruce Willis stuff is great fun and I don’t mind Elle McPherson’s arc at all(I know some have strong negative feelings about it, but she’s gorgeous and Joey is hilarious with her, the only bad part is she comes down with one of the lamest cases of guest-lover-itis when she just decides she hates Monica and Chandler), but it does illustrate the point that this type of stuff was being leaned on in lieu of meatier over-arching plots.  
Still, the season has some great stuff going for it. TO On The Last Night is a great bottle episode that gives the transition from Monica+Rachel/Chandler+Joey to Monica+ChandleJoey+(eventually)Rachel the import it deserves. It is indeed “the end of an era” and the show was right to make a deal out of it.  
TOW Ross Got High is the series’ greatest Thanksgiving episode imo, with an almost operatic structure where peoples frustrations and mistakes throughout the episode all come out in a rising crescendo after which Judy and Jack Gellar address all of them one by one. It’s so, so good.  
TOW With The Routine and TOW With Unagi are other classics as well.  
TOW The Proposal is a good finale but not a great one. It’s a major event, but every time I watch it, the Richard stuff and the Chandler misleading Monica stuff seems more and more contrived. I feel like it should’ve been more about what a major thing it was for the character of Chandler to be ready to propose marriage but instead he has to almost lose her so that they can do the ‘Tom Selleck returns’ stunt. I don’t believe that Monica would be seriously thinking about leaving that quickly just because Richard showed up out of nowhere nor do I believe Richard would suddenly want kids four years after he didn’t. But it’s still a great moment when Monica and Chandler finally do get engaged.  
Season 7 sees an even larger reliance on guest stars and stunts. During February sweeps, they aired four “super-size” episodes - TOW Rosita Dies, TOW They All Turn Thirty, TOW Joey’s New Brain, and TOW The Truth About London. These are mostly entertaining, particularly the latter’s insight into what happened the night Monica and Chandler hooked up for the first time, and TOW Joey’s New Brain, featuring Ross and his bagpipes, which is absolutely classic what with Phoebe singing along and Aniston unable to keep it together. TOW They All Turn Thirty, however, is problematic with regards to timeline issues, plus the ‘lift and slide’ thing seems like a re-hash of ‘PIVOT!’.  
This season contains more guests than any other. Eddie Cahill as Tag is the only “arc” of the season and he’s pretty boring, a pretty nothing relationship for Rachel, which to her credit she realizes and ends. But the amount of one-offs is staggering.  
Kristen Davis in TOW Ross’s Library Book as Joey’s love interest is cute but ultimately not too memorable.  
Jason Alexander in TOW Rosita Dies as essentially a suicidal version of George Costanza that Phoebe talks off the ledge, and is funny because Alexander is funny.  
Susan Sarandon(and her daughter Eva Amurri) in TOW Joey’s New Brain as the DOOL actress he’s replacing is effective and memorable, because Sarandon is a really great actress.   Gabrielle Union in TOW The Cheap Wedding Dress is fun, not so much because of her, but because her plot leads to a classic Ross/Joey scene where they do each other’s dirty laundry in front of her(“Where do you think we lost her?” “Probably somewhere around gonorrhea”).  
At this point, two of the most egregious cases of stunt casting in the show’s history come back-to-back. Denise Richards in TOW Ross and Monica’s Cousin does very little aside from tossing her hair in a pretty dumb episode. Winona Ryder in TOW Rachel’s Big Kiss is more entertaining but still just a big gimmick. They’re just killing time with these episodes.  
The best part of the season by far is the end. Whereas some of the above is clearly stunt-casting, Kathleen Turner was an absolutely inspired casting decision for Chandler’s often mentioned but never seen cross-dressing father. TOW Chandler’s Dad is one of my favorite Monica/Chandler relationship stories because it shows her pushing him to do something he’s uncomfortable with and sort of afraid of but should do. It’s kind of touching when his dad says “I wouldn’t miss it for the world”. BTW, Mark Consuelos is yet another one-off guest appearance in this episode.  
TOW Monica And Chandler’s Wedding is one of the series’ best finales. Really the only bad part about it is that I don’t really believe Chandler would ever really leave Monica at the altar, but he gets talked out of that pretty quickly, so it’s fine. Aside from this, it’s great. A whole season severely lacking in plot was entirely about the lead-up to this event, so it needed to deliver, and it did. It features the return of Kathleen Turner(and Morgan Fairchild) as well as the last of the season’s long list of guest stars in Gary Oldman. Joey and Oldman spitting at each other is much funnier than it has any right to be. They two of them really sell it. Turner and Fairchild together is damn near magic. “Aren’t you a little old to be wearing a dress like that?”/“Don’t you have a little too much penis to be wearing a dress like that” is one of the funniest exchanges of dialogue there is in the show. The whole thing with no one believing Ross could kick Chandler’s ass is great too, and Joey’s performance as minister cracks me up every time.  
Dramatically, they nailed the emotion when Monica and Chandler are saying their vows, and their love for each other really comes through.  
It’s a great moment for a couple that had been together for three years and hinted at on the periphery for four years before that, and it sort of brings to end that period the show that was all about their journey from friends to husband and wife. But as with the C story in TOW Ross’s Wedding, the B(perhaps C again?) story in this one turns the show on its head again. Phoebe and Rachel find a positive pregnancy test in Monica’s trash can. That’s all it was. So Monica is pregnant, we’re made to think. Chandler overhears Phoebe and Rachel talking about it and thinks so too. But at the very end, Aniston, with just a nervous facial expression and an unsure reading of the word ‘yeah’, blows everything up again just like Monica popping out of the covers three years earlier blew everything up. It’s one of the show’s best cliffhangers.
Season 8: Rejuvenation and a Would-Be Ending If you were a fan of the show in the summer of 2001, you know that that cliffhanger had created a buzz around the show that hadn’t been there since at least season 5, if not season 4. Was Rachel really pregnant? Who’s the father? I remember, leading up to the premiere, there was an ad set to Enya’s “Only Time” where it was suggested that Tag, Joey, or Ross could be the father.  
Once the season started, the show’s ratings were higher than they’d been in a while. Rachel’s pregnancy had given the show an overarching plot with a focus it hadn’t had in years. As a result, the show was being praised by critics in a way it hadn’t been in years.  
It must also be mentioned that this is the season that started airing just two weeks after 9/11. The country was in need of good escapism, so the timing+renewed focus on a high-profile plot rejuvenated the show with fans and critics alike. It’s inarguable that this season was seen as a comeback, and it’s easily the best of the later seasons imo.  
I should mention that, while this season relies far less on stunt casting than the previous one, there are some instances: Sean Penn’s two-episode arc as Ursula/Phoebe’s boyfriend, Alec Baldwin’s one-off(ok, he cameos at the end of the previous episode as well) as Phoebe’s boyfriend, and of course, probably the most famous guest spot in Friends history, Brad Pitt’s appearance in TOW The Rumor(This is a fun episode, but Pitt seems somewhat out of place).  
Still, those instances are far fewer than in season 7, as this season doesn’t need them as much. The first part of the season with the slow reveal of Rachel’s pregnancy to her friends, then of who the father is, then to Ross, then how it happened in TOW The Videotape and onward is so good. The way the whole thing complicates their lives from a dating perspective and from the perspective of the two of them being in each other’s orbit more intimately again is done slowly, gradually, and really well. Examples are when Rachel tries to date in TOW Rachel’s Date and Ross’s arc with Mona. Mona was one of the most likable guest lovers the show ever had, and her case of guest-lover-itis was one of the best - that she just couldn’t handle the situation. And who could blame her after meeting Dr. Greene(in his greatest appearance imo, I’m always dead when Ross gets the message about the stripper) and then Rachel moving in with Ross?  
Anyway, moving on…  
Joey and Rachel is a polarizing subject, and a lot of people hate the pairing. I’ll be clear - I basically hate it too. However, I actually like the initial arc from TOW Joey Dates Rachel to TOW The Tea Leaves. That arc works for me, because it’s really good character work for Joey, it allows him some growth. it is totally plausible to me that after living with Rachel for two years, he might develop feelings for her. It is totally implausible to me that she would ever reciprocate those feelings, and the fact that she turns him down without hesitation is why the arc works. I have no problem with it. Literally everything after this arc involving that relationship, I hate. But we’ll get there.  
The latter part of the season keeps things going strong with episodes like TOW The Baby Shower, where Rachel freaks out about being a mom, and also featuring the classic “Bamboozled” B story, and TOW Rachel Is Late, which features a really great comedic performance from Aniston. It all leads up to a kiss between Ross and Rachel as she goes into labor.  
The finale is one of the better ones, and even with the nothingburger Phoebe/Joey story with the guy with the broken leg, would rank higher if not for that cliffhanger. The episode balances comedy - all those women, including Janice, coming and going while Rachel is stuck in the early stages of labor - and drama - the emotion of Rachel giving birth to Emma - very well, and it’s a very satisfying episode. Until the end.  
Ok, I’m just going to say this: As the years go by, I become more and more sold on the idea that the show should have ended with this episode. Season eight should’ve been it. Seasons 9 and 10 shouldn’t have happened.  
Ross and Rachel growing slowly back together had been happening all season and it led to that kiss as they were leaving for the hospital, and then another one after Emma was born. All they had to do was say, ‘ok, we’re together now’, and it would’ve felt like a totally organic, non-contrived, satisfying conclusion. Ross and Rachel would be together, Monica and Chandler would be happily married, and it would be a great ending. What would we lose there that we gained from the last two seasons? We wouldn’t get to see Monica and Chandler become parents and we wouldn’t get Phoebe’s happy ending with Mike. I could live with that. Maybe they could’ve brought David back for Phoebe at some point in the season.  
The cliffhanger is just so frustrating. Phoebe has convinced Ross that he and Rachel should be together, he’s on his way, and then Joey accidentally proposes? Come on. The idea of an accidental proposal is dumb enough, but then Rachel accepting it? Her self-esteem was never that low. The whole thing is just so, so contrived. The Joey/Rachel thing was over, why bring it back?  
Making Rachel pregnant in the first place was sort of the last card the writers had to play, a hail mary, a masterstroke that bought the show back to relevance and won it its only Best Comedy emmy. It was a triumph. But when they had Joey accidentally propose and Rachel accept, it was the signal that they were out of ideas. The show should have ended with Ross walking in that room and the re-uniting with Rachel.
Season 9-10: Overstaying The Welcome
I don’t want to come off as too harsh on these final seasons. It’s Friends, so it’s still going to be funny fairly often. But not as funny as it once was, and the over-arching plots, which is what this whole thing is about, were just not very good. A lot of the time, not all the time, but a lot of times, in these final seasons, it felt as if the vitality had been taken out of the show, like it had run out of creative gas. Friends is so beloved in its afterlife because it’s a warm show, it’s like comfort food most of the time. But in these final seasons, it feels less warm more often than not. It feels strained. It feels, at times, like the people making it were just cashing checks, biding time. Like a show past its prime.  
We can’t know how Season 9 would’ve turned out if it’d been the last one as originally planned, if the network hadn’t gotten on its knees during the holidays and begged for one more season. There was some tension with Ross withholding that message from Rachel and Rachel getting upset enough about it to move out. If season 9 was the last, then the Joey/Rachel storyline from TOW Rachel’s Dream to TOW Ross’s Tan would never have happened. From this perspective, Season 10 was definitely a mistake, and season 9 would’ve been stronger if it’d been the last.  
But even then, the gymnastics they had to do to have Ross and Rachel not get together after Emma’s birth but wait another year are just a bridge too far after years of waiting. The whole thing with Ross being thisclose to getting back with Rachel and then backing out because ‘When you thought Joey was proposing, did you say yes?’ was so dumb. The only good thing to come out of that was the slapstick between Ross and Joey in TOW Emma Cries. On top of that, the Tulsa storyline was very meh as well. This was all the early part of the season and would have happened even the season had been the last.  
Once they knew season 9 wouldn’t be the last, things really take a turn. The character of Charlie is introduced, and while I’m a fan of Aisha Tyler, I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to buy her being attracted to Joey. The Dumont Mulroney arc happens too, which I’m really really not a fan of.  
They do the infertility thing with Monica and Chandler. I think that that subject matter was a bit too heavy for Friends, and I think they kind of skirmished around it rather than diving in. I get that they needed to move Monica and Chandler’s storyline forward and they didn’t want to do another pregnancy storyline, but this felt rushed and half-baked, and the John Stamos drop-in is dumb.  
I said earlier that the initial Joey/Rachel arc in season 8 worked because Rachel didn’t reciprocate. This is why the storyline at the end of season 9 and beginning season 10 is so bad. It’s never believable that she would fall for him. Watching the writers try to dumb her down to make her fit with Joey, like when she laughs at some dumb thing only Joey would laugh at in Barbados, is insulting to the character, and painful to watch. She may not have been an intellect like Ross, but she had a head on her shoulders and was never anywhere near that immature. Just terrible.  
Barbados is my least-favorite of all the finales. A huge set piece where the only things that happen are that Rachel kisses Joey and Phoebe chooses Mike, which are both bad for me(I like Paul Rudd, but I’m a Phoebe/David shipper).  
I feel like I’m being too negative, so I will pause to say that of course there are good and even great moments in these final seasons. Like I said before, the slapstick in TOW Emma Cries is gold and Gunther cracking up in the background ever Ross gets punched and fractures his hand in the space of ten seconds kills me every time.  
Christina Applegate’s appearances in TOW Rachel’s Other Sister and TOW Rachel’s Sister Babysits are great, the best guest spots of the last two years pretty easily.  
TOW The Lottery is a great bottle episode that has a real old-school Friends vibe to it. Season 9 was getting bashed pretty heavily by the fandom as it was airing, but everyone seemed to like this episode.  
TOW The Memorial Service is a lot funnier than it probably should be with all the pranking and the ridiculous premise of staging your own fake memorial service. Somehow, it works really well.  
Monica singing with her boobs showing was pretty funny, and there were some good Phoebe/Mike moments too, even I was rooting for David.  
In season 10, as has been mentioned many times, Schwimmer’s performance in TOW Ross Is Fine is great and the only thing I ever want to watch from that storyline. TOW The Cake is a fun little standalone episode. Phoebe’s wedding is pretty in the snow and well-done(although Monica is OTT there). It hits you in the feels to see a character you love get a happy ending, even if it’s not the happy ending you wanted.  
Unfortunately there are some issues in season 10 as well…obviously the Joey/Rachel stuff at the beginning, but also a pretty weak Thanksgiving episode and the Devito appearance which felt like an SNL skit.  
So…the last run of episodes. Look, they’re well done, with the Anna Faris arc and Rachel leaving both leading up to TOW Rachel’s Going Away Party and The Last One. It’s just that it feels too late for R&R. It’s well-acted, and the emotion is there, but I just…the last-minute airport dash thing is sort of cliched, and the whole thing ends up not feeling all that authentic to me after the two prior seasons of just keeping them apart at all costs when they so obviously should’ve been together from Emma’s birth on.  
I don’t understand why they were so insistent on keeping them apart on until literally the very last minute. Look at a show like Frasier - Niles and Daphne were allowed to be together and it ended up being a beautiful love story. People didn’t stop watching because they were together. The story didn’t end because they were together. It will forever be the biggest mistake, the biggest error in judgement, the writers ever made - to keep R&R apart for so long, that is.  
They could’ve re-united when Ross didn’t get the annulment at the beginning of season 6. This could’ve been an opportune time to put them back together. Early in season 5, Rachel told Ross that she still loved him, but he was still trying to make his marriage to Emily work. Now, maybe enough time has passed that he’s ready. Except they finally confront each other and she says ‘But that was different, I was in love with you’, and instead of admitting he has feelings, he just says ‘Yeah, RIGHT….you’re right, it’s different’ etc. They could’ve gotten back together right then and then the Vegas finale would’ve had more long-term meaning. But of course that couldn’t happen.  
They could’ve re-united after Emma was born. That would’ve been even better. Their reunion could’ve been more powerful and their love story elevated. Instead of any of this, we’re left with a cliched airport dash and we don’t even get to enjoy them together. And Joey and Rachel trying to make out had to be endured before that.  
All this said, Schwimmer and Aniston delivered from an acting standpoint and that’s what nearly saves it. Monica and Chandler becoming parents is also a nice moment, but somehow not as emotional as it would’ve been if Monica had been giving birth(I understand why they couldn’t do that). The Last One is a well-done episode, but it’s a little overwrought, really sad, and I find it difficult to watch.  
These last two seasons have their share of funny and touching moments, but on the whole they’re not enough imo to make them feel wholly necessary, the overarching plots are very lacking more often than not, and I remain of the opinion that season 8 would’ve been a higher note to go out on and a more satisfying way to re-unite R&R. I don't mean to be so negative about the final seasons. I really don't hate them. I just think they're of a considerably lower quality, which the exception of some episodes, than what came before.  
So, that concludes my commentary. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you got something out of it.
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2012.05.19 07:58 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I am Jim McBride, better known as Mr. Skin of MrSkin.com. AMA

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Date: 2012-05-18
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Link to my post
Questions Answers
I'd like answers to the questions from this request that you do an AMA. 1) How much money does the website bring in per year? Could you retire comfortably right now with your earnings from the site? 5) How did your wife react when you told her you'd be leaving your job to start mrskin.com. 1) The site makes a lot, but not enough for me to retire yet. Not that I want too. 2) We own three companies now so it's more over-seeing the business then FF through movies like I used to. I am in the office every day. I LOVE the job. 4) I met her just before I launched the site so she met me as Mr. Skin. She's very cool with it. 5) The attorneys from Paramount called me the year before the film was released and asked if I'd sign something allowing MrSkin.com to be in Judd Apatow's next movie. Of course I said yes. One of my smarter decisions.
What is your single favorite nude scene? How did the website get started? Was it anything like Knocked up? And have you had to deal with any competitors like that? You're awesome by the way...15 year old me stumbled upon your site back in the day and that was all she wrote. My fav nude scene of all time is Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at the 0:51 minute mark. It's a long story how the site got started, but I will say I was in a bar when the idea got hatched!
Does your mom know what you do for a living? What do you do at Thanksgiving and Christmas? My mom actually works as a skintern...so yes.
Who do you think are the holy grails of celebrity nudity right now? Like what actresses if they went nude would drive the most traffic? Scarjo and Milla Kunis...without a doubt.
Scarjo had her own leaded photos... I'm not too familiar with your site (only know it from Knocked Up) but would/did you post those? We just review nudity from movies, TV, and video.
Do you keep a huge library of videos/dvds etc that you have taken the nude scenes from? If you do, you must have one hell of a collection! This is just a small part of the collection...
If I opened a video store it would be the coolest video store in Chicago. We've been collecting rare, out of print, vids and dvds since '99. Its an amazing collection.
I'll start with the obvious question. In '97 I was in a bar in Chicago and my friends were quizzing me about actresses...a guy who had a radio show in Chicago (Harry Teinowitz) overheard this and asked me to be a guest on his show. It became a popular segment (people asking me celeb nudity questions) on Chicago radio and I did it for about 2 years. Eventually some one suggested I put what was in my head into a website. I raised some cash and launched on August 10th 1999. The rest is SKINstory...
So how did you get into this type of thing? Also, what is the source of the majority of your content? In the early days of the site it was 75% VIDEO content and 25% DVD. Now we have lots of bluray and hi-def TV nudes in the site so it obviously a lot better now.
All we do is we show you what nude scenes are in what movies. Oh, like Mr Skin? Who's Mr Skin? Dude, Mr Skin. Mr Skin? No! We've wasted 14 months of our lives. This is exactly the same as our site. How the fuck did this happen? Mr Skin. That's even a better name than ours! What movie's that from ;-)
What's your favorite movie without a nude scene in it? Goodfellas, North By Northwest, All the President's Men, Shawshank.
Is employee/office masturbation a common problem for this sort of business? Yes. Everyone has windshield wipers on their computer screens.
I get the sense that notwithstanding, or perhaps because of, all the pleasure you take in women's bodies, you're really a feminist. Would you agree? And would your wife? I am a huge supporter of women's rights (and lefts).
So do you have a whole staff of people who just sit around and watch nude scenes and joke about them all day? How do I get that job? I have six guys who literally scan through movies and TV shows all day to gather content for the site. There's a stripper pole back in that room too. It's not a bad job!
What kind of pay do they receive for this? I told you they have a stripper pole!
Nice salaries and very good bonuses. I don't get many people who quit. The environment is so much fun too.
People talk about 'gratuitous nudity' and 'gratuitous sex scenes', but you could argue that they're pretty much all gratuitous - i.e. including for the benefit of people who want to ogle naked celebrities. Can you think of any nude scenes or sex scenes that aren't gratuitous; i.e. are needed for the advancement of the plot? A good example is Sharon Stone's leg cross in Basic Instinct. It gratuitously advanced the plot. It's inherent to the recklessness and fearlessness of Sharon Stone's character. Had we not seen The Goods, we would not have been shocked into realizing that she was capable of doing anything to get what she wants.
Do you get hate mail or "Cease and desist" letters from celebrities? No hate mail. Look...MrSkin.com is a database where we chronicle EVERY female nude scene in the history of film (and underwear and bikini stuff) in a fun and POSITIVE way. Try finding any editorial on our site where we disparage a celeb's nudity. It doesn't happen. Also, we don't hide in trees and take pix of celebs and post them. We only deal in content where an actress WILLINGLY appears. We REVIEW FEMALE NUDITY in film and TV...and have a lot of fun doing (t)it.
You seem like a guy I'd enjoy a beer with. You would. We have a kegerator in our office...
Is Seth Rogen a cool guy? Very cool. I met him at the premiere of Knocked Up in LA and I introduced myself. He was actually excited to meet me. He even introduced me to Jonah Hill, and Paul Rudd and a bunch of other guys. He was very normal and nice.
What one celeb would really shake things up over at Mr.Skin HQ if she finally did a nude scene? Milla Kunis.
Do you fap to mainstream movie nude scenes more frequently than porn? Yes.
In your opinion, which TV show uses nudity the best? Which TV show you absolutely love and wish it had nudity? Californication uses nudity the best. They always find young stars to make nude debuts (Eva Amurri, Madeleine Zima, Addison Timlin)
If Mad Men had nudity it would be the greatest show ever.
What is the best, but still, little-known nude scene of an actress in your opinion? Basically...the most overlooked nude scene that should really be considered a top-10? Great question - Some rarely scene GREAT NUDE SCENES Molly Ringwald in Malicious '95, Meredith Baxter My Breast '94, Lynda Carter Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw '76, Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) in Crazed '78. Barbara Bach (Ringo's wife) Der Supertyp, and Melanie Griffith in Ha-gan are just a few of many.
Hi!! Long time listener, first time caller. How has the traffic on your paid website change as naked celebrity clips and pictures became more and more available from free web sites like XHamster, XVideos and so on? Ganna hang up and just listen. Thank You. Actually, we get more traffic now (about 9 mil uniques/month) then we did back when Knocked Up came out (7 mil uniques). I have my theories, but can't explain with 100% certainty.
I would like to browse your site, for educational purposes of course. Can you help me out? The site is completely free for browsing if you just want to do REARsearch...
Who is your dream celebrity to find nude in a movie? Christina Hendricks, Sofia Vergara, 70s Raquel Welch, 80s Markie Post, Dolly Parton...do ya notice a theme here?
Does that mean your wife is on the busty side? :-) Yep...it was a requirement!
Hey Jim, a detroiter here and big fan of the Drew & Mike show here in Detroit. I have heard that you are good friends with Drew and I know that they have you on the show alot. Wasnt there rumors that you and Drew were going to do some sort of radio show together at one point? I thought I had heard that. Edit: I saw the answer to this down the AMA. As far as rumors go, have you heard of any good rumors about any big name actresses going nude in any upcoming movies? Look for Sarah Silverman FFN in the upcoming Take This Waltz. Also Gina Gershon showing bush in Killer Joe.
What did your parents, family, friends etc. think when you started the site?? Did any friends or family stop talking to you? My parents were cool with it. I don't think people (myself included) understood the power or potential of the Internet back in '99 when I started, so EVERYONE has been surprised.
How has Blu-Ray/HD changed things for you? Well it helped us find a Brigitte Bardot ass hair in 1963's Contempt. It's helped us find things that the naked eye--pun, as always, intended--could never pick up on.
How big a problem is password sharing or other attempts to get into the site without paying? What do you do to guard against that? It happens all the time. We have strong tech team who monitors it daily. We get alerts when more then a certain number of people are using the same pass.
Where did your logo come from? I wanted a caricature of an "everyman" and my inspiration was those 1950's cartoon ads of a smiling dad with a pipe. I asked an artist I knew to draw something based on that. He nailed it on the first try.
What are the sexiest scenes filmed before 1960? Boy on a Dolphin '57 - Sofia Loren wet Tshirt.
Ecstasy '32 -Hedy Lamar nude while chasing a horse.
And God Created Women '56 - Bardot nude.
Those are a few that come to mind...
Which celebrity do you think has the best tubes? Ass? There are so many. Breasts - Halle Berry, Kelly Preston and Jamie Lee Curtis (in the 80s) Jennifer Connelly in the 90s. I'm in love with Alice Eve (Entourage-She's out of My League) now. Same with Lake Bell.
Ass- Anna Faris (The Dictator) has an amazing butt. You can see it in The House Bunny. Jessica Biel. Kerry Washington.
Alice Eve has done a nude scene? I'll be in my bunk. At the 0:30, 0:47, and 1:06 minute marks of 2009's Crossing Over. Boobtastic!
Big Stern fan here....what was the most memorable thing about your appearances? Any interesting stories? It's just very cool to be a HUGE fan of a show and then (once a year when I go in live to do my Anatomy Awards) actually be a part of the show. It's surreal. My favorite part of being there is all the guys coming into the green room before the show to say hi and tell me all their favorite nude scenes. I still get VERY nervous before each appearance. Probably because I'm such a fan and don't want to bomb.
Where does most of your revenue come from? Digital Advertising? Most of our revs come from Subscriptions, but advertising is doing very well in 2012.
How long did it take for your website to make enough money so that it became your only source of income? 6 months. I launched in aug of '99 and went on stern for the first time in march of 2000. From that day forward we were profitable.
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but are you the voice in all of the promos? Yes...I do all the voice overs for the Mr. Skin Minutes and the vids we create at the site.
Have you ever done any April fools jokes like posting nude photos of yourself and giving yourself a rating? Just to my wife.
Best bush scene? (no one has asked yet) I love Kelly Preston at the 0:59 minute mark of Mischief (1985).
If your talking thickest thatches - Suzanna Hamilton in 1984, Pam Grier in The Arena or Kelly Nichols in Toolbox Murders are all furtastic.
What is the grossest nude scene you've come across? We love all female nudity, but I know some people are a little taken aback by Kathy Bates in About Schmidt, or Jessica Tandy (when she was 84) in Camilla.
What is your favorite tvshow? Current - Breaking Bad.
All Time - Honey Mooners and Gong Show.
In the imminent zombie apocalypse how will you survive? Using the Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Kit my friends at Reality Kings sent me..
Have you had any celebrity, you know benefits? I met my wife doing this (at a radio party) so I guess I've had some benefits...but no, I've never banged a celeb!
Heard you on the Carolla podcast a little while back. You seem like a really chill, funny dude. Now for my question - When can we expect the Sarah Silverman scene? Sarah Silverman's FF nude scene from Take This Waltz will be in theaters in limited release June 29th.
Pirates or Ninjas? Pirates.
Did the mention in Knocked up help your revenue much? It's hard to put exact numbers to it, but if some one doesn't know MrSkin.com from Howard's show they know me from Knocked Up.
Im moving to Chicago soon. Are you hiring? I'll do literally anything. We are hiring two new developers this week, so yes we are hiring. Depends what you do. You can always reach out to our customer service to see.
Thank you for doing the AMA, Mr. McBride! You've had the business for over a decade now, how did the idea come to you? and was it difficult finding your content at first? When I first started I gathered all the content, did all the writing, and entered all the data. Now I have a "crack" staff of 30 to help me...so its a lot easier now!
Has anyone sued or threatened you to take the site or picture down? Not really. In 13 years of running this site we really haven't had to deal with anything like that. We are very careful how we present the content.
What were you doing before Mr Skins? i mean job. I worked in the pits of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. I wasn't making much jack when I left to start this in March of 1999.
Do you make a lot of money? The site does very well. I have a lot more money now then I did in 1999 when I started...that's for sure.
Just like to say thanks for the tits in a time when the internet was young. My pleasure...
How many times have you been sued by celebrities or movie studios? 0.
What are your thoughts on knocked up who's main character's job is a copy of yours. Other then going on Howard Stern, Knocked up was the greatest thing that ever happened to me and the site. I'm TOTALLY COOL with everything about that movie.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say probably Emma Watson. She would bring so many hits to the site. Not as much as Milla Kunis.
I just wondered if you do any skin searching for some of the actresses on the Spanish channels they have some beautiful women on there sitcoms. My skinternational department is on it!
Listen to you on Drew & Mike How close were you to having your own radio show with Drew. There were serious discussions. In the end Drew and Mike are meant to be together. They are magic. I'm better as a guest.
I just wanted to say I enjoy your weekly segments on Lex and Terry. Thanks. I've been going on Lex and Terry as a weekly guest for AT LEAST 12 years. I really like those guys. They have been great to me.
I just wanted to say that I hear your skin reports just about every week with Jim (up until he left) and Randy on WDVE in Pittsburgh. You have a very distinctive voice, and I can't help but hear it in my head when I read your AMA answers, heh. Keep up the good work! That's another great show. I love to go on with them every week. Randy is very cool.
So your basically a pervert. Aren't we all...?
Can you give me free membership? Maybe.
Last updated: 2012-05-23 00:32 UTC
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