Danny Franks

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Danny Franks last won the day on May 9 2014

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About Danny Franks

  • Birthday 04/05/1981

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    Manchester, UK
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    TV and movies, obviously
    American Football
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  1. Yeah, Joey/Monica seems like the worst fit of all the potential pairings. But given TV writers' love of toxic drama, it's totally understandable that they considered going there. Though I suppose both characters would have evolved differently if it had happened. As it was, Chandler ended up feeling like something of a 'cool dad' character by the end of the show. Quite an evolution from the insecure, wisecracking smartass he started off as. And him becoming more chilled out and calm let them take Monica to increasingly (And often annoyingly) neurotic places. Joey never really evolved at all, and ultimately he seems more like a side character, in terms of his journey through the show. Still my favourite, though.
  2. I just don't think a reunion show would ever be good enough to satisfy the fans. Expectations would be too high, preconceived opinions about what should have happened to the characters since would be too set for a lot of people. It would just end up frustrating and disappointing as many people as it made happy. I think the cast realise that, which is why they're all so dubious about the idea. You'd also have to factor in how their personal dynamics might have changed over the years, and you never know if that original chemistry could be recaptured.
  3. Joey often seems incredibly stupid for the sake of a gag, but then goes back to being his normal self most of the rest of the time. Even in the last couple of seasons, there are examples of him being quite quick witted, at least in conversations, able to turn the tables after saying something stupid. And he's sometimes quite emotionally intelligent as well, an example being how understanding and perceptive he was with Ross in TOW Ross is Fine. So you could easily argue that his intelligence fluctuates, depending on the storyline or the joke. It does happen with all of the characters, especially Ross and Rachel, who are both sometimes shown as being very smart and capable, but also sometimes really, really daft. I thought that her neurotic personality developed as a result of needing to control her urges so she could lose weight, and keep it off. In the flashbacks and 'what ifs', she doesn't seem to have the same abrasive personality, and I figured that was because she hadn't forced herself to change so drastically. So it made sense that she seemed happy and more relaxed as fat Monica. That side of it, at least, felt like smart writing. The gags about her being fat were obviously low hanging fruit, and the audience hooting and hollering just because Courtney Cox was in a fat suit was annoying. I was never a fan of fat Monica because of that.
  4. I never watched the Joey spinoff, but as far as I can tell, it went out of its way to not reference Friends. So I don't see why they couldn't have just said, 'this is a 'what if Joey moved to LA' show' and left it at that. I doubt many people would have minded much if the continuity didn't follow on. As it is, the fact that Joey left New York not long after Chandler and Monica moved to the 'burbs, Rachel and Ross got back together and Phoebe got married feels very melancholy. Like he perhaps felt like the odd one out, or that there wasn't much left keeping him there. It would have been interesting to hear discussions on why they decided to do a spinoff for Joey. Because he was my favourite character, but I just had no interest in watching a show of him on his own, without the other five. Yes, he was still something of a blank slate in terms of emotional development and long running story arcs, but I don't think any of the Friends characters would work in isolation. It was the group that was special.
  5. Yeah. You'll have to decide whether your audience will find it acrimonious, or whether it's a moo point (I'm sorry, you won't get either of these jokes yet).
  6. I think Joey's side of it was set up very well, and it made complete sense. A guy who has never been in a relationship long enough to really get to know a woman, finds himself living with a beautiful, funny friend who enjoys spending time with him. It seems fairly inevitable that he would develop romantic intentions. And that's even without taking into account that their relationship often had undercurrents of sexuality. From Joey teasing Rachel about her book, and her upping the stakes to freak him out, to their temptation to give Rachel one night of 'great sex' when she needed it, right down to innocuous bits like Rachel once having a crush on Joey, and Joey obviously finding her hot. I usually see people say that Rachel was dumbed down to make her and Joey viable, but I don't agree with that. Because again, when you watch the whole series, you can see that she often enjoys the same kind of dumb stuff that Joey does. Throwing wet paper towels, playing the drums, the obscene Calvin & Hobbs t-shirt. And it's not like she's a serious, grounded person away from Joey either. The cheesecake, the meat trifle, thinking "angels" fixed Rosita, prank calling Ross from "the Fake Accent University". But Joey brought out her fun, light hearted side more consistently than anyone else, so I never found it odd that she would be interested in him. What I didn't care for, was the stop-start-stop nature of it. Joey's in love with Rachel, then it's dropped, then he's excited about the accidental proposal acceptance, then it's dropped again. Then Rachel develops a crush on him and he's still interested. Then they both decide to end things, and it never even gets referenced again. But that all happened because the writers were never willing to leave Ross/Rachel alone. But I did really like that it gave Matt LeBlanc something to actually do. Something that wasn't slapstick or 'look how dumb Joey is'. The character never really got to grow or evolve, other than with his feelings for Rachel (which were then erased anyway). I've said before that the later seasons are my favourites. Monica and Chandler being together means two less characters to be given obnoxious, temporary love interests, which was good. And their relationship was one of the more stable ones I've seen on a TV show. Ross was funnier the more neurotic and silly he got, Joey and Rachel living together was a ton of fun. Phoebe was just... well, I tend to agree that she does "just lift right out" as someone said in another thread. The Mike stuff was fine, but he was kind of boring.
  7. And as well as her laugh, I love the way Jennifer Aniston is already giggling at the bagpipes, and doesn't even try holding it together when Lisa joins in. Then all the rest of them crack up too. The bloopers of some shows end up being quite dry and repetitive, but most of the ones for Friends are pure gold, thanks to the cast relationships and the live audience reacting.
  8. Right there, you're giving me reasons not to like Phoebe. I hate the mythologising of Ross/Rachel, both by fans and by the show itself. Phoebe being the eternal cheerleader for them really grates. Especially because there was legitimately no credible reason for her to see it that way. Not when she doesn't care about any other relationships, including the many flings she has herself. I couldn't recall most of those when writing my post, but I agree that they all suggest she was annoyed by Monica a lot of the time. After all, she even moved out of the apartment, twice, because she couldn't stand living with her. To attribute malicious intent to Phoebe, it could be argued that she enjoyed belittling people who usually came out on top in arguments. Chandler with his quick wit, Monica with her pathological need to be right. Or it could be argued that she just had very low tolerance for their dominant personality traits. On that, at least, I'm sort of with her. Because I found Monica incredibly annoying, and if I knew Chandler in real life, I'd only want to spend very short periods of time with his smartass self. I don't know, again, how deliberate it was in the writing, or how much came through in Lisa Kudrow's line delivery.
  9. It was definitely the promotional stuff. Friends was the first 'It' show of the 90s, which just happened to coincide with the advent of the internet. And they played on that 'will they, won't they' as an easy hook. When it comes down to it, there was more to the build than there was to their relationship (as is often the case with TV). Ross pined after her, sneered at her dating choices and generally acted like an entitled child for the whole first season. Then the tables turned and Rachel acted like that for the first half of season 2. They were only together for twenty four episodes. Twenty four, out of a total of two hundred and thirty six. It's ridiculous that the couple is so venerated, to the point that neither could never date anyone else without either the approval or disgruntlement of the other. I didn't watch the first two seasons live, I picked up the show at the start of season 3, when they were already together. And even then, it was written like they were this huge deal that everyone was in awe of (though I still wasn't a fan). So when they broke up midway into the season, it resonated. Only when catching up with the first two seasons did I realise, 'huh, there wasn't that much there, after all'. What surprised me on this rewatch is how promiscuous Phoebe is written as being. On several occasions, they allude to her sleeping with lots of guys, and apparently having very low standards when it comes to choosing partners. It also comes across as her using these guys for sex, without having any feelings for them whatsoever. Now, it isn't shocking to me that a woman should be open about her sexuality at all, but I just didn't remember it, and it seems quite daring for US television in the 90s. Particularly the casual aspect of it. Phoebe was a character who could be a lot of fun, when paired with the right person, but I agree that it was generally based on how much she respected and/or liked that person. With Joey, she often seemed sweet and loving, but with Chandler she was often openly dismissive and even cruel. With Ross, she kind of flitted between those two extremes, but seemed to like him more than Chandler. I haven't noticed a marked difference between the ways she interacts with Rachel and Monica. I don't know how much thought went into the interplay between characters at the time of writing, but I do really appreciate that each pairing worked in a different way, and characters brought different aspects out in one another. I've been enjoying Ross's ability to be silly and lighthearted when he's hanging out with Joey, for example. I'm sure a lot of that was the actors, and how they interpreted the characters, which then bled back into the writing. But it does reward rewatching.
  10. One of my favourite scenes actually spins out of one of my least favourite Friends tropes (namely: Ross being insanely jealous of anyone else 'interfering' with his claim on Rachel). In TOW Where Emma Cries, when he confronts Joey in Central Perk over the accidental proposal, and Joey demands Ross punch him, only to then duck instinctively, so Ross punches the steel column and breaks his hand. Just... the entire thing. Joey's apologetic reaction, Ross howling in pain, then pausing when he sees Gunther's delighted grin, and then Joey demonstrating that ducking is instinctive... and punching Ross in the face. And Joey misusing air quotes when saying "oops" after opening the door in Ross's face. It has me in stitches every time. On this rewatch, some of the humour has felt very dated, but I've been pleasantly surprised by just how much of it is still laugh out loud funny.
  11. I agree that a lot of the gay jokes about the guys were pretty awful. The conceit that enjoying 'girly' things is emasculating runs through much of the show, and it's very disappointing in hindsight. But not unexpected, because things have changed a lot in the last decade, in terms of general acceptance of LGBTQ differences. But Friends did present a positive lesbian relationship, in Carol and Susan, and never undermined, mocked or dismissed it. Sure, they mocked Ross for losing his wife, but that tended to be more, 'how did you not figure out she was a lesbian?' than, 'you're obviously not man enough'. And it folded into the larger joke of Ross marrying and divorcing multiple times. You could say there is a disparity in the way homosexual male relationships were portrayed and the way homosexual female relationships are portrayed. But I think that's true of society even now. Because much of the world is still framed and defined by the straight man, the idea of 'hot lesbians' seems more accepted than the idea of any kind of gay men. But there was an evolution of it on the show. In season 9, when Joey tells Rachel about one of his co-stars being gay, he just says "at the Christmas party, he and Santa did some definitely gay stuff" without apparent judgement or squeamishness. I don't think he'd have been that casual about it in season 2 or 3.
  12. There was definitely a very meta approach to how the show dealt with their relationship. The writing of the show often inflated their relationship and it's importance in both their lives, seemingly because it was so important in how the show gained cultural popularity. In TOW Ross is Fine, Joey even says "you're Ross and Rachel" as a reason for why he can't believe Ross is fine. And i agree that it's not realistic that a one year relationship, over for six years, is still a defining quality of someone's life. Then again, in that episode, they really double down on Joey/Rachel, with him emphasising that they really like each other, and Ross giving them his belated blessing, only to erase it all in the next episode. It feels like the writers of one episode didn't read the previous episode's script, and instead just 'corrected' things, like they were writing a fanfic.
  13. Ross/Rachel were toxic together. From before they got together, all the way through their relationship, and then after they broke up. They never seemed to respect one another, rarely even seemed to like one another. They only really rang true as exes who have learned to get along, but still throw in pointed jabs at one another from time to time. And it annoys me that everyone always tiptoed around Ross about it afterwards. Everything Rachel did seemed to be defined by 'but what will Ross think?' They even tied them together with contrivance baby, to ensure that Rachel couldn't be free of him. It really hit home when Rachel herself told Joey she and Ross hadn't been together for about six years, at the end of season 9. Separated for six years (which, as far as I can tell, was longer than any of Ross's marriages), but Ross still freaks out like she's his property, when he sees her kissing Joey. Unfortunately, I don't really see this as dated, because TV shows still push this shit as 'romantic'. Childish jealousy, invasions of privacy, emotional abuse played for laughs. You still see it on TV all the time, from sitcoms to dramas.
  14. My girlfriend and I are doing a big Friends rewatch, after she bought the box set. And it's made me realise anew just how much I can't abide Ross/Rachel. I instantly started to dread watching, as soon as they started ramping up. Such a toxic pairing, who always brought out the worst in each other. Ross was a lousy boyfriend, who always seemed disgruntled whenever Rachel did anything for herself, and Rachel just seemed shrill and constantly annoyed by him. The two of them were easily the least funny characters, through the first four seasons. They were much better after they broke up, because then at least their constant belittling of each other made sense, and was actually very funny. But man, did those two really not respect each other. Why do so many TV shows portray such unhealthy relationship dynamics, and try to pass them off as romantic? This is why Friends is one of the few shows where I think the later seasons are better than the early ones. And not only because the humour of the first few seasons just feels a bit dated. From season 5 onward, it had better character dynamics, didn't rely on a painful central romance, and I really enjoyed Joey and Rachel living together. They were very funny together, and their friendship was one of the highlights of the latter seasons. And yes, I loved the idea of a relationship between them, and will be forever irritated that the writers chickened out so blatantly, even more so that they lumped Rachel back with Ross, just to give 'shippers the ending they wanted. I enjoy Chandler/Monica more now than I did when it first aired. Partly because it put and end to all of the 'romantic fail' storylines they each had in the first few seasons, and partly because it allowed both characters to grow so much (although Monica became something of a caricature). But it was nice that they were able to put them in a relationship and just let it grow, healthily and organically.
  15. I finished The Buried Giant a few days ago, and have to recommend it. Yes, it's slow and the dialogue is stilted, and the prose does meander all over the place. But the central story is powerful, both on the level of depicting marital love, and on the level of exploring the idea of whether it's better to remember hurts and grievances, and work towards forgiveness, or whether you should try to forget and move on anew. I don't know which side of things Ishiguro comes down on, nor which side I do. The book feels very heavily influenced by old folklore like the Arthurian tales, Beowulf, even Don Quixote and The Canterbury Tales. Encounters on the road, friends met, little self contained moral stories spinning out into the larger narrative. It's certainly one to keep you thinking about it, long after finishing. And after that, I went to the other end of the spectrum, and read Nomad by James Swallow. An action thriller that finally lives up to the "unputdownable" billing. It's really good. Electric pace, sympathetic characters, genuinely threatening villains and a really good story. Again, highly recommended for fans of the genre.