Summary: Ross is still trying to get back with Rachel unsuccessfully. Joey buys Chandler a bracelet to pay him back and represent their friendship, but Chandler doesn't like it. Monica needs some money and has to ask her parents for it. They give her some of her old stuff as well and the friends all decide to watch a prom video from when Monica and Rachel were in high school.
The Good: This was a fantastic episode. The comedy was so consistently funny and some of the laughs were really smart. Chandler was fantastically energetic as always and he provided some really funny moments in the storyline with Joey, which I really enjoyed. It felt real that Joey would do something to pay Chandler back now that he's making money, so I was pleased by that, but more impressively was the bracelet story which felt like a real thing that could happen and it also provided some great moments. Phoebe was awesome in this episode. Her pretending to be a guy was hilarious, but better than that was the lobster analogy which is easily one of the funniest things in the show so far. The lobster thing also tied in beautifully into the Ross/Rachel storyline which had a tremendous conclusion in this episode. Ross trying to get Rachel back by getting rid of another guy was hilarious, and him trying the whole lobster thing was some really funny stuff. It brought the focus back onto Ross/Rachel for a bit which made the final scene even more surprising and powerful. The actual prom video was superb too and it led to some smart and surprisingly funny jokes as we got to see who Rachel, Monica and Ross used to be.
The Bad: Nothing really.
Best Moment: It's tough to choose but I think Ross trying to get Rachel with the lobster analogy was the funniest thing in this episode.
Character of the Episode: Phoebe.
Conclusion: This was great comedy with so many memorable moments and it also had some spectacular storytelling. This episode was something really special as it balanced comedy and story with perfect execution. For sure the best episode of the series so far.
Summary: James and Alyssa try to cover up Koch's murder and they dispose of the body and escape. Police arrive and they find Chris' wallet at the scene, and after talking to Chris they are put on Alyssa and James' tail. Alyssa and James are shaken up and get in disguises. Alyssa doesn't trust James anymore and leaves him. James discovers that he's not a psychopath and calls the police.
The Good: This was a much better episode, and one that helped me really care for the 2 lead characters. It was really effective seeing them forced to face themselves and each other after they officially killed somebody, and discovering how shook up they were really helped keep things feeling real.
James in particular had a fantastic episode of development as he finally faced that he isn't a psychopath and is just a human with emotions. Seeing him go through this development while also discovering that he does love Alyssa is powerful stuff and it left us with a very sad and powerful image in our heads as James got himself beaten up by a gang just to help him with his pain.
Seeing James and Alyssa dispose of the body and the evidence was fun and good to see.
The Bad: Are we seriously supposed to believe that they just missed Chris' wallet? And that Chris never went back to try and get it back? That was a bad oversight.
Chris talking to the cops was funny, but it felt too over the top and unrealistic and both Eunice and Terry didn't feel like real cops.
The Unknown: What is the story of Eunice and Terry?
Where has Alyssa gone now?
What is James going to accomplish by calling the cops?
Best Moment: James and Alyssa awkwardly sitting together trying to individually deal with their issues was powerful, especially since they both didn't realize just how hurt the other was by the crime.
Character of the Episode: James.
Conclusion: This episode had emotional resonance, and as such it was easily the best episode of the show so far.
Summary: Monica sees Jean-Claude Van Damme and wants Rachel to ask him out for her but Jean wants to go out with Rachel instead. Rachel agrees and the girls come to blows while Phoebe tries to put out the fire. Chandler meets a former schoolmate and goes out with her only to find that she wants revenge on him for humiliating her in grade 4. Ross prepares to have Marcel one final time and Joey gets a role as an extra in a movie.
The Good: This was a continuation of the last episode, and thankfully the writers put the exact same amount of effort into this one to make it feel special. All my compliments on the previous episode also apply for this one, as they used the celebrities smartly while having simple but effective storylines which are filled with fantastic moments, with Chandler's storyline stealing the show this time. Chandler's acting was fantastic as expected and he did a great job getting humour out of absolutely every scene. But of course everything else was pretty great too. The Rachel/Monica/Phoebe story is just fantastic and was a hilarious way to put all three women at something of a conflict leading to several hilarious scenes of them Rachel and Monica trying to get back at each other with Phoebe trying her best to calm things down. This could have easily fallen into a clichéd mess, but the dialogue was smartly written ad felt real while also being extremely funny at all times. Great work by the writing team for that storyline. The Joey as an extra bit was good for the odd chuckle as well, though it doesn't do as good of a job as Phoebe's storyline in the previous episode.
The Bad: If you have read my previous reviews, you should know that Marcel has easily been Friends' worst storyline for me and that remains here. Sure we got a cute story for Ross, but I really didn't laugh at all for it and it was completely forgettable and felt like a waste of a plot for Ross who is usually one of the funniest characters on the show. Thankfully Ross got a good role in the Chandler plot which I'll get into below.
Best Moment: Everything that took place in the bathroom as superb. The dialogue, the character details and the laughs were perfectly executed and they had me laughing the entire time. That scene is a perfect example of how to do a comedy.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: The Marcel story prevents this episode from reaching the same height as the previous one, but this was still stellar television which was injected with a real energy and tons of laughs. Friends has done a fantastic job of being consistently funny and it seems that the writing is improving with every episode. This was another excellent episode.
Summary: Ross goes to visit Marcel at a zoo only to learn that he is working TV commercials now. Joey gets his own stalker who finds him and they start dating, but she is mentally ill and thinks he is actually Drake Ramoray. Phoebe sings for children at the library but she upsets parents by singing about inappropriate topics.
The Good: This was much better than "The One with Two Parts" from last season because it had a proper flow to it. This wasn't a drawn out storyline, but rather it had a single overarching storyline while each episode contained individual storylines. I found this approach to work much better and led to much better story and comedy overall. To begin, I'll say that the stories were simple but effective. They weren't anything special, but they were easy to follow, and also had all of the characters playing very organic roles. This episode was really refreshing for laughs too, particularly Joey's storyline which featured a ton of hilarious scenes, including Joey and Chandler preparing to receive the stalker and the throwing water scene. The originality of the comedy being shown helps the show remain fresh and hilarious, even though it has already had over 30 episodes. The other storylines were excellent too. Phoebe had a lovely background storyline which had a nice message and featured some good laughs with Phoebe's great "advanced class" lyrics. Ross' story was also great and featured a fantastic cameo from the voice of Homer Simpson. That brings me to my final topic, the celebrity appearances. Celebrity appearances can be very distracting and forced, but in this case they were used very properly as every celebrity character served a purpose in the story and provided tons of laughs without ever taking the focus away from the show. It's great to see celebrities used so excellently.
The Bad: Nothing really.
Best Moment: There were tons of fantastic moments here, but I'll pick the sequence if Joey and Chandler trying to escape the stalker desperately and arming up. The ridiculousness and the frantic pace combined to make just a constant supply and laughs in a scene which felt similar to the fantastic "scary-ass clowns" scene from "The One with the Baby on the Bus".
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This was an excellent episode. This didn't feel at all like set up and was consistently funny throughout which is all I ask for from comedies. The stories weren't special or memorable, but the sheer amount of enjoyment I got here was probably the best the show has done so far. I can only imagine what an episode with a memorable story could do with humour like this. That could be transcendent television.
Summary: James and Alyssa break into a house to stay there. They start being more compassionate towards each other but James eventually alienates Alyssa by not wanting to have sex with her. Alyssa shuts him out but then the owner of the house comes back and tries to rape Alyssa. James kills him.
The Good: This was a better episode.
The characters are very patiently getting developed and I'm starting to appreciate them more and more. What really works about this is that they are discovering more about themselves while we are learning about them. It's a nice way to watch a TV show as the characters learn exactly what you learn which is a very good way to utilize teenage characters.
The dance scene was very good. These 2 have good chemistry, but they really needed a scene like that to actually get me to start caring for their relationship. I was rooting for them to stay together later in the episode, so the scene definitely accomplished what it set out to do.
The final scene was extremely tense since we knew what kind of man the owner of the house was due to James discovering his pictures. I was genuinely unsure if James would actually do anything, but I'm glad that he did, leading to a gruesome kill for him. I really like this development, since it practically gave James exactly what he wanted (to find out what it's like to kill a human), and I'm excited to se the effect this will have on him and his budding relationship with Alyssa.
The fact that each episode is only 20 minutes long really helps the show get some momentum when it doesn't really accomplish a whole lot. It's much more watchable because of that.
The Bad: The house owner was another ridiculously messed up guy. This show really needs to have a normal character to at least ground it a little bit in reality.
The same flaws as the last episode mostly still stick though they have been improved upon a little, especially in the case of James and Alyssa. The show still has many more hurdles it needs to cross however.
The Unknown: Why wouldn't Alyssa's dad recognize her? How young was she when he left? Why did he leave? Will he even be happy to see her?
Now that James has killed someone, will his motives change towards Alyssa?
How will the killing of the man affect the story? Surely this is setting up some kind of major police confrontation.
Best Moment: The end scene was great and there is something I really like about seeing a psychopath and sociopath calmly looking on at the scene of a major crime they have committed,
Character of the Episode: James.
Conclusion: This was a stronger episode and the show seems to be finding a way to be uniquely enjoyable even with it flaws. I'm not sure if the show is going to hit high heights but at 20 minutes per episode, I feel confident in saying that it shouldn't be a slog to get through at all.
Summary: James and Alyssa get in a car crash and they hitchhike. They are picked up by a guy who tries to get it on with James in a public bathroom. Alyssa finds them and takes the man's wallet with threats to call cops. James' dad calls the cops.
The Good: The humour in this episode worked though it wasn't as frequent as the pilot. The opening scene with the car crash was hilarious and I instantly figured out more or less what had happened before we had those scenes showing us exactly what happened. The humour was great and it opened the episode on a perfect note.
I really like that this show is doing what I like to call the "anime exposition" where we get to understand characters' thoughts through a voiceover. I think it fits this show since both characters have hidden motives and we don't fully understand them yet. This is a good way to let us figure out both characters without them properly understanding each other. I think that works for the best in the long run since it could allow for great drama where we understand the characters but they don't fully understand each other.
I'm glad that this show is dodging the generic melodrama as it improves a lot because of that.
The Bad: This show does have a lot of problems it needs to work out though.
The main characters feel way too overblown and unlikeable. I hope that we can get more of an understanding of them, especially seeing that their chemistry is great. Until then though, the show is lacking the ability to truly pull me in. The big problem with them specifically is that they feel too robotic right now, and that has caused some of the emotional moments in this episode fall flat for me. I don't understand Alyssa very much so to see her crying doesn't really do anything for me.
The side characters are really bad too and severely lack much personality and memorability. The man they met in this episode will only be remembered for the fact that he tried to come onto James in a scene which should have been treated as a MUCH bigger deal than it was.
The Unknown: What are the motives of James and Alyssa? Can we truly trust them? I thought we knew that James' mom was in Japan but apparently she is dead. What happened to her? How did she die?
Best Moment: The opening scene had the best humour.
Character of the Episode: James.
Conclusion: Tis was a notably weaker episode with disappointing moments, but I still feel that it has potential to be very good if some flaws are ironed out.
Summary: James is a 17 year old psychopath who meets a angsty teen named Alyssa. Alyssa falls in love with him due to him being different and goes on a date with him. James, however, wants to kill her. Alyssa and James decide to leave their town in James' dad's car.
The Good: This was very unique and is a neat concept for a TV show. It's always great to see a new TV show which isn't afraid to take risks and be different.
I thought the introductions to the main characters were very well done. Usually I'm not a fan of voice overs as they often feel like a lazy way to give us exposition, but here I feel it works as it offers us a quick introduction to these characters so the story can kick off. While it doesn't do a great job making us care about both characters (see: The Bad), we at least understand who they are on a basic level which makes their irritatingly angsty behaviour much more acceptable in our eyes. In the end, I feel that these voice-overs were the very best way to introduce us to both James and Alyssa.
The one thing this show does really well is its black comedy. There were loads of moments which had me laughing, which helped me enjoy the show much more. As a drama it is lacking currently, but the show was just so easy to watch due to its unique black comedy, which helped me overlook some of the flaws.
The Bad: The characters seem extremely shallow currently. They are really unlikable, so the show is going to need to work hard to make me care about them, and it just hasn't happened yet. It's also really hard to connect to characters who feel so overblown that they couldn't possibly exist in the real world. In the end I'm just left with a basic understanding of who they are instead of anything more than that. I'm definitely willing to wait if we do get more background on these 2.
Some of the dialogue feels very choppy and awkward. I understand that it is the point of this show as it helps with the black comedy aspect, but it does hurt my immersion somewhat.
The Unknown: What were those memories from James? What happened with his mother? Who were the bloody bodies at his house?
What happened to Alyssa's father?
Best Moment: Not a whole lot stood out, but I felt that the final scene was the best with some nice tension with James wanting to kill Alyssa before deciding to leave with her. And of course we got a good laugh as James punches his father in the face.
Character of the Episode: Alyssa.
Conclusion: This was a solid premiere for a very unconventional TV show. It has some flaws, but at only 20 minutes long, the episodes go by quickly and are easy to watch. This show has definite potential if executed properly and I believe things can definitely get much better than this episode.
Summary: Rick's group can't find Merle. Glenn is kidnapped by a group of Hispanic people. They want Rick's guns. Rick doesn't want to give the guns and both factions prepare to fight. However both come to an agreement once Rick realizes that they are good people. Jim acts funny at camp and is tied up by Shane. The camp is attacked by walkers and both Amy and Ed are killed. Rick and co. return to the camp in chaos.
The Good: This episode was pretty ordinary, but the ending was fantastic. The attack at the end was completely unexpected and provided a shocking and terrifying conclusion to the episode. The surprise worked tremendously here as the entire episode was quiet and seemed to be focused mostly on Rick's group while also providing a very positive message with both factions coming to a compromise. I had expected some drama from Merle returning, but the idea that a horde of walkers would arrive at camp and kill several important characters wasn't anywhere in my thoughts. The terror struck immediately and made for some visceral, tragic and genuinely tense television. And it also established the important point that nobody is safe in the show since death can come from any second with walkers everywhere and safezones apparently being not-so-safe.
Amy's death in particular was pretty impactful, which was a masterful mixture of sudden shock, Laurie Holden's great acting and a great scene at the beginning of the episode to help us buy a little more into Andrea and Amy's bond. By all means if a character dies after minimal screen time in just 4 episodes, I usually won't feel much (just look at Ed's death), but the execution of Amy's death was a fine example of how to create a ton of emotions after such a short time period.
The Rick storyline was pretty good too. The storyline with the Vatos group was enjoyable but pretty unspectacular. But I won't be too harsh on it because this was a very necessary storyline for the series. It helps build the world much more to learn that there will be other groups to encounter and that not all will be good. The Vatos group here were well-defined and good people, allowing for the show to explore the positive themes of working together to survive, but I'm betting that sooner or later there will be an encounter with a not-so-good group, perhaps a scavenging group.
The Bad: The characterization is still lacking. The storyline of the Vatos group would be much more acceptable if we got some actual character development, but we learn nothing new about Rick, Daryl, Glenn or T-Dog. While I thought the Amy death worked in this situation, we definitely need to care more about the other characters if any other deaths are to happen.
The Jim story really lacked in my eyes. The idea that he dreamt about what would happen and dug holes was just ridiculous and too clichéd in my eyes. Additionally all we learned about Jim was that his family died, but his story really wasn't that impactful. It was too by-the-numbers for a sad backstory and it really lacked the powerful originality of Morgan and Duane's backstory. The ending line felt too clichéd and I honestly feel like the ending would have been much more powerful if it ended off with no dialogue and just Andrea's tears without such a forced and cheesy line of dialogue.
There were a few small writing blemishes here. The use of the grandma to diffuse the tension was a little too cute for my taste. I also would have preferred if both groups could have been more decent to each other, seeing that humans are sort of rare in this post-apocalyptic world, but it's not a huge issue since it was somewhat explained afterwards with the scavengers. Lastly, it seems ridiculous that the camp would be left so undefended. Surely they must be putting somebody on watch at all times? It's life or death after all as the ending attack demonstrated.
The Unknown: Where has Merle gone? Clearly he didn't return to camp so where has he gone? Did he even take the van or was it somebody else?
Andrea and Amy were discussing if Florida was affected. That begs the question of how the rest of the world currently is. Are there any places on Earth that are spared? Could this only be an America problem by chance?
Best Moment: The ending attack was superb.
Character of the Episode: Nobody really stood out but I'll give it to Andrea for her acting at the end.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode that exceeded expectations with that tremendous final scene. There were a few small flaws but there were also moments that really impressed me making this episode above average. More content like this is exactly what I would want from The Walking Dead, just add some characterization.
Summary: Carol and Susan decide to get married and Ross is conflicted. Eventually when they get into an argument, Ross ensures that the wedding does happen. Rachel's mother comes to visit and tells Rachel that she wants to divorce her father. Phoebe is possessed by the spirit of an old woman who recently died.
The Good: This was very funny throughout and there were some hilarious moments which helped to make up for some of this episode's flaws. The Phoebe storyline was pretty ridiculous and far-fetched but it featured several great laughs and funny moments to make it feel worth it. The highlight of course being the old man who makes an effort to sleep with Phoebe. That scene was really great. The Rachel storyline was very good here as well. There was some genuine emotion and purpose to it as Rachel's mother is going through a story which ties in a lot with Rachel's personal life. That added on a lot to the good comedy that Rachel's mother provided. The titular wedding was very funny as well with Chandler and Joey getting in a lot of hilarious lines and Ross being his usual funny self through his awkward interactions. I also liked Monica's stressed out anger as she forced everyone to work. It created a few well-timed laughs. Joey's performance on Days of our Lives was a nice little scene to get as well, showing good continuity from last episode. In general, this episode had some of the best laughs in the whole season.
The Bad: Phoebe being possessed was too ridiculous for my liking and it was treated too normally. I understand that this show is a sit-com but to have something unrealistic like that really hurts my immersion to the show. I wish that the Rachel storyline led somewhere as it didn't really get a definitive conclusion. Joey's "smell the fart" acting was a little too on the nose for me (pun intended), as it felt extremely unreal to see acting like that on a soap opera.
Best Moment: The old man scene was fantastic comedy.
Character of the Episode: Chandler, though everyone was good in this episode.
Conclusion: This episode had some big flaws with realism, but it was consistently funny and had a lot of good, meaningful storylines which is a big improvement from the last episode's weaker storylines. This was good fun.
Summary: Joey isn't sure what to do with his acting career, but he then gets a good audition for Days of our Lives. Joey learns that he has to sleep with someone to get the part. Rachel dates a guy who looks and acts just like Ross. Monica gets Fun Bobby to stop drinking and he becomes extremely dull.
The Good: I like that they made the Russ storyline fit the episode thematically with it feeling like a soap opera plot. I thought it was a funny little parody dynamic. Also some of Ross and Russ' conversations had funny moments. Monica's story was okay and had the occasional laugh. Joey's storyline was the best here and his character got a spotlight here. I liked his conflict where sleeping with a girl, something he often does, stands in between him and his job, yet he doesn't want it because he wants a good role because of his own talent. I did laugh when his hesitation ended up working in his favour, getting him an even better role. It was a nice bit of irony.
The Bad: The Russ plot felt very dumb and far too clichéd to be properly enjoyable. It didn't produce enough laughs to feel worth it either. I struggle to believe that Rachel wasn't able to piece together who similar Russ and Ross were. The Fun Bobby storyline felt bland and pointless. It didn't accomplish anything and there were no good laughs throughout. It was a typical sitcom storyline with Fun Bobby suddenly changing, causing Monica to develop his problem for the final laugh which really isn't that funny. It was simply okay and got far too much screen time for such an average story.
Best Moment: I'll go with Chandler joking about being in a soap opera because it fit the episode in a funny way.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: The Joey story was very good, but everything else was typical and extremely average. The laugh count was far below average as well. One of the show's weaker episodes.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.