Summary: Joey gets hired as a lead in a movie that's shooting in Vegas and he takes Chandler with him on the drive. Rachel has an eye infection but she gets really weird about things touching her eye so Monica has to force her to take care of it. Phoebe is mad at Ross but can't remember why.
The Good: There were several funny parts of this episode. Joey's story is strong and is one of the better character-based story ideas we have gotten in a little while. His conflict with Chandler feels real and it led to some really funny moments. The other two stories are harmless fun. Rachel and Monica are pretty funny and the final scene with everyone attacking Rachel was a lovely bit of pay-off. Phoebe and Ross get a few odd lines that were funny, like the fat ass bit. I really liked the answering questions game throughout the episode and it was applied in numerous funny ways as it was continually brought up.
The Bad: Phoebe comes off poorly in her story as she judges Ross so harshly over nothing. The show has been sabotaging her character for a while now. Rachel's eye infection is nothing more than filler. The show has stopped using realistic stories as side-plots and instead chooses to develop random (and sometimes stupid) quirks for its characters instead. This was another episode which made me smile a number of times, but never made me outright laugh hard, making it somewhat forgettable.
Best Moment: Joey asking Ross if he would rather sleep with Monica or Rachel led to some terrific lines.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode, but it was lacking in a few departments.
Summary: Gary wants to ask Phoebe to move in with him. Ross and Joey start passing a ball around and they try to see how long they can go without dropping it. Rachel buys a new cat for $1000 but it hates her.
The Good: There were a few nice jokes throughout the episode. Rachel was pretty good and got the most consistent laughs. Ross and Joey had the odd few jokes.
The Bad: For the most part this was pretty atrocious and is easily the worst episode of the show so far. The biggest problem is the general lack of laughs. There is nothing particular funny about any of the stories and the most they ever did was make me smile. Each story has tons of individual problems. The ball story just isn't very funny and it completely overdoes the competitive side of Monica. She is utterly dislikable here and it's played up even more than it usually is. After seeing the joke for the past 4 seasons, it just isn't as funny anymore. Rachel's story suffers from problematic reactions from others. Nobody seems to want to help her out as they selfishly choose to play with the ball instead of helping her out with her problems. Everyone comes off as terrible friends, ironic considering the show's title. Furthermore, the joke that Rachel's cat is not a cat is way too overplayed. It was never funny yet they do the joke like 5 or 6 times. Phoebe's story was quite terrible. The way that characters flip flop between emotions is ridiculous. Phoebe goes from not wanting to live with him to wanting to live with him too quickly. Chandler gets convinced by Gary ridiculously quickly as well. It feels horribly unrealistic. Two things stand out as exceptionally poor. Phoebe verbally abuses Chandler which is horribly out of character and one of the cruelest things she has ever done. Then we have Gary killing a bird which is absurd and unrealistic, especially since Gary would be aware of Phoebe's love for wildlife after dating her for so long. Furthermore, who the hell just kills birds with a gun like that? Ridiculous.
Best Moment: Ross going off about dinosaurs and Joey suggesting that the game be a silent one was the episode's best joke.
Character of the Episode: Rachel.
Conclusion: This was a bad episode. After such a consistently good season, I wasn't expecting such a sharp drop off in quality. There has been more silliness than usual this season but usually it has been funny and not that excessive. This was way, way, way too excessive and wasn't even funny. The first total dud that "Friends" has produced.
Summary: Ross gets mad at Chandler for flirting with the pizza delivery girl. Joey invites his grandma over to watch his part in Law & Order. Monica wants her earrings back from Phoebe. Phoebe had lent them to Rachel who lost them so now they have to find them.
The Good: This was a funny episode. Episodes where all six of the friends are together tend to be better than episodes where storylines are split. This was no exception. There are great jokes throughout, the characters are fun and there are a few fantastic lines. Ross and Chandler have amazingly funny lines and the flirting story is pretty great. Ross' interactions with Caitlin are amazingly fun and I enjoyed them. Joey's grandma provided some great moments too, and Joey's fake scene leading into Chandler singing "Space Oddity" was amazing. The Rachel storyline had great moments too. Rachel was fun as she looked for the earring, and I especially loved Monica being understanding with Phoebe and harsh with Rachel. Realistic comedy like that is why I love the show to begin with.
The Bad: Ross thinking he's a flirting machine didn't feel like Ross. The show has really been stretching his character to get more comedy from the show. Phoebe understanding Italian was dumb, as was Joey's grandma speaking English at will somehow.
Best Moment: Ross flirting with Caitlin by talking about gasoline was really funny.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: This was a really fun episode with lots of humour. While it doesn't reach upper tier "Friends", it's still a great episode.
Summary: Rachel realizes her coworkers are making all of their decisions without her because she doesn't smoke so she starts smoking to get involved. Phoebe wants to throw a surprise party for Rachel but Monica takes full control of setting up the party. Ben gets an audition for a commercial and Joey tags along hoping to get an audition for himself.
The Good: The storylines were pretty fun all around and they led to a few great laughs. While inconsistent, there were good laughs throughout the episode and every character gets a chance to shine. Phoebe is fun as she gets back at Monica, Monica and Chandler are fun again as a couple, Rachel is good as she desperately tries to get involved, and both Ross and Joey get some great jokes.
The Bad: The problem is the consistency. While there are good jokes, there are a few that just aren't very funny or memorable at all. Also, the storylines aren't the best. Joey comes off poorly at times in his story with Ross. The noodle soup joke is extremely unrealistic and not really funny at all. Outside of Rachel being full of energy, there isn't much humour to her story. The cups and ice story doesn't really have a great pay-off joke so it doesn't work as well as it could have.
Best Moment: Chandler excusing himself from Joey and Ross' argument was great.
Character of the Episode: Phoebe.
Conclusion: This was a decent episode, but there really isn't much special here, and there are a few dull stretches with little humour.
Summary: Rachel gets an interview at Ralph Lauren and nails it, but is unnerved when she accidentally kisses the interviewer. Joey sees a hot girl living in Ross' apartment but he keeps finding Ross when he goes to find her. Phoebe and Gary are the new hot couple so Monica tries to reignite the fire in her relationship with Chandler to outdo them.
The Good: This is another extremely fun episode. This whole episode is mostly based on misconceptions and all of them are very funny. Rachel's titular storyline is damn good. It's exceedingly funny to see her dig a hole for herself in her interviews and her realizations at what she has done are all very entertaining. Joey's story is another highlight. It starts with us seeing some hilarious miming from Ross, and then we lead into a fantastic storyline as Joey hits on a girl in another apartment. His frivolous attempts to find her are fantastic with a number of excellent jokes, and the constant punchline of him always ending up at Ross' place is one of the show's funniest jokes. It's a near perfect story that's packed with laughs. Monica remains nicely in character as she competes to outdo Phoebe's relationship. Her scenes with Chandler are very fun and I continue to buy into them as a couple whenever there isn't an overblown storyline about them fighting. There was great comedy and the final conversation between Monica and Chandler in the bathroom is a perfect blend of serious storytelling and comedy. Nicely done.
The Bad: I don't think there's anything particularly bad about this one. Just a funny episode all around.
Best Moment: It's so hard to pick. I'll go with the double-layered joke of Joey seemingly stupidly pointing out Ross' watching TV bit, only for the reveal that Ross is actually doing a watching TV bit.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This was a load of fun and it's another damn strong episode in season 5.
Summary: Phoebe finds a cop badge and impersonates a cop to do good things. Joey has a dream about Monica and is worried that he is now in love with her. Ross buys a new couch and struggles to move it into his apartment.
The Good: This was a really funny episode. The stories were so shallow, but that allowed the episode to focus everything on the humour which carried the episode. Ross' story was the perfect example of this. The story has nothing to it, yet it had me laughing out loud so many times with all of the jokes. Ross giving the couch guy flak for thinking Rachel is too good for him (298 times!), the failed attempts to take the couch up and the ending scene were all fantastic and had me laughing out loud. Joey was just as funny here. His fear that he loves Monica is funny and it's consistent with his character that he can't quite understand what he wants. There were tons of laughs too. Joey's dream was great and I loved seeing him hit on Rachel. Phoebe had some good moments in the episode. Having Gary find her only to ask her on a date was pretty great and it was a fun conclusion to her story.
The Bad: Phoebe using the cop badge wasn't very funny until Gary showed up. As I mentioned above, the stories were shallow in this episode and there wasn't any depth to them. Thankfully I watch comedies to laugh as my main priority, since this is really weak as a story.
Best Moment: Ross enlists Chandler and Rachel to help him move the couch and annoyingly shouts "PIVOT" over and over again. It's such a ridiculous moment and Schwimmer's line delivery is superb.
Character of the Episode: Ross.
Conclusion: This was high quality comedy and I was consistently laughing the entire time. If only there was some solid story and this could have been an absolute classic.
Summary: Ross accepts Monica and Chandler. After a conversation with Rachel, Chandler gets afraid of marriage with Monica. Joey doesn't know what to do about his new girlfriend who keeps hitting him. Ross refuses to donate $100 for a man who works at his new apartment building and everyone ends up hating him.
The Good: There are some good jokes throughout the episode and the stories are all good fun. I got good laughs out of Ross unintentionally getting everyone at his new apartment to hate him and I thought his attempts to get them back on his good side were great. Joey's storyline is harmless fluff and it is pretty funny with some funny lines from the other friends. I did like the Chandler/Monica story since it had some good development for their relationship and the climactic proposal was pretty funny. Joey and Ross were excellent in their roles too.
The Bad: The episode feels too cheesy. It's fun to watch and I'm never bored, but the acting, characters and storylines really stretch credibility. It's fine for now because it is funny, but it's a far cry from the best we have got from the show. While I still get laughs from goofy episodes like these, they never end up being memorable and it's always difficult to recollect the best jokes, unlike the memorability of the best episodes of the show.
Best Moment: Chandler's proposal is really funny.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This episode was funny and entertaining but it gets hurt by choosing to lean more towards goofiness rather than the more realistic comedy that the show has thrived on in the past.
Summary: Phoebe learns about Chandler and Monica when she sees them having sex. She enlists Rachel and Joey and decides to mess with both of them. Ugly naked guy is moving out so Ross tries to get his apartment.
The Good: What an incredibly creative episode. This episode perfectly encompasses everything I love about this show. The rich characters, funny interactions, realistic plots and hilarious moments all add up to make some outstanding comedy. The titular scenes that bookend this episode are awesome and manage to feel different from each other despite the same thing happening, more or less, in each scene. Phoebe and Ross' reactions to seeing Chandler and Monica are hilarious and are written perfectly to get the most humour out of the scenes. I also love the moment with Ross joining the girly celebrations early in the episode. The main plot is excellent. Watching Chandler/Monica go up against Phoebe/Rachel is very entertaining and is a funny set of mindgames that builds to an exciting conclusion. And then there is poor Joey who is caught in the middle and manages to get a lot of amazing jokes out of his role. The character work in this episode is the best it has been in a long time. Phoebe is back to her original self, Monica's character is wonderfully consistent without being over-the-top like she usually is, Chandler is awkward, but in a charming a way and Joey's simplified thinking makes him look less childish than he has become. The usual overacting isn't even a problem because it is acknowledged by the show and we are never supposed to believe that Chandler or Phoebe actually believe that the other is genuinely interested. The central date scene is a terrific climax. Chandler and Phoebe play their roles perfectly, the dialogue and execution is hilarious, and the climax is a really sweet scene. Ross' B-story is better than what we usually get and it has a few great jokes and an unexpectedly great payoff joke with ugly naked Ross.
The Bad: Nothing I would call bad.
Best Moment: The date scene. It's so awkward in the best way and that leads to so many terrific laughs. The break scenes with Phoebe in the hallway and Chandler in the bathroom are so well written too and only add to the atmosphere of a terrific scene.
Character of the Episode: Phoebe.
Conclusion: Spectacular. This episode is a near perfect piece of comedy. It's fresh, different, impeccably written, and a consistent source for laughs. This is as good as comedy gets.
Summary: Joey wants to look sophisticated for an audition so Rachel helps him by giving him a bag. However, Joey becomes attached to the bag and wants to keep it. Monica gives bad massages and Chandler lies to her, telling her that they are good. Phoebe's grandmother dies and at the funeral she meets her father.
The Good: Phoebe's story is really good here. Having her finally meet her father is a big moment and their final scene together is really strong, both from a comedic perspective and an emotional one. The rest of the episode has some good moments too. While the stories leave a lot to be desired (see: The Bad), the episode is saved by a number of clever jokes (goodbye muscles, unisex, it looks like it's coming right at me). In general, thank god for Joey, as this episode would not have worked at all without him. His presence allowed the writers to cram in all of these strong jokes.
The Bad: Phoebe's story should have been the main storyline, yet it comes off as a side story which is disappointing. I feel like it could have used more time and focus to be better. Joey's bag is a pretty dumb story and his unnatural attachment to it is exactly that: unnatural. It never feels real and doesn't lead to any good jokes regarding the bag. Monica's storyline is really stupid. The idea of her being so terrible at massages is pretty ridiculous and the scene with Chandler at the end feels extremely forced. While the jokes are funny, the scene feels overly dramatic for a nothing of a storyline. Surely the writers could have come up with something better to set up that ending scene.
Best Moment: The unisex joke with Joey and Rachel was fantastic.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This was a disappointing episode. Phoebe's story was good but the other two stories were a big step down from what we usually get from "Friends". Thankfully, the character interactions are still amazing because without them, this episode would fall flat.
Summary: Rachel tries to get Monica to confess her relationship with Chandler. Monica gets frustrated with Chandler who sucks up to his boss at work. Ross learns that Emily is getting married and has a one night stand with Janice.
The Good: The continuation of Joey and Rachel's storyline was really good and their few scenes were the best part of the episode. Ross' storyline is good too. The Janice twist is fantastic and Joey's presence in their storyline was pretty hilarious. I also appreciated the continuity with Janice thinking Chandler is still in Yemen. Chandler's storyline is a very good concept since a fake "work laugh" is something that lots of people have experience with. The final scene with Chandler and Ross is overacted but its heart is in the right place and that makes it funny.
The Bad: Unfortunately Chandler's story doesn't end up being particularly funny outside of the entertaining presence of Chandler's boss. Rachel attempting to get the truth out of Monica was really bad. It makes no sense that Monica and Chandler would keep the secret and it hurts their characters by having them behave so stupidly. Also, it's inconsistent since they immediately told Joey when he figured it out, so why not do the same with Rachel? Ross and Janice's story is too on-the-nose and due to that it isn't as funny as it should have been.
Best Moment: The opening scene with Rachel and Joey. Joey's constant "I don't know"s were great and nicely got humour out of the dichotomy between Joey and Rachel.
Character of the Episode: Joey.
Conclusion: This was a fun episode, but it lacked in subtlety and a lot of the episode felt like it was trying too hard to get laughs.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.