Feb 28, 2011

Books on TV! More Specifically, on "Friends!"

If it hasn't been made clear yet, I love books.  I also love TV.  So when books are mentioned on TV, it makes my heart skip a beat.  I'm not sure why, but every time I see a book on TV it gives me hope that our lazy generation will be affected by its presence and be inspired to read.  I can dream, can't I?

As great as it is when writers use actual books to add to an episode, I really love when they make up fake books to build a plot around.  It's just so much more creative and usually results in some pretty decent episodes of television fun.  I was trying to come up with a bunch of fake books from various TV shows I'm obsessed with and I realized how many were from How I Met Your Mother, Friends, or 30 Rock.  And so, here are the Friends ones:

Fake Books on Friends
1. Euphoria Unbound 
In "The One with Mrs. Bing" we learn that Chandler's mother is a romance novelist.  Her advice on writing a book: "You just start with half a dozen European cities, throw in thirty euphemisms for male genitalia, and bam! You have got yourself a book."  The release of her newest romance novel inspires Rachel to try her hand at writing one, but her inability to type keeps her from her new dream.  According to Ross, you don't want to be around when the leading male starts writing with his "huge, throbbing pens."  And please note, he's not reaching for the heroine's "heaving beasts." 

2. Be Your Own Windkeeper
In "The One Where Eddie Won't Go" Phoebe lends out this book to Monica and Rachel so they can embrace their inner "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar" and stand up to the men ("Lightning Bearers") who try to suppress them.  It completely makes fun of those self-help and empowerment fad books that exploded in the 90s, especially the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.  The girls go through stages of initial doubt, self-empowerment, sisterhood, and eventual breakdown when their love for the book becomes a competition to be the best windkeeper of the bunch.  The ridiculousness leads to this great line: "How do you expect me to grow, if you won't let me blow?"

3. Rachel's Dirty Book 
"Her father, the vicar...the vicar?"
Despite her inability to write her own, Rachel clearly is a fan of romance novels.  So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise when we find out that she keeps one close to her bed in "The One With Rachel's Book."  However, when Joey decides to take a nap in Rachel's more comfortable bed, he's quite shocked when he finds a copy of her "dirty book" about vicars, chimney sweeps, and "burning loins."   She defends her book, claiming that it's a healthy expression of her sexuality.  As a bonus, we learn that vicar means goalie.  At least, according to Joey it does.

4. Phoebe's book
In "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad," Phoebe lets the group in on the fact that she's written 14 books.  No one had ever read them and since her apartment caught fire, no one will.  However, she's planning on writing book number 15.  Phoebe's book ends up being a not quite fictional account of Marcia and Chester, thinly veiled representations of Monica and Chandler.  She uses their petty arguments as the source of conflict, thoroughly annoying the actual couple, so much so that Monica decides to write a book about Phyllis.  Phoebe eventually attempts to use her documentation of the lovers' spats in order to settle an argument, but her book offers zero help. 

5. Ross' doctoral dissertation
 "The One With Ross' Library Book" is, at some point, most certainly going to end up on my list of best scenes in libraries.  Basically, Ross finds out that the NYU School Library has a copy of his dissertation in the paleontology section.  He's excited to see it on a library shelf (as he should be) and brings Chandler to share the joyous occasion.  However, the paleontology section is the least-visited section of the library, at least for students actually looking for books.  Instead, students seek out this area for some romantic trysts.  Outraged, Ross decides to patrol the area to keep students from having sex in the stacks, but succumbs to the students' favored activity when he meets the one girl who has checked out his book.

I can't believe I forgot this next one, thanks Steph!!

6. Science Boy
Another of Ross' books cherished by only one other person.   In "The One With the Mugging" Phoebe realizes that years ago, when she was living on the streets, she mugged Ross and stole his comic book creation, Science Boy.  When he doesn't warm up to her enthusiasm of now having a great "how we met" tale, she points out that she kept Science Boy after all those years because it meant something to her.  Granted, it was stored in a box labeled "Crap from the Streets," but still, she learned a lot from the test tube wielding comic hero. 

1 comment:

  1. I like your use of the word trysts.
    Also, one of my favorite lines from The one with Ross's Library Book is when Ross and Chandler find the students in their tryst and Chandler goes "You didn't bring me here to do that, did you?"