Also of note: the AV Club's discussion of this episode last fall: http://www.avclub.com/articles/why-friends-fake-game-show-epitomized-ensemble-com,84632/This really is one of the greatest sitcom episodes I've ever seen. (Friends' best would either be this or The One Where Everyone Finds Out.) It's based on our shared knowledge of these characters ("Viva Las Gaygas!"), and some surprising reveals ("Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance!") - and there are also real stakes at play. Plus, as Ryan McGee points out in the AV Club article, one reason this episode works so well is the live audience: they (and we) become a part of the contest, and care about the outcome. Now that multi-camera sitcoms are so rare, I find myself exhausted and bored by many of the single-cam shows. My one big TV wish for 2013 is a character-based multi-camera sitcom with slower rhythms and scenes that build, rather than constantly cut away. (It's why I really wanted to like Whitney; alas, it's just not a good show.)Some of us have talked about this occasionally on twitter, but Friends holds up incredibly well - better, I'd say, than Seinfeld does. But that may be a topic for another day. (I'm also loving the high-definition Friends upgrade, and I may shell out for the blu-ray set one of these days.)
Favorite Friends episode ever. I find myself quoting it all the time. "Monica categorizes her towels. How many categories are there?""Let's see... guest... fancy guest... everyday use....""He's a transpondster!""That's not even a word!"And of course, it's all balanced by Phoebe's very sweet private moment with the embryos, her sincere desire to help Frank and Alice, and her happy news at the end.
Hard to argue, the quintessential Friends episode.
We disagree with how well Seinfeld holds up (very well, I think) but Friend it seems somehow seems to have gone by the wayside in terms of people recognizing just how strong of a show and an ensemble this was.
Plus, it holds up really well in animated form:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khGUPEdY-Fk
funny! I still remember the first time I saw Friends. I was at a friend's apartment, I had no idea about the show, it was on her TV as I was waiting for her to get ready to go out, and I just started cracking up. The rest is history!
Hands down, my favorite episode of Friends, and in my top very-few episodes of television, ever. Holds up on repeated viewings, and is, as Sue notes, immensely quotable. What I love about the episode is that it really lets us just hang out with these characters. Everything we already know about them makes it believable that they would do this (and makes every question response believable - right and wrong), and we get so much fun new info about them as we go through it. And best of all - there's no re-set after this episode: they actually went through with the apartment switch. I have always loved that. Phoebe's plotline gets short shrift sometimes, but it is so wonderful throughout, especially that little speech she makes to the petri dish. It is a perfect piece of writing, meshed with a perfect performance. Fantastic.