S01 E01 – The Pilot
AKA, TOW Oddly Grungy Phoebe, “Momica,” and the Magically Self-Healing Oreo
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: AVIATION
It's the pilot episode, so of course we had to go with an Aviation. (Get it? Pilot … aviation … we like to pun, you might as well know it from the get-go!) It also happens to be purple!
Click here for the full recipe!
We talk decorative chili peppers, spoon-grabbing as a metaphor for life, spit takes, the evils of aspartame, and how if you fix a cookie, you can fix anything.
Rachel asking for Sweet n’ Low — nowadays, it’d be raw sugar or stevia LOL
Mello Yello — haven’t seen that in awhile either
Chili peppers hanging in Monica’s kitchen — VERY trendy in the 90s! Decorative peppers!
Joey and Chandler make ham sandwiches (when Joey hits on Rachel)
Adler Beer, and empty pizza box, while building IKEA furniture
“She always drank it out of the can, I should’ve known” (EB totally did not get that joke at first)
Sake, Tea, Sushi and Lo Mein – Monica and Paul the Wine Guy’s Date – “Spit Take” done 140 times
“One woman is like saying there is only one flavor of ice cream…” – “Grab a spoon!”
A great way to approach life!
Rachel’s bad coffee into the potted plant on the table (credit card-cutting scene, the plant is dead)
Monica’s restaurant (Iridium) — other chef barely tossing a salad during the scene
Franny – played by Clea Lewis – later a regular on “Ellen”
Monica eating Pop Tart after “not a date”
Rachel’s half is broken (she plays with it during the conversation), when she puts it back down, it’s magically healed! (angels??)
Pie on table by front door
Right? That whole column/wooden beam thing was so annoying
“Hi! We’re all caricatures of our character-tures!” Attack of the Pilot: Joey is SUPER Italian, Monica is SUPER mom-like (and potentially color-blind), and Rachel is … borrowing Monica’s clothes (but that’s okay because she’s got I-don’t-need-a-job boots-boots).
Weird cutoff graphic/mechanic’s shirt
Black leather vest (I AM ITALIAN)
Suspenders and high crotch buttoned linen pants?
Shirt with spaghetti strap dress, and sweater around her waist and sneakers (and socks!)!
Stomping on Paul’s watch
Collarless striped shirt
Marta Kauffman – “Rachel looking so naive”
Very muted, conservative clothing — she gets sexy real fast in future episodes! Or, is she muted because she is borrowing Monica’s clothes — came into Central Perk in her wedding dress and no luggage…
“You’re a shoe, you’re a shoe, you’re a shoe…”
“I’ve got great boots, boots!” Joan & David at 50% off, in a gift bag, not a shopping bag
Oddly grungy. Can't wait for the fun, quirky outfits!
We wax poetic about Lisa Kudrow (and complicated sibling relationships), pissing off managers at Blockbuster, the etymology of the word “nipple,” and how Heather destroys young adults’ dreams with one of her favorite FRIENDS quotes.
Elizabeth hates pilots! Everyone is a caricature of themselves – SUPER Italian Joey (black leather jacket and black shirt), SUPER straight-edged Monica (suspenders, Monica?) the “mom” of the group … and WTF is up with Phoebe’s grunge Dead-head look? (That acid-washed denim cut-off vest!)
“Paul the Wine Guy”
Limoge gravy boat — what is Limoge? Like super fancy crystal stuff?
And how Barry looks like Mr. Potato Head
Glasses, no hair, plump face?
IKEA furniture, “All this fun” (“I cannot feel my legs”)
Ross’s Speed Racer poster — so bachelor/college — they’re definitely in their 20s!
First window daydreaming scene (this time between Ross and Rachel)
“No snap in his turtle…”
“Welcome the real world, it sucks, you’re going to love it!”
Keith Haring painting on back wall of Central Perk? (with purple neon)
Marta Kauffman – “Nipple” and “Lesbian” works every time to make people laugh
Kitchen table/chairs — different from the quirky ones later in the show — more old lady (which makes sense since it’s her grandmother’s apartment)
They’re also in a different location (more to the front, toward the couch)
Wanted colors to pop, take advantage of color TV and show character’s personality – Blue kitchen, purple walls, red on blanket
There’s a light fixture about the kitchen table — gone after pilot, and table moves back to its correct place
Opening sequence — filmed at WB ranch in Burbank, CA. Originally supposed to be the fountain scene the whole time, studio thought it sent a bad message (we’re young and hip and you can’t play with us), so they compromised and put in pulls from the show
Rachel’s hair is already sort of the “Rachel” hair cut in the opening sequence — did they film it after the pilot/the show was picked up?
Marta Kauffman “The pilot wrote itself”, inspired by “Insomnia Cafe” in L.A., prior names included “Over Caffeinated”
Order of casting:
David Schwimmer (worked with prior)
Lisa Kudrow (Ursula on Mad About You)
Matthew Perry (Dream On, was doing another pilot on baggage handlers in 2020)
Jennifer Aniston (also on another pilot, rolled the dice)
Courteney Cox (they wanted her to play Rachel, she wanted to play Monica)
Matt LeBlanc had the flu while they were filming the pilot (fever of 102)
Network was worried that Monica would look like a slut for sleeping with a guy on the first date, surveyed test audience about it
The coffee shop waitress at the beginning is the actress who later plays the ditz masseuse at Phoebe’s massage place – her character’s name is Jasmine! (Cynthia Mann)
Phoebe singing in subway platform was filmed 5 years later!
INCONSISTENCIES (MONICA'S CORNER)
Rachel is introduced to Chandler, but later we see them meet when Rachel and Monica are in high school, and several times after.
Giant globe on back table, later Monica shows her globe pencil sharpener as her only map (gone in episode 2)
Girl’s living in apartment 5, boy’s in apartment 4
Rachel says she knows someone else will be happy to become “Mrs. Barry Finkel.” The rest of the series he’s Barry Farber.
OTHER FUN THINGS DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:
“Six of One” poster in the background of “Episodes”