S01 E14 - TOW the Candy Hearts
TOW…Chalky Heart-Shaped Antacids and a Grappa Fire
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: FLIGHT OF THE CONCORD
Seeing that the girls' bad-boyfriend cleansing ritual really heats up when Rachel pours the rest of Paulo's grappa onto it, we figured that this episode called for a grappa-based concoction. Heather tracked this one down and as a bonus, this recipe allowed us to use the creme de violette we haven't used since the pilot episode, when we made aviations.
Heather enjoyed hers, although she did have to add in some simple syrup in order to make it a bit more palatable -- the simple syrup took some of the "bite" off of the grappa. Elizabeth -- who opted for value over branding -- purchased twice the grappa for the same cost, but liked hers about half as much (if that). She's not a fan and is VERY happy that Paulo won't be making any more appearances any time soon ... or will he?
This week, we've got baked goods (both sweet and savory), an ... interesting salad, three chocolate mousses (to go), and questionable ritual ingredients.
A raw egg
How did Joey know that Central Perk would have raw eggs? Are they perhaps known for their in-house baked goods? We're not so sure (although Rachel does sometimes get to put the chocolate blobbies on the cookies, so there's at least a little hands-on action going on...).
We're big fans of the physical comedy when Chandler hugs Ross, only to hear a sickening "crack" of the raw egg breaking in Ross's jacket pocket.
When the scene opens, Rachel's got a scone on a plate, and is presumably on her way to deliver it to a customer -- but in classic Rachel fashion, she sidetracks over to see what Phoebe and Monica are up to. She's still got the scone with her, which is a good thing, because it provides her with appropriate ammunition to aim at the back of Joey's head when he makes a crude remark about taking advantage of a desperate and needy woman. Maybe it was intended for him the whole time, but either way -- he deserved Rachel's unorthodox delivery method.
Speaking of scones, don't they always make you think about this scene from Season 5? We've decided that scones (and a full-fledged, official afternoon tea) are in order when we finally take that first-class flight to London.
An interesting salad
We're in the girls' apartment, and they're gathered around the kitchen table. Monica is hand-shredding lettuce and tossing it into a large bowl, and Rachel is using a vegetable peeler to slice off ribbons of carrot into the bowl (by the way, Elizabeth is NOT a fan of shredded carrots in her salads.) Then, Monica adds in copious amounts of dressing (maybe an Asian-style? Ginger- or peanut-based, perhaps?) and proceeds to haphazardly stir it all together ... with a long spoon. Huh?
This of course made Elizabeth want to concoct her own Asian-style peanut dressing, so here's what she came up with:
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- About 3 Tbsp each rice wine vinegar and soy sauce (we recommend low-sodium soy sauce, otherwise it can be quite ... savory!)
- One small "knob" of ginger, peeled (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 - 2 Tbsp sesame oil (if using toasted sesame oil, go a little lighter)
- 2 Tbsp other oil (olive, peanut, grapeseed, etc.)
- 2 - 3 tsp Sriracha (if you like a kick!)
Throw everything into a blender (or a NutriBullet) and blend it into oblivion -- add a little water if needed to thin it out.
Enough with the over-the-top PDA, people! At least Elizabeth thinks so ... Heather apparently can't get enough. We have very differing opinions on the subject of PDA! At the restaurant for their double date, Joey and his lucky lady are engaged in a twisted reenactment of the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp. The look on Chandler's face as this is happening, and Joey asks, "Quarters? Or ... rolls of quarters?": priceless (and right up Elizabeth's alley).
Three chocolate mousses ... to go
Whew! Maybe it's because it was the day before Valentine's Day, but these desserts were ready in RECORD time! Less than 10 seconds after Joey's date had ordered them, they were out the door, doggy bag in hand. Hey, when you're not really sure what slatherin' is, but you know you want to be a part of it, speedy customer service is a must.
Two bottle of champagne ... and a Rob Roy
When Joey abandons Chandler and Janice -- but leaves his credit card -- they go on an ill-advised alcoholic shopping spree. Chandler orders a bottle of their most outrageously priced champagne, and Janice adds, "Each!" Atta girl, Janice! Chandler throws in a Rob Roy at the end because he's "always wanted to know." Well so do we, Chan-man, so we looked it up! For all you whippersnappers out there who were born after 1955, a Rob Roy is similar to a Manhattan, but is made exclusively with Scotch whisky. You can order it with sweet or dry vermouth (or “perfect” -- equal amounts of both), and comes with a dash of Angostura bitters and garnished with cherries or a lemon peel. So really -- just like a Manhattan, but with Scotch.
During the show, we pondered just how the Rob Roy got its name -- it's made with Scotch, so is it named after a Scot? Turns out, it is! According to Wikipedia (because you can always trust Wikipedia):
"In 1894, a bartender at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City created the Rob Roy cocktail in honour of the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta by composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith loosely based upon Robert Roy MacGregor."
Questionable ritual ingredients
This is one of our favorite scenes, and one of the most memorable, thanks to the audio from it being prominently featured on the FRIENDS soundtrack CD. Monica was short on sage branches and sacramental wine, so they subbed in oregano and a Fresca. Elizabeth used to drink Fresca ALL the time -- you know, before everyone knew that aspartame is the freaking devil. Hopefully by now, all of our Fresca cells have been overturned!
Heather always thinks of Jim Gaffigan describing candy hearts as "chalky heart-shaped antacids." And Elizabeth's former tradition of sticking them in Joe's clothes went terribly wrong, leaving a pretty chalky aftertaste (months later, in some cases). So we're not really fans, we have to say. But Janice was so sweet to customize hers with "CHAN + JAN 4-EVER" -- no wonder she was so confident that they'd end up together!
Flying shrimp! Sticky mushrooms! And we're of course assuming there was yum-yum sauce. We're not even sure what's in this magical sauce -- most online recipes prominently feature a mayo-tomato paste combination -- but we know it's good and we want MORE. Thankfully, you can get it on Amazon (along with everything else in the world).
It's a hot one! Elizabeth started off in her crushed velvet dress, but ended up in just her bra (with her "I Voted" sticker stuck on, of course).
Rachel's decked out for the holiday in a romantically inclined, possible Chambray denim top, and a cute heart apron at Central Perk. Next up, she's wearing an amazing cable-knit cream off-shoulder sweater while she helps Monica prep her weird salad. In the hallway greeting Chandler's surprise overnight guest, she's wearing some super-comfy jammies: a huge oversized sweatshirt, blurry-plaid shorts, and squishy socks. Finally, during the ritual she's chosen a girly pin-up print baby tee and button-up jeans to go along with her NUBBIN ALERT.
This episode isn't doing poor Monica any favors. She starts off in a blech-worthy brown striped business suit with shoulder pads sharp enough to poke your eyes out. Greeting Chandler's overnight guest in the hallway, she's wearing her red robe over her pajamas, and she's wearing multiple rings -- do these ladies not know how to take off their accessories before they go to bed? Heather's heard that sleeping in your jewelry is like adding 20 years of wear onto it, so she opts to leave her accessories in the drawer where they belong. For the cleansing ritual, she's definitely going for the super-casual, "I'm spending Valentine's Day at home with my friends instead of the hot guy I'd rather be with" look with a zip-up hoodie, black leggings, and a red claw clip.
Her best outfit by far in this episode is her ritual outfit: a purple long-sleeved shirt with a big dress over it. So 90s, so Phoebe -- especially the barrette-scrunchie combo we miss from the 90s!
...and Ross looks like a 90s-businessman version of the Cat in the Hat. The Gellers are just not having a good first half of the season!
HE CUT HIS HAIR. Why, Chandler, why are you doing this to us?! We think it's a conspiracy to let The Rachel shine in all its glory. And since his hair sucks, he decides not to try at all -- he's right back to a giant regular sweater vest at the coffee shop, then a strange Southwestern-style sweater vest for his not-so-hot date. Things go from already bad to even worse when Janice tells him his shirt's been sticking out of his zipper since he came back from the bathroom. Oh well, at least Joey left him his very strange-looking Master Card so he could drink away his sorrows and make an even bigger mistake by hooking up with Janice again!
Joey is apparently channeling his inner Dr. Huxtable in a crazy "dad' sweater at the beginning of the episode. At least his hair is on point. AND he goes for the never-attempted double squirtleneck in a single episode! A white squirtleneck for his big date, then a red squirtleneck for Valentine's Day. We're really beginning to wonder whether Joey has an issue with showing his neck, given how many high-necked clothing items he's worn.
The other waitress at Central Perk has on the fabulous Tiffany apron that we love so much! Ross's "egg date," Kristen, starts things off in a red skirt suit (better fitted than Monica's!), then changes it up to an odd date outfit -- Heather has many many issues with it -- tiny bow ties on her cream-colored top. It ends up looking like a backwards hospital gown.
Janice -- we freakin' love her. She's quickly becoming Elizabeth's favorite character -- one of the few who actually seems to have her shit together! She wears a classic Chanel look for her date outfit -- complete with the Chanel double-C earrings -- which looks fantastic until you catch a glimpse of her odd pirate-esque pant cuffs. What was going on there? She's back on track with her Valentine's Day outfit -- a fabulous faux fur-lined red coat! She even accessorizes for the holiday with heart-shaped pendants.
JOEY GETS LUCKY ... and sour?
We didn't originally pick up on the fact that Joey came home the next morning wearing what he'd worn on his date -- so he clearly had fun getting slathered (and did a great job of avoiding getting chocolate mousse on his suit). Always be careful with your slathering, folks -- especially whipped cream. Because after a while, it's just sour milk!
awkward run-ins with your ex
Elizabeth doesn't really have any exes, but she does have an ex-personal trainer that she's had run-ins with -- if you call seeing each other but pretending that you don't a "run-in." Heather hasn't really had exes since high school, but wonders what it would be like to run into one of them now
Rachel has one of the best lines of all time when, in response to Phoebe's calling out that their next ingredient is the "semen of a righteous man," she says, "Okay, Pheebs, if we had that we wouldn't be doing the ritual in the first place!"
Apparently boyfriend bonfires are firemen's -- very HOT firemen's -- busiest night of the year. Too bad they turn out to be jerks, just like the rest of them... perhaps it was the Fresca? You have to be careful with magic...
Speaking of which, Heather heard that Taylor Swift, Adele, and JK Rowling all hung out together in London and Elizabeth is pissed. How dare they not invite her??
JANICE IS PSYCHIC
We already know that Janice takes her latest break-up with Chandler very well, but what we're now realizing is that it's because she's psychic. She says so herself, "This isn't the end." And for any of us who have seen the rest of the series, we know it's not! Don't ever let your confidence wane, Janice! We love you!
ROSS + CAROL ... NOT SO MUCH FOREVER
How tender was the scene between Ross and Carol? He's so clearly not over her, and thinks it would be so easy to just go back to the way things were. We love the respect and love they still have for one another, even though we know it wouldn't work out even if they did give it another shot (given that they both like women and all).
After that we start talking about the Sexuality Spectrum and whether Big Ink is preventing the general population from embracing the idea. But from Cynthia Nixon, to Anne Heche, to Elizabeth Gilbert, it's quite clear that the spectrum is coming whether or not Big Ink updates its forms. The bottom line is:
The world needs more love, so you do you. Or him. Or her. We don't care as long as you're not a jerk.
The Stupid Light Fixture
Paulo's grappa did a great job of igniting the girls' trash can fire, which also took out the light fixture -- or at least scorched it pretty well. We're wondering if this is when it finally goes away (because Elizabeth is still convinced that it eventually does disappear).
Our first inconsistency this week is more of a difference between the DVDs and Netflix. The intro to the scene in Chandler's bed starts off with a close-up of his face, and slowly zooms out to reveal Janice lying next to him in bed. Well, the Netflix version is widescreen, so we can see Janice the whole time.
The next issue we have is that the guys' apartment appears to be only about two feet deep. (Guess they'll be spending more time together on the hide-a-bed.) In the scene in the hallway, Chandler's standing in front of the open door to his apartment -- and you can clearly see a wall directly behind him.
NOT ON NETFLIX
There's a tiny little bit where Phoebe explains that her friend Abby who shaves her head is … her friend Abby who shaves her head. At first, we thought this was the same friend who shows up in Season 4 (with hair) to date Ross until Rachel convinces her to shave her head again, but that character's name is Bonnie. Perhaps it is the same character, but the writers changed her name? Or maybe she changed her name -- if she likes shaving her head, goodness knows what else she would do.
It was a good call to take out this next scene: While Janice is on the phone with Ross, with her back to Chandler, Rachel, Joey, and Monica, they mime shock and dismay at each other, then Chandler mock shoots her. We really don't care for mock shootings -- comedic or otherwise.
There's an awkward silence after Ross’s dog joke, he says they should be cooking the food any minute now. Poor Ross.
During the ritual, Phoebe throws in an old MCI card, and Monica shouts, “Oh wait! Whose MCI card is that?” MCI?! Phoebe just regroups and goes on with the cleansing, which is probably a good idea, since MCI ended up going bust a few years after this episode aired.
There's a weird awkward silence/Ross’s voice breaking after the chef tosses a shrimp into his mouth. We love when Ross's voice breaks. :)
At Benihana's, Susan gives a longer explanation about why she has to leave dinner. Apparently the ad they were shooting had a problem. Susan says, "The maxi pads went fine, I thought the mini pads would be that much easier.”
A lot of the firemen scene has been cut down, including when the firemen say that they get to wear the fun hats, Monica's awkward explanation about why the fire started (something about Phoebe's incense...), and the firemen giving them tips about how to do a bad-boyfriend cleansing ritual properly.
We've got a second round of the "JANICE" foghorn ... oh wait, no we don't because this is NOT on Netflix.
There's an extension to the touching moment between Ross and Carol, where he reminds her that he's already got a ring at home that fits her, as well as lots of pictures with both of them in them.
Finally, they've cut out the whole ending scene before the firemen get up to say they have to leave. So Netflix viewers don't get to see Phoebe asking how they get back up the pole, or Monica stumbling to ask them out.