Elizabeth’s “I Swear to Do Better” Jar for Season 3 (through Episode 13):

$16

S02 E10 - TOW Russ

S02 E10 - TOW Russ

aka TOW Ridiculously Dull Bobby

OAD: 01/04/96

SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: IRISH COFFEE MARTINI

FOOD

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Joey’s got a big decision to make: Is he willing to sleep with a producer to get a role on Days of Our Lives? He mulls things over by making copious amounts of marinara sauce. Like really copious amounts of marinara sauce. He fills every possible container with his sauce.

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Props props for the splattered sauce on the stove and refrigerator, garlic/tomato/mushroom setup on the foosball table, and even more filled jars on the table by the door!

Also, note the towel over the shoulder — key to the success of any home cook, as far as we’re concerned!

FASHION

RACHEL

Rachel looks amazing yet comfy in a velvet overall skirt and sleeveless cable-knit squirtleneck at the beginning of the episode. Later on, she dons a black-on-black leopard-print long-sleeved squirtleneck — classic Rachel! She rounds out the episode in another set of super-comfy jammies. Check out the link below — we found the Girls Football shirt she wore!

MONICA

Monica is pretty boring once again in this episode. She looks like she wants to be a nun, even though she’s dating Fun Bobby and you’d think she might be happy enough to step outside her comfort zone, fashion-wise. She throws on some power red later in the episode when she confronts Fun Bobby about his drinking. Toward the end of the episode, she slips into a cute, albeit still black (what is it with Monica Geller and black?) lacy top.

PHOEBE

Phoebe wins the Fashion Award for this episode. She wears quite a few fun looks, starting with a tile-graphic Mona Lisa dress with retro white booties! Next, she’s wearing a NYC cityscape vest, and she rounds out the episode in a very comfy-looking moose sweater!

FUN

THE PLOT LINE WHERE WE SUGARCOAT ALCOHOLISM

Remember how easy it was to confront your loved one about their self-destructive behavior? Neither do we. However, we get to experience some of the magic that you only see in half-hour sitcoms: Miraculous Healing of Serious Issues. In the span of 24 minutes, Fun Bobby goes from reckless alcoholic to upstanding member of the Sober Citizens Brigade.

“Public Display of Affection coming up, you can advert your eyes.”

Monica kicks off the episode by revealing that she’s dating Fun Bobby. The couple is really cute together, and Monica seems to be happy for the first time in a long time. Before too long, though, the gang notices that Bobby’s downed copious amounts of wine, and come to think of it, they’ve never seen him without a drink in his hand. Uh-oh…

“We just happen to go to a lot of places where you might drink. How do you go to a wine tasting without having a drink, or to a club, or to a … zoo?”

Monica decides to confront him. When he offers to make their morning coffees “Irish,” (see this week’s Signature Beverage) she sees her opportunity.

“It seems like you have been making a lot of things ‘Irish’ recently…”

“Well, I would make them Belgian, but it’s hard to get those waffles into this flask.”

And here’s where the real magic starts. There’s no fight. There’s not even any disagreement. Bobby simply says, “OK, cool, I’ll quit.”

AND HE DOES. (That’s the real sitcom magic.)

By the next scene, he’s sober — and as boring as a slab of drywall. Chandler nicknames him “Ridiculously Dull Bobby.” Unfortunately, this turn of events feeds right into the stereotype that alcoholics have zero personality unless they’re drinking and just aren’t any fun to be around.

Monica feels terrible because she wants to dump Dull Bobby, but feels guilty about it because she blames herself for making him boring. Phoebe tries to help:

“He’s probably always been dull, you just … set it free.”

Instead of being honest and upfront, Monica copes by taking up some extra drinking herself. When Bobby starts in on a boring story about his refrigerator light going out, Monica orders a scotch on the rocks with a twist to ease the pain. Packing for their weekend getaway, she grabs a gallon-size Ziploc bag full of minis.

“That way he’s still sober, but I find his stories about shoelaces much more amusing.”

Ironically, Bobby now confronts Monica about her drinking. “I’m just not strong enough to be in a codependent relationship right now.” Ah, codependency: It’s a super-complex topic (Elizabeth’s actually a recovering codependent, and she’d love to talk to you more about it if you’re interested), but it’s basically a dysfunctional relationship where one person enables another person’s unhealthy behavior. It’s way complicated and hard to identify unless you do some major self-reflection. But it’s so worth it and will help ALL of your relationships if you do!

THE PLOT LINE WHERE JOEY “ME TOOS”

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The episode starts off with the gang rushing to the newsstands to check out reviews of Joey’s new play. It’s a terrible play. He went commando in it, but that still wasn’t enough to garner him a glowing review. He considers quitting acting altogether.

“I’ve been doing this 10 years and I haven’t gotten anywhere…”

Lo and behold, Estelle secures him an audition for Days of Our Lives! Joey goes on the audition, it goes well, except that the female producer totally Me Toos him — Joey’s under the impression that he’d only get the part if he sleeps with her. Estelle investigates, and the news is not good:

“Yeah, you’re gonna have to sleep with her.”

Joey’s in quite the predicament: Miss out on what could be his big break, or sacrifice his self-respect and sleep with the producer. If he does that, will he question his success for the rest of his career? We hear you, Joey.

Chandler — in classic Chandler the Sexual Predator fashion — Harvey Weinstein’s the situation:

“You get a great job and you get to have sex. Throw in a tree and a fat guy and you have Christmas.”

After mulling things over some marinara, he ultimately makes a decision — he sleeps with the producer, but it gets him the role of Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives.

THE PLOT LINE WHERE WE BEHOLD THE POWER OF DENIAL

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Rachel has a date — a date! — and not with Ross. Everyone’s surprised. That is, until her date walks in and he looks and acts exactly like Ross.

Ah, denial. We love you.

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Ross comes in, and Phoebe tries to warn him about what’s going on, but Monica thwarts her efforts. Chandler tells her not to worry — it’s totally going to be fine.

He turns to the two dopplegangers:

“Ross, Russ. Russ, Ross.”

We get some solid split screen action as the two face off with one another. Chandler sees the bright side to the eerie situation:

“If we ever lose Ross, we have a spare.”

The two have at it and hilarity ensues. Rachel doesn’t see the similarity. Ross doesn’t even see the similarity. Eventually, when Rachel sees the two of them bickering, she finally gets it.

Not all is lost, though. Julie stops by to drop off some of Ross’s stuff. She and Russ notice each other. Sparks fly. All is well. We like that the writers threw in this closure for Julie, since she was a pretty cool character and it wasn’t her fault that Ross is a toxic asshole.

MONICA’S CORNER

  • After Monica says, “brilliant new levels of…” the camera angle shifts and her VO says “Continued on pg 153” (which is a ridiculous number of pgs in a newspaper, BTW) but her lips repeat “brilliant new levels of…” (can’t see this on the DVD because of the ratio),

NOT ON NETFLIX

  • Fun Bobby raising flask to toast Joey’s audition, then pausing and giving the flask to Joey to try to cover it up.

  • Bobby repeating, ‘I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking” over and over, Phoebe saying, “So it’s a helpful fact, as well as a fun story.”

  • Phoebe talking to Monica as if she were a flight attendant: “Excuse me, miss? In the event of a water landing, can this seat be used as a floatation device?”

  • Ross saying that he’s sure the critics appreciated his authenticity. “Nice genitals by the way.”

  • What’s in Ross’s paper: “The only enjoyable moment is when the king is beheaded and can speak no more.”

  • Extra “You have a date?” from Phoebe, she answers Joey’s “With a man?” with, “No, with a crouton.” Then Chandler teases her about having a date with a crouton.

  • Extended Russ and Julie exchange: Russ: “Wanna get a cup of coffee?” Julie: “I’m sick of coffee. Let’s go get us some juice.”

The Mrs. Adelman - Butterscotch Old Fashioned

The Mrs. Adelman - Butterscotch Old Fashioned

Irish Coffee Martini

Irish Coffee Martini