Thursday, June 30, 2011

Throwback: No One's Ready

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I recently re-watched the Season 3, Episode 2 episode of Friends, "The One Where No One's Ready." The first time I saw it, I thought it was pretty funny. But it's one of those reruns that I think just gets better and better each time I see it. I recognized it once before as one of my favorite Friends episodes, but today I wanted to showcase it for a different reason.

For those who don't remember the episode by the title, Ross is having a special function that night and he is trying as hard as he can to get everyone ready. Phoebe was ready, but has a mishap requiring a change. Chandler and joey avoid getting dressed for a while. Rachel can't make up her mind on what to wear, only to eventually get frustrated and declare that she's not going at all. Monica wasn't doing badly until she listens to a message from Richard on her answering machine, but that throws everything off.

Now, for the fun part. Did you realize that the episode takes place entirely in Monica and Rachel's apartment? I can think of others that are limited to Monica/Rachel's place and Chandler/Joey's place, or their apartments and the coffee shop, but this one is solely in one apartment. This is a characteristic of "bottleneck episodes," designed to be lower budget.

And, the entire 22 minutes of the show are pretty much real-time (Ross talks about the time remaining throughout the episode), which is not a frequent occurrence on any sitcom to my knowledge.

Another anomaly: there are no guest stars, as the cast is just the core six (though you do hear Richard and Michelle's voices).

This combination of rarely-utilized techniques gives the show a different feel, and I think it worked out really well for them. "The One Where No One's Ready" was not the first show to do something like this, but it's still pretty infrequent. Watch the episode again, and see what you think about the no-guests, real-time, one-location idea. (If you don't want to stream it, you can buy the ep for $1.99 on Amazon.)
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