As Season Four of F.R.I.E.N.D.S draws to a close, we loyal viewers have been treated to a host of new plot developments, especially in last week’s episode (The One With the Free Porn). Whilst Joey and Chandler’s free pornography plot was rather remiss, several more important plots were simmering away nicely in the background. Most importantly were Phoebe’s discovery that she is, in fact, carrying triplets for Frank and Alice and Ross and Emily saying ‘the L word’ to each other, already! Granted it didn’t exactly smooth but, still, a tad hasty one could say.
Nevertheless, all these recently emerging plot-lines have only served to fuel our anticipation for Season Five and make the long summer break even more agonising In the meanwhile, die-hard fans, such as myself, will undoubtedly go on to give our weirdest and wildest predictions whilst waiting for September to come.
5. Friends Abroad
Like or not, every TV show needs to employ certain ‘tactics’ to keep its premise fresh as it ages – kind of like taking calcium pills once you hit 50. Be it a shocking, unsurprising death or the addition of a ‘feisty’ new cast member or an almighty falling out between two seemingly unshakeable main characters, Friends, as it turns 5, will definitely benefit from such a ‘tactic’, like many tv shows that have come before it. Given that Friends’ success is grounded on the unique interaction between the six main characters, a holiday or some temporary location would, in my opinion, capitalise on the show’s current winning streak.
The ‘holiday’ is a classic TV plot device that is often used to the core characters’ group dynamic. Not only does the change in location present the opportunity to test the sitcom dynamic but, also, when the large ensemble cast is suddenly in much close quarters, it is often the case that new, unexpected plot-lines, story-arcs and, particularly, new relationships emerge. Friends, of course, has already explored this avenue to some extent, during last year’s Season finale. The group travelled to a beach house in Montauk, during which Phoebe faced the stunning revelation that her late mother’s best friend was in fact her birth mother, who has been living in Montauk. Meanwhile, Ross and Rachel were forced to re-evaluate their constant on-again, off-again romance, with the addition of Phoebe’s friend, Bonnie, being the narrative foil to keep the couple apart.
Now a season on, Emily will inevitably become a similar hindrance to Bonnie, although the stakes have been raised considerably this year. Just last week Ross travelled all the way to London to say the L-word his British beauty, Emily Waltham. I suppose the producers of Friends may consider a sojourn to London. Indeed, Friends has become a staple of British television viewing in the last four years and the idea is somewhat believable. However, in my opinion, this would be a little too convenient. Yes, over the last few episodes, we have seen Ross and Emily dart back and forth over the Atlantic (with remarkable ease) but, honestly, something pretty exceptional would need to occur in order to warrant the whole gang flying over here. So, short of a birth, wedding or funeral, I don’t see a London visit as a viable option anytime soon. Emily is simply not that big a player just yet.
However, they may be the possibility of some other European getaway. This would make more sense. We can safely say that it would need to be somewhere more memorable than Montauk at least. Perhaps Paris? With Emily hoping across the Channel to meet them there? You know, to piss Rachel off and wreck the possibility of a Ross / Rachel Reunion in the City of Love. What a way to open Season Five!
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