in defense of ross geller: a very special episode

19 Apr

I recently read an article on Buzzfeed entitled “35 Reasons Why Ross Geller is the Worst”. Now, as an avid “Friends” viewer (I could probably quote episodes in full to you, possibly verbatim, and I’m not ashamed of that. NO TEA NO SHADE, HUNTIES), I have had my fair share of struggle with Ross Geller throughout the years. Anyone who watches the show probably has. But, what I think happened with the person who wrote this article is that they were dwelling too much on the Ross of yesteryear (aka Ross seasons 1-4), as opposed to the incredible Ross of the later seasons. I have to assume that this is what they were doing, otherwise I’m afraid I might crumble and fall to pieces. I love Ross Geller.

Gross. Season 1 Ross. Just looking at him is the worst.

Gross. Season 1 Ross. Just looking at him is the worst.

You see, boys and ghouls, for anyone who somehow does not know, Ross is an extremely annoying character in seasons 1-4, emphasis on seasons 1, 2, and 3. He was whiny, annoying, self-obsessed, heterosexist, and frustratingly always thinking he was right. There were episodes dealing with essentially all of these issues. Getting together with Rachel did make Ross a more likable and bearable character, but then came the episodes I hate to watch. I am talking about when Rachel meets Mark and he gets her the job at Bloomingdales. Ross’s insane jealousy of Mark is out of control. YES, technically he was correct that Mark wanted to sleep with Rachel, but that isn’t the point. The point is that he was immediately jealous of this new character and apparently didn’t have enough faith in Rachel to get over it, seemingly not knowing that Rachel would never do anything with Mark to jeopardize her relationship with Ross.

Then there’s the debate that the show twisted in later seasons, “were they or were they not on a break”. I cannot stress this enough: the original question that broke up Ross and Rachel was not if they were on a break or not. They were on a break, we all know this. The problem was that Ross slept with that copy shop girl (who, by the way, was not as hot as the male characters on the show made her out to be, sorry I’m not sorry) on the same night that him and Rachel broke up, after he had gotten mad at Rachel for being in the same room as Mark (must note, Rachel never slept with Mark. C’mon Ross), and then tried to cover his tracks so Rachel would never find out about what had happened. In my opinion, Ross is entirely in the wrong. We technically can’t consider this cheating (no one stab me for saying that, I watch “Sex and the City”, I’ve heard of their “cheating curve”), but my real problem is that Ross was not giving a shit about Rachel’s job that she loved and was trying to take seriously, because he was out of control jealous of Mark. It’s a problem that he slept with someone immediately after him and Rachel simply went on a break, before actually discussing with her if it was a break up. The show changes the issue to the ongoing joke of “we were on a break”, when really, that has nothing to do with it. We all know they were on a break, but we don’t know for a fact if Ross was in the wrong for his actions (I think he was, the break up has nothing to do with Mark, but Ross’s insane insecurity and lack of being able to get over his jealousy).

But yeah, there’s my rant about Ross seasons 1-3, really. He gets better in season 4. I assume it’s because they added the character of Emily and everyone looks good in comparison to her. She really sucked. However, it’s season 5 that I began to fall in love with Ross.

Best thing this schmuck could have ever done for himself.

Best thing this schmuck could have ever done for himself was saying the wrong name.

After him and Emily break up (“good riddance to bad rubbish”, all of America collectively thought at the same exact moment), Ross goes insane. And it is hysterical. The after-Thanksgiving sandwich that Ross’s boss eats and then Ross freaks out about, leading him to have to take a sabbatical. Ross’s “rage”. The leather pants he wears that turn into his “paste pants”. Trying to get a couch upstairs and continuously yelling “PIVOT” at Chandler and Rachel when there was clearly no room to pivot. Marrying Rachel in Vegas and then lying to her about getting an annulment. Getting divorced. Again. When he bleaches his teeth that glow in the dark because he is overly excited for an upcoming date. The dance routine he does with his sister for New Year’s that they made up when they were in high school. The Holiday armadillo, Santa’s half-Jewish friend (absolutely genius). Dating Mona (who might be worse than Emily, that’s my opinion) and forgetting about her all of the time. When he’s upset about Rachel and Joey dating (but really, we were all upset about Rachel and Joey dating, that was a dark time), and he got drunk, made an impromptu speech about love, claimed he was “FINE” and then shouted, “MY FAJITAS!”. When Chandler claims that Ross died on their alumni website and Ross decides to stage a memorial service to see who shows up. When he eats too much maple candy and wants to steal the contents of everything in his hotel room. And I will leave you with the mental image of Ross getting a tan, but only getting sprayed on his front side, so he’s completely white all down his back.

Why tease you with the mental image when I have the actual image right here? Plus, now we're all in the know about who plays the tanning salon guy. We're all the wiser for this.

Why tease you with the mental image when I have the actual image right here? Plus, now we’re all in the know about who plays the tanning salon guy. We’re all the wiser for this.

It wouldn't be right to not give you the holiday armadillo.

It wouldn’t be right to not give you the holiday armadillo.

You got yourself a pair of paste pants.

You got yourself a pair of paste pants.

Ross Geller in the 80's: Every woman's dream.

Ross Geller in the 80’s: Every woman’s dream.

"Who has a black light?! It's 1999!"

“Who has a black light?! It’s 1999!”

As a final treat, here's just a really nice picture of Ross.

As a final treat, here’s just a really nice picture of Ross.

The writer of the Buzzfeed article tries to pretend these moments weren’t endearing, but really, they make Ross amazing. Most of the gifs this columnist added were from some of Ross’s best moments. The writers spent a lot of time focusing on the storylines of other characters and then giving Ross these ridiculous subplots that were automatically the main source of comedy, for me at least. If I had to choose any character to watch a show about just living his or her day-to-day life, it would be Ross. For him, a mundane task like getting the newspaper would be turned into an entertaining adventure. Whoever wrote the Buzzfeed article must have been watching a different show from me, because Ross goes from (probably everyone’s) least favorite to one of the best characters on “Friends”. The writers decided just to make him more of a joke as a character in general. He’s still whiny, but he’s whiny in a funny way, such as when he yells “MAJOR SHAMPOO EXPLOSION” after stolen toiletries explode in his luggage, and then asks God, “why do bad things happen to good people?” Ross makes a complete 180 and easily becomes one of the funniest characters.

And I really have to give kudos to David Schwimmer here, because his line delivery in all of his scenes is absolutely amazing. He knows exactly when to shout certain words, when there should be extra emphasis on different syllables, and he is damn entertaining at acting drunk. So I don’t care what you say, Buzzfeed. Ross Geller is absolutely anything BUT the worst.

The worst goes to Monica. SORRY, I’M NOT SORRY. I SAID IT. We were all thinking it. Let’s move on.

Oh and if anything, we should all be able to appreciate Ross for his hair in season 5 alone. It is out of control and it is amazing.

Such a luscious mane of crazy hair.

Such a luscious mane of crazy hair.

So, as a send-off for the end of this post, here are some YouTube videos of Ross Geller’s finest moments. I think we can all learn a lesson or six from Ross on how we can truly live, and I probably quote all of his one liners on a daily basis. Goodbye, and may the odds be ever in your favor, darling.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually watch any of those videos. They’re probably all the same moments overlapping, but I frankly do not care. I can’t get enough dinosaurs! Or Ross Geller (season 5 on, of course).

Ross Geller: A god amongst mortals.

Ross Geller: A god amongst mortals.

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