It feels weird to be completely on time with this challenge, but hey, I’ll adjust to it. I mean, I only have, including this one, five more challenge posts, but I consider this an accomplishment.
Anyway, as I’ve said before, when I finally watched Game of Thrones, I started in Season Seven. Now, I had attempted when the first season originally came out, but I noped out of that real quick after the ending of the very first episode. I actually felt like I enjoyed the show a bit more (until Season Eight, of course) because, as I went back to see the older episodes for the first time, I kind of knew where the story was headed. And I didn’t have to worry about Sam dying, because he was my favorite character from the very beginning.
How does this relate to Friends, you ask? Well, I didn’t start watching Friends until it had been on air for six seasons at that point, and I was able to catch a few when they aired and was curious as to how the characters had gotten from “your job’s a joke” in Season One to Rachel working for Ralph Lauren. I also knew that Ross got divorced from Emily and then subsequently got married to Rachel in Vegas, but I wasn’t really clued into the how. So I prepared myself, as I started on Season Four, to absolutely loathe Emily.
And this is what I wish happened: I wish the writers had not turned Emily into the bad guy.
Instead, I wish that Emily was that end game relationship for Ross. Their personalities meshed so well, and the chemistry between them was much more believable than Ross and Rachel. She seemed to be a genuinely sweet and kind person; I mean, she got excited about a deer eating an apple in an orchard.
Did she and Ross get married too soon? Um, of course. I don’t think anyone could argue that, least of all me: my failed marriage was based on less than three months of knowing my now-ex-husband, so I cannot cast any stones. But the writers simply brought her in to provide conflict between Ross and Rachel, no matter how reasonable Emily’s actions were. If a guy I married said his ex’s – who was also at the wedding – name at the altar, I would be just as paranoid and difficult, and I don’t believe a single person when they say they would be understanding.
I feel like, had Ross stayed with Emily, his character arc would have been drastically better. He wouldn’t have turned into the whiny asshole he became by the end of the series, and he might have realized how wrong he was to be as possessive of Rachel like he was when they were dating. He could have figured out how to let go of his childhood crush on a woman who clearly wasn’t suited to him, and Rachel could actually find the person that wasn’t going to treat her as an inferior (cough Joey cough). Hell, there could have even been a reconciliation storyline between Rachel and Emily, and maybe they could have had a vow renewal ceremony where Rachel officiated or something!
There was just a lot of wasted potential here. She could have been like Phoebe’s Mike – not the person you thought she would end up with (I was rooting for David so hard), but absolutely perfect. Instead, Helen Baxendale has to shift to being a paranoid, shrill antagonist who later turned back up and was thwarted by Rachel again, this time intentionally. It just … it still just rubs me the wrong way. She deserved way better than what she got.