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DID YOU READ

5 Ways The Show Friends Ruined My Life

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When Friends debuted in September of 1994, I was just starting my senior year of high school. Like most teens, I based everything I thought I knew about my post-high school life on mix-and-matched chunks of pop culture. So basically I was certain that my young adulthood would look like a cross between a Cameron Crowe movie and Friends. Now, I’m not saying this was or is the most intelligent theory one could come up with. But then again, when has the average American teenager ever been known to exercise impressible amounts of intelligence?

It wasn’t until recently, after Netflix made every episode of Friends available and I enthusiastically overdosed on a two season bingewatch, that I realized how much 17-year-old me subconsciously took from that show. Moreover, how believing said things potentially ruined my life. Okay, maybe ruined is a bit dramatic. But it definitely messed with my head enough to cause some excessive alcohol consumption when reality came crashing through my Friends-induced dreams.


5. The whole “moving to NYC on a whim and living off minimum wage” thing doesn’t work.

For decades, New York City has been one of the cities that young people dream of moving to in order to “make it.” In fact, a large number of people who live in NYC aren’t originally from within a 25-mile radius of the city. But one day they pack up their belongings, drain their savings account, and make their way to the Big Apple in the hopes of starting a new life and assuming a somewhat new identity based off the person they want to be versus the person they currently are.

Shortly after arrival the wave of euphoria is replaced by a wave of panic when the reality of finding a job, and an apartment, sets in. While both seem to be in abundance, so is the number of people vying for them. And much like Rachel slinging coffee until she finds a “real job,” most new New Yorkers end up working in retail or the service industry which is fine, but unless you have fine dining experience or know how to tend bar, don’t count on making enough money to live off of from just one job. Nope, you’ll be doubling down on two jobs that are in no way what you want to be doing with your life all so you can make rent in your 600 sq. foot (if you’re lucky) apartment in your walk-up building that you share with two other roommates and has a shower in the kitchen. Remember, kids: you have to be rich just to be poor in NYC.


4. In NYC, rent control is more of an urban legend than a reality.

Monica boasted early on about how she gained her apartment through her grandmother who, as far as the building management was concerned, still lived there. Okay, fine. Let’s go with that. But in reality, less than 2% of all New Yorkers have or have ever had rent-controlled apartments. So odds are not likely that Mon would score a nearly 1,200 sq. ft. apartment in Soho and even if she had, Joey and Chandler would’ve been priced out of their apartment across the hall years ago.

It’s much more likely that someone lives in a rent stabilized apartment, which still would see some level of rent increases annually. But in the real world, one is more likely to find such apartments in neighborhoods that aren’t Soho. And if they find them, expect to live in a walk-up building that most likely accepts low-income housing and is possibly a little sketchy.

But you know what isn’t a myth? Roaches, rats, and mice. No matter how clean YOU may be, I promise you will end up walking out of the shower one day and seeing at least one of these in your kitchen area (let’s be honest, you can’t afford a separate kitchen) or scurrying into a hole in your wall that you never knew existed. It’s a shame you can’t collect rent from them.


3. NYC coffee shops aren’t that big or that cozy. And you’ll never afford to spend as much time in one as they do.

When I think back to the list of favorite coffee shops I’ve amassed over the years, not one of them is even half the size of Central Perk. (And if they were, they certainly didn’t have a giant comfy couch and several chairs always reserved for just me and my friends.) That’s actually better off, because in reality most New Yorkers don’t have the time or luxury of being able to spend even half the amount of time lazing around in a coffee shop that the cast of Friends did because they have to do a little thing called “go to work.” It costs some serious coin to afford to live in this city and at an average of $3.75 for a cup of joe, I learned pretty quickly that not only would I rarely spend more than 10 minutes in a coffee shop at a time, but also that making coffee at home was nicer to my wallet.

2.You can’t sleep with all your friends and stay friends.

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NBC

At some point, no matter how “cool” or “close” all of you are, if everyone starts banging everyone else then you will definitely need to find a new set of friends. And probably move, because it’s super awkward that all of you live within 10 feet of each other. In reality I’ve stayed cordial with most of my exes, but in no way are they part of my immediate circle of friends nor are they best friends with each other. However I, like everyone else, have at least an ex or two that I wish could magically get spun off the planet and drift out into space and explode. But a quick Google search tells me that one, people don’t explode in space without a suit or helmet and, two, you can’t get spun off the Earth because gravity just ruins everything.

In a city of 8 million people at some point you will run into an ex. It’s a phenomenon that is unexplainable and unavoidable. This is why I have the EXscape plan, which I highly recommend that everyone living in NYC should have. Think of it like a fire extinguisher or renters insurance: you may never suffer the tragic events that deem them necessary, but it’s comforting to know you have them just in case. If you’re lucky, you will see your ex before they see you. Then, you can maneuver a quick escape route and avoid the impending face-to-face with the last person you want to see. The EXscape plan means thinking quick on your feet. It’s helpful to know your exits at all times, similar to the emergency exits on a plane. You can either duck into a store, down the nearest subway stairs, or hop in a cab and go to the nearest airport and by a one-way ticket to a city that no one you have ever dated lives in. Your call.


1. My lobster ended up in someone else’s tank.

Friends Lobster
NBC

Almost every women in their thirties knows what it means when you say someone is their lobster. I say almost because there may be a few Goths or homeschooled kids that may have never seen the episode when Rachel finds out that Ross almost rescued her prom by volunteering as her date when Chip looked like he wasn’t showing up. Then Rachel kisses Ross because according to Phoebe he’s her lobster and lobsters, as she explained earlier in the episode, “walk around holding claws and love each other forever.” The “he’s her lobster” term is something that many women now in their thirties latched on to as teens, hoping to cutely apply to their future one and only.

That being said, I totally had a lobster. Or I thought I had a lobster. But then my lobster ended up in someone else’s tank. Just like everyone has at least one ex they never want to see again, they probably have one that will forever be adored by them and all their friends. It’s the one ex that you maybe sleep with between current relationships if you’re both single, that you get nostalgic about and only see everything good that existed between the two of you, and occasionally imagine some fairytale where after all is said and done the two of you end up together forever.

In reality, your lobster is probably a lot like mine in the sense that you two only exist as this perfect forever couple in a fantasy. In fact, you probably didn’t date each other for very long before things fizzled and just didn’t work out. And since it was a short relationship you never got to the serious stuff or saw each other’s ugly sides. The relationship didn’t last past the honeymoon phase, so it’s forever frozen in time as this great thing that could have been and is maybe meant to be. But it isn’t. Because the truth is no one ends up with his or her lobster. Which is totally fine because lobsters don’t even mate for life anyway. Besides, when exactly did Phoebe become an expert on the romantic lives of crustaceans anyway?

Cher Martinetti is a NYC-based writer who writes for IFC, Cracked, and Blastr. Follow her on Twitter where she’s occasionally funny by accident and/or tweeting about her dogs.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.