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4.0 out of 5 stars Season six all comes down to Chandler proposing to Monica, 15 Jan 2005
This review is from: Friends: Complete Sixth Season [DVD] [1995] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
"Friends: The Complete Sixth Season" ends on such a high note, arguably the finest moment in the history of the series, that you tend to forget that this was an uneven year. In retrospect it marks the irrevocable shift from the Ross and Rachel axis to the Monica and Chandler axis, but it took some doing. After all, the previous season ended with Monica and Chandler deciding on an impromptu wedding only to discover that a drunken Ross and Rachel had beat them to the punch. The aftermath of that great joke (you want to see Ross and Rachel married? Presto! They are married!) takes up the first story arc of the season while Chandler's proposal to Monica provides the season ending bookend.
Best Episodes of the Sixth Season: "The One After Vegas," the season premier, where Ross and Rachel wake up without any memory of being married and Chandler tries to let Monica know that he thinks they should move in together; "The One With Ross's Denial," has Monica and Chandler finding over where "his" stuff will go in "their" apartment, while Ross suggests Rachel move in with him, still having avoided telling her that he has not gotten their marriage annulled; "The One on the Last Night," has a great bit where Chandler has to invent a game called "Cups" to find ways of giving Joey money until he finds a new roommate, while Phoebe tries to save everybody else from Monica having them help Rachel pack, but the best bit are Monica and Chandler saying farewell to their old roommates; "The One Where Ross Got High" has Monica's parents visiting for Thanksgiving dinner and she does not want them to know that she is living with Chandler because they do not like him. Apparently they think he turned Ross on to drugs way back when (that was Ross's story and he is sticking to it), which leads to one of the funniest 30 seconds ever as the Geller siblings totally out each other to their parents; "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry" continues the misadventures of Ross with Rachel's kid sister, Jill (Reese Witherspoon), but the best bits here are Chandler's explanation for while the fact the cartoonists stopped drawing the deer in "Bambi" never made him cry and the clip from the infamous porno video made by Phoebe, "Buffay the Vampire Layer"; and, the best for last, "The One with the Proposal, Part 1 & 2," where Chandler wants his proposal to Monica to be a surprise (just writing about this scene starts the tears coming).
The pivotal moment in this season comes in a rather lackluster episode, "The One Where Paul's the Man," which has stupid shtick going on with Ross and his college co-ed girlfriend Elizabeth hiding form her father (poor Bruce Willis). A subplot has the gals visiting a museum where there is a long waiting list, and as a lark they all put their names on the list. Of course, when the phone call comes to tell Monica that there is an opening available for the Geller-Bing wedding, it is Chandler that hears the phone message first. A frantic Monica rushes to convince him that it did not mean anything, not knowing that Chandler has already decided the idea is perfect, thereby starting the final story arc centering on the big proposal. There was a chance that "Friends" was going to end with the sixth season, so they came up with something that would have been memorable enough (which would be a good portent for what we will see this spring at the end of all things).
But as great as the grand finale ends up being, it does not make up for some of the low points of season six, such as "The One With Ross's Teeth," "The One with the Joke," "The One with Joey's Fridge," and "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad." You look at that list, and it becomes clear that any episode that centers around the guys without seriously involving the gals, was an iffy proposition during season six. Get them involved, e.g., "The One with Unagi," and you have something. Do a clip show (i.e., "The One with MAC and C.H.E.E.S.E.) or double up for a "what if" episode so Monica's fat suit can come out of the closet ("The One That Could Have Been Part 1 & 2") and the results are even worse, although even that debacle emphasized the idea that Monica and Chandler belong together, which is what this sixth season certainly boils down to in the end.
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