Friends

Season 1 Episode 1

The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate (a.k.a. Pilot)

85
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 22, 1994 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (80)

8.9
out of 10
Average
750 votes
  • Good beginning. Not great.

    8.0
    The One Where It All Began
    AKA The One Where None Of The Male Characters Are Likeable

    Seriously. Joey and Chandler just seem unpleasant, and Ross...well, is Ross. It may have been a bad idea to have literally the first time we see him he's distraught. I probably would have saven this for the third episode. The women are much better characters at this point; while seeing Ross when he's so depressed makes me wonder what he's like normally, Rachel is pretty much always like this, and pulls it off.

    So what's happening? Well, Ross is going through his divorce, Rachel has jilted her husband and Monica has made a fine start on the underlying subplot of the entire series; "Six People Attempt to Sleep their Way through the Entire Population of New York". This time, it's Paul. The wine guy. Something of a bizarre epithet, and while Phoebe wonders a bit about it, we never seem to get an answer.

    Speaking of Phoebe, why is she busking? I said that the women are good at this point, but Phoebe is somewhat lacking in a decent personality at this point. Later we find out she's sort of hippy and new-age but at this point it's the pilot and we're not sure if she's a hippy, got a mental problem or just plain weird. And while I'm being negative, what's with the sudden jump-cuts? Why are we subjected to the montage that, yes, Ross and Rachel should get together? We get it. She's lonely, he's lonely. We're not stupid. What's with everyone shoehorning in innuendo and 'naughty words'? Look, if you're a grown-up show, we'll realise ourselves. No need to shove it down our throats. And this marks the first appearance of the Invisible Wall between the Couch and the Kitchen, where a character will walk 12 feet away and everyone will start talking as though they're completely out of earshot. Turns out the wall is in Ross's apartment too.

    It's a good episode, though. Once he gets going, Ross is very funny, and the Monica/Paul plot is well done. And, in hindsight, Ross' lament that he's young and already divorced is even more hilarious. You ain't seen nothing yet...
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