A huge amount has been written about Friends over the years. That is to be expected, given it is a TV show that defines an era, whether you love or hate it. Much more will be written when the long-awaited cast reunion finally happens after its COVID-enforced delay. It was supposed to be filmed in March but there is currently no date scheduled for either filming or broadcast. But how did the characters themselves change over shows duration? Let’s look at Phoebe Buffay.
But how did the characters themselves change over the 10 seasons & 236 episodes?
Let’s focus on the artist occasionally known as Regina Phalange, but more familiar to us as Phoebe Buffay.
It seems Phoebe was the trickiest character to cast with numerous actresses auditioning for the role. They included Jane Lynch, Megan Mullaly & Ellen DeGeneres.
Although it would seem easy to play a character that’s quirky and different, paradoxically it’s more difficult to find the right actor to play that character. In the wrong hands, those quirks which the audience are supposed to be charmed by can end up being enormously irritating. I’m sure those gifted actresses would have done a perfectly good job. But, it takes a special talent to bring all those elements of Phoebe’s personality together successfully. There’s no question Lisa Kudrow was an inspired choice to play Phoebe Buffay or Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock. She got the job after a guest stint in Mad About You playing a waitress called Ursula. In case you’re wondering, yes, Ursula was then written into Friends as Phoebe’s twin. She managed to brilliantly meld that toughness, wisdom, fun & energy into the character we grew to know & love.
Phoebe’s style is unashamedly bohemian and a true visual representation of her personality.
Bold & bright colours in some occasionally surprising ensembles are her trademark. But she has no hesitation in getting properly dressed up for a big occasion. When those two worlds collide is when Phoebe comes into her own. In ‘The One Where No-One’s Ready’, Phoebe is forced to mask a hummus stain on her dress. When she reappears from Rachel’s bedroom with an enormous Christmas decoration covering the area, you see her as she truly is. Happy to conform when needed, but ultimately she’s always going to be completely unique.
While Phoebe Buffay isn’t the only musician in the group – who can forget Ross’ keyboard skills? – she is the only one who’s musical abilities are integral to her personality.
This is encapsulated in her attempt to teach Joey to play the guitar. Pheebs describes the chords in terms more akin to yoga positions because she doesn’t know the real names of them. She plays music for herself, if other people love it then great, but as long as she finds pleasure in it then that’s all that matters.
Fortunately, we all find pleasure in her songs, so much so that the iconic Smelly Cat has been performed by Taylor Swift on a world tour. Lisa Kudrow also sang the song on stage with The Pretenders, whose lead singer Chrissie Hynde wrote the song, prior to her appearance in an episode.
We get an insight into Phoebe’s true nature during her brief time with David in the first season. That romance, and her sadness in David leaving for Minsk, showed that despite all her idiosyncrasies, she craved a conventional relationship. You knew that the likes of Roger, Parker and Eric were never going to last.
Gary’s decision to shoot a bird while lying next to her in bed is completely anathema to her love for all living creatures . That action ruins what looked like a really promising pairing. It’s entirely in keeping with Phoebe’s way of life that she meets her husband courtesy of Joey failing to sort out a double date for her. In his panic he randomly shouted “Mike!”in Central Perk to see who would answer to make up the foursome.
Luckily for them, Mike Hannigan, and consequently, love answered. Mike was clearly much less of an extrovert than Phoebe, which is not exactly a shock. But his decision to quit law to achieve his dream of opening his own piano bar was totally in keeping with Phoebe’s philosophy of following your passions.
It’s obvious that the Friends are her family, which is unsurprising given the sadness of her upbringing. Her father left when she was a child, her mother’s committed suicide and she was estranged from her twin. Despite this, her lack of anger and bitterness towards them is humbling. That said, I’m sure a different approach would have been taken if this family situation had appeared in a drama rather than a primetime sitcom.
Phoebe is arguably the character who goes on the biggest personal journey through the 10 seasons. She discovers she has a half brother and acts as his surrogate in order that he can have a family, resulting in the birth of the triplets. Phoebe divorces her ice dancer first husband, who she’d married so he could get a green card. She also finds that her Mum Lily, who committed suicide when she was 14, wasn’t her biological mother, and reconnects with her father. That’s more like the story arc of one of Joey’s colleagues on Days of our Lives than a mainstream sitcom character.
Speaking of Joey, one of the loveliest elements of the series is how his & Phoebe’s relationship develops. Initially, she’s closest to Monica, having previously been her roommate. But it’s clear of her affection for Joey from the moment she tries to protect when Ursula ends their romance. They revel in each other’s silliness & childlike qualities.
Joey’s instinctive reaction when he thinks Phoebe is pregnant is to hunt down the alleged absent father & then propose to her. Her comic fury when it then turns out that Rachel is pregnant & he offers to marry her instead is a glimpse into a possible future had she not met Mike.
Phoebe is the friend we all really want and probably all need in our lives. She’d liven up any social situation no matter how mundane whether she intends to or not. She brings genuine life experience and a perspective that would make us think again no matter how serious we feel our problems may be. But in times of crisis she also exudes warmth, wisdom and love. You can’t ask for better qualities than that in a Friend.
That’s our list of ways Phoebe Buffay changed from Season 1 to Season 10 in Friends. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
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Read IMDB information about Friends HERE.
10 Years Of Game Of Thrones
Since it first aired on 17 April 2011, Game of Thrones has captured the imagination of many fans from start to finish. But, after the lacklustre and rushed ending of this epic fantasy series in 2019, we find ourselves wondering: has its legacy been completely ruined? After 10 years is it worth looking again at the legacy of Game of Thrones? After all, like the fallen Ned Stark once said: “some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word”.
Have Game of Thrones fan’s been hit too hard by the hurried and unjust ending? Are there storylines and characters within the eight seasons that make up for the less than favourable ending?
After looking back through the seasons, below are what we think are some of the best and most redeeming moments and characters within the series. These could be the reason why fans stay loyal to Game of Thrones and even get excited about future prequels or sequels. We already have next year’s Game of Thrones – House of Dragons series to expect.
WARNING: Only read on if you have watched the entire series as there are spoilers.
Sansa Stark becomes Queen of the North
We ended the series with Winterfell once again being led by a member of the House of Stark. Queen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who regained The North as an independent Kingdom. This decision from the writers is easily the most satisfying conclusion to come out of the finale. And easily one of the best beginning to end character arcs in all Game of Thrones.
Starting out as quite an unfavourable character and the least liked Stark of the pack, mainly due to her spoiled and brattish behaviour. Sansa ended up being the character we were all rooting for. Especially when it came to regaining the north and standing her ground with Daenerys Targaryen – “What about the North”.
But it wasn’t an easy road for her to get to that point. She had to endure a lot of horrific scenes, storylines, and marriages which shaped her character from a little bird to a Queen. But as Sansa said herself, whilst talking to The Hound/Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), “Without Little Finger and Ramsey and the rest I would have stayed a little bird all my life”. We’re glad she didn’t stay a little bird and became the Queen the North.
Arya Stark kills the Night King
When it came to the death of the Night King there were only a handful of characters who could do the deed. But, if you were anything like us, we had our money firmly on Jon Snow (Kit Harington). But, it was his kick-ass little sister, Arya Stark (Masie Williams), that ended the long night. With a fatal blow to the Night King’s heart with her Valyrian Steel Dagger.
In this episode, there was hardly any dialogue, especially in the last 30 minutes, which made the whole cinematography of the final scenes so much more poignant. From the camera angles to the incredible score which was accompanied only by sound effects and the odd fighting shout of pain. It left us in suspense and just as we thought all hope was lost, as the Night King approached Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and fans started to believe that Game of Thrones was going to take another huge twist, winter was here to stay. Out came our hero from the dark, the epic shot where Arya was flying through the air will always be one of our all-time favourites.
The night before winter came
Another part of the final series that I think deserves some props, was episode two (mainly the last 30ish minutes). This episode was the calm before the storm. But it was also very well done, from this point, as a viewer we didn’t really know who was going to survive and who was going to die. Something that we were never sure with when watching Game of Thrones.
We managed to get some nice send-off scenes for most of the characters which kept the suspense alive. We saw Sansa and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) meet again, Arya and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) finally ‘get together’ but most notably there was a comical and heart-warming meeting by the fire with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendolin Christie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman).
There were jokes, Brienne got knighted and we even got a song from Podrick. Which was made into a satisfying montage for other characters around Winterfell as well.
Arya Stark and the house of Frey
The demise of the House of Frey was indeed a good and a well-justified one. Positioned over the last episode of season six and the first episode of season seven. Arya Stark used her new newly found face-swapping abilities to first bamboozle Walder Frey (David Bradley) into eating a pie. Food made from his sons and then again to become Frey to poison the rest of the house.
This was the revenge we wanted for the fallen Starks of The Red Wedding and Arya was just the person to serve it! Because the revenge plot was separated between the two seasons it almost confused us fans. When we started to watch season seven and saw that Walder Fray was still alive the quick-minded ones of us straight away realised what was happening. Yet, there was a handful of us who looked just as confused at Frey’s wife/daughter who was standing next to him. That was until Arya took Walder Frey’s face off.
Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept of Baelor
Another example where the series utilises an amazing music score is in the last episode of season 10. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finally goes all out with her vindictive evilness and blows up the Sept of Baelor. With her daughter in law Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and a host of other people she didn’t like, locked inside.
The whole scene lasts about eight minutes and also includes Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), having his tendons slit by one of Lord Varys’s (Conleth Hill) little birds, so he couldn’t stop the destruction which was about to happen. There was also the violent demise of Pycelle (Julian Glover), once again by Lord Varys’s little birds. Which was orchestrated by the crafty Qyburn (Anton Lesser).
Whilst this is happening a very smug Cersei watches over the chaos, with a glass of red. But, one thing Cersei didn’t account for was after the acknowledgement of his new bride’s murder, her son, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) walked himself out of the window to his death.
Battle of the B**tards
Most of the battle scenes in Game of Thrones are pretty epic, but The Battle of the B**tards was by far one of the best. Accompanied by a killer soundtrack and great sound effects this battle was both jaw-dropping and breathtaking.
From the moment Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) was killed by Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to the moment Sansa sets Bolton’s dogs on him, there was action scene after action scene that captivated all of us and also gave us the Winterfell redemption story we needed. The death of Ramsey Bolton was also the most satisfying death since that of King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
In this section of high intercity scenes, we get to see Little Finger/ Lord Peter Baelish (Aidan Gillen) do something useful for once by bringing the Vale Knights of House Arryn to save Jon Snow from dying… for a second time.
Daenerys Targaryen and the unsullied
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was a fan favourite from her first scene. But the admiration for her character grew and grew throughout the seasons. One of the most defining moments was when she visits Astapor on the search for an army to aid her in reclaiming the throne.
After meeting the hostile and pig-headed Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand), Master of Astapor, Slaver and Unsullied overseer, who taunts Daenerys, believing she didn’t know how to speak Valyrian, he agrees to sell her all 8,000 Unsullied members for one of her dragons.
As most of their communications were through his servant Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) he believed Daenerys didn’t hear all the things he was saying. Which made the end scene so much more satisfying. Once the exchange is done, she has the Unsullied whip in hand and Krazny is trying to hold on to the dragon on a chain. She speaks to the Unsullied in clear Valyrian and finally tells Krazny who she is – Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen the blood of old Valyrian.
The moment she tells the Unsullied to slay the masters and uttered the word Dracarys, will forever be the day when we truly started to see how badass she really is!
The red wedding
As horrendous as it is to watch it’s clear that the Red Wedding is still a highlight of season three and indeed the series.
Yes, we already knew by now that anything could happen in Game of Thrones. And blood and gore was a regular occurrence. But this scene took things to a new level with a blood bath no one saw coming… Not even King of the North Rob Stark.
This heart-stopping 10 minutes of cushion grabbing TV, not only saw the death of two of the most loved Starks Rob and Catelyn Stark but also the death of Rob’s wife and unborn child. As well as the betrayal of Roose Bolton a supposed friend of the Starks (Michael McElhatton) and the house of Frey.
This scene cemented for us that no one can predict what is going to happen when you play the Game of Thrones. You win or You Die, there is no middle ground.
The two most sassy characters
When it comes to Game of Thrones, I think we can all agree that the one thing they got right, time and time again was the casting. And this never rang truer than with Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg). They didn’t have the biggest parts within the series, but boy, did they make their presence known. It got to the point where we were just waiting for their scenes to see what would come out of their mouths next.
Who’s the most impressive pre-teen in the whole of Westeros? That’s right Lyanna Mormont. Even at 10 years old I wouldn’t mess with her. Through the whole three seasons she was in, she demanded and captivated the audience. She said it how it was, and she wasn’t scared of a single thing. She came in like a warrior, back chatting Jon Snow and Sansa and acting like a total boss. Finally, she went out like a warrior taking a giant walker down with her.
The original, potty-mouthed grandmother Olenna Tyrell had line after line of roasting stingers. No one was safe from her sharp-tongued antics. But the one person that was firmly on her radar was Cersei Lannister. Especially after Cersei killed her family in the sept. In true Olenna style, even after she had been fatally poisoned, she still had the last word, admitting to Jamie Lannister that it was her that killed his and Cersei’s son, King Joffrey Baratheon.
There you have it, some of our favourites and redeeming scenes from Game of Thrones after 10 years, what do you think? What are your favourite scenes or storylines? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our seven lost plot threads from Game of Thrones HERE.
Read iMDB information on Game of Thrones HERE.
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