SF Lyons

Everybody Loves Raymond From Behind

In talkies, the funny on October 30, 2004 at 12:22 pm

It’s amazing how a little inside knowledge can make a TV show more watchable.

Krankiboy reported on his blog a week ago about a sexual harrassment case brought by a former writers’ assistant on Friends. Apparently the writers were in the habit of Speaking Freely On Sexual Matters – and offending their assistant who had to write everything down – while working together late into the night, hammering out more timeless comedy gold. And apparently Kranki used to work with her and she was lazy and talentless and was probably sacked from Friends after four months because of that.

News story here. Read highlights from the complainant’s declaration, filed after her racial discrimination suit failed, here.

I haven’t watched Friends yet since reading about the sort of dirty, dirty things they’d get up to in the writers’ room, but on Friday I found myself captivated by a couple of episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, a show which I haven’t watched at all in about two years and maybe three times before that.

In the first episode Ray’s elderly Mom, Marie, makes a large, abstract sculpture of a woman’s bits without even realizing it. She gives it to her son to decorate the living room. Ray is embarrassed.

In the second episode Ray and his wife fall out of bed while engaging in some vigorous business, spraining their wrist and shoulder respectively. Ray is proud to tell his friends, but his parents might find out. Ray is embarrassed.

Here I was thinking ELR was just a mediocre, predictable show filled with insipid, whiney characters and gag set-ups you could drive several trains through while waiting for the punchline, but the scales have fallen from my eyes. While the Friends writers joked about turning Joey into a serial rapist (which I always thought he was) and having anal sex with Jennifer Aniston…

jennifer-aniston

…the ELR writers would have had the whole incestuous frisson to work with and been toying with story ideas like, say, Marie awkwardly explaining to their father how Ray and Robert managed to break both her hips.

garrett_brad2[1]

I think I’ll stop there…

So, I highly recommend reading the details of the Friends sexual harrassment suit before watching your next crap sitcom. Actually, after reading Ms Fits’ saucy blog for a couple of months my mind boggles at the sort of perverts writing for Neighbours.

To finish off with a tidy link, here’s a picture of Matthew Perry from Friends tongue-kissing Doris Roberts, Ray Romano’s TV Mom, at the Emmys.

The Shrine Theater

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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