Whenever I think about f.r.i.e.n.d.s, my heart does a little happy dance. I’m pretty sure that in my capacity as a fan girl, my happiest moments have been when I’m watching that show.
But I can’t gloss over just how toxic Roschel is.
They’re adorable and hilarious, but let’s face facts. Ross’s jealousy is kind of overpowering.
I’ve never loved the idea of on again, off again relationships, because they sort of promote the idea that despite differences, the couple will get back together. We’re forgetting the key point- that they always break up for a reason.
And Ross in his relationships, is frankly quite creepy. No matter how he spins ‘we were on a break!‘, he cheated on Rachel, whom he ‘loves’ and did so as soon as he could, and never seems to even realize her pain, or be sorry for causing it. He never seems to think that she deserves an opinion, or think that maybe her decision for an annulment should be just as important as his hatred of having had ‘three divorces’.
And every time Rachel does something she can be proud of, Ross breaks in and stops it. She finally gets a dream job, and she works late to make sure she can be proud of what she’s doing. Ross, again with the overpowering jealousy, makes her look unprofessional, and she’s not allowed to say she doesn’t appreciate his intrusion, oh no, she’s definitely cheating on him.
And in the end, she gives up her beautiful job in Paris, and decides to stay with Ross, all because of one romantic gesture.
And when Rachel gets pregnant, suddenly he should get a say in all aspects of her life. Without accepting that Rachel is perfectly capable of looking after herself, and his actual role should just be support, not telling her whom she can and can’t date.
Monica and Chandler are an example of how the show’s writers could have left a couple together, and they could be in a healthy relationship.
But Roschel shippers must get their beautiful ending, and Rachel finally being strong and independent is not a romantic enough plot line.