Friends

Bridal Shower + Gender Reveal

I’m inundated with wedding activities for a while.  Last weekend I got to attend the bridal shower of one of my best friends!  This was followed by her sister’s gender reveal, which was such a pleasant surprise!

Otherwise, all I’ve been up to is Terrace House!  I’m sure we’ll talk about that more soon.

Januarygrams

Okay, we’re three days into February.  I haven’t exactly been disciplined or scheduled with the blog or YouTube this year.  Winter is tough and motivation is hard to find.  I have, however, had such a great start to 2016 on a personal note.  Though I’m not really up on my instagram game either, (I’ll get there!) I’ll share with you some of these January memories:

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[1] starting the year by cutting 3 inches off my hair! [2] gym twinning with my bestie [3] new glasses! [4] sunrise from Kendall [5] body pump 96 launch! [6] my 27th birthday! [7] so much gym progress [8] a smile on my face for a good reason [9] birthday gifts to myself!

How’s everyone feeling a full month into 2016?

It’s Always There For Me

I don’t feel like I’ve fully appreciated how important it is that Friends is now on Netflix.

Seasonal depression has hit me HARD this week.  I live in Boston and a we have 7 feet of snow and a non-functioning public transportation system.  I feel dull mentally, and I’ve now moved past stir crazy right into I’m never getting out of bed.

One thing that always pulls me out of hard emotional times is Friends.  Watching this show has gotten me through break-ups, and I’m counting on it to carry me through this terrible winter!

Thanks for Friends, Netflix!  And thanks for this!

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Does it snow where you guys live?

How to you keep sane during the winter months?

Friends Thanksgiving Episodes (A Definitive Ranking)

Since Thanksgiving is my absolutely favorite holiday, I’ve been looking forward to this post since I started this blog almost a year (!) ago.  Monica Gellar shares my affinity for this holiday, and each of Friends‘ 10 seasons has a Thanksgiving episode.  Thanksgiving episodes are Friends’ things, and they do not disappoint!

So, without further ado, here is my definitive ranking of Friends Thanksgiving episodes.  Let’s count ’em down!

10. Season 10: The One with the Late Thanksgiving

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  • Context: Phoebe challenges Monica to make a better Thanksgiving dinner than the previous year, and she can’t resist a challenge, even though she was initially against making anything.  Phoebe and Rachel take Emma to a baby beauty pageant.  Joey and Ross go to a Rangers game.  Everyone is late and Monica and Chandler lock everyone out.
  • Noteworthy: The great visual gag pictured above; the heartwarming news from the adoption agency.

09. Season 7: The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs

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  •  Context: Rachel invites Tag over for Thanksgiving dinner and debates making a move on him after his girlfriend has just dumped him.  Phoebe, staying with Monica and Chandler after her apartment fire, is secretly keeping a dog, which Chandler is supposedly allergic to.
  • Noteworthy: the 50 states games; Joey’s explanation of a moo point.

08. Season 9: The One with Rachel’s Other Sister

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  • Context: Rachel’s “other” sister Amy (Jill, played by Reese Witherspoon was the first of two sisters to appear) shows up and stays for Thanksgiving.  Amy can’t remember Emma’s name.  Arguments break out over who would hypothetically take custody of her if Rachel and Ross died.  Monica obsesses over her good china.
  • Noteworthy: Christina Applegate playing Amy makes a believable family to Rachael and Reese/Jill; crazy plate lady

07. Season 8: The One with the Rumor

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  • Context: Monica invites an old friend of hers and Ross’s from high school to Thanksgiving dinner.  Will (played by Jennifer Aniston’s then-husband Brad Pitt) has lost a lot of weight since high school and Rachel doesn’t remember him.  She flirts with him, but he still harbors hatred from high school.  Joey finishes a 19 pound turkey by himself.
  • Noteworthy: The use of Brad before JAniston fans hated him; the references to Monica, Ross, and Rachel’s high school days; Joey still having room for pie.

06. Season 4: The One with Chandler in a Box

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  • Context: To atone for kissing Joey’s former girlfriend, Chandler agrees to spend Thanksgiving in a large box.  Monica scratches her eye on some ice.  Her new eye doctor (post-break-up with Richard) is out of town and she ends up seeing Richard’s son, also an eye doctor.  Then she wears an eye patch.
  • Noteworthy: Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory… Chandler’s in a box for the majority of the episode; Gunther to Joey, I thought you were Chandler.

05. Season 1: The One Where Underdog Gets Away

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  • Context: The one that establishes it all!  Everybody’s Thanksgiving plans seem to fall through, so Monica steps up and caters to everyone planning a Thanksgiving for the six of them.  The menu includes 5 different kinds of potatoes.  We find out Monica loves Thanksgiving and that Chandler hates Thanksgiving and refuses to eat any related foods.  As the title implies, the Underdog balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade gets loose and the gang goes to the roof to catch a glimpse.  They accidentally get locked out (Got the key-eys?) and basically everything’s ruined.
  • Noteworthy: Chandler’s vehement Thanksgiving aversion; Joey’s VD poster; early Rachel days where she works at Central Perk and literally has no money; Ugly Naked Guy & Ugly Naked Girl. 

04. Season 3: The One with the Football

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  • Context: The gang decides to play a game of Thanksgiving touch-football.  Monica and Ross get super competitive and reveal that they are “not allowed” to play football because of what happened at Gellar Bowl VI when Monica broke Ross’s nose and the Gellar Cup– a troll down nailed to a piece of wood– was thrown in a lake.  No worries– Monica retrieved the trophy.  Picking teams, no one wants Rachel.  At first it’s Monica, Joey, and Phoebe v. Ross, Chandler, and Rachel.  They switch to girls v. boys and Rachel has her moment… kind of.
  • Noteworthy: the Gellar Cup itself; the complete novelty of seeing the gang in sweatpants; the change of scenery to the outdoors.

03. Season 2: The One with the List

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  • Context: Less of a Thanksgiving episode than the others, but I love it nonetheless.  Rachel and Ross have just kissed.  Rachel is on board with moving forward with the relationship, but Ross is still torn between Rachel and Julie.  He makes a pros and cons list between Julie and Rachel to disaster effects, when Chandler’s new computer prints it right into Rachel’s hands.  Meanwhile, Monica is jobless and signs on to make some signature recipes for a new chocolate substitute, Mockolate.
  • Noteworthy: Phoebe’s song, Two of Them Kissed Last Night; Monica’s entire mockolate storyline, especially this is what evil must taste like!; she’s not Rachem.
  • Best Quote: “Or will it be the one who we’ll call …Loolie?” (Phoebe)

02. Season 6: The One Where Ross Got High

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A very close second as far as Thanksgiving episodes, and Friends episodes go!

  • Context: Monica and Chandler want to open up about their relationship to Monica’s parents, who are coming for Thanksgiving dinner.  The Gellars hate Chandler because Ross once melted his dad’s records when he was high, and told them Chandler did it.  Meanwhile, Rachel wants to contribute and Monica entrusts her with the only dessert.  She makes an English trifle, but the pages are stuck together when she’s reading the recipe and she adds beef sautéed with pees and onions.
  • Noteworthy: Joey teaching everyone how to “act” like they like Rachel’s dessert by rubbing their stomachs and saying mmm; Monica’s interpretation of that; everyone’s reaction to eating the trifle; actually everything about the trifle; Phoebe yelling I love Jacque Cuosteau; Judy Gellar dealing with everybody, but especially Rachel.
  • Best Quote: “Hurricane Gloria didn’t break the porch swing; Monica did!” (Ross)

01. Season 5: The One with All the Thanksgivings

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This is actually my favorite Friends episode period.

  • Context: Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey have just finished their Thanksgiving meal and sit around so full.  The episode is done mostly through a series of flashbacks chronicling everyone’s worst Thanksgiving.  Chandler’s is of course when he found out his parents are getting divorced– the Thanksgiving that ruined Thanksgiving for him.  Phoebe picks a past life in which she was a nurse in war.  Joey’s is when he got a turkey stuck on his head.  Rachel recounts a couple particularly painful ones for Monica.
  • Noteworthy: Phoebe yelling “more bandages!” on the battlefield; the fat Monica/Rachel’s old nose flashbacks; Monica dancing with the turkey on her head, complete with oversized sunglasses and fez which somehow elicits Chandler’s first I love you to her.  The absolute best moment is newly skinny Monica trying to seduce Chandler which brings me to…
  • Best Quote:Ooo, I love macaroni and cheese!” (Monica)

I can’t live without this quote.  I say this all the time.  Somebody please get on my level.

I’ll admit, guys, I changed this order around a couple times writing this post, but those top 2 are etched in stone for me.  What’s your favorite Friends Thanksgiving episode?!

Links for a New World [02]

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  • Padma on Ellen – I love Ellen, but I love Padma Lakshmi even more.  Top Chef Boston kicked off this week (did you read my recap?!) and in prep for that, Ellen had Padma on to cook, laugh, and be absolutely wonderful.  Plus, I think I could make tortilla chips now, which is great news.
  • Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce – I’ve been so excited for Bravo’s first scripted show for so long for the simple reason that it combines two of my favorite shows.  We’ve got Marti Noxon of my dearest Buffy the Vampire SlayerHouse alum and another lady crush of mine, Lisa Edelstein!  The first official trailer promises raunch, so what’s not to like?
  • The Moon – The Moon (pictured above!) by design firm Nosigner is a topographically-accurate LED light created based on data retrieved from the Japanese lunar orbiter spacecraft Kaguya.
  • Friends is coming to Netflix! – January 1, 2015!  I’m sorry to be controversial, but this is even better news than the arrival of Gilmore Girls.
  • Pictionary with Gillian Anderson – The gorgeous Gillian Anderson (aka Scully from the X-Files, Stella of The Fall) wrote a book!  In celebration, she’s all over the internet doing fun things like this.
  • T Map of Boston Eats – This handle map of Boston’s public transportation is marked with restaurants instead of stop names.  I’m thinking about riding my way through this one.  My friend Julia sent me this one along with the best burger per neighborhood, which is also very important.

 

Have a brilliant weekend, everybody!

Links for a New World [01]

Links for a New World is a feature in which I share a bunch of links to things around the web that are relevant to my interests.  It’s your weekend reading list!  The name comes from a musical… for no particular reason.

 

My pumpkin friend from last weekend's adventure!  Stay tuned for this post next week.

My pumpkin friend from last weekend’s adventure! Stay tuned for this post next week.

  • Who Said it: Chandler or Xander? – This Buzzfeed quiz is surprisingly difficult!  I don’t think there are two shows I’ve seen more times than Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Friends, and yet, I only got 11/15 of these correct on my first try.  How did you do?
  • The Carleton – I actually saw this clip on the news at work and nearly lost it.  I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, but I do love The Fresh Prince of Bel Air!  I watched this whole dance and literally screeched when Alfonso busted out that move.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Everything and the Kitchen Sink! – Grant Kirkhope made the excellent music for some of my favorite Nintendo 64 games including Goldeneye, Donkey Kong 64, and Banjo-Kazooie!  Here, he’s offering every song from the latter two basically for free.  You can name your price, download, and enjoy!
  • Daily Dachshund – We will likely not get away with any lists of links that do not include something dachshund-related.  My friend Julia sent me this link and I nearly lost it.  This pup knows how to relax!
  • 8-Bit Cinema’s Frozen – This is the first 8 Bit Cinema video I’ve seen, but I absolutely love the idea and will definitely be watching more.  Basically, this is what Frozen would look like if it were an old school video game.  The best part for me is the remixed music that pulls at the strings of my nostalgia!
  • Taylor Swift’s “Riptide” cover – Oh, T Swift, I can’t help but love you!  This cover of Vance Joy’s Riptide for BBC Radio 1 near brings tears to my eyes.  I would love to hear Taylor sing in the genre more often.
  • And finally, pumpkin! – Halloween is nearing, and if I had any outdoor space, I’d have a pumpkin bigger than that little baby in the bowl pictured.  If you want to be super creative when carving a big, orange, jack-o-lantern, try one of these pokémon silhouette patterns!  Seriously, someone try one.  I want to see!

See ya, September!

I can’t believe it’s already October!  I think this month is going to be a great one for me.  I’m looking forward to autumn weather, Boston College football, more pumpkin-flavored goodies, and a trip to see one of my best friends in Philadelphia later in the month!  Though I took on September rather begrudgingly, when I look back, I think it was a great month too.  Let’s say goodbye now, shall we?

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[1] I’m cheating already ’cause this photo was taken in August… but it’s a September activity for Bostonians!  This is what I wore to help my friend move.  This adorable hoodie is from So So Happy!  [2]  Sangria was my drink of September!  Here I am drinking that with my friends Chelsea, Sarah, and Carissa at Sarah’s new place.   See?  More moving!  [3]  It’s definitely been an indian summer and I haven’t been able to wear any of the adorable fall sweaters and vests I’ve bought.  At least I found the opportunity to rock my camo jacket!  [4] The iPhone 6 came out!  I can’t have one until February, sadly.  Luckily, I’m friends with the IT guy at the office who was upgraded to the six for work purposes and let me play with it. [5]  I searched through my baby book to verify exactly what time I was born for astrological purposes, obviously.  I found this adorable picture of bb Nicole and her daddy.  [6] Hyrule Warriors came out!  I’ve been playing a lot, but not as much as I’d like to.  Hopefully I’ll get some more quality time with my Wii U soon.  [7]  My eyeliner game is so strong now, you guys.  This selfie is from a lovely walk down Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue– one of my favorite streets to walk down in any season!  [8]  What did I tell you about the Sangria?  This one is made from boxed wine and hard cider with cranberries, oranges, and apples!  [9]  After moving comes housewarming parties!  The aforementioned sangria is from my friend Julia’s.  Here I am with Jill and Julia celebrating her new digs!

Favorites Week: Friends

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Shout out to my Emerson alumni network for this one– I gotchu, Kevin Bright!  The final show featured on Favorites Week is one near and dear to my heart.  I watched Friends from start to finish to heal from my first ever break-up, and I return to this show when I feel particularly hopeless.  It’s not only good for a laugh and a smile, it’s an emotional rollercoaster, thus perfect for readjusting your mental state.  As the theme song suggests, I truly feel like Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, and Joey will be there for me.  And they are.  Here are my favorite episodes:

 

The One with the Prom Video

I especially love any Friends episode that has a flashback.  I love Fat Monica; I love Rachel’s old nose.  This episode prominently features a flashback of sorts, in that the gang gathers to watch a video of Monica and Rachel getting ready to go to prom.  This episode follows the discovery of Ross’s list.  (She’s not Rachem.)  When Rachel sees in the video that Ross, who was in college at this point, was willing to drop everything and take her to prom when it looked like her date was standing her up, she immediately kisses him and Ross and Rachel are officially on!  (He’s her lobster!)  It’s a sweet ending to a very funny episode.

 

The One with the Embryos

Sadly, Phoebe is absent for the majority of the fun in this episode.  She’s busy getting embryos implanted, as the episode title alludes to.  What I think it really fun about this episode is the trivia contest hosted by Ross.  Joey and Chandler challenge Monica and Rachel to see which set of roommates knows more about the other.  Ross makes the questions, as he knows both groups well, and he goes all out on the game even incorporating a lightning round.  I can quote the entire lightening round by heart, and I’m really proud of that.  The guys win at the end because no one know what Chandler’s job is, and as winners they make the girls switch apartments with them.

 

The One with All the Thanksgivings 

Okay, no show does a Thanksgiving episode as well as Friends.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and Monica’s too.  Chandler, however, hates Thanksgiving and refuses to celebrate.  This episode is full of flashbacks, and flashbacks in the truest sense.  Everyone recounts their worst Thanksgivings ever.  Phoebe’s is in another life, Joey’s is when his head got stuck in a turkey, Chandler’s is when he found out his dad is gay, and Monica and Rachel have two: when Chandler called Monica fat and when Monica accidentally cut of Chandler’s toe when trying to be sexy for revenge.  (Ooh, I love macaroni and cheese.)  This hilarious episode ends with a sweet and funny moment, where Monica puts the turkey on her head to cheer up Chandler, who tells her he loves her for the first time.

 

The One Where Everybody Finds Out 

When Monica and Chandler begin their relationship, they want to keep it a secret from the crew.  Joey finds out first, and Monica and Chandler beg him to keep it to himself.  When Rachel finds out, (hilariously overhearing an obscene phone conversation,) she can’t keep it in and comes to Joey who tells her they have to keep the secret.  Phoebe is apartment shopping with Ross across the street now that Ugly Naked Guy is moving out.  She sees first hand what’s going on between Monica and Chandler.  Phoebe and Rachel try to mess with Monica and Chandler in order to get them to admit the affair, but soon find out that they are in love.  Ross gets Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment as Naked Ross, and soon his new view allows him to discover the relationship too.

 

The One with the Proposal

Okay, this is absolutely two episodes and I’m completely cheating.  What I love about part one is the silent auction which Phoebe, Joey, and Rachel attend.  Phoebe drinks to excess and Joey misunderstands the concept of a silent auction and buys a boat.  Rachel tries to convince the next highest bidder to purchase the gentlemen’s day sailor, but Joey wants the Mr. Beaumont!  The first attempt at a proposal is botched in part I– Chandler and Monica run into Richard at the restaurant.  “Maybe he won’t see us,” Monica comments before screaming, “RICHARD” to get his attention.  What I love about part II is the proposal itself.  Chandler, believing he’s entirely lost Monica to Richard, returns to their apartment to see Monica waiting to propose to him,

 

Guys, even writing all of that was such an emotional delight.  Friends really is a fantastic show and even if sitcoms aren’t your cup of tea, this piece of pop culture gold should be on everyone’s to-see list!

I think that was a great note to end on.  I hope you all enjoyed favorites week!  Leave me some Friends-quote comments and let’s laugh some more.  Happy Friday, kids; enjoy the weekend!

For Valentine’s Day: Favorite TV Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I have an appropriately themed post for you, because I’m not as heartless as I thought I was.  Don’t tell anyone, but I secretly love love.  For V-Day, I’m counting down my favorite TV couples!

5. Amy & Rory (Doctor Who)

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I want someone to love me the way Rory loves Amy.  I like this couple because Amy really wears the pants in the relationship.  Rory, quite literally, goes through all of time and space for the love of Amy Pond.  He dies over and over again for her.  He guards the Pandorica for centuries because of how much he loves her.  Rory Williams, call me maybe.  This couple is not one-sided, though, and in their final moments as the Doctor’s companions, it’s clear that Amy loves Rory as much as he loves her.  She gives up everything she knows to be jettisoned back in time by the Weeping Angels to live out her life in the past with Rory.

Episode of Choice: My pick for “the Ponds” is kind of random.  I chose, “The Girl Who Waited,” an episode that haunted me long after watching it.  This episode is focused on Amy and Rory more than the Doctor, and takes place in a setting that reminds me of Portal 2.  It exemplifies the complicated nature of Amy and Rory’s relationship, but highlights love’s triumph.

4. Jim & Pam (The Office)

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This is kind of a given— I think this couple really sets the American version of The Office apart from it’s British counterpart.  I love that things work out for Jim and Pam even though at the start of this series, it seemed like all odds were against them.  Pam was engaged to another man; yet love found a way for this couple to be together.  Never did Jim try to break them up; he eventually had to be honest about his feelings and Pam had to be honest about hers.  Watching their love story develop is sweet and heart-warming.

Episode of Choice: My favorite Jim and Pam moment occurs in an episode that has the two of them living in different states.  I chose, “Weight Loss,” the episode in which Jim proposes to Pam.  With Pam off at art school, Jim cannot wait any longer to pop the question and does so at a gas station between Pennsylvania and New York.  We witness this rainy proposal in silence.  Its simplicity is perfection.

3. Buffy & Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel)

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I am such a sucker for a bittersweet love story.  I was always a Spuffy ‘shipper— that’s Spike and Buffy as a couple.  After watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer over and over, I realized rather quickly that it’s always been Bangel, and cannot be anything but Bangel.  Buffy and Angel were true love, but love that could never be due to their respective responsibilities to save the world.  Their tragic tale shows a teen’s first love, deep betrayal, and sacrifice when Buffy kills Angelus to stop an apocalypse right before his soul is restored.   “Close Your Eyes,” the Buffy/Angel love theme plays, and we all cry.

Episode of Choice: I’m actually going with the one episode of Angel that Sarah Michelle Gellar guest stars in.  I chose the crossover episode, “I Will Remember You.”  This episode is absolutely heartbreaking.  We see Buffy and Angel rekindle their love, which for one seems to have an actual chance, only to have to turn back time.  Angel bears the burden of the memory, but Buffy will forget it.  As their time together ticks down before reset, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s real tears make her words so moving.  Grab some tissues for this one.

2. Ross & Rachel (Friends)

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He’s her lobster!  Friends is actually my go-to show for being broken hearted.  After a really bad break-up, I turned to this series to remind me that love is real and life is good.  Throughout this series, we know Ross and Rachel belong together.  We struggle with the “we were on a break!” and “she’s not Rachem” and all the other comedic mishaps that come our way, but we know, like Rachel says: it’s never off the table for them.  For goodness sake, he says her name in his wedding vows to Emily!  By the end of the series, these two have a child together.  I think most of us hung in there for 10 seasons to see them reunite.  We can all safely assume that Ross and Rachel get married, probably quietly since Ross has done is so many times and since they’re technically already divorced.

Episode of Choice: This is a tough one.  In one of my absolute favorite episodes of the series, “The One With the Prom Video,” we witness a tear-inducingly beautiful Ross and Rachel moment.  I love that whole episode for a good summation of their love.  My pick, however, is “The Last One” part 2, which brings new meaning to “I got off the plane.”  This was the moment we were all waiting for and it sealed the Ross and Rachel story with a happy ending.

1. Diane & Sam (Cheers)

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The ultimate will they or won’t they couple!  Sometimes the best love stories do not have a happy ending.  Rewatching Cheers, like rewatching Buffy, is a terribly emotional experience for me.  Doing so always solidifies that Diane and Sam are my absolute favorite TV couple.  They are the epitome of opposites attract, and find themselves in each others’ arms again and again even after they’ve split.  Diane fundamentally changes Sam for the better.  His love for her sends him to Italy to break up her wedding to Frasier.  Sam and Diane are my OTP— that’s one true pairing, for those of you who don’t speak tumblr.  Though things do not end well for them, I like to believe that they have a love child out there somewhere, who grew up bouncing between Boston and LA.  And I’ve named her.  I’m normal.

Episode of Choice:  I chose “Fear is My Co-Pilot,” an episode in which these two weren’t even a couple.  A recent rewatch of Cheers had me crying at this one.  Diane and Sam take a plane ride with a pilot friend of Diane’s, who basically pretends to be dead to force a moment between the two.  All their true feelings come out in the face of death.  It’s beautiful, and so sad that they let each other slip away even after all they go through.

Well, there you have it!  Who’s your OPT?

And, if you’re not feeling the love on this Valentine’s Day, I have another suggestion for you: Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?  This creeptastic Investigation Discovery show should make you feel better about all the bad boyfriends you’ve had.  Trust me on this one!