Ross and Rachel’s roller-coaster ride of a relationship on Friends was THE love story of the 90s, and to this day, it’s still regularly referenced as proof that true love will prevail in the end. However, a writer named Claire Willett, disagrees that what Ross and Rachel had was really all that special. Not only that, she thinks that the true love story of the popular sitcom was actually between Rachel and Joey. Willett feels so strongly about this in fact that she tweeted 100 times about the relationships between Ross and Rachel and Rachel and Joey to prove her point. That’s 14,000 characters, practically a term paper. While I don't agree with all her arguments, one has to respect that level of dedication.
It all started yesterday when Claire Willett tweeted to warn her followers that she was about to embark on an epic Twitter rant all about Friends and the love story that doesn't get enough credit. She started by saying, "I'm formulating an epic tweetstorm in defense of Joey & Rachel you guys. There's a word doc outline with bullet points." Again, let's take a minute to show our respect.
Interestingly, a lot of the points the Twitter user makes about why Joey and Rachel should be together are more about why Rachel shouldn’t be with Ross. In one of the earliest tweet from "In Defense of Rachel and Joey: A Thread," she writes, "I am on record as being absolutely ride-or-die anti-Ross Geller, who is for my money one of television's all-time worst human men." I get that. Ross is most certainly problematic, and I would never want to date him, but I still can’t help but think that he’s the funniest character on the show, especially in the later seasons — this is beside the point, but David Schwimmer has undeniably impeccable comedic timing and his physical comedy was always excellent. However, she's right, Ross does have major issues with his masculinity, as evidenced by his jealousy, his lack of respect for Rachel’s career, and even the fact that he can’t wrap his mind around the idea of a male nanny. Willett brings up many of those points as reasons why Rachel should not be with Ross, and I'm here for it. But does that mean she should be with Joey? I’m skeptical.
Let's move on to Claire Willett's reasons why Rachel should have gotten together with Joey. One of her main points was that unlike with Rachel and Ross, these two had an actual friendship before they became romantically involved. And, despite the fact that Joey is a player, he actually has great respect for his female friends. That, I like, but I don't think it means that they were supposed to be together romantically. Why can't they just have a respectful and loving platonic friendship?
In the end, her most compelling argument for why Joey deserved Rachel is this:
I agree that Joey's love for Rachel seems more genuine and that it comes from a place of respect, but I don't know that Rachel ever truly felt romantic feelings toward him, and isn't that what matters? She certainly loved him as a friend and found him sexually appealing, and unlike a lot of people, I'm definitely on board for their brief attempt at dating, but for Rachel, it didn't seem to ever be romantic. So, maybe she shouldn't have ended up with anyone. She should have gotten on that plane to Paris, started her career at Louis Vuitton and maybe found a nice European man who had more progressive ideas about gender roles. But, Claire Willett and I agree that never would have happened because it doesn't subscribed to the "conventional sitcom storytelling structure."
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