Friday, May 27, 2011

Best F R I E N D S: Chandler Bing

"Good, because I was worried you guys were gonna be vague about this."

Chandler: famous for his humour, ridiculous 80s clothing and being a 'transponster', whatever one of those is. Let's have a look at the traits that make up the 'Chandler' type.

- After his parents' divorce, Chandler's father moved to Las Vegas to open up a drag act. Chandler was frequntly involved in the act or aspects of it such as grooming or choreography.

Having grown up in unusual circumstances, you're not brilliant at predicting the course your relationship will go through. This doesn't necessarily mean you had a broken home or a single parent family: you could have had a normal upbringing followed by an utterly disastrous dating history (anyone remember Janice?). When Monica and Chandler had their first argument, Chandler immediately assumed it was over because he couldn't think past such a row. He didn't realise that he was in a 'grown-up' relationship with a partner who was willing to talk through any difficulties.

- Because of his unusual upbringing, Chandler can be seen as effeminate; and the character's sexual orientation had to be deliberately established.

This doesn't mean Chandler types are girly and/or gay. What this means is that you can have traits that are commonly seen as 'feminine'. For example you may be overtly sensitive, or you may know how to enthuse with women. And this is great! It means you're honest about the way you feel - any woman who is with you won't have to ask you "are you sure you're OK?" twenty times before you admit to being angry; and you can talk to women about things they enjoy with tolerance and interest even if you don't understand what they're talking about. What it does mean is that you may get teased, especially (and ironically) by other 'Chandlers'.

- Chandler uses humour as a defense mechanism which often makes him seem insincere and cold, and can get him into a lot of trouble. 

Chandler has trouble getting himself taken seriously at work because his colleagues take everything he says as a joke, and he ends up seeming immature at a job interview because of a light-hearted comment about "duties/doodies". He winds up a lot of his friends, specifically females (Rachel at one point comments that she would like to punch him, but she "doesn't know why") because it can be viewed as reluctance to answer questions or admit to feelings. This isn't what Chandler is really trying to convey - he simply likes being 'the funny guy' because humour is popular, widely appreciated and an effective way of shielding himself from the awkwardness of reality. This conveys a timid nature - you don't want to lift the shield and expose the tender flesh beneath, but you will when in the right company. You just need to watch out - not all awkward moments appreciate a humourous comment and your words can come out the wrong way.

Chandler's Best Moment: [SEASON 10 EP. 9 - "The One With The Birth Mother"]
After following their trial to become parents, Chandler and Monica register at an adoption agency. However the agency mix up the files, and the couple have to admit to their potential birth mother Erica that they are not who she thought they were. Upset, she says she wants nothing more to do with them and storms out. Monica despairs, and Chandler goes after Erica, catching her in the lobby. He then tells her that although they may not be doctors or priests, they will love her baby more than anyone else could. Despite the fact that it was Monica who went along with the facade, Chandler expresses his sadness at not being able to give her the thing she wants most: a child. Erica warms to his sincerity and agrees to let the couple adopt her baby (or babies, as it turns out).

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