It’s Hollywood actor David Schwimmer’s birthday! Schwimmer, who is best known for his portrayal of Ross Geller on popular sit-com Friends, turns 50 today. Speaking of Ross Geller, I can’t say I ever really liked that character. While everyone seems to absolutely adore him for his intellectual prowess, there were a few things about him that were inherently repulsive.
For starters, let’s take up his profession. He is a paleontologist obsessed with dinosaurs. Ross understands that he doesn’t share an intellectual connection with his friends nor his obsession with dinosaurs. It can be agonising, sure, but he continues to bombard them with knowledge that may be irrelevant to them. You would think that after taking up a job as a lecturer, he would tone it down a bit but no… There’s no stop button on this dude.
His obsession with science has gotten him to lock claws with his friend Phoebe countless times. It is understood that the two share contrasting beliefs but, if Phoebe can choose to let it slide, then so can Ross. Instead, he continues to challenge her beliefs, be it about her take on evolution or her spiritual nature.
Although being passionate and proud of one’s achievements is a good thing, Ross Geller manages to take it to a whole new level. Also, remember that episode when Will Colbert (Brad Pitt) dropped by at Monica’s apartment for Thanksgiving? When asked about work, Ross gets embarrassed and quickly changes the subject. Ross has always prided himself for being geeky but, this scene beautifully brings out the hypocrisy in his character.
I could write a whole chapter on Ross being a hypocrite. When he stumbles upon Joey and Rachel kissing, he completely flips out. Sure, anybody would. But, given the fact that he had kissed Charlie on the very night that she broke up with Joey, his reaction was blown way out of proportion.
Also allow me to remind you that in the past, Ross has kissed Chandler’s mom and slept with Janice all without Chandler knowing about it beforehand.
The book on Ross’ peskiness stays incomplete without a few chapters on his disaster of a relationship with Rachel. His fixation on Mark, Rachel’s co-worker at Bloomingdale’s, was as annoying as it was unfounded. Not only did he embarrass Rachel at work with his jealous behaviour, he even harassed Mark when he thought he was kissing Rachel. He also displayed total disregard towards Rachel’s work and at one point, even insulted her interest in fashion. Rachel was considerably patient with him but, he continued to push her to call for a break.
It was a clean break-up, as many would agree but, Ross calls Rachel after the fight to state that the whole “break-up thing is just stupid” which arguably puts the break-up on hold. They weren’t back together but, that conversation wasn’t his window to go sleep with someone else. After Rachel finds out about it, at first, Ross feels guilty but, seeing how that wouldn’t work, he quickly cooked up the “we were on a break” argument. And after Rachel goes on one date with Mark a full three weeks after the break-up, Ross takes it as a sign that it is Rachel who screwed him over. I have no idea why Rachel would ever want to get back with him.
His relationship with Monica is no less of a disaster itself. Throughout the show’s 10 seasons, it seems as though Monica was the elder sibling. Ross seems to revel, in the fact, that his parents like him over Monica. When their father hands over the Porsche to Monica, Ross’ behaviour is childish and insensitive. When he was dating Rachel, he walked around Monica’s apartment like he owned the place, discounting his sister’s feelings. If there is one thing he did right, it was his decision to live alone. Even when he moves into Joey and Chandler’s apartment, instead of showing gratitude, he makes life hell for his hosts with all of his boxes and…
It may seem funny on TV and David Schwimmer’s acting is prodigious but, if you ever meet a man like Ross Geller in real life, you better haul ass.
Ross Geller may have been a pain but, there’s no denying that his presence brought vibrance to the show, just as David Schwimmer brought vibrance to the character.