Janice deserved better

by Ally Mclean 2 months ago in tv

Janice Litman-Goralnik nee Hosenstein is a goddess, not a joke

Janice deserved better

Janice is known for being the annoying ex girlfriend of Chandler.

We meet her in season 1 as Chandler's on again off again girlfriend (who he finds extremely annoying), gets married and has a child, gets divorced, hooks up with Ross, gets married again and has another baby, then almost moves in next door to Monica and Chandler in season 10.

She is treated as a joke due to her voice, love for family, extreme fashion choices, supposed blindness to how other perceive her, and emotional vulnerability.

All of which appear to me as the patriarchy working against her. As it often works against Chandler, and literally every human ever.

Persona & Values

Janice's voice is a product of her New York upbringing. Her family has obviously heavily influenced her, as we can hear, and see in her behaviour. In S2 Ep3, she reappears heavily pregnant and married, after she and Chandler had broken up in Ep14 of S1. Looking at the timeline, we can estimate she got married and pregnant within 6 months of Chandler ending it. Again.

From this we can assume she was ready to settle down since we first met her, and potentially she and Chandler were not a perfect match at the time because they were looking for different things. This may also be why she was so ready to run back to Chandler each time he called. To her, he was a chance at a family, until she met someone else.

Then when she appears in S2 Ep24, we learn her husband has been cheating on her. She leaves him and jumps into a relationship with Chandler. The one who got away. However now she wants to take it slow, but he's ready for a commitment.

Confidence

Janice oozes confidence. Honestly, she's goals. She is totally aware of how she comes across, and isn't hurt when people find her annoying, as seen in S3 Ep1 when Joey expresses his dislike.

She isn't offended. She works at the relationship. She knows she's not everyone's favourite. But she is still unequivocally herself.

"Accept me for what I am" - "love me where I'm at" - kind of mood.

"I heard, you hate me"

Communication

Janice knows how to communicate. When she is in a relationship with Chandler and also backsliding into a relationship with her estranged husband (S3 Ep8), she doesn't tell Chandler what he wants to hear. She tells him the truth.

In S7 Ep7, she runs into Monica and Chandler and invites herself to their wedding, assuming that's what they want. She wants to to give to them because she values them and is a generous person. She volunteers to sing at the wedding, assuming that's what they want. This is where she is the most wrong she's ever been. But she is able to communicate when she's feeling vulnerable, and calls in them for support. While misplaced, a valuable skill.

In S8 Ep23-24, Janice and Rachel share a baby birthday and a labour room. Janice is her usual nasally self, open, and kind. She gives Rachel advice about what she can expect from motherhood, especially as a single mother. While this upsets Rachel, she needs to hear it. Janice shares from her own experience with her first husband, and offers her support to Rachel.

We stan.

Enthusiastic

When Janice hooks up with Ross in S5 Ep12, and the rest of the friends find out, she apologises and wants to remain on good terms with them all. She reminds them that Chandler is in Yemen (as far as she's aware, because Chandler told her that heinous lie because he couldn't nut up and tell her the truth). She values their friendship and the role they've played in her life. We can only assume she is this way with everyone she meets, and that's beautiful.

In S1 Ep14 we see Janice the morning after a Chanler hookup; a man who treats her like absolute trash, yet she's such a simp for him. When caught in the hall on her way out, Monica catches her and calls everyone in to embarrass Chandler, much to Janice's delight. She is overjoyed to see everyone, and shows her enthusiasm for the friends. She loves Chandlers friends like they're her own.

To the viewer, Janice is a joke. We see the friends all treat her poorly, like a prop used only to humiliate Chandler, or a measuring stick for crazy. She is written to be annoying and stupid, and unaware of how she's perceived. I think she knows. She just doesn't care. As we can see in S10 Ep15, where she just wants to express affection, ignoring the hilarious rudeness from Chandler and Monica.

Yes, I can see how Janice can be a joke, but she is so much more than that. She's a role model. She loves freely. She gives generously. She takes fashion risks, all of which are pulled off impeccably.

We stan a responsible queen

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Ally Mclean
Ally Mclean
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