As I write this it’s a mellow summer Sunday afternoon and I feel like writing a “Friends” walkthrough. I think I’ve only watched a single episode since my last walkthrough so let’s see what episode I’m up to. It’s “The One With the Routine” from season six and it is episode ten. It’s a New Year’s Eve episode if memory serves.

It first ran on December 16, 1999 so let me check my calendar to see what I was doing that day besides sitting down on a Thursday night to watch this episode. I’t looks like I was up to a few things that day including starting my Christmas shopping. I even spent $30 at Kaybee Toys. I have no idea what I bought but it had to be a toy of some type. I also worked on some animated gifs for an old site called Uproar. It was the time on the Internet bubble so there was a lot of web graphics work to go around and even I got some. I also started work on one of my photographs. That sounds like a pretty good day.

Now let’s start the show. The gang is decorating a Christmas tree at Monica and Chandler’s. Chandler has an observation about the tree lights. No one appreciates it and in walks Ross. Monica’s controlling neatness jokes ensue. Here comes the theme song.

Here they are at Central Perk and Ross is telling historical stories that no one appreciates. I feel for him. I like history! Joey walks in. He has a crush on his new roommate, Janine, and she isn’t feeling the same. Joey isn’t used to unrequited love. That’s Chandler’s area of expertise.

Janine walks in and announces that she’s going to be on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. She’s English and doesn’t know what it is but Monica and Ross are psyched! That show was a big part of their childhood. Chandler makes a mean fat joke. Ross is such a geek (another reason I like him). Janine invites Ross and Monica to the show and they jump at the chance. This is the main plot for the episode. All the other plots pale in comparison.

Since Janine asked Joey to be her dance partner on the show a discussion happens after she leaves as to if it’s a date or not. The friends are split. Joey plans a midnight kiss even though the show is taped before NYE.

Next we’re on the set of the Dick Clark show and Joey is handing out advice which is to stay cool. Of course Ross and Monica can’t. They both rush up to the director and annoy him with their jokes and enthusiasm. Ross and Monica, as brother and sister, weren’t planning on dancing together but now they have to. That’s a key plot point.

Now we’re at Chandler’s place and a new plot emerges. Phoebe and Rachel rush in to try and look for the spot where Monica is hiding their Christmas presents. Though this is a rather minor plot it’s pretty funny. I remember them milking a lot of solid jokes out to the situation. Chandler stops them but eventually they wear him down and he starts searching too. There is really some good stuff in here.

Back to Ross and Monica dancing. The camera never points at them so they plot to get noticed. Plus Joey is trying to impress Janine with his dancing but the director stops by and gives then each a new dance partner. Now Joey has to plot to get near her so her can kiss her at fake midnight. Lots of sitcom type scheming in this plot line.

Back to the present hunt and they found them. Rachel and Phoebe are disappointed the presents are crappy. Turns out those are the presents Chandler bought. Oops! They don’t appreciate bookends. A couple of Philistines!

More dancing with Joey. Janine is off with “Tall Guy” so Joey tries to sabotage Tall Guy with the old “Throw water on his pants to make it look like he wet himself” gag. This is the weakest of the three plots. I was never interested in the Joey and Janine plot. She was hot but never had much personality. Ross and Monica continue to try and impress. It doesn’t work.

Central Perk again and Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel continue the present talk. They actually think Gunther might know something so Rachel tries to sweet talk him. He has always had a crush on Rachel so he is flabbergasted as Rachel lays it on thick with the flirting. Then he faints. I generally appreciate the Gunther material.

Back to the dancing and Ross comes up with a new plan. They’re going to do “The Routine” from their childhood. A dance number they thought up as kids. Hence the name of the episode. Monica agrees. They break into it and impress me but no one else. The director likes their goofiness and unbeknownst to them wants it for the blooper reel.

Once again it’s Joey and Janine. Joey’s wet pants prank worked and he’s back with Janine. The director yells cut and there is no kiss. End of dance show except Monica and Ross keep going!

Back at Joey’s apartment it’s a chicken and duck appearance! I wonder if this is the last one? More present hunting and this time they find the real ones. Chandler has second thoughts. A Peanuts joke! Go Sparky! Monica walks in and the plot line ends. It was fun while I lasted but we all knew Chandler wasn’t goin to feel good in the end.

Here comes some awkwardness and Janine gives Joey the New Years kiss they missed out on. They finally hook up. Joey getting the girl really isn’t that funny or interesting. He’s the one who always gets the girl.

Back to Monica and Chandler’s apartment and they are recapping the dance show for the three who weren’t there. They’re telling how Joey didn’t get his kiss (little do they know) and a little “Routine” talk. And the end.

Time to look at what was cut from this episode for syndication. They cut the lines with Ross and Monica explaining they were brother and sister. I guess it wasn’t really that important to the plot. They cut the entire scene with Gunther fainting (no way). So they never went to Central Perk to look for the presents in the syndicated version. That’s a huge cut. They also cut the end of the dance scene where only Ross and Monica keep dancing. No big loss there. They also cut the lines where they tell that Joey didn’t get his kiss. There were some good Ross moments in there.

If I were to rate this one today I’d give it four out of five stars. Above average. Let’s see what I rated it in 2013. I rated it four stars then too. It’s a good episode.