In Friends season 3, Phoebe Buffay and a man who was following her twin sister Ursula made for a strange plot. Lisa Kudrow played both of the Buffay sisters, but in the NBC sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, only Phoebe was the main character. Malcolm, Ursula’s stalker, only showed up in one episode, but the plot was a little bit controversial.
Ursula was in a total of eight episodes of Friends, but before that, she was in several episodes of Mad About You. Even though Phoebe and Ursula look alike, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Ursula was very mean, and whenever Phoebe acknowledged her existence, she would always insult her. Even though they were very different, the twins often liked the same kind of men. In one case, though, it turned out that the man was a creepy stalker.
In the Friends episode called “The One With the Jam,” Malcolm the stalker showed up. David Arquette, who was dating co-star Courtney Cox at the time, played the character. In the end, they got married in 1999, when the show’s popularity was at an all-time high. In this episode, Malcolm was following Phoebe because he thought she was his ex-girlfriend Ursula. Even though she had a restraining order against him, he was still crazy about Ursula. Phoebe fell in love with Malcolm while she was trying to help him.
Then she found out that Malcolm was still following her sister, so she ended her relationship with him.
Crane and Kauffman both said that the script for the season 3 episode had to be changed a lot before it worked. Even the end result wasn’t something they were proud of. Even with the standards of the late 1990s, it was clear that the episode sent a bad message. A bad message was sent to viewers when a stalker was pitied and his actions were made to make sense. The situation got even worse when Phoebe fell for him. This made the plot worse. Much more interesting was the fact that Friends had already told a similar story the season. Before when Joey started dating one of his stalkers before realizing she was too unstable.
Throughout Friends, it was clear that Phoebe had dated some sketchy guys in the past. Still, it was against her established image to date a dangerous person like Malcolm. Phoebe lived on her own from a young age, which taught her a lot about how to survive on the streets. She was good at getting herself out of uncomfortable situations, so it was not like her to let someone like Malcolm in. When she found out about the restraining order, Phoebe should have seen through his charm and told him to stop.