Six friends, all in their mid-20s, trying to live life, find love, and keep their heads above water in the happening city of New York. What is not to love about it?
You might like FRIENDS, you might hate FRIENDS but you cannot afford to miss it. It is a genre-defining show that broke all records due to its immensely relatable storyline.
2. Series Info
FRIENDSAir Date: September 22, 1994 Status: Finished Studio: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions No. of Seasons: 10 No. of Episodes: 236
3. Is It Worth Watching?
FRIENDS is a show that can never be recreated, in terms of popularity, characters and storyline.
The show opens with Rachel Green arriving in a coffee shop, in a wedding dress, looking for her best friend from school, Monica. When she finds Monica, she reveals that she ran away from her wedding and her unsatisfactory life.
Monica and Rachel become roommates and she introduces her to her group of friends-Phoebe Buffay, her ex-roommate, her brother Ross Geller, Ross’ college roommate Chandler and Chandler’s current roommate Joey Tribbiani.
As Rachel slowly gets to know the group and experiences living without her parents for the first time, the audience goes on a journey with the friends, facing everything that life throws their way- and ours.
II. Detailed Analysis
What works massively in advantage of FRIENDS, is its story. What the characters go through in the show is very much identifiable, if not completely, definitely in parts.
In the initial seasons of the show, Rachel is clueless about what she wants to do. When she first starts living in New York with Monica, she works as a waitress in Central Perk, the coffee shop that they met in the day she ran away from her wedding. It is not until the third season that she finds some perspective about what kind of job she wants to do for the rest of her life.
Similarly with Joey, who is a struggling actor, money is always short. Perpetually broke, he often has to borrow money from his more well-off friends and is sometimes reminded how much money he owes them. All in good humour, though.
These are not the only storylines that are relatable- throughout the show the characters deal with love, heartbreak and even some serious issues like addiction, abandonment, infertility and surrogacy.
In fact, some story arcs in the series are so popular that other sitcoms have ‘borrowed’ from it, some have completely ripped them off.
Even if you do not relate with any of the storylines, the chances are that you will like the show because of its trademark style of humour. It is impossible to miss.
If there is one reason why FRIENDS would not sit well with the audience of the present times, it has to be its slightly unparliamentary tone of humour.
Nothing is out of the scope of jokes for the characters on FRIENDS- an adolescent, overweight Monica, the ‘toxic’ traits of Ross and Rachel as a couple, Ross’ first wife coming out as a lesbian after getting married to him- everything is poked fun at. For a very conscious audience, this might be a weak point in the show.
Love FRIENDS or hate FRIENDS, you cannot deny you know at least some of the characters in the show. The show created some of the most unforgettable characters in tv history. Even with a great storyline, the show would have fallen flat without the characters and the actors.
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc are synonymous to their characters Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Chandler Bing, Ross Geller and Joey Tribbiani and the chemistry between all of them is the most essential factor of the success of FRIENDS.
The show would not have worked without it and that became evident with the failure of Joey, a spinoff that starred only Matt LeBlanc from the original cast.
On top of that, recurring stars like Janice and the Geller siblings’ parents Jack and Judy made the show positively hilarious.
FRIENDS even gave us two of the most beloved couples on tv- Ross and Rachel and Chandler and Monica. The on and off relationship between Ross and Rachel since the beginning, was a driving force behind the show’s ten year long run, and Monica and Chandler’s steady but sweet relationship only added to the show’s variety and quality.
Keeping aside the question of how Monica was able to maintain such a posh apartment in New York with her minimal income, her purple and gold apartment is the stuff of dreams.
It is the place where the friends hung out, celebrated or crashed at. So many memorable incidents took place in that apartment that it has become as iconic as the show.
Apart from Monica’s apartment, the other place that the friends often visited was the coffee shop Central Perk.
Most of the characters lived on the floor above Central Perk and their go-to place was the cosy coffee shop. Central Perk became the place where the characters socialised, snacked and, for some of them, worked.
The opening song by The Rembrandts is easily the most recognisable opening music of all time. That song triggers the same emotions in FRIENDS fans as the microwave ding triggers in foodies- just pure joy. I’ll Be There For You is the perfect start to the friends’ crazy capers.
5. Final Thoughts
Although the last couple of seasons lacks in terms of story, FRIENDS compensates for it with the near-perfect seasons before. If you are not bothered by its out-of-bounds sense of humor and slight lack of representation (in a show from the 90s), FRIENDS is perfect for you. The story never goes out of date and neither does the characters.Originally Written By Epic Dope