F.R.I.E.N.D.S: The greatest, most iconic sitcom series since the 90s. Who hasn’t watched it more than once?
In A Nutshell
The series follows a group of six friends (Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross,) and their daily lives in New York. The story begins when Rachel enters Central Perk (the coffee place where they always hang out) after running away from her we,dding. Monica, her childhood friend, invites her to hang out with them and to try a different life than the one she had been living until that point.
Meet the Characters
(In alphabetic order)
Chandler is pretty much a big Internet meme. Chandler claims to make jokes when he’s uncomfortable, which is most of the time since he’s always making sarcastic remarks to everything that happens around him. In reality, he’s pretty insecure, has commitment issues and needs constant reassurance from those around him.
Joey is another character used for laughs. Unlike Chandler, his comedic lines often come from the fact that he’s quite… well, slow. Joey is an actor who struggle to make a living out of it. He’s also very flirtatious and is constantly trying to hit on women, including the ones in the group. Deep down, he has a big heart, values his friends a lot and gets emotional very easily.
Monica is a very organized and methodical person, so much that she probably suffers from OCD. Everything in the house needs to be clean and carefully organized. She’s also an excellent cook. She’s got parent issues because she had a bad childhood, both from the fact that she was very fat and that her parents seemed to prefer her brother Ross over her. Despite of this, Monica has a lot of confidence and fights for get the respect she deserves.
Phoebe is seen as the odd one out of the group. She’s a very eccentric and superstitious person and her odd commentaries often confuse the rest of the group. She had a very hard childhood that she brushes off like it’s nothing. She’s also a vegetarian, animal lover and probably the kindest, most selfless person in the series. She works as a masseuse.
Rachel is sometimes seen as the main character of the series, as the story begins with her introduction to the group. She comes from a rich family in which she was used to having everything she wanted. After she joins the group she learns to work hard to truly earn the things she wants. Rachel also loves fashion and is very passionate about the things she loves.
Ross is Monica’s sister. He’s an anthropologist, which places him as the one in the group with most academic background. Because of this, the others often make fun of him for how pedantic he can sound sometimes. Despite being very clever, Ross can come out as socially incompetent for being a nerd. He also has very bad luck in his love life.
A Brief History of F.R.I.E.N.D.S: the When, Where and How
At first, the series was going to be called Insomnia Cafe. After Kauffman and Crane presented the idea to Bright and pitched a first draft to NBC, they later rewrote the title to Friends Like Us, which got finally shortened to just Friends. The series was an absolute success, with its final episode ranking as the fifth most watched series finale in television history and the most watched television episode of the 2000s decade. Friends was also nominated for 62 Emmy Awards, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002. Among other recognition, the show ranked no. 21 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and no. 7 on Empire magazine’s The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
Why It’s Awesome
What can we say about F.R.I.E..N.D.S that hasn’t been said already? There are many factors that make this series a must-watch, whether you like watching TV or not.
Even though friendship is the main focus of the series, there’s also many other elements explored in the series, such as love, break ups, parents issues, difficult childhoods, job career decisions and all kinds of struggles that come with coming off age. In fact, even though the series has been criticized for being unrealistic (what kind of 20-30 year old can afford to live in a flat in New York with these type of jobs?), FRIENDS has become an inspiration for many young adults who wish to live a similar life, sharing a flat with a few friends, getting a job and having all type of romantic affairs.
The truth is, everything from the title to the plot might seem kind of simplistic, but the series was still veryinnovative for its time (its treatment of queer character was quite progressive for the 90s) and it influenced many posterior sitcoms (How I Met Your Mother being the clearest example). FRIENDS‘ use of comedy was superb, leaving us with many classic scenes and lines that people still quote to this day.