Why is F.R.I.E.N.D.S not the best Sitcom ever made ?
Image source – Instagram
The all-time favorite sitcom ‘FRIENDS’ has built a legacy that doesn’t seem to fade even after 16 years of its last airing.
It had an insanely attractive lead cast; it is set in the centre of culture and civilization, the New York City, and is relatable beyond the thresholds of geography and cultures.
Since the day ‘Friends’ aired, almost every human being has longed for a life where your best friends live across the hall from you and you can afford a beautiful apartment in NYC.
For a larger part of its original run, ‘Friends’ remained the most watched and highest rated comedy show.It enjoyed a top-notch viewership which more esoteric shows like ‘Arrested Development’ , ‘The ‘70s Show’, ‘Community’ never did.
‘Friends’ became a hit because it focused on a point in people’s lives – that point between living with your family and starting your own family, where your friends become your family. Every character was distinctive and likable and the audience was lured to see these people in cutely awkward situations together.
It was a fast-food sitcom that was content in maintaining its lukewarm consistency over any ingenuity or inventiveness.Shows Like ‘Seinfeld’ , ‘Parks and Rec’ , ‘The Office’ were never relatable, they had no charming and attractive lead cast but when it comes to sheer ingenuity and laughs per minute, they surpassed ‘Friends’ by miles.
The show was rarely daring. It didn’t even change a single bit, it never evolved. Watch any episode now and it is impossible to deduce what season it is from. The only way you can accurately date an episode is by monitoring Matthew Perry’s fluctuating weight.In fact, in the later seasons, it literally fished for being trendy by having celebrity guest stars briefly become part of the story .
The show was targeted to the general mass as a representation of the day to day struggles of a group of friends. The only problem was, it ended up being a story about six straight white adults who are privileged enough to not care about their careers and can still end up living in fancy NYC apartments. I wonder if tagging this as ‘realistic’ is justified.
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The core narrative of the show was laid out in the first four seasons itself with the latter seasons just reinforcing the status-quo. For a show that ran 10 long seasons, it is surprising that it never went beyond the realms of dating, relationships, marriage, preggers and ‘The Break’.
Was ‘Friends’ a funny show? Yes. But is it because the characters were funny? No. If you take any line said by Monica and make Rachel say that line instead, the show would still be funny. If you take one of Joey’s lines and make Phoebe say it, it would still be equally funny.
While the show had a lot of good jokes, it’s characters didn’t have much depth.
‘Friends’ also worked because it catered to the fantasy of the young ones, a story of romance and single life , where they got to spend a good 6-8 hours a day with their best buddies in their favorite coffee shop, where everybody knows each one of them, sitting on their designated couch. Then they all go home to their apartments for pizza parties and booze.
But again , it was too much love and too little friendship.
I want you to try and imagine a world where Rachel and Ross were never in love, Monica and Chandler didn’t get married with kids, would the whole plotline still make sense and be as touching? No.The show claims to be about friendship but it refuses to go in-depth about different dimensions of friendship that exist beyond the world of romantic relationships.
Okay, sure, it has a nostalgic quality to it: A lot of people watched it growing up or when they were young adults trying to make it in real life. But when you break it down piece by piece, its supposedly warmhearted glow has cold undertones.
Image source – Instagram
I will never try to argue that ‘Friends’ was not a good TV series because it was. It was iconic.
While the hype around ‘Friends’ is something that can’t go away, and it shouldn’t, but it does have its flaws and we need to accept that.
‘Friends’ is almost everyone’s favorite show. It’s legacy could be traced down in Central Perk themed restaurants, Buzzfeed articles and tumblr posts of die-hard Friends fans.
It was far more relatable to the outside of the US than any other Sitcom ever was. Any group of friends at any urban geographical location could easily find friends as a show akin to their personal lives.
‘Friends’ is that show which introduced most of us to English TV Series and will always have a special place in all of our hearts.
So on that note, Keep watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S with your friends and we shall see you in the next blog.
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