46. Friends

Creator: David Crane, Marta Kauffman
Years: 1994-2004

How you doin’?

I remember watching this show when it first came out, probably because it was on right after Seinfeld or some other hit show. The first episode I saw was the one where Chandler is stuck in an ATM booth with model Jill Goodacre. I still occasionally drop a “That would be perfection,” when someone offers me gum. I fell for the show then and was pretty glued to it for the first two seasons. Partly that was because I was fourteen and had a huge crush on Jennifer Aniston. But I also found it alternately funny and dramatic, too. The Rachel/Ross thing the first go-round was pretty good TV.

I fell out of love with the show around season three. I stopped caring about Rachel/Ross, and honestly I began rooting against both of them. Characters that were somewhat likable early on become progressively annoying over the seasons as they refuse to mature. I think the writers realized this and attempts at maturing their characters as they reached their 30’s felt forced. I never really bought Chandler and Monica getting together, though it did lead to a few funny moments.

The highlight of the show is easily Phoebe. At first she’s a little too obviously dense to be interesting, but Kudrow really makes the character her own. My wife will often sing her best song to my son. “Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo. Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up and that’s how we get hamburgers!” Also, the episode where she comes on to Chandler to get him to fess up he’s dating Monica is a fantastic TV moment.

Chandler possibly gets more stale than any other character as things go on. Perry’s not that great of an actor and he’s pretty poor at drama. And even his comedy mostly consists of zingers which got old fast. That said, he’ll always have the “How many cameras are actually on you?” line that he can take to his grave.

Despite it’s highlights, there is just too much dead time in too many episodes to rank it higher. Lots of easy, predictable, lame jokes. Lots of bad acting. That said, I don’t mind it on in the background.

7 thoughts on “46. Friends”

  1. My wife recently re-watched the whole thing. If I were to make a list like this it would be significantly lower. (But I’m an angry old curmudgeon).

      1. I suppose I’ve mellowed in my old age. (even though the show is still a misnomer and they’re still all awful people.)

  2. This show is weird. On the one hand, the most I do any more is smile or lightly chuckle at it, but I can stand to watch an episode pretty easily. It’s like the Subway sandwich of television shows (you know, if Subway sandwiches suddenly became the most popular food on earth, and the sandwich artists suddenly commanded seven figures per sandwich made).

    1. To be fair, the average sandwich artist makes more than 24 sandwiches per year. In fact, they probably make like 50-75 per day. So you figure 3 million dollars per day with 260 workdays, and each artist should make close to a billion per year. But as usual, people will pay more for entertainment than they will for the working class.

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