Things that we still love… Friends (the one on telly, not our actual friends. We don’t even like them, let alone love ‘em).
Warning: This article comes across as slightly mental and very obsessive about a TV program. But I’m not stalking the cast or anything…yet.
20 years. 20 friggin years! That’s how long ago Friends started. Admittedly, it started then in America before we got wind of it over here. However, 20 years! That’s ridiculous. It’s on every day on some channel on Sky, but it still feels relevant. Admittedly the older ones look a tiny bit dated, but season 5 onwards and you’d have no idea that they are over ten years old.
I have to admit, I didn’t get into it until after it had actually finished. I was obviously aware of it, everyone was. But “we were on a break” and “How you doin?” meant nothing to me at that point. It was a broken bone and some time off work that led me into the trap. E4 were showing it on repeat, and that particular monday saw them show it again from the top. Like all TV series, I joined late but was hooked (you may have read my Breaking Bad article where I did the same) and that was that. You can’t not like Friends. And if you don’t then we can’t be friends. I have no shame in admitting that it is my favourite TV program. Ever. Ever since I watched the first few, I had to ensure that no matter what I was working or where I would be on any given day, I would have time to watch one of the E4 showings. I’ve been late for just about every kind of appointment you can think of because of this bloody program. But I would like to point out, this didn’t stop when I’d seen them all. It started again as they started from the pilot.
The characters are great and everyone has a favourite (mine since you didn’t ask? Chandler series 1-5 and then Ross onwards) and everyone has a character they are like, usually decided by your friends for you (mine, again since you didn’t ask? I am Chandler generally, apparently, but a little bit Ross sometimes). There is something I like and dislike about every one of them, which is important because it shouldn’t be a complete love in. They are written that well that they have to have their flaws as well as good traits. The thing I like best about the characters though, is how well the actors made them work together. Whether they actually got along in real life or not, the chemistry on screen is brilliant. You can believe Joey and Chandler as mates, Monica bossing Rachel about works really well and Ross mocking Phoebe all the time is bang on – purely because I’d do the same. I couldn’t think of a bad episode. Of course there are some I like more than others, and I do have a favourite (Ross having his teeth whitened is class) and that is testament to how good the show is. There is no weak link, everything about the show is spot on and even though it’s riddled with mistakes (it is, Google it) it doesn’t matter.
Even though I joined the ranks very late, I am officially a Friends obsessive. Put me in a room and show me 5 seconds of footage and i’ll tell you the episode, what happens and lines from it. This is because a) I am immensely sad and b) because if it’s on, regardless of time, I’ll watch it. Tonight for example, the last few episodes are on Comedy Central and I am downing tools when it starts to watch it. Yeah, it could verge on weird but everyone has that one thing that they love watching. What is odd, is that it never gets boring. I don’t care that I’ve seen the entire series from start to finish a ridiculous amount of times, I don’t care that I know every episode word for word (something that annoys my Mrs on another level because I say them before the actors do) and I don’t care that I am a grown man who is clearly a bit of a weirdo where this program is concerned.
I am going to watch it later as I mentioned, beer in hand and masculinity in the bin. If you love Friends then let me hear your support, if you don’t then be gentle. I am a fragile soul if you can’t already tell…
I’ll be there for you if you tweet some support and Friends love using @Out_magazine or abuse me at email@example.com