There were times when it brought laughter to our eyes yet it had moments which caused us to bawl our eyes out. What it brought to our television screen were anecdotes bubbling with happiness, the occasional bouts of sadness and most of all it brought stories of friendship right into the living room of its audience. F.R.I.E.N.D.S was a revolution of its time. Now it is a classic. Not only is it a favourite of our generation but it is a catalyst which has inspired major television hits of our time. It is not just a television show; it is life with its most beautiful, hilarious and downright wacky moments. So what is it that makes F.R.I.E.N.D.S one of the most amazing television shows of all times?
This show basically took the cauldron of human traits and fashioned its contents into six characters. They were unique yet they were an everyman. A huge chunk of the show’s success was owed to the fact that people somehow related to them. The audience saw themselves in their place even when they had never found themselves in the surreal situations that the characters found themselves in. This was the extent of their charms. They simply demanded the love that the audience showered on them. This brings us to another point about the show’s characters, and that is about their:
When talking about the show’s characters, it becomes essential to mention how well rounded their personality was. This does not mean that they were drawn out to be flawless. Actually, what I meant was that “perfection” in characters is what the show clearly steered away from. That was what worked and also that was also why it worked. They had their faults and they made mistakes. Their temperaments were not categorized as being either black or white or simply as being perfect or unchangeable. The writers were brilliant enough to acknowledge the shades of gray in the human psyche. They portrayed the characters as people who could be as vain, materialistic and eccentric as they were kind, supportive and helpful.
BECAUSE-HOW YOU DOIN’
Repetition is often the enemy of comedy. But when it comes to F.R.I.E.N.D.S, repetition was what the viewers looked forward to. From Joey’s one liners to Phoebe’s eccentric stories and Chandler’s sarcasm -these elements were what made the show what it was. Every time Ross was interrupted when he was telling one of his “dinosaur” stories or when Monica took out a vacuum cleaner to clean a vacuum cleaner or when Rachel just unconsciously indulged her materialistic side-all these moments were what the show was known an adored for.
THE ONE LINERS:
When Ross could just not get a break
Chandler’s advice giving ability
Oh.My.God-I think this one describes itself
F.R.I.E.N.D.S had one-liners which defined the characters. No one but the characters themselves could pull them of. Also, they were pretty unforgettable:
This cat is now part of history
People related to the image of friendship on the show-an image in which the characters did not only laugh at each other but they laughed at themselves. The friends in the show fought and cried together. They hurt and stood by each other. This friendship in the show was something that everyone has experienced at some time in their lives yet it had something special. It was the kind of friendship that could laugh at itself-and there is nothing more endearing than that.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S was a show that was not made to be restricted to any particular time period. Neither was it made for a specific age group. It was produced to be universally laughter inducing. That it could be watched and enjoyed by anyone and everyone made it stand out from other television shows that were restricted to a target audience.
Yes, a coffee shop may not be something that will be referred to in a critical reading but I believe it was as necessary to mention it as it was to mention the name of the show itself. Central Perk- it was the place where friendship was both cemented and tested. It was the place where all the characters could meet in an equal space despite being from different walks of life. Through the trials of their lives, it was that one thing that was stationary. It held a promise that no matter where they go, there was a place which was their very own. The show ended with the friends going to Central Perk for the last time. It was symbolic-of their hope to step into the future while still being tied to the past. It can only be described as iconic.
It is a television show which has incurred in its audience a vast multitude of emotions. As mentioned before, viewers have laughed and cried along with this show’s characters. Now this show is something that triggers nostalgia. It is the show that is as much of this generation as it was of the previous one or as it will be for the one to come. It can be said for sure- F.R.I.E.N.D.S was a television revolution which transcends time.
Written By- Titksha Devrani