Friends: Still Hungover Over It!

 

Introduction
It has been twelve years to the end of an American television sitcom which took the whole world along its tides of laughter, love, romance and most importantly, friendship. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. started in 1994 with a script that focused on six people in their late twenties hanging out in a coffee house. Twenties, a time in everybody’s lives when we believe anything and everything is possible and where life is also quite uncertain. This show mostly focused on friends who have each other’s backs in times of need and their journeys towards later phase of lives. The idea was conceptualized by David Crane and Marta Kauffman who envisaged the idea near around the point when they had completed college. They had begun living on their own in New York and Kauffman mostly believed this time to be “more of a question mark”. They thought this concept was going to appeal to all age groups because they believed that everyone in their lives goes through this phase. "It's about sex, love, relationships, careers, a time in your life when everything's possible. And it's about friendship because when you're single and in the city, your friends are your family."(David Crane, Marta Kauffman and Kevin Bright). F.R.I.E.N.D.S. ran successfully for ten seasons over ten years with the average number of viewers being 23.61 million. (Checkout our collection of Friends T-Shirts India)


Will we ever get bored of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.?
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. started with six friends in their late twenties in New York. Two of them, Ross and Rachel whose lives just turned upside down with Ross getting divorced by his estranged lesbian wife and Rachel leaving her fiancé on the altar. The show portrays Monica as clean freak who is searching the right guy to date while Chandler and Joey try to help Ross get over his divorce. Meanwhile, Phoebe constantly points out how she grew up in the most tragic way after her mother killed herself and her step-father went to prison. The most important thing about the show that sets right from the beginning is that it brought out the realities of life in a subtly hilarious way. This show brings out light comedy in the form of everyday scenarios of six people trying to do the best in their life among all the uncertainties that come their way, which is not very different from what we face on an everyday basis. The show didn’t just show that bonding between the characters, it also showed the failures that each of them faced and how they embraced it. The show was bold enough to show how the characters sometimes lost their jobs, failed at their love lives and handled awkward situations poorly. And that mostly, appealed to the viewers because, who hasn’t been through that! One of the classic lines which is said by Monica after she persuades Rachel to cut all her fancy credit cards “Welcome to the real world. It sucks” is also hinting at reality. Maybe, we don’t poke a ugly naked guy with a giant poking device made up of chopsticks, maybe we don’t get married to our best friend in Vegas while being drunk and maybe we don’t raise rats in a shoebox but somehow, we could all relate this amazing show because of its most comprehendible situations and we found parts of ourselves in the characters portrayed. Hence, I would like to reflect on the characters on the show.

Chandler Bing, hopeless and desperate for love as he is, remains in an on and off relationship with Janice who brings out the laughter in the audience because of her cacophonic laugh and her classic “Oh. My. God.” Chandler never fails to impress us with his one-liners which are not only interesting and keeps us hooked but also hilarious.
Chandler and Joey are roommates, however, their friendship is something that is most loved on the show. Who doesn’t want a best friend as they are! He finally wounds up in an epic relationship with Monica which started out as meaningless sex to comfort each other.

Phoebe Buffay is the most eccentric of all the characters. Among her bizarre sense of fashion, exhilarating song writing abilities and comical manner of handling situations, Princess Consuela Banana Hammock, a.k.a., Regina Phalange will definitely compel you to see this show again and again. Her confidence is exhilarating and she is the creator of the song “Smelly Cat” which is her signature song among all her other songs. Even though she might not be the best singer out there or her lyrics mayn’t make perfect sense or her voice might be irritating, she never stopped following her passion and went on to produce music videos. Her passion and the way she sings her hear out with all her emotions makes her songs quite fascinating. She has been portrayed as a very compassionate, charitable and selfless character which is inferential after she agreed to be the surrogate mother for her brother and let the love of her life go to Minsk because it was good for him. Most importantly, she never failed to make us laugh. PAGE 4

Joey Tribbiani - an Italian-American who is an aspiring actor is adored because of his kind-heartedness and loyalty that he portrays towards his friends. Although, he is portrayed as promiscuous as well as stupid, but these features bring out the child and humour in him and that’s what makes us love him even more. He is portrayed as someone who loves his food, especially meatball sub sandwiches and pizzas. He is charming in every way possible with his classic pick up line being “How you doin?”

Monica Geller an amazing chef is shown as a person who is competitive and is overly obsessive about cleanliness. And, in this spirit of competitiveness, once, she bet her apartment to Chandler and Joey in return for them to get rid of their rooster and duck, but lost in the end. She used to be fat during her early age and had acquired the name “Big Fat Goalie”. She had a topsy-turvy love life where she once dated a billionaire and then, an ophthalmologist among many others who was her father’s friend before ending up with Chandler. Monica always remained the host throughout the ten seasons. She showed immense courage when she motivates Chandler to quit the job he hated and supported him in every way possible. She and Chandler also adopted twins in the last season after finding out that they can’t have kids.

Ross Geller is the brother of Monica Geller and is a palaeontologist. Their parents are proud him. Ross and Monica are portrayed as very competitive from their childhood. Instances on the show include fighting for The Geller Cup which was hosted every Thanksgiving since childhood as well as wrestling in their childhood. He had an incessant need to correct people for their wrong usage of English. He was amazingly funny on the show due to various reasons like overdoing his spray tan because he couldn’t count mississippilessly, over-whitening his teeth, wearing a ladies shirt, among a lot others. His on-again and off-again relationship with Rachel kept us hooked to the show. He had a crush on Rachel since high school but never acted on it till he was divorced by his lesbian wife. He has dated quite a number of women in the show and has been married and divorced three times equally. That bagged him the title “Ross: The Divorce Force”. He, at the end of the show, gets back together with Rachel which was the perfect ending to the show.

Rachel Green started out as a rich, naïve girl who left her fiancé at the altar and lived with her high school best friend, Monica. Her on-again and off-again relationship with Ross kept us asking for more. The show portrayed Rachel with a bigger nose in her childhood which she later reduced by surgery. She showed impeccable courage when she wore a cheerleading outfit in her late twenties to impress a guy. She also married Ross in season 6 after both of them were drunk. She was terrible at cooking and one fine Thanksgiving Day, she made an English trifle with ladyfingers, custard, jam and beef which according to Ross tasted like feet. She and Ross have a baby at the beginning of season 8 and both of them end up together which all the audiences could ever hope for! PAGE 8

CONCLUSION
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. doesn’t just have one magic ingredient that makes it this successful, it is the combination of a lot of elements. Be it the eccentricity of Phoebe or the dim-wittedness of Joey or the best supporting cast or best possible the script written, the show has touched a million hearts in ways undefinable. The show might be a source of relaxation for some, while for others it’s a way of life. It has been showcased over the years after the series finale in 2004 again and again, not just because it’s fun to watch but also because it’s hands down one of the best shows in the history of television.


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