On a lonesome Saturday evening I sat on my couch with a big bowl of popcorn and my favourite soda to catch up on the daily soaps. As I flipped the channels, I switched to Romedy Now, in hope of a rom-com showing, sadly they weren’t instead there was an rerun of the season 1 of the sitcom Friends. I was never a Friends junkie and had never caught a single show on air but i decided to give it a go since it has been the “IT SHOW” among many I know. With the laptop on my side and the Half Baked Voices’s email open, there was a deadline screaming at me and I was still indecisive about which topic to choose, so I did what I do best, I procrastinated.
About four episodes later I realized why people love this sitcom, because we identify ourself with them, be it the warm hearted Casanova Joey, Monica with her OCD complex, Pheobe’s past, an addiction like Chandler, socially awkward Ross and a lost soul like Rachel. I found myself feeling happy, sad, betrayed, stupid and a whirlpool of emotions, I felt like a part of the group.
I learnt a lot from the cast and story of Friends, Pheobe makes me feel its okay to be a little crazy, Chandler made me realize it’s okay to laugh at your own self, Rachel made me realize it’s okay to be materialistic if I’m good, Joey made me understand that its okay to show my sensitive side, Ross made me accept my inner nerd and Monica taught me it’s okay to want to control certain parts of my life. The show taught me that it’s the little things that make the big things matter. The fact that all the characters have their very own back story as well as an ongoing future connects us as viewers to the cast, we feel what they feel, we see ourselves in them, we are them. It is truly an ensemble cast. All the six main characters have their own back story and side story with interlinks all of them together so when ever we watch the show we can never imagine one without the other, it is almost like a vital part goes missing. Can you ever imagine F.R.I.E.N.D.S without Rachel or Pheobe or any other of the main character? I know I can’t.
Bonds. It defines Friends, bonds between the girls or the boys and bonds between them with bind them together. The girls aren’t bitchy or jealous, they don’t stab each other’s back but have each other’s back when the need arises. The men share a healthy relation with each other. They maybe nerdy, strong or nervous but they are always ready to step up when the world gets mean. The show’s tagline should be ‘Where quirky weds craziness to beget lunatic’, with Pheobe and her songs about the Smelly Cat and the Pervert Parade, Joey with his ‘how you doin’ and Ross marrying the lesbian, having a kid with her, getting engaged to another woman, taking Rachel’s name in the altar and finally ending up with 3 divorces. When these characters meet with girlfriends/boyfriends/jobs and the coffee the pandemonium created is priceless.
The life shown in New York, is not surrounded around Madame Tussaud’s or the Statue of Liberty but the normal life of any other person in the city. It has been created in the most realistic way with hiring and firing, hook up and break up and the aging. Life seems pretty awesome in the big apple.
The show also saw a great deal of celebrities making appearances in certain episodes during the ten seasons. Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Christina Applegate, Resse Witherspoon, George Clooney and many more have graced the sitcom with their presence.When we talk about comedy shows FRIENDS enter the discussion. The one liners and the situations are priceless and will make you smile for sure. Even the reruns are appealing for you tend to find something you missed out in the previous watches. Some of the one liners are “You can’t just give up. Is that what a dinosaur would do?” , “You don’t own a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at?”,” Aahh. Unagi.– ‘Aahh. Salmon Skin Roll.” But it hurts my Joey’s Apple. The “how you doin” “We were on a Break” and “Oh.. my…Gwaad” are trademarked to Joey, Ross and Janice.
Lastly, what I love about the show is that the cast never gives up on each other and neither do they give up on each other. they are with each other through the thick and thin and always help each other get back on their feet when the world turns mean. The money crisis or girl trouble of joblessness or family loss, the internal fall out, everything is put aside when a friend calls out for help. The one thing due to which the show still airs regularly even today is that it focuses on pure friendship.The series focuses on the troubles that will come with life. At college level the common belief is that we will meet someone, fall in love and be together happily ever after. The show in its pilot episode had the line, “welcome to the real world, it sucks’ The transition with every relationships be it love or family or friends or roommates or bosses life is shown throwing punches left right and center.
The adorable thing here is that the gang doesn’t stand tall always, they take the punches, fall down, pull each other up and dust themselves ready for life again. This makes it easier to relate to them for the phoniness is minimum with every character facing trouble one way or the other.
In the end I’d like to quote a few lines from the theme song with gives the sitcom meaning,
Its like you’have always been in second gear.
when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
even your year, I ll be there for you…
Your mother warned you there’ll be days like these
But she never told when the world has brought you down on your knees
Ill be there for you…