The magic ingredients – just how did they do it?
There are so many things that make Friends the delicious success that it is and continues to be. How can it be 20 years since this first lit up our screens and our hearts? Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that this TV juggernaut has surpassed generations and made the six actors global superstars. One of my friends is ten years younger and yet we quote this show all day long at each other. There seems to be a friends-ism for literally every situation.
It does seem to be permanently on. And even though I own every single episode on DVD boxset, when Friends is on, I can’t seem to switch channel. Like a moth to the flame, I select it, and watch it, for the umpteenth time, it all its TV glory – such is the gravitas it possesses. And Friends just keeps on giving. Something you found funny the first time, you will keep finding funny. And that’s no mean feat.
The creators have recently said that ‘Friends is about that time in your life when your family are your friends’ – this was Marta Kauffman talking about why she wouldn’t revitalise the show for a comeback movie (which is desperately wanted by the fans) because ‘that time has passed for the sixsome.’
Friends is literally the dream. I lived it at university. I embodied it when living abroad. When I lived in New York – I would come home, open my dorm room and my two cool neighbours (and who became my best friends) would gravitate to my room like magnets finding metal.
Whit would go on my laptop as hers was broken and Lis would watch my TV as it was big. We would slouch together on my bed. And we would all chat. And I loved it. There was something so cool, comforting and awesome about it all.
Living with the people you choose to surround yourself with, really is a joy to behold. At uni, my bloke neighbours really would come and help themselves to the food in my fridge. There really were heartbreaks, and inter group relationships and falling outs and meeting family, but mostly it was fun, carefree, golden years.
This scenario alone though, could not have ensured the show’s staying power.
So just what is the secret to its everlasting success?
I literally cannot stress this enough. I know they had copious writers – and it shows. Your actors are only as good as the writing – and in this case it is pure gold. Funny, witty, biting, snappy and well considered. Bravo guys, seriously.
I may have just made up this word. Oh well. Friends has such a broad spectrum. It really does appeal to anyone – mostly because we have all lived through those situations which are familiar to most of us. Also, it is about one of our most satisfying human activities – hanging with your friends.
This would not have worked if the characters were all douchebags.
The fact is they are all flawed, but they have ridiculously warm hearts (pre possessing aortic pumps, anyone?) and would do anything for each other. Awww.
Rooting for the underdog
Let’s be honest – they all have their issues. Chandler is damaged goods but witty and sarcastic. Could he BE any more endearing? (sorry)
Joey is pretty but dumb. Sorry I mean pretty dumb..
Ross is Geek central and was in the friend zone for a long time. Bam – 9 years later he had Rachel.
Rachel was the spoilt princess who didn’t have a clue about the real world. She had to go get one of those ‘job things.’
Monica is the OCD personified that lives in all of us – but she really is the glue that holds the group together.
And Phobe? Well she’s off her rocker. Proving that patience is a virtue and maybe we’ll find her at Flimbys..
Thanks for the music Bright, Kauffman, Crane.. thank you for the words.
Friends is the equivalent of a hot chocolate or a Sunday roast. Comforting, satisfying and so enjoyable you want to repeat it every week.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, Warner brothers, has released a 236 second clip of the all the episodes smooshed together. Enjoy