Friends TV Show Review

159799           I feel like Friends is one of those tv shows that transcends its era. You know, the ones that are relatable and/or funny years later, despite looking and being dated. Kinda like the X-files. And the fact that some of its actors have become big Hollywood stars (wassap Jennifer Aniston), definitely helps keep it more relevant than it would be otherwise. As a result, despite having run for and over 10 years ago, it still remains in current pop-culture (or at least for my generation it does). Hence, I’ve decided to talk about it today.

Friends, for those of you unaware (seriously tho, is there anyone really unaware about this series?), is about a group of friends living in New York, New York USA during the 90s. The core group consisted of bossy cleanliness freak and mother-hen Monica Geller, played by Courtney Cox, her nerdy goofy and unlucky-in-love older brother Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, the fantastically ridiculous Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow, the sarcastic everyman Chandler Bing, played by Matthew Perry, the out-of-touch fashionista Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, and the ditzy but loveable Joey Tribbiani, played by Matt LeBlanc. All episodes revolve around the situations the characters find themselves in, and/or about their lives and their general direction and how the characters adapt/ navigate. Nothing ground-breaking per se, but definitely enjoyable.

For me, the biggest plus point among this series, is the friendship shown between the main characters. They all just get along so well and the interactions among them are fantastic. Each character is so different and has a different viewpoint. But they all respect each other and listen to each other and just hang out. Honestly, Friends has one of the best descriptions of friendship shown on television (living up to its name I suppose LOL). It’s super fun to watch. Adding to the entertainment, is the comedy in this show. Some of the dialogue in this show is hilarious. Like laugh out loud hilarious. And a huge credit to that, not only goes to the writing, but also to the actors. I strongly believe that this show is a testament to the fact that good writing and good actors can create an absolutely great pair (both elevate each other).

And coming to the actors, David Schwimmer in particular comes to mind. I’ve yet to see someone with as hilarious physical comedy as him as Ross. Ross’s physical comedy is absolutely top notch. Whether it be the “unagi” or the leather-pants-with-lotion scenes, he just kills it and always brings the laugh. Another really reliably funny “friend,” was Chandler. His sarcastic one-liners and general wittiness really livened up the show. In fact, each character had stand-out lines and scenes that still remain iconic. Whether it be Joey’s “How you doin?” or “Joey doesn’t share food,” or even Pheobe’s “Smelly Cat” song or “phalanges,” they’re all super entertaining. However, what was also great, was the way how the show could also be so relatable. I mean, we’ve all probably suffered through crappy jobs, heartbreaks, unexpected situations, etc. And the shows funny take on them was great (that said, not all of the situations are relatable or even realistic LOL).

That said, there are definitely a few things about the show that definitely make me side-eye it and are not so flattering. One that immediately comes to mind, is the flanderization of Joey’s character. When Joey initially started out in the show, he was ditzy, there’s no doubt about that. But even with his ditziness, he had some knowledge. It was believable that someone like Joey could exist: ditzy but with some understanding of how the world/ things work. However, as the show went on, the writers end up really dumbing down Joey, to the point where it just became unbelievable, and I mean that literally. He became so dumb. While I found his dumbness enjoyable at some times, it was often annoying because of how unrealistic it was (and what a drastic change it was from the earlier seasons).

The second thing that I really dislike, is the lack of any people of colour. The show features a predominantly white cast. Which, I guess while not ideal, is ok. Yet, even then, there are literally no POC characters. It was so rare to see any POC, not just in side character roles, but even as bystanders (extras). I mean, NYC is not just filled with white people you know. There’s people of all different races and yet Friends made it seem like NYC was just populated with white people. It was kinda jarring to realize and definitely made me side eye the show.

And finally, some story-lines were not enjoyable. In my opinion, to the point where they actually brought down the quality of the show. Case in point: the Ross-Rachel will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am generally a fan of will-they-or-will-they-not relationships. I reviewed Bones a while ago, and in its earlier seasons, Bones was exactly that! Especially when it came to the relationship between the main leads. But in Friends, this plot was stretched way beyond the limit. To the point where I honestly did not care and just wanted it to end. Plus, it didn’t help that the two characters also behaved in some pretty unlikeable ways (Ross accidentally said Rachel’s name during his wedding vows to another woman…yikes!). And coming to Rachel, there was also an absolutely ludicrous “relationship” between her and Joey that made no sense whatsoever. Seriously. I’ve yet to meet a single person who doesn’t see that storyline as ridiculous.

However, despite its fault, Friends still remains pretty watchable. It reminds of me comfort food in some ways. Its certainly not the best show around. And there’s definitely been better shows made. Yet, even then, there’s just something so welcoming and comforting about it. If you’re sad, it makes you happy. If you’re bored, it gives you something to do. If you need to escape from life, it lets you. It’s just so consistently reliable, that you cannot help but get drawn into it.

My rating: watch it to enjoy a funny and likeable show, despite the fact that it has some faults and is quite dated

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4 thoughts on “Friends TV Show Review

  1. Great review. It is so nice to see someone criticise many elements of the show because majority just turn a blind eye to it and judge you because it’s not your all time favourite sitcom. I agree with you completely on dumbing down Joey. They did a similar thing with Eric in Boy Meets world(which also aired around the same time). I guess it was a trend back then that the cute guys are dumb(I think this was seen in Lizzie McGuire too) and I didn’t like the cliche either.

    The Ross-Rachel storyline was old and yea, I just wanted it to end. I personally, can’t stand Ross after mid season 2 and that’s the only reason I have never watched the entire series more than once. I watch scenes here and there as long as there’s hardly or no involvement of Ross. Turns out that I’m not the only one who feels that way. You should dive into the current fandom (see Tumblr or any other such sites) and you’ll find so much dislike towards Ross and many people prefer Rachel with Joey because of it. I guess that itself shows that the Ross-Rachel track was too stretched.

    My favourite is Chandler and Phoebe and I can never get enough of them. I love sarcastic humour and Phoebe is just…Phoebe. You can’t help but love them. Many preferred that she end up with Joey but Mike is so perfect for her. She’s weird in an adorable sort of way and apart from her group of friends Mike is the only one who can handle her.

    On the whole, it is a great show. I just hope that first timers don’t meet fans and get their expectation up because then they might not like the show so much. It happened to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading Lekha! And for agreeing with me on some parts 😉

      And yes, I actually know far too many people in real life who HATED Ross’s character LOL. I see you fall into that category haha. Personally, I think his comedy is the best though. Despite being so unlikeable for large parts of screen time, Ross (or by extension, David Schwimmer), is suuuper hilarious and I think it definitely helps me stomach him.

      And yah, Chandler is hilarious and so relatable! And agreed on Phoebe too! Although I will admit, I did find her slightly annoying sometimes, but just sometimes. And yes, you said it — Mike was perfect for Phoebe! I was so annoyed when he first showed up because I really wanted her to end up with David. But Mike was just so perfect for her eventually that I couldn’t help but like their pairing!

      And aww, sad to hear that your expectations weren’t met. But still glad that you enjoyed it (assuming you did since you said it’s a great show LOL)!

      Thank you for this wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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