Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

I’ll Be There for You

I’m having a little love affair with Friends right now.  You remember it, television show, defined the ’90s, last truly great sitcom.  Okay, we’re all together now.  Friends started in 1994, when I was the ripe old age of 10 (hadn’t quite turned 11 yet) and I vaguely remember it from then, though didn’t watch it.  I remember seeing the episode where Ross’ monkey can’t stop humping everything in sight (the first episode of Friends I ever watched), but I didn’t actually start watching Friends until I got a T.V. of my very own in the eighth grade (that would have been the Christmas of 1996).  I credit the acquiring of my very own television as the root of my love of t.v.  I had loved certain shows before, but I only watch three of them during the week (for those who are curious that would be 90210, The Simpsons, and Party of Five).  When I got my own t.v. the world was my cable box and I could watch t.v. all evening while doing copious amounts of homework.  This is when I started watching Must See T.V.  Ah, remember when NBC was putting out quality programming that didn’t involve Donald Trump or Howie Mandel?  I may have been the only person that watched nothing but NBC.  By this time my 90210 obsession had petered out and my WB obsession had not yet started, so I was strictly an NBC girl.  And Friends was the centerpiece of the week.  Thursday night was amazing.  Friends, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Will & Grace, Just Shoot Me, all staples of the Thursday Night line-up at some point in it’s amazing run.

I remember when Friends ended in 2004, I was living in London and I watched the series finale and cried like a baby (even though it was crappy).  I distinctly remember a conversation with Jewels where we realized that Friends had been on for exactly half of our lifetime.  It was surreal to think that, especially at age 20, when we felt so old (don’t yell, we did feel old).

But I realize now that I never really understood Friends.  It’s all part of this crazy post-collegiate world that I’m sorting through right now, but I’ve been watching Friends and relating to the characters in a way that I never have before.  When I was in High School and even college and watching Friends, it never occurred to me that this show had actually a basis in dealing with real stuff that people were actually going through.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Now, I’m not saying that Monica and Rachel’s apartment is, in any way, like any apartment that a waitress and a chef could actually afford, especially in New York City, especially now, but that’s not the point.  Because I hadn’t experienced that part of your twenties when you are a totally independent person, I never got that, though humorous, these were the things the early (read good) episodes of friends were dealing with.  Around your mid-twenties, when, in this age, you are still trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your life (Rachel and Chandler), trying to be successful at what you’ve chosen (Monica and Joey), trying to live your life on your own terms (Phoebe) or are starting in your adult life with things like marriage and babies (Ross), people experience a great amount of change and hardship, and Friends deals with that, and I never even knew.

I feel more and more bonded to characters like Rachel, Joey and Phoebe, who have no money and are either searching for what they want to do or trying to live the life they’ve chosen, whereas before I felt like more of a Ross or Chandler.  I mean, sure, I’m sarcastic and witty to hide the pain (much like Chandler Bing) but Joey’s a struggling actor who doesn’t give up, no matter how many rejections he gets.  I guess that is what makes a television show great.  Much like My So-Called Life or Freaks and Geeks, it doesn’t matter what generation watches these programs, if you are in High School, you relate.  Sure the clothes are a little dated, but really, who hasn’t felt those universal highs and lows that are outlined in a smartly written television show.

Some lines from Friends that were always funny, but I never really got:
“Who’s FICA, why’s he getting all my money?”  – Rachel Green

“Phoebe, do you have a plan?” – Monica Gellar
“I don’t even have a pluh.” – Phoebe Buffay

“Hey, you guys in the living room all know what you want to do. You know, you have goals. You have dreams. I don’t have a dream.” – Chandler

And my favorite:
” What are you doing?” – Ross Gellar
“Making chocolate milk. You want some?” – Chandler Bing
“No thanks, I’m 29.” – Ross Gellar

Peace, Love, and the Correct Number of Claps,


March 23, 2008 - Posted by | Comedy, Culture, Friends, High School, Hollywood, My So-Called Life, Television

1 Comment »

  1. Something about those shows makes them great even years down the line. I’ve recently been having a love affair myself, except mine is with My So Called Life. Why don’t they make ’em like that anymore?

    Comment by growlbert | March 24, 2008 | Reply

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