Is F.R.I.E.N.D.S overrated or worth the hype?

Khevna.P.Shah, INN/Bangalore

@Shahkhevna1, @Infodeaofficial

Is F.R.I.E.N.D.S really overrated or is it worth the hype and praise? I will leave it up to y’all to decide at the end of this article.

The sitcom was aired first in the year 1994 in the U.S, revolving around the lives of six friends – Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Pheobe, and Rachel in New York in their twenties, taking the audience through the ups and downs of their relationships, friendships, and professional lives.

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The basic idea behind the series was to construct a group of tightly knitted friends or perhaps a chosen family who support and love you through the rollercoaster of your lives. It also gave a whole new meaning to adulthood.

When the show premiered,  from the theme song, “I’ll be there for you”, the iconic Rachel haircut to Joey’s catchphrase, “How you doin’?” instantly became famous not only in the US but also internationally. It also major contributed to the coffee culture around the world.

Each character had its own quirks and moments, but all the fourteen writers made sure the characters were given equal screen time and none of the other characters overpowered the other. It was a story of all the six friends.

This series made you learn many important aspects of life very easily like Friendship, unconditional love, sarcasm, dating, respecting people’s decisions, and love people for who they are, and support them in what they want to be. The show was way too progressive and ahead of its time.

Some people believe that the sitcom had an unrealistic plotline, calling it dull-witted, offensive dialogues towards the LGBTQ+ community, and fat-shaming. But before throwing these allegations on the show ad holding them against the writer, the audience needs to keep in mind that the show aired in the 90s, the period when gay rights were not recognized by the US government. For the show to be a huge success, the writers had to focus on the audience’s liking in the 90s because after all the running of the shows depends on the audience’s demands. It is only recently, the people are cautious about fat-shaming and aware of the LGBTQ+ community.

But despite all these differences, FR.I.E.N.D.S  was the first-ever sitcom to telecast the lesbian wedding on national television, which surprisingly was accepted positively by the audiences. Apart from that, it was highlighted three important aspects which were considered taboo during that time, and sometimes even now.  Rachel raising her child as a single parent, Phoebe being a surrogate, Monica adopting a child, and Ben being raised by a loving lesbian couple. These choices are still questioned and sometimes because of these women are looked down on in society.

But again not that the show is perfect, it did had transphobic and homophobic jokes which are raising issues and questioning the integrity of the show.

This show plays a perfect escape into your fantasy world, allowing you to forget reality for few moments. Well, sitcoms, are about escaping from the reality and shouldn’t necessarily be compared with real life, though a few scenes, jokes, and situations may be relatable. It gave the audience major and iconic friendship duos, like Monica and Rachel, Joey and Pheobe, and also sibling goals- Monica and Ross.

The show gave us some amazing, recurring and unforgettable characters like Janice, Mr. Heckles, Gunther and also some famous celebrities cameo-like Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Bruce Wills, Billy Crystal, and Robin Williams,

FR.I.E.N.D.S aired in the year 1999 in India and became people’s favorite immediately. It was used to learn English among the Indians. The show was a great hit in India because, in the ’90s and early 2000s, not many movies and shows at that time were not able to portray the youth’s friendships and experiences sincerely.

This mainly relates to the adults because the story revolves around characters in their ’20s to ’30s. It connects even today because the struggles of adulthood are still the same.

At this age, you struggle in life professionally, and personally both, and family is not that compatible with you as your friends are. There are ups and down with a job and with relationships. Finding the right bunch of people at this crucial period is a blessing and if you find them, you are endowed. Every episode cherishes a new struggle and the blessing of a friend in life.

The show did leave us with high expectations of friendship and independence. But the constant interference of the character’s parents did bring us back to reality. The characters played by Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Swimmer, Matt Leblanc, and Mattew Perry are still memorable and loved by all.

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