Curled up in a blanket, armed with my edible arsenal of roasted peanuts and last night’s pizza with cheese crackers- I binge on F.R.I.E.N.D.S with a bittersweet nostalgia for the 90s. I consider myself a 90s kid even though I was born in 1997 and I don’t think I’d have processed much during my infancy. And F.R.I.E.N.D.S. stands for that glorious era when we were yet to be invaded by the mustard dollop of hair and tissue that is Donald Trump. (My heart goes out to America)
It pains me to admit that I stumbled upon this show in 2016 when Comedy Central began airing all the seasons. (God bless you CC) But hey, better late than never! It changed my life, or rather became an alternate way of living for me. My escape. My cave. My retreat.
Now when people ask me the reasons as to why I’m devoted to this show, I produce a meticulous list with an unintelligible font. It’s been more than a decade since the last episode, but it just feels like yesterday that I was feeling every emotion with the characters-riding a wave of emotions that never betrayed or burdened me. It only lifted me up during the hardest times of my life. F.R.I.E.N.D.S is not a show for me. It’s a reality that I have lived, drunk and dreamt for nights in a row.
So without much ado, here are my reasons-
1. The only show in which EVERY character becomes a part of you. Every character represents an essential feature of all humans. And the only show where I can’t dare pick a favourite lest I betray the times the other characters comforted me. Chandler’s wit and insecurities, Monica’s perfection and inferiorities, Ross’ dorkiness and selfless love, Phoebe’s way of living and nonchalance, Joey’s mannerisms and unrequited love for Rachel and Rachel’s evolution as a character. I love them in equal measures.
2. The acting skills. OMFG. Who would have thought Joey (Matt LeBlanc) could be THAT good in romantic scenes where no humour was involved? When he realises Rachel doesn’t love him- the teary eyes, the slight convulsion of regret, the breathlessness. Millions cried with the guy who made everyone laugh with the greatest catchphrase of ALL TIME- How you doin’
3. Humour beyond its times. Be it the physical comedy by Ross, or Phoebe’s inability to understand sarcasm in general – F.R.I.E.N.D.S has it all. And this point is incomplete without Chandler Bing who is hands-down the funniest character on TV in ages.
4. The sheer amount of gorgeousness. Jennifer Aniston’s style is something that we all have appreciated at some point or the other. In fact, every character is beautiful physically AND emotionally. I have to admit I’m slightly partial to Rachel because of the summer dresses during season 6 and the remarkable ability of looking sexy while delivering a baby. No, that IS NOT CREEPY. THAT IS A COVETABLE TALENT.
5. The opening song. I still sing it in the shower. Hehe.
“Your job’s a joke. You’re broke. Your love life’s D.O.A… I’ll be there for you.”
6. Addressing social issues. The fact that all the 3 female protagonists are shown having babies with unconventional methods reinforces this. Phoebe’s surrogacy, Rachel’s single motherhood and Monica’s adoption. Wowza! Gravity of nature and boundless humour. What else could humans possibly ask for?
I have many, many more reasons. But these will suffice for now.
In Chandler’s voice – Could I BE any more in love?