Six friends. One TV show. Ten seasons. Two hundred thirty-six episodes. One time consuming challenge.
I used to watch random Friends episodes when it was on TV, but never followed it so closely that I would know what happened in different seasons. (Would have been difficult to follow the seasons since I was two when Friends came out. So I probably only started watching from the 5th season on.)
I only started watching whole seasons of TV shows when I started going to university. Beforehand I would only catch glimpses of episodes when they were running on TV. You can imagine how irregular that can be. So during my teenage years I never thought of catching up on Friends and refresh my memory. The only things I could actually remember were the Holiday Armadillo and that Rachel “stole” Monica’s name for the baby. Fun fact: For an embarrassing long time I did think that armadillos were related to Hanukkah… I was very young, okay.
I was very pleased with the challenge. This one would fall in the category of things I always wanted to do but never took time for. I decided to buy the box set because I didn’t want to deal with finding a stream for each episode and I sort of always had this fantasy of having the ten seasons sitting on one of my bookshelves.
Friends is a great show. (Which you probably know anyway.) It keeps being entertaining and the story still make sense after five seasons. Most of the series now rapidly reach a point when the story starts to be dull and repetitive. It seems like it should stop, nevertheless the writers still go on but don’t really know what to do about the characters and come up with some emergency story lines to fill up seasons.
With Friends I didn’t have that impression too much. Without any further thinking there were only three things that bothered me and I want to mention *spoilers…*:
1) The whole Rachel being pregnant by Ross without us or anyone knowing they slept together. (Was there a hint that they had sex?) It seemed to me like the writers needed a cliffhanger for the end of the 7th season and therefore made up that Rachel and Ross had slept together. When they sleep together at the end of the 10th season, Ross tells Joey and Phoebe “I am not the one to kiss and tell but I am also not the one to have sex and shut up”. So if they really had slept together in season 7, there would be a greater fuss about it, right? Both of them would probably freak out. I mean it would be a too important event to ignore from the story. I agree that knowing they slept together would ruin the season finale drama that Rachel is the one that is pregnant and not Monica and we don’t know who the father is. But wasn’t it obvious anyway?
2) The way Rachel and Joey’s relationship ended. Was there even an end to it?
3) Flashback Scenes and by this I don’t mean the flashback into the past with fat Monica, big nosed Rachel and afro Ross. Towards the end of the show there were a lot of episodes that were basically just filled with moments of previous episodes. Even if they were meant to induce some nostalgia and remind us of some funny scenes, after two montages of scenes it gets tiring.
I loved doing this challenge. It made me think a lot about relationships, especially friendship. There are a lot of aspects I’d loved the writers to have included but I guess they would not fit in a sitcom world. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Friends! It is in so many ways better than a lot of Tv Shows I watch and it is going to be one of my favourites! Unfortunately it is easier for me to point out the few negative points than to describe the many many good things.
Anyway, this was this week’s challenge! 7 done, 44 to go!