Love it or hate it, you can't ignore the sitcom Friends. This series was the gateway which six people used to enter our lives and taught us a thing or two about love and friendship. They had a little something for everyone, seemed to move on easily, and in the process, always made us believe that we could make it through. Ah, such blinding positivity and possibilities.
Today, we're spoilt for choices when it comes to iconic sitcoms, yet Friends still holds a special place. On this day in 1994, the first episode was aired and it changed our lives forever. Even though the industry has evolved, and yes, better shows have arrived, Friends will always be the show that took care of nuances like never before, taught us that things do turn ugly, and also that life can go on.
It came as a forewarning about what our 20s can be like.
I agree it never explored the depths of our depravation, but somehow showed us that being broke-beyond-redemption is an actual phase. But, at the same time, we were also shown that no matter how broke, a good support system will always help you through. They managed to make these days seem important, and now we know the best things are made of cheap thrills.
It taught us that having a quarter-life-crisis was okay. And that it's hard work to find a footing in your professional life.
Millenials seem to be going through the stages of life a lot faster than the previous generation. And this was the first show that taught us that it was fine if you got stuck once in a while. When Chandler left his job to start over with something absolutely new, or when Rachel took up a sucky waitressing job just to pay the bills, or whenever Joey was persistent with his attempts at acting, everything rang a bell somewhere, and we could all relate.
And because we saw this while growing up, it somewhere gave us the balls to leave a dead end job, and look for new avenues. Maybe a little harder this time.
It was a versatile show. We had not one, but six lead characters.
The show did not just focus upon the love life of Ross and Rachel or Chandler and Monica. No single episode was about one person either. There was a different plot for almost each episode, and it reached completion with all of them having a role to play. All those six characters were leads, and we have identified with each of them at one point or another.
It taught us about breakups and that undignified behaviour that will only embarrass you.
Ah, Rachel behaving like a maniac after each breakup, her seething jealousy for all the women Ross dated after her, Ross's constant insecurity. All of this taught us that it's human to be a little unhappy when an ex moves on. Like the closing chapter of everything endearing, it hurts. It also taught us that assumptions are the worst things you can jump to when 'with someone'. Things need to be out there.
It taught us that it's possible to have a family away from home.
Some wise person once said, "You cannot choose your family, but you can choose your friends," and this series taught us all exactly that. For all the festivals you cannot go home for, for all the birthdays that you have to be away from your family, you can choose a set of people who will be your support system. When it gets too hard to carry on, your squad will always be there to fall back on.
This series deserves our heartfelt gratitude for everything it taught us and much more. From Chandler's sarcasm to Ross's obsession with dinosaurs, from Rachel's love for fashion to Monica's frenzy with cleanliness, from Joey's monogamous relationship with food to Phoebe's 'flaky' comebacks, it's given us twenty two years of comedy and still counting. Here's to the best series that happened to our childhood.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for happening!