"a few weeks ago, i got drunk and wrote an essay about "friends.""
the next day, i sobered up and proofread it.
i swiped the first few paragraphs, but there's a link to the full thing at the bottom if you wanna keep reading it.
The One With All the Loneliness (an embarrassingly earnest essay about the syndicated television show, "Friends")
Sometimes when I canít sleep, I turn on the television. Call me crazy, but itís reassuring to hear some other voices in the room. My problem with sleep is the vulnerability. I lie in bed, eyes closed, preparing for sleep, and I am forced to confront a final moment; at some point, I will lose consciousness, and I donít know what will happen to me next. What or who I am afraid of, I canít be certain, but sometimes it keeps me awake for hours on end. Itís a scary thing to confront for sure, but I always feel a little braver when thereís a familiar somebody beside me to help me fill the space.
And when nobody is around, I just start watching reruns of Friends.
Watching Friends†is like visiting an alternate universe that is refreshingly removed from the sometimes-sad world of adulthood. Here the real world, our closest friends are scattered all across the country. We are geographically separated from each other; as we all pursued our careers, got married and started families, meetings became more and more infrequent as life got in the way. Getting together used to require little more effort than a phone call and an offer to grab lunch. Now it requires weeks of planning and significant monetary expense. So whenever we do see our buddies from the good-old days, we canít help but feel a tinge of regret for the way we used to be. Itís not that the past was really all that perfect, but at least we were together. Here in reality, as we begin to become aware of our age, we start to look back on the times when we were all together as a sort of golden era-- a magical time where all of your closest friends lived within walking distance.
In the world of Chandler, Joey, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe, life never got in the way of the things that we grew to miss the most. They hardly ever spend any time at all working at their jobs. Whenever they get promoted, they never have to move to a new city. They constantly bump into each other at the coffee shop, and there is always time to waste time in Monicaís apartment....
>I haven't seen Friends since becoming a full-fledged adult, so >those observations never occurred to me, but I can definitely >se that being a big part of the show's appeal.
i only got into it recently. somebody lended me the box set. i just finished up the series a few weeks ago. there were so many things i loved about the show. i kinda want to write about all the things the writers did well, because i have so much to say.
7. "There's a kind of warmth to those types of 90's sitcoms..." In response to Reply # 0
...that makes it the perfect backdrop for falling asleep to, or for lulling my brain whilst unwinding after work. They're television's answer to comfort food I guess. Most sitcoms these days don't have that sort of affect for me. They might be oh-so-clever, but they're not all that comforting.
10. "SEE ALSO: frasier" In response to Reply # 7 Sun Mar-10-13 01:30 AM by Joe Corn Mo
>...that makes it the perfect backdrop for falling asleep to, >or for lulling my brain whilst unwinding after work. They're >television's answer to comfort food I guess. Most sitcoms >these days don't have that sort of affect for me. They might >be oh-so-clever, but they're not all that comforting.
i know exactly what you're talking about. i can't even put my finger on what it is.
but it feels more like you are hanging out with the characters on the show as opposed to just watching it.
12. "i completely understand" In response to Reply # 7
> They might >be oh-so-clever, but they're not all that comforting.
actually this is why i like that Parenthood show (even tho its not a sitcom). yeah the Bravermans get put through the ringer but overall you it's gonna be okay. it might not be this episode, or the next episode, but it's gonna come back around. and you're gonna feel good about it.
9. "this was a fine line the writers walked. " In response to Reply # 8 Sun Mar-10-13 01:26 AM by Joe Corn Mo
>...speaking of. Was there a particular reason why Monica >turned into a bitch after season 5?
at a certain point, each of the characters ran the risk of becoming caricatures. and to a certain extent, they did...
joey became dumber, ross became more of a weirdo, monica became more of shrill...
but what's interesting to me is that the writers managed to make it so that you never really started to dislike any of the friends.
they let people fall into their archetypes without letting them become one-dimensional characters...
like when pheobe carried her brother's twins. that could have been a story arc that seemed implausible, but it was played in a way that showed it as an act of selflessness, which made eccentric pheobe seem sweet.
and they helped pheobe become a real person by having her settle down with a perfectly normal guy.
the writers walked a fine line because they had to make sure that all of the characters stayed funny... so they played to their stock traits for laughs. which means that traits like monica's competitiveness became more pronounced.
but they humanized her by hinting at the fact that her OCD traits were a reaction to the fact that she was a fat kid that couldn't control her impulse to eat that was always in the shadow of her brother ross.
sometimes, the writers made a few missteps. monica was sometimes a bit of a shrew. but ultimately, in the end... you always liked all of the characters to the very end.
you were happy to see them succeed, and even when the show started to leave realism behind in order to play to the audience for laughs, you still felt the characters were honest and real.
the show never jumped the shark. you still liked monica and chandler as a couple.
i know what you are saying, but it never bothered me.
11. "good stuff." In response to Reply # 0 Sun Mar-10-13 03:47 AM by BrooklynWHAT
i've caught a lot of Friends in the past year in syndication.
i used to think it was a garbage ass show growing up, but as a young adult it just fits in my life really well.
i've never been short for company, but i wouldnt say i have many people i'd call friends. so it was wild to me when over xmas break i hung out w/ 2 of my best friends growing up, and it hit me that i didn't know anything about these people anymore. and the only thing we could really talk about was shit that happened back in high school. because we've all been on the go doing our own shit at school trying to get careers off the ground. it took damn near 4 years for us to be in the same place at the same time again. real life sucks.
13. "Damn. I can dig all this." In response to Reply # 0
Friends is still the one sitcom that I can keep going back to and still be entertained. If I'm bored and just flipping through channels I will not hesitate to stop on Friends.
It's still quite surreal to me nowadays to see commercials for like Cougartown and whatever Matt Perry's doing now, since they look so... much... older. And Matt Le Blanc looks like a grandpa. It's weird for me to even type their real names since their TV personas are ingrained so deep in my head.
And I will always be Team Jennifer. Fuck Angelina.
18. "RE: Damn. I can dig all this." In response to Reply # 13
>It's still quite surreal to me nowadays to see commercials for >like Cougartown and whatever Matt Perry's doing now, since >they look so... much... older. And Matt Le Blanc looks like a >grandpa. It's weird for me to even type their real names >since their TV personas are ingrained so deep in my head. >
16. "That reminded me of my after school days" In response to Reply # 0 Sun Mar-10-13 10:39 PM by Nodima
I knew the schedule for syndication in the summer like clockwork. It went two episodes of Saturday Night Live and two episodes of Kids in the Hall on Comedy Central then Fresh Prince, Friends and Seinfeld bouncing back and forth off each other on Fox/WB/TBS. It was just glorious after school TV watching. Friends and Fresh Prince were like the comfort block in between all the pure insanity.
19. "i used to think that syndicated tv shows were new. " In response to Reply # 16
>I knew the schedule for syndication in the summer like >clockwork. It went two episodes of Saturday Night Live and two >episodes of Kids in the Hall on Comedy Central then Fresh >Prince, Friends and Seinfeld bouncing back and forth off each >other on Fox/WB/TBS. It was just glorious after school TV >watching. Friends and Fresh Prince were like the comfort block >in between all the pure insanity. >
when my mom told me "bewitched" and "i dream of gennie" were old shows, my mind was blown.
but i feel you on the after-school tv watching. it's as ingrained in my childhood memories as the NES.