We’ve all seen people putting up Instagram stories about binge-watching Friends till the early hours of the morning only for them to arrive at school or their place of work completely sleep deprived and then bitch about how bad their day has started. Is Friends really that important to them?
The hype around Friends can be centred around some few major facets of the TV show. Primarily, the show first aired in the early 90s when things were pretty chill; so chill that huge apartments were affordable and so was coffee, since Starbucks wasn’t there. There were no bi-weekly school shootings or forest wildfires, with the absence of any dumb comments tweeted by Donal Trump Jr. Simplistically? It was basically a time when there were lesser worries regarding everything, which a lot of people want to achieve, given how bad this year has been going on.
It is this facet of the TV show that only did not attract millennials, but also did appeal towards the Gen-Z population. It’s a light hearted show that isn’t annoying like many of the sitcoms that are being aired nowadays, with it not focusing too much on the horrors of the outside world which has actually been a rarity regarding the times we find ourselves in currently.
Furthermore, the fact of it being a light-hearted chill sitcom doesn’t justify its hype, and we have the main cast to thank for that too. In the main cast, we see six people: A nerd who mistakes attention for love, an insecure boy with trust issues, a ladies’ man, one vegan, a control freak and one Daddy’s Little Princess. I mean, the cast does seem pretty diverse, doesn’t it?
This doesn’t stop here, since all of those characters have an annoying habit each that makes them the butt of everyone’s jokes, and that is one of the few factors that contributes towards the show being relatable. The nerd keeps having failed marriages, the insecure one is the clown who has commitment issues, the ladies’ man loves a meatball sub, the vegan can sometimes be extremely existential, daddy’s princess is mostly annoyed with her work, with the control freak having supreme culinary skills due to her being extremely obese during high school.
Being someone who had watched Friends just because they got tired of everyone saying how relatable it was, it actually was a few times, but extremely unrealistic too. They could afford huge two-bedroom apartments at minimum wage, have coffee every day for almost 10 years at their local barista and not actually go bankrupt.
Regardless of how the cast had been chosen, and how events ultimately unfold over a time span of literally a decade, the main facet that lies at the centre of the show is that the main cast lives together.
I mean, who doesn’t want to live with their best-friends in New York City during the 90s. Hanging out every Friday night having pizza and takeout, everyone playing silly board games, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas together, and basically being with each other through thick and thin. All of this is really what appeals to its viewers, that no matter how old you grow up, have a baby or get married, you will have your friends you’ve known for years by your side and they’ll look after you when you’re feeling down, with you doing the same for them.
This is the “It” factor for the show, the fact that 6 adults from entirely different walks of life live together and accept each other or who they are, and continue to live together having have gone through o much only because of going through it together with everyone having the others’ backs are what every person really needs in their lives.
The depiction of the show being synonymous with the trends that were being seen in the 90s was what really made the show take off during its initial years. Furthermore, due to the firm’s immense success in its preliminary years, it helped the directing and casting crews to rope in prominent stars for cameos for particular episodes or for multiple ones, ranging from Brad Pitt as Will, Jean Claude Van Damme as himself, and Denise Richards as the hot cousin. This particular roster of celebrity cameos ticked all the hype boxes for the show, generating even larger amounts of buzz than the previous seasons.
This is what really made the show reach the level it is still at, so much so that all the main cast of Friends still earns around $70 million annually in the form of royalties, and given its shift to HBO next year onwards will earn them even more money for something they started doing 30 years ago.
To conclude? Friends is still relatable since it offers a sense of comfort to its viewers, since the core basis of the show focuses upon a group of best-friends living in New York City during the 90s with relatable characters that have pizza together every Friday night and hang out almost all the time at a coffee shop, which is practically what everyone wants in their lives. This is what makes Friends what it is, and will continue to do so in the future.