The older I get, the more I understand all the hype about Friends. Though I’m still a bit younger, I’m now in close to the same place in life that the Friends were when the series began. I’m a couple of years out of college and I’m seeking direction for my career. My idea of a good time is conversation over a cup of coffee. And, much like the Friends, a close friend is like a family member to me.
Some critics have argued that the show’s title is a misnomer. True friends don’t kiss one another’s girlfriends. They don’t date, break up, date, break up, get married, divorce, kiss, get pregnant, date…. People are certainly entitled to their opinions. I know it would hinder my relationships if my closest friends were in these situations. But it’s interesting to note that their friendships endure those trials. In that way, they’re a lot like family. No matter what comes between family members, they still share those genetic bonds (like it or not).
That was part of the concept for the show, according to its creators. They wanted to make something that reflected their experiences in their 20s – a time, they said, when your friends are your family.
I can relate to that. Though I’ve always had family within a few hundred miles, it’s been a blessing to take comfort in the friendship of those who were standing beside me. Unfortunately, those friends become more geographically distant as I age.
There, I can understand why reviewers were so quick to accuse the show’s fans of wanting to be these characters. Different as we are in many ways, they have something I want: stability.
Have you noticed that neither Monica nor Joey* move during the show’s entire ten year run? Sure, the others play a game of musical apartments, but that sense of sameness is maintained by the occupation of apartments 19 and 20.
I’m tired of moving. I don’t like that my closest friends are scattered across the country. I would give so much for a purple apartment and a local coffee shop in which to maintain those ties.
*except when they traded apartments after the bet, which never should’ve happened anyway. Who bets an APARTMENT? And yes, I do realize that it was Monica’s fault.