Arushi Sinha - 55 weeks ago
Friends completes its 25th year anniversary on September 22nd and here’s how I, a millennial, connected with the characters, almost binge-watching it in my free time.
(Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in a still from Friends)
The show revolves around the lives of six friends - Ross, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler - who grow close enough to call each other family by the end of the tenth season, which also turned out to be the last season of the much loved sitcom drama. It's a series that depicts realistic friendships, relationships, career struggles, family and other problems that one can relate to in their day-to-day life. But more than the series, it is the characters that leave a lasting impression on the minds of the viewers. Here’s how:
Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) - A man who’s had terrible luck when it comes to love and relationships, Ross has so much love to give - be it a potential love or to someone he considers family. Often misunderstood but of course, not without flaws, all he wants is to find love with the one person he has been infatuated with since high school - Rachel. However, unusual yet hilarious circumstances prevent him from doing so till the end of the season. He has been in the docks several times throughout the series but the endearing thing about him is that he also owes those mistakes. It’s easy to connect with him as he remains a sensitive man at heart; he knows he just needs to meet his friends whenever he feels down or when something doesn’t go right in his life. After all, who do we cosy up to whenever we’re upset?
Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) - She initially comes across as a bossy perfectionist with an OCD and this has been portrayed quite predominantly throughout the show. However, instead of bringing her down for it, her friends accept it as a part of her and attentively listen to her complaints. They might tease her for it, but it’s almost always in a playful manner without any demeaning intention. If the show was set in today’s generation, she would be classified as a “mom-friend”. I connect with her character for this very reason. Being protective about those she cares about, wanting nothing but the best for her ‘family’ and putting others before self, Monica comes across as a kind person who wants nothing but true love and happiness. She discovers that sense of belonging in Chandler and her adopted twins at the end of season ten.
(Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in a still from Friends (1994)
Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) – ‘A womanizer with a heart of gold’ sums up this character perfectly. With his famous pick-up-line “How you doin’?” and that classy smirk, Joey won over the hearts of men and women alike during its ten season run. Even though he is a flirt who has been with numerous women, Joey has no malicious intentions. A little slow at times, such as the moments when he doesn’t realize when his friends are being sarcastic, Joey manages to represent the caring and loving nature that all of us possess deep down. Joey is one character who deserves the world because he is empathetic, loving and charming as well.
Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) - With sass and sarcasm rolling off of him in waves that can be felt through the screen, Chandler and his dark sense of humour is relatable in a world where memes and “dank humour” is considered lit! He may seem like a character who is practical and has more common sense than the rest, but at the end of the day he remains a fallible human. And making mistakes is humans second nature. With an ex-girlfriend in Janice, addiction to smoking and a past where his parents are divorced, there are scenes in the series which depict Chandler’s trauma regarding the events considerably well (the episodes following Rachel and Ross going on a break for the first time. It reminds him of his parents’ divorce). His friends help him get over his addiction.
(Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in a still from Friends)
Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) - A character that was off to a rocky start initially, in my opinion. This is also due to the fact that she came across as a spoiled brat who ran away from her wedding. It made her look materialistic aided by her background in which she is shown as a grown woman who has apparently learned no skills that could equip her to survive in the real world. She is involved in an on-again-off-again relationship with Ross throughout the series but she refuses to acknowledge that she is at fault, blaming Ross for everything that goes wrong in their relationship. She struggles to work as a waitress in the Central Perk coffee shop, then finds a job at Bloomingdale’s which is apparently something she wanted and then leaves the job when she gets one of her dreams in Paris, ultimately leaving it for Ross at the end of the series.
Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) – Phoebe has a dark past. Her mother had committed suicide and thus was forced to take to the streets along with her twin sister, Ursula - with whom she shares a strained relationship. Phoebe’s peculiar behavior and strange songs are, in a way, justified. With a unique sense of humour and ill-luck of sorts, Phoebe is nevertheless loved by her friends and is accepted wholeheartedly - quirks and flaws included. She is ready to do whatever she can for the people she loves, to the extent that she becomes a surrogate for her step-brother.
What really stands out about this show is the fact that it has been 25 years and the show is still watched and loved by people belonging to every age group. The cast members - David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc - became the best of friends off screen and still maintain that friendship after all these years.
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