Why Friends Isn’t a Funny TV Show

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Why Friends Isn't a Funny TV Show


Due to streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Max, Friends continues to be insanely standard years after its primetime run. Its actors are nonetheless making millions of dollars each year and the present has a main fan base that spreads throughout international locations and generations — I am simply not one among them.

At first, I assumed my indifference across the present was due to my age or upbringing. By the point the present had led to 2004, I used to be barely out of diapers and spent most of my time watching cartoons. I grew up on BET and Tyler Perry motion pictures, as did a lot of my present and previous pals. However do not get me flawed, I am wasn’t constricted to simply watching these reveals. Actually, a few of my finest childhood reminiscences are watching reruns of The Nanny and Full Home with my cousins. I simply by no means received round to Friends and did not really feel like I wanted to.

So what higher time to take a look at this cultural phenomenon than whereas caught in the home? I tossed on the 1994 pilot and properly, let’s simply say that I wasn’t impressed. Placing apart the legitimate criticism that the present is problematic by 2020 requirements, Friends simply is not very humorous.

Within the first scene, Chandler tells the group about a “loopy” dream he lately had the place he was bare. With every a part of his story, I discover myself anticipating the humor. Then he ends the joke. “The entire sudden the telephone begins to ring, and it seems it is my mom,” he says earlier than a chortle observe. “Which is bizarre as a result of she by no means calls me,” Chandler finishes earlier than yet one more chortle observe performs and the display screen fades into the following scene. That is it? That is the punchline?

FRIENDS, (from left): Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, 'Pilot', (Season 1, aired Sept. 22, 1994), 1994-2004,  Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

I believe probably the most off-putting half was the pointless chortle tracks after almost every thing a character stated (granted a variety of ’90s reveals are responsible of the identical factor). This made the primary couple of minutes excruciatingly awkward for me. Right here I’m, thrown into this present with no sort of background, and I am already overwhelmed with compelled laughs.

Then there’s Rachel’s apparently iconic “runaway bride” story arc. She had been residing off of her dad’s cash, then was planning to reside off of her husband. She all of the sudden realizes that she is not drawn to him, so she leaves him on the alter and decides to maneuver in together with her outdated highschool buddy. The zany plotline might be probably the most fascinating factor concerning the episode, nevertheless it’s not notably humorous.

Let’s discuss Monica’s “non-date” date. She goes out on a date with this “wine man,” they’ve a nice date, and implied consensual intercourse afterward. She later finds out that he had lied to her in an effort to get her to sleep with him. What’s humorous about a grown man having to make up an elaborate misinform “get laid”? Then she does not even give him a piece of her thoughts, as an alternative it is left unresolved. Perhaps it is one thing that comes again up in one other episode?

It is obvious that individuals take pleasure in this present due to a nostalgic connection and the way in which they relate to the characters. However to me, a newcomer, it simply does not interact those self same feelings. To be honest, I can admit that among the adorned black sitcoms that I grew up with (*cough* Household Issues *cough*) aren’t all that upon rewatch. I am certain many individuals who did not develop up watching Steve Urkel chase after Laura Winslow would in all probability discover the present distasteful.

Let me finish by saying this: I can positively see the place folks’s love for this present comes from, nevertheless it simply is not that humorous.



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