‘Friends’ TV Show Is Not As Nostalgic As It Is Brilliantly Current

Yes, the Friends TV show launched the careers of Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Courteney Cox since concluding 12 years ago. And since then, like many shows, it continues to survive in syndication, specifically through the SONY television network, and is perhaps one of the most popular classic television shows still getting its decent share of attention today.

Of course, one of the most popular characters on Friends, Joey Tribbiani, cannot be left out. The actor playing him, Matt LeBlanc, is only now coming out of a sporadic hiatus and is due to make a major comeback this fall with a new CBS comedy sitcom, called Man With The Plan. When Friends ended in 2004, some of the show’s producers used the momentum of the show for a spin-off sitcom called Joey — which only lasted for two seasons and ended in a cancellation in 2006.

The Writer’s Guild of America considers the show to be one of the best written sitcoms in television history, which is appropriate as Friends is packed full of realistic situation comedy, storylines, and characters that are still relevant today.

An article published in the arts section of MIC a few years ago, celebrating twenty years since Friends first aired, suggested — in looking back on the show in hindsight and in contrast with today’s cultural acceptance — that there were many embarrassing moments when the show could have perhaps “pandered” to social groups, sometimes making the series look as if it were homophobic, hostile, or that it exhibited a subtle form of racial negligence.

The cast of Friends won't be reuniting because they won't have to.
Friends cast in 2002 at award ceremony left to right: Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and David Schwimmer. [Photo by Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo]
But to portray Friends in that way is to exaggerate the non-issues “found” in the show, which it either never needed to solve or relies on the audience’s familiarity with the characters to decide whether they could be counted on to solve those issues. And there were plenty of moments in the show when a character would be confronted with some horrible truth about themselves, in which they would carry the burden of that reality, showing that the characters were not necessarily living in their own little bubble.

Seeing these characters go through their problems in sometimes devastating ways should be enough to trust that they’re willing to handle them the right way. It isn’t as if we’re faced with some shocking revelation that they’re all so homophobic, intolerant, and racist that it’s a sign of “those times,” as it’s not like the show was made in the 50s. To assume such a thing is a indication that someone wasn’t really watching the show.

Friends TV show cast interview
Friends cast members sitting down for a television special interview 2001. [Photo by Getty Images/Handout]
But Friends hardly skipped a beat through its 10-season run, where the decisions made for how the characters would interact with each other, or make decisions in their lives which made for the strength of the sitcom in taking those issues seriously. Watching the program today we can see that it is more than capable of offering up-to-date solutions. That the creators did such a great job even then to stay invested in their program, helped keep the feel of the show intact makes the template of chemistry they created so hard to break.

In fact, that certainly made the job for the creators a lot easier, with dynamic set design which stayed grounded with detail. For those fans of the show that might have thought they’ve known everything there was to know about Friends, the Huffington Post recently interviewed former co-star Hank Azaria, who revealed that creators apparently had a different story line for Kudrow’s character, Phoebe Buffay, but because the show is still very current, it would behoove one to take the time to experience the show to find out.

The Inquisitr reported this year on rumors that a Friends movie was in the works, however, it was also revealed that this was only a rumor and that there was no truth to them at all.

[Image by NBC]