As many of you know, Friends hit Netflix early this month. I love the show and have all of the episodes on my external harddrive, but being able to watch on my iPad wherever I want is a dream come true. Despite my boyfriend hating the show, I have started a rewatch at season 1.
In my watching, I have come up with five reasons to give the series another go.
1. It’s crazy to watch how the show evolved from the earlier seasons to the later ones.
Right now, in the beginning of season 3, all of the characters are a little quirky but still pretty normal. It’s cool to watch the writing and dialogue change, knowing that by season 7, Joey is basically a dumb guy addicted to sandwiches, and Phoebe seems to be teetering on the edge of sanity. Also in the later seasons, Matthew Perry (Chandler) is in the middle of a drug addiction (his weight fluctuates a lot later as well), and watching with that knowledge will be a first for me.
2. It’s great background noise.
Whenever I’m doing an arts and craft project, or washing the dishes, having Friends on is a great way to watch something but not feel guilty if I miss something. There are other shows, like Breaking Bad, that are impossible to ignore, and require 100% of your focus. Or take Orange is The New Black, which is one of my favorites, that can be hard to have on in the background because there are so many characters- you look away and you’re in a flashback to Queens, NY in the early 2000s, and it can be a little confusing. Friends is just perfect that way.
3. Identifying sitcom tropes!
If you like TV tropes, Friends is chock full of them. A trope is defined as “devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations” (from TVtropes.org). These aren’t stereotypes or cliches, but they are expectations that we have when we watch TV.
An example of a common TV trope is “24 Hour Party People,” which is where a character throws a party, and instead of just the nine or so people we’d expect to see there, there are tons of randoms at the apartment, as if they have TONS of friends and those people are always around for a good time. This happened in How I Met Your Mother often, where the five of them are often seen partying with dozens of extras.
Some other tropes to watch for during a Friends rewatch: Accidental Proposal, where there’s a character that is somehow vaguely better than our characters, Captain Obvious- wherever one character blatantly doesn’t get something obvious, catch phrases, when there are two friends who never actually spend time together alone (like Chandler and Phoebe)… They’re great to read about and watch for!
4. The writing and cast are pretty awesome.
David Schwimmer is a great physical comedian, Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston are crazy gorgeous, and Matt LeBlanc and I share a birthday (oh. I guess that last one isn’t such a great argument.) I really do love the cast- it’s one of those shows where I can’t imagine it any other way, whereas sometimes I feel like characters could have been switched with other actors and it wouldn’t be a big deal.
Also, the writing is pretty on point. A lot of how the characters handle and react to situations is spot on. Seasons after Ross and his first wife broke up, he still has a hard time moving on (we see this during the episode with the lesbian wedding), which seems so true to life. Even when it’s expected that you’d be over something, the biggest life changes are so hard to get past… and who better to share that with than your friends?
5. Try to decide whose 90s-tastic wardrobe you would most want for yourself.
One of my FAVORITE parts about watching is deciding whether I would want Monica or Rachel’s clothes to appear in my closet. Rachel has a lot of iconic cropped tees and velvet items, but sometimes I think Monica’s stuff is better overall. Phoebe has a great collection of coats, and even Chandler has a solid array of sweaters. With the look of the 1990s back in full swing lately, I can imagine wearing a lot of this stuff.
Have you gotten into watching Friends again since it’s Netflix debut? Or are you like my boyfriend and it just makes you roll your eyes?
Could I BE any more obsessed?