Worst Friend

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Since 1994, FRIENDS has been one of not only America, but the entire world’s favorite shows. Following the lives of six friends living in New York City, FRIENDS is a great sitcom because it shows the life that so many wish they had: living in New York close to your five best friends.  These friends depend on each other on everything. Monica provided gourmet home cooked meals. Ross always had random facts regarding dinosaurs handy. Thanks to Joey, there were porcelain statues of dogs. Rachel dished out constant fashion advice. And Chandler was always present to offer a smart remark.

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However, the only friend that is not critical to the show’s success is Phoebe Buffett (Lisa Kudrow).

There are many arguments that could be made as to why Phoebe is not an essential character to FRIENDS. I am the first to admit that Phoebe brings humor to the show. Without her, we would have no Princess Consuela Banana Hammock or no “Smelly Cat.” But Phoebe simply is not as essential to the show: she is lacking the love affairs and the relatable failures.

Ross and Rachel’s tumultuous relationship and the question of if they would end together drove the show. The arguments over if they were on a break. Being forbidden to be in the same room as each other. The child conceived after a random night of hooking up. People tuned in every week to experience the humor of the relationship and to give into the curiosity of how the series would end.

Then add in somewhere in the middle of the back and forth of Ross and Rachel, Rachel and Joey having a brief romance. Two best friends deciding whether they want a relationship, on top of the fact that Ross’s best friend Joey had been in love with Rachel since high school.

Viewers intrigued by Ross and Rachel were equally attracted to the dynamic between Monica and Chandler. Many people struggle with the idea of falling in love with the best friends of your siblings, I know I have. Monica and Chandler have this type of relationship that ends up working out, perhaps being the steadiest. Even though they had to deal with the challenge of telling Ross that they started hooking up while they were at his wedding.

Part of being a young adult living in New York City is the inevitable failures that will come, whether in your love life or in the workplace. Five of the six friends have their fair share of these failures; Phoebe does not.

Phoebe never has to deal with the hard task of finding and working a job that she wasn’t successful in doing.

Joey is a struggling actor.

Rachel is a young girl that has always depended on her parents’ money.

Chandler had a job that he was always bored with.

Monica had a hard time achieving her goal of head chef.

Ross has a job that everybody makes fun of him about.

Phoebe is a successful masseuse in New York City.

All six of the main characters of FRIENDS are important to the show and bring a different kind of humor that is attractive to the audience. But out of these five, Phoebe is the least important. Not only is she not as important for the reasons stated above, but also for reasons that can also be found in http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/friends/feature/a814758/phoebe-from-friends-is-the-worst/.

Jane Schaefer

 

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5 Responses to Worst Friend

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve never seen an episode of Friends, but from what I understand, you’re exactly right. Phoebe is a character who has very little reason to be on the show. She adds humor, but from what I understand, she’s the least important. She doesn’t really show much of the reality of New York, she doesn’t really undergo many failures, and she doesn’t really add moral values to the show. Once again, I’ve never seen the show, but from the article, I think you’re correct in pointing this out.

    Sam Bishop

  2. mediaphiles says:

    This article was really satisfying for me to read, personally. I have never been a fan of Friends but have somehow managed to watch the entirety of the show in hopes it would have grown on me or all came together by the end. I never had the feeling as if I enjoyed the 30 minutes I invested in each episode, however, there are countless events from the show that always stand out to me in my mind as major points for the plot of a specific episode or the development of the series as a whole. With that being said, I would say that not one involves Phoebe in any way aside from her potentially being in the same room observing. Her character was of no true substance and rather than being the weird, funny friend, opposite to your opinion, I saw her as the annoying one I hoped would not have much of a role in the episode I was watching. From your article’s perspective I believe you describe it perfectly, as I feel the same when I think about her as a part of this show. The failures were something that never seemed to involve Phoebe, both in her professional and personal life, and you’re accurate in stating that it is a part of being a young adult anywhere, but especially in New York. It is the shortcomings of the other five characters in their work and relationships that allow the plot to be able to expand its scope, involving new people and endeavors, however, for Phoebe this never happened, and if it did, I think an increased presence from her would’ve hurt the success of the show so many people love. You did a great job of expressing something that needed to be said about this show.

    – Anthony Duran

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve watched Friends, and I have to disagree. I absolutely love Pheobe. I think she adds quirkiness, eccentricity, and some edge to the show. She is not as streamline as some of the other characters and is rather peculiar, but I think she can relate to those audience members who are like that. She also has a job, she is a masseuse. Although not a strong career, she is passionate about it and likes doing it. And she does go through her ups and downs with love, having a lot of casual relationships. I think this is totally relatable. I think you make fair points, but I think Pheobe is essential to the show.

  4. marymdalton says:

    Interesting post Jane. Some notes: be sure to open with a little text before the first photo. Shorten paragraphs. Embed links. I’m enjoying the conversation here!

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