I’ll Be There For You
After finishing the first episode of Friends, I was immediately addicted and obsessed with the show. I binge watched the entire series and was so taken by the commodore and friendship of the characters. The show was so relatable and had an ability to make you feel like a member of the gang. The characters were flawed, they had problems, and they had ups and downs just like everyone else.
But through it all, they have each other’s backs. What I liked most about the show, besides Phoebe’s renditions of “Smelly Cat,” was the true friendship between the characters and how the show made you feel like you were their friend. When I finished the last episode I was so sad; it was the end of an era and it really did feel like I was saying good-bye to my good friends.
I think it is safe to say that I was not alone when I mourned the end of Friends. It is, to this day, one of the most popular sitcoms ever created and people fell in love with it. So when the sitcom ended, it was almost like a death. And that passion and love for the show has not faded over the years. Audiences and people everywhere still talk about the show and binge watch re-runs.
The success, the long-lasting impression it has left on the comedy world, its ability to connect with people of all different age groups etc. is what makes Friends so unique and what makes its so successful. What I find so intriguing about this situational comedy in particular is its longevity and popularity so long after its end.
(Still from Friends season 10, episode 17 “The Last One: Part 1 & Part 2”)
The last episode, in particular, amassed huge media buzz, ratings, and viewings. “The Friends finale was an extended ritual of farewell as fans watched the characters say goodbye to each other and the viewers for weeks. Indeed, the finale was a major event of the television season: nearly 53 million viewers watched according to Nielson Ratings.” (“Saying Goodbye to Friends: Fan Culture as Lived Experience”).
In many ways, viewers realized that this was the end of an era. The final episode concluded a show that captivated audiences from the very beginning. The amount of people who tuned in to watch the finale proved just how popular and prominent the show had become. But that really wasn’t the end. From that point on, Friends became a permanent household name. Unlike other sitcoms, it has lived far beyond the final goodbyes. To me, that is what makes this show so special. That and the coffee at Central Perk.
Link to interview with show creators: http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/david-crane-and-marta-kauffman
– By Isabelle Jeffrey