Oh my god!!! Sometimes this could have been the word Martha Kauffman and David crane uttered when their show which was supposed to go on air got cancelled. The college buddies together on a cup of coffee decided to create a sitcom to recollect their college days and that led to insomnia café which finally turn out to world’s iconic show “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
THE HISTORY OF THE ICONIC SHOW
Before NBC commissioned the pilot episode in 1994 the critics commented on the show as another bomb but once the episode went on air there weren’t looking back. Even though there were lots of comparisons with Seinfeld there wasn’t any other show which had exploited the emotion of friendship so conveniently. It became very popular as it became a knockout success. It was produced by bright/Kauffman/ crane production in association with Warner Bros.
The story revolves around six friends named Monica Geller, Rachel Greene, Phoebe Buffay Ross Geller, Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani played by Courtney cox, Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow, David schwimmer, Mathew perry, Matte Le Blanc respectively. The story is set at Manhattan, New York. The plot runs on about the six protagonist’s friendship, love life, family, ambitions and career.
THE EVER GREEN CHARECTORS
Friends garnered such a massive fan base even after 25 years of getting aired due to their iconic characters. Each character is reflection of our society as we can relate with them.
RACHEL GREENE : The popularity of miss Greene can be explained through the never ending fashion of Rachel haircut. It is still in demand in many salons across the world. Even though the story is all about the six friends but technically we can find Rachel being the protagonist because the plot starts by her eloping from her own wedding. Rachel Greene is a character which depicted a series of personality development. Initially she is portrayed as a rich, spoiled, fashionista. At the end of the show we will be able to see her as an independent, caring, empathetic and strong executive and a mother. Her journey from a waitress to executive at Ralph Lauren is incredible. The effort she put to transform herself is commendable. The show also focuses on Rachel’s and Ross’s love life which go through a lots of ups and downs. The line “we were on a break” was such an iconic line as people still uses it in their lives.
MONICA GELLER : If you have a friend in your gang who is a perfectionist you call them “Monica Gellar”. She is portrayed as a woman who is caring, a cleanliness freak, wonderful host and desperate for not having a family even at her 30s. She is the one who connects and holds the entire group. If we are analysing the show we came to know that the other five do have a common link and that is Monica. She is depicted as a character who go through series of failures from her career as a chef and love life. But she ends up by landing at best job as an executive chef and finding love in her Best friend chandler Bing and having twins.
PHOEBE BUFFAY: miss Buffay is the secret ingredient of friends and can also called as salt of friends. She is the reality check of the gang. Other than Mr .Bing she is the one who had terrible childhood. Her mother kills herself at her childhood and step dad went to jail and she led her life at street. The hippie life made her wonderfully weird. When the other friends work for building their life she is the only one who lived for others. She holds a layered, complex character. She brings the characters to reality and shows the real world. The one who had an irregular family ends up with having a fairy tale wedding and a beautiful love life with mike.
ROSS GELLER : He is that one friend who loves a lot. Despite having a successful career in palaeontology, Dr Geller had gone through lots of downfall in his personal life. The three divorces in his life make him fall in depression. Even though it is depicted as humour the events the character go through during that phase is horrible. The character was well played by schwimmer as though the character is egoistic and unbearable to accept his flaws somewhere we will falls in love with his loving, affectionate and caring attitude. The scene where he buys a cycle for phoebe when he came to know about her not having one at her childhood shows how empathetic he is.
CHANDLER BING : The sarcastic one in the gang is other who had troubled childhood due to parent’s divorce and the days of embarrassment faced due to his father being a transgender and mother being adult content writer. Phoebe is the other one who had horrible past. While she had moved on from her past and accepted it happily he is shown stuck at his past and somewhere he lost his emotions and covers up all uncomforability with the mask of sarcasm. The fling turned romance with Monica Gellar transformed him to a new human who learned to live life and embrace the reality.
JOEY TRIBBIANI: The child in a grown up’s body the most loved character in friends. Popularity of his playboy nature had led his iconic “how you doin” as a universal pickup line. His innocent love and friendship to the gang is adorable. The bromance of chandler-joey duo garnered lots of love.
IMPACT OF FRIENDS IN WORLD AND INDIAN CULTURE
The sitcom had a huge impact across the world as in 1994 over 11 billion women did Rachel haircut. UK, the country which was obsessed with tea had caught a flue of coffee. Lots of coffee shop was built in the model of central perk, the café where friends hangout. Parents of African countries asked their children to watch the American series to learn English. It was at the year 1999 the show got telecasted in India and became an instant hit. Later lots of shows and movies like hum panch, shakalaka boom boom, kkht, dil chahta had tried to potray friendship but never had an impact that friends made. Café coffee day was established at 1996 but it was after the success of friends in India there was a plummet of growth in the number of outlets. At 20th century after globalisation BPOs and call centres came and people started staying at rentals in group and hangout in McDonalds and KFC as an adoption of FRIENDS culture.
Other than these aspects the off-screen friendship of the actors also worked for the success. During season 2 of the show Schwimmer was the highest paid actor of the show. To bring a balance he negotiated for equal pay of 100,000 dollars nearly 1.5 cr for other 5 actors. Jennifer Anniston was the godmother of cox’s daughter Coco Arquette. The endeavouring work of 14 writers also adds up to creating the world’s iconic show. the show also brought memorable supporting cast like Janice, Gunther, Amy..
Last year when 25 years of friends was celebrated at Burj khalifa the massive crowd regardless of nationality, gender, race, religion, caste etc. screamed loudly: “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” the world’s best show.
Author: Nourien Nizar