Sunday, May 8, 2016

Friends (1994-2004) [TV-14] *****

Over the course of ten years and 236 television episodes, we enjoyed a peek into the hearts and minds, lives and loves of six New York City, apartment-dwelling friends in their twenties and thirties. They included fun-loving, fashion-sensitive Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), organized and obsessive Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), scatterbrained Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), geeky-romantic paleontologist and Monica’s older brother Dr. Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), good-hearted but slow-witted soap opera actor Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and always-ready-with-an-inappropriate-joke Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry).

When the six friends were not hanging out at the Central Perk coffee house, they were in Monica and Rachel’s apartment above the coffee house, or Joey and Chandler’s apartment across the hall. Here are links to the real buildings:

Now that over a decade has passed since Friends ended its ten-season run, you can still find syndicated reruns on television, but the best way to watch the sitcom and appreciate the character growth and evolving relationships is to binge-watch all ten seasons in chronological order, a couple of hours (five or six 22-minute episodes) each evening. That’s roughly 86 hours or about seven weeks.

If you do this, I can practically guarantee that you’ll find yourself immersed in their lives, you’ll be disappointed when you’ve watched the two-part final episode The Last One, and you’ll wonder, as I did, whether they still keep in touch… both the characters in the sitcom, and the real-life performers.

In response to continued questions from fans, there has been speculation that a season 11 would be produced, but so far it’s been just that… speculation. But the cast did get together in 2016 for a private reunion, absent Matthew Perry who couldn’t get away from his commitment to perform in a stage play.

Labels: comedy, romance

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