Friends: A Review of the Beloved Sitcom

Friends: A Review of the Beloved Sitcom

Khloe Mitchell, Writer

Most people have heard of the 10 season, American sitcom, Friends, that first aired in September of 1994. Overall, the show is about six friends, three boys and three girls, navigating their way through life together, as they grow into adulthood. Each episode tells a story of hardships, successes, and love stories. At an estimated 51.1 million watchers, the show has received much affection and criticism, from the tight knit group of friends to relatable life problems each of them endures.

The friend group consists of the characters Rachel Greene (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc). Each character experiences growth throughout the series. Rachel Greene is described by Mcginley as “annoying with her [spoiled] nature… She goes from clueless coffee waitress to a successful member of the fashion industry with a child… while still retaining her personality throughout..” Greene had just left a man at the altar, with nowhere to go, and ran into her high school friend Monica, who was willing to help an old friend out. Mcginley also describes Monica as a character that “undergoes a good bit of personal growth, particularly pertaining to said romance. [She] also achieves so many of her goals in life as the show progresses…” Monica Geller’s parents tend to look down on her, not believing she can carry out her dreams. Eventually, she spreads her wings and reaches her goal of being a head chef. The last of the female trio is Phoebe Buffay who is a little odd and does not experience much growth throughout the show. The character is an incredibly good friend and is there any time she is needed. She suffered many losses, and that trauma led to some of the weirdness of her personality.

Now, onto the male trio, Chandler Bing is known as the funny one from the beginning of the series to the end. Bing experiences major growth, going from being “an insecure, immature, job-hating goofball to a happy, mature, stable goofball with a family,” according to Mcginley. Throughout the show, he struggles with keeping, or even starting, romantic relationships, but ends up being in a successful relationship with Monica. Chandler is the roommate of Joey Tribbiani, who also begins the show as an immature guy, who bounces from girl to girl. Although he struggles to hold onto one girl, he is a great friend that anyone can rely on. Sadly, he does not do much development at all. The character becomes stuck in a hole, where he is portrayed as dumb, and never reaches the maturity level as the other characters. Tribbiani is mostly known for his charming personality, humor, and his failed acting career. Lastly, we have Ross Geller. He is the brother of Monica Geller, and it is made obvious that he is the favorited child out of the two. Like Joey, he does not grow into the maturity level that the other characters grow into, but he plays a vital role in the show. Ross pursues multiple romantic relationships, a few of them being on and off tries with Rachel Greene. He did some terrible things throughout the show, just like the other characters, but it is magnified because his personality can sometimes make him come across as a jerk. Despite all the negative bits of each character’s personality, they grow together, and can rely on each other no matter the situation. They are more than friends, they are family.

Although the show was very loved, it had to end eventually. Marta Kauffman stated, “Everybody was growing up. This is part of why the show had to end. This was no longer that time in your life when your friends are your family. You’re starting your own family.” The story line, the development of characters, and the actors themselves are the reason it still has so many viewers years after the series was completed. With Monica in the big sister role, Ross who has had many relationship struggles, Rachel who grew up spoiled and must learn to face the real world, Chandler who can make everyone smile no matter what is going on, Phoebe who is bubbly and is truly one you can rely on, and lastly, Joey, who was portrayed as dumb, but really pulled through with great advice when it was needed. The series shows the group going through so much, mostly relatable obstacles, but having each other to get through it all. They are living at a time in life when anything is possible, telling the watchers to take risks, and go after their dreams.