Screen Rant reveals what must have happened during NBC’s early ’90s pitch meeting in which all the most iconic aspects of F.R.I.E.N.D.S came to be. NBC revolutionized the Thursday primetime line-up. Thursday was a death sentence until Friends came along, and it became Must See TV. Populated with a bunch of relatively unknown actors (Courteney Cox was the most famous at the time but she pretty much only had Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and that one Bruce Springsteen video going for her), the sitcom would go on to be one of the most influential series in television history. And those fledgling actors would eventually become major Hollywood players pulling in a whopping million dollars per episode.
Despite the show’s undeniable success and popularity, we’ve come to realize how truly terrible these characters actually were. The bigotry, the selfishness, the bizarre over-pronunciation of verbs…could anything be more annoying than hearing Chandler speak? Clearly, these risks paid off in the end, but surely there must have been some reservations, right? Not the way we imagine it.
Pitch Meeting jumps right into it, diving into the nothingness that was the show’s plots. Seinfeld may have billed itself as the “show about nothing,” but what exactly did the friends of Friends do every day besides drink coffee and hook up with each other? Speaking of which, wouldn’t the title have been more accurate if the show had been called L.O.V.E.R.S. instead? How could they have possibly afforded that enormous purple apartment on their incredibly average salaries…especially with so few actual working hours and such a large coffee budget? And let’s not forgot that epic theme song clap. Did you know the inspiration for that sequence came from a writer playing around with a clap-on light? OK, not really, but it’s fun to pretend.
Screen Rant has plenty to say about the actual friends themselves. How realistic was it for Ross to have a job as a paleontologist in his mid-twenties? Is that relatable? Is that a thing people do? How could the most successful friend also be the most boring? Jennifer Aniston is boss, but we can all now agree that Rachel was the worst, right? The very first thing she ever did on-screen was ditch her groom at the altar and then move in with Monica after being estranged from her alleged “best friend” for years. How could such a self-absorbed character ever become so popular? Oh, right, those…t-shirts.
There’s also Phoebe and her unbearably tragic backstory. A drug-dealing mother and multiple suicides committed by parental figures would certainly cause mental and emotional trauma. But this is a comedy so Phoebe’s pain manifests itself by spurring her to become a guitar playing hippie. That’s what happens when everyone you love dies, right? You play songs about stinky cats in your terrible friends’ coffee shop. That sounds about right. Chandler had to be struggling with some undiagnosed issues, as well. Not a single one of his so-called friends laughed at a single one of his jokes…ever. Who exactly was he telling them for?
Last but not least, can we just talk about how incredibly offensive Monica and Joey were for a second? Being overweight does not automatically equal being funny. Monica’s food obsession and “fat flashbacks” must have alienated viewers. Yet the writers returned to this shallow well of jokes again and again. Joey was equally offensive with his excessive womanizing. Were we really expected to forgive his chauvinism because he was so dumb?
When we really stop to pick apart its flaws, it’s truly a miracle NBC was able to capture lightning in a bottle with this series. But they did, and we certainly won’t stop binge-watching it anytime soon.
Source: Screen Rant
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