Can you believe it’s 25 years since Friends first hit our screens? Nope, neither can I. Back in the mid nineties I used to tune into Channel 4 every Friday to catch the latest episode. I loved it then, and now that every single episode is available on Netflix, I love it even more.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COMFORT
For me, watching Friends is the equivalent of a toddler watching In The Night Garden. It’s comforting and it’s soothing. The world could be (and is) falling apart, yet the gang are always there waiting for you in Central Perk with a coffee.
Yup, they’ll always be there for you. Got an a hour to fill, or coping with the hangover from hell? There are millions of hours of Friends episodes just waiting for you on Netflix right now. I recently spent an entire day on the sofa nursing a hangover and watching series 3 of Friends. I was all the better for it. What are you waiting for?
I don’t know if it’s because I’m nostalgic for the 90s, but the fashions in Friends look better now than I ever remember. The cast look good, but not aggressively good. I’d kind of forgotten what that looked like thanks to social media. The stone-washed denim, Monica’s preppy chic, Phoebe’s kooky layers and Ross’ baggy sweaters just feel so fresh twenty five years on. Please take me back now.
Following close on the heels of all those fabulous chunky sweaters are the ever-changing haircuts of the cast. Apart from Rachel, their hair isn’t usually that great. And that’s why I love it. It reminds me of all those terrible haircuts I had in the 90s before GHDs were invented. I feel like Monica was there to hold my hand along the way.
THEY DON’T HAVE PHONES
What’s the most striking thing you notice in the early series of Friends? No one has a mobile phone. Or, if they do, it’s a point of some derision and bafflement. My childhood was analogue, so I can really relate. I miss those days when we weren’t all clutching our phones for dear life and scrolling through social media. These days the Friends wouldn’t have time for all those catch-ups, they’d be too busy updating their Instagram.
AN EPISODE TO SUIT EVERY LIFE EVENT
The more I re-watch Friends, the more I realise there is an episode to suit every single life event or milestone. Bought a sofa that’s too big to fit up the stairs?* Got a monkey that needs re-homing? Just select the relevant episode and let the guys show you how to cope.
*I did actually do this when we lived in a London flat.
SHORT ATTENTION SPANS
Thanks to all that scrolling on our phones our attention spans are pretty limited these days. Who doesn’t feel the itch during an hour long tv show to check their phone at least once? Luckily, each episode of Friends comes in at a tidy 23 minutes. I used to hate this in 1998 when I’d been waiting all week to watch it. These days, it’s heaven for my digitally addled brain.
Those two apartments are as familiar as our own childhood homes. We all loved the look of Monica and Rachel’s apartment in the 90s, and I still love it now. The cosy clutter, the cushions, the coffee tables, the lamps… I could go on. Actually these days it’s pretty ironic that it feels more realistic than the kind of primped and preened homes I’m used to seeing on Instagram.
I CAN (ALMOST) WATCH IT WITH MY KIDS
My kids are old enough to still be awake when I’m watching TV in the evenings. They like to potter in and out. Watching an episode of something like Game of Thrones involveS frantic volume control and lighting-fast reflexes on the pause button. Friends, on the other hand, is pretty safe stuff. Sure, there’s the odd smutty joke, but it’s likely to go over their heads.
IT STILL MAKES ME LAUGH
Friends is one of the only programmes I can always rely on to make me laugh out loud (the other is Father Ted). No matter what kind of day I’ve had, it’s impossible not to smile, and that’s got to be good thing.