“So no one told you life was gonna be this way, *clap clap clap clap*” – I’ll be there for you, the song that united so many people together, the celebratory music for one of the greatest shows ever made. Friends (1994 – 2004), the show which was able to influence the people, driving them to six characters that soon weren’t just characters anymore, they became the part of everyone’s life. Everyone wanted to be friends with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe, our beloved dysfunctional people, who made us see them more than just TV characters.
There are innumerable shows made and scrapped each day, regionally and globally. Infinite characters being introduced every day, with a hope that people like them and are able to relate to them. Among these, a few thousands get noticed by people, while a few hundreds are religiously followed by large audiences. Some ten other shows that people worldwide recognize and love, but only one show that is on everyone’s mind even after 12 years of it getting over, and that’s Friends. What is so amazing about this particular show that people just cannot stop obsessing about it? Why are there still debates about whether Ross and Rachel were on a break or not? Why do people still tear up when Chandler proposes to Monica? Why is “Joey doesn’t share food” still the mantra of all food lovers?
Friends never stopped being aired. It might have stopped on TV, but not in our hearts. What makes it special? The sheer truth in all the characters, be it the main cast, or the supporting, every character just spoke to us directly. Characters like Gunther, we were all able to relate to him as well, because we’ve all been there, liking someone so much that we’ve been ready to pay them 1500 $ for a “not a cat” Sphynx cat; or even light up immediately when they talk to us. We’ve all had a Rachel to admire and love unconditionally, with no hope of them liking us back, but every time they walked or spoke to us, our hearts sure did skip a beat. Everything that happened on the show was something we all could relate to.
For every 20 something person, Friends has been a mirror. All the things you have to deal with in your 20s, from identity crisis, to failing in relationships, to doing odd jobs to sustain and make it on yourselves, the show has had some real truths about life. And not only the problems, but it has also taught us about how to tackle them. Hope, is the answer to everything. And no matter how hard things get, your friends are always going to be there to support you. They might not have the solutions to your problems, but with them around, you’ll always have someone to talk to.
And oh how we rooted for Ross and Rachel! We are all suckers for love stories, and Friends gave a modern day love story, full of modern problems, and finding a way to tackle those problems. “I got off the plane” was a line that choked up the toughest of individuals. Every relationship on Friends was ours, how we’ve dealt with some crazy people in our lives, and how each of them brought us closer to something better. We all wanted our Lobsters, we all wanted a rock solid marriage like Monica’s and Chandler’s, we wanted our modern day love story. And maybe we wouldn’t find one, but the fact that our favourite characters did, made us not lose hope.
Why is Friends so popular? Because it shouts the idea of being who you are. You may be a spoilt kid, but as long as you accept that fact and make amends to change it, you are awesome. You may have OCD and cannot go without cleaning for even for a second, you are awesome. You may be weird, and believe in the power of spirits, and every other weird stuff, but if you don’t care about what people think of you, you are awesome. You may be dumb, slow at understanding jokes and least smartest of your friends, but you are awesome. You may be uncomfortable most of the times and have some serious commitment issues, but if you’re willing to change and give someone a chance, you are awesome. And lastly, you may or may not be on a break (you really weren’t, Ross), make mistakes most of the times, but in the end if you’re able to do the right thing, you are awesome.
The show has been able to make such an impact on people that after so many years, people just cannot stop sharing the images on social media, keep rewatching episodes all day and run towards the television as soon as they hear “I’ll be there for you”, that is how a show leaves a strong legacy.
“I’ll be there for youuu, cause you’re there for me, too.”