What are Friends for?

And by Friends, I mean the TV show.

So, I know I’m a little late to this particular party (too late even to call it fashionable), but I have finally been convinced to watch the twenty-year-old show (how old do you feel now?) known as Friends — because that’s what it’s called, and that’s what it’s about. I put off watching it for so long because canned/studio laughter really grates on my nerves. But, putting that pet peeve aside, this is a really clever and funny show. (Just for the record, I still don’t know why there has to be audience laughter; if it does its job well enough, we should know when to laugh…shouldn’t we?)

I recently finished the first season (courtesy of a friend of mine — thank you!), but I’m now nearly finished the second season. And, seeing as I promised a review to several of my friends on the first episode, I think it’s high time to actually sit my bum down and write something about this crazy, witty, intelligent show.

The first episode begins when five friends become six: Rachel (Jennifer Anniston) leaves her fiancé at the altar, and finds Monica (Courteney Cox), her brother Ross (David Schwimmer), her friend Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and neighbours Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) at their hangout, the coffeehouse Central Perk. We follow these six friends as they explore the uncertain terrain that independence brings them: the ability to make their own decisions, the navigation of confusing relationships, and, of course, their own developing friendships with each other.

The six friends sippin' on two milkshakes: you do the maths.

Aw, look at these lovelies. I wish they were my friends as well.

Each episode is short — but the pithy kind of short. The kind of duration I like. Concise, but powerful. Like Ernest Hemingway and his short stories, I guess. But I digress. I just wanted to say I love love love this show, and I haven’t even finished the second season yet (so no spoilers, please!). Anyone out there have any fond Friends memories? Any other similar TV shows you think I might like?

[Also, because I know I’ll get into this somewhere, my favourite characters are Chandler (I love his sarcasm, amongst other things) and Phoebe (why she so whacky? I love it!). And who, may I ask, are yours?]