Since I first started using Netflix, the same suggestion has come time and time again; "Friends." It started with my sister, a fanatic who has seen the show many times. I declined, knowing the sitcom’s internet fame. Then the suggestions started coming in from my best friend. She, too, has seen the show many times, but I refused to let that influence me to watch.
Then one day, I have in. I spent almost an hour trying to find something else to start but found nothing. When I saw it in the recommended tab of my Netflix homepage, I could not resist. And so began my downfall.
Being new to watching the show, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the first few episodes and ended up watching the first season in one sitting. After that, each season seemed to go by slower. By the seventh season, I stopped watching.
Like most shows, there is a natural stopping point. “Friends” seems to have passed this point and continued for more seasons than it needed to. Once they started getting married and moving in with each other and once the jokes and plot points became painstakingly predictable, it became a chore to watch.
Eventually, I lost interest.
Despite having enjoyed the first few seasons, once the beloved sitcom passed its natural end, I started to notice its flaws. Monica is an overbearing control freak, Rachel cares about no one but herself, Phoebe is dumber than a brick, Ross has always been awful, Chandler’s self-deprecating humor is annoying, and Joey, poor Joey, is unemployed and mooching off of his friends into his 30s. By the seventh season, the charming characters aren’t charming anymore.
You just have to start feeling sorry for them.
People who have seen the show in its entirety can probably come up with 100 ways to argue that this is a good show, but I’m not arguing that “Friends” is bad, just that it fell victim to its own success. Instead of giving it the ending that it deserved, the writers and producers pushed it until it lost its luster.
Let’s face it: any show that has a different plot each episode, probably should not last more than four or five seasons. “Friends” is no exception. There just was not enough character development to justify 10 seasons.
The show itself, at least the almost-seven seasons I watched, had its moments. I do not want to take away any merit that it deserves, but the popularity it has is a little excessive. If people are so upset by the thought of “Friends” leaving Netflix that the company has to spend a million dollars to keep it for a year, then maybe people should find new shows. No matter how many times you watch it, nothing is going to change.
I will admit that part of the reason I avoided watching “Friends” for so long was because I did not want to be the person who got stuck in the rut of watching it over and over again.
"Friends" had great potential. I'm honestly disapointed that it was ruined by the need to exploit popularity. The story of six friends figuring out their lives in a (mostly) realistic way is an entertaining concept, but I don't think it was meant for 10 seasons.
The most important lesson to learn with “Friends” is that all good things must come to an end, preferably while they’re still good things. It’s okay to wrap up a show a few seasons early, rather than let the ratings go down.
Overall, the quality of the program outweighs the quantity of it. It’s okay to admit that something that was once good has stopped being good.