TV producers know that what they put on the air is going to affect our lives – especially now that everything is twice as accessible as it was when Friends first started. But even then, the creators knew that audiences want what they can’t have. Comedic television is an escape from the struggles of life, and that is what Friends gave us.
It’s a classic storyline. Six super close friends living in NYC and doing life together? Who doesn’t want to find out if Ross and Rachel end up together or if Joey ever gets his big break?
Is it really all that it seems though? Can we ignore the truth behind the “squad” thing? Notice that though the actors will all be reuniting soon, we don’t see them snapping selfies together and hanging out at L.A. bars. They don’t still act together, they don’t tweet at each other, they were all following a script.
Don’t get me wrong, I was first in line to binge the whole thing when it became available on Netflix. When reruns are aired, I don’t change the channel. But think about this:
Jennifier Aniston, in true “Rachel Green” fashion, went on to be on of the most loved actresses of our day. Matthew Perry tried to have his own show but in true “Chandler Bing” persona was too awkward for his own good (love him though). David Schwimmer went on to voice a giraffe in “Madagascar” in a way that only “Ross Geller” could.
So they are all eerily similar to their characters, but they haven’t remained close like they were in the series.
I tried the whole squad thing in my second year of college. It didn’t work. Someone moves away, someone disappears with the love of their life, etc.
It was great at first – the idea of always having that solid group of friends as close as family. The thing is, it’s not family. It’s not your parents or your kids who are going to (hopefully) stand by you for 18 years.
I’m not saying it’s not possible for a group of friends to be as close as the Friends gang. If you and your friends are like that, bravo! However, I’m saying you should be careful. Don’t become so close to your five people that you have no one left when they’re out of town. Have your group, but also talk to people at work/school. Go on dates.
I feel the same way about Taylor Swift and her squad. It’s great, but it’s unrealistic. It has the potential to make young girls feel like they don’t have enough friends, but Taylor Swift is the only girl in the world who can collect a squad of nothing but supermodels and internationally known entertainment moguls. It’s not right.
The same exists within How I Met Your Mother. I know some people thought it was a rip-off of Friends because it was five friends hanging out at a bar in NYC, very similar to six friends hanging out at a coffee shop in NYC. The difference is that the HIMYM gang is a bit more realistic. Lily and Marshall are already dating when they all become friends. Ted prepares to move even though he has to leave his close friends behind. As much as they do life together, they all have their own entities as well. Ted is constantly dating outside of the group, and you hear about all their work lives constantly.
If you have a lot of friends, that’s great, but you shouldn’t feel like you need to. You should associate yourself with whoever you’re comfortable with. Blast 1989 and watch the entirety of Friends in a week, but don’t think your life has to be like theirs.
The media have an unbelievable amount of control over people in this day and age. It’s scary. TV producers and artist managers know that we want what we can’t have and that we like to dream, so seeing our favorite celebrities with tons of beautiful and talented friends or watching a group of six friends act like brothers and sisters (who also get married…) is enjoyable to us. It’s not always attainable, but we like to dream.
Keep that in mind when you’re following the Friends reunion.