Monday, May 17, 2004

BOX REVIEW - Looking Back on a Decade of T.V.

First let my state that it took me 10 years to realize that there were 2 characters named Rachel Green on NBC's Thursday night line up. Besides Friends, there is the less likable now teenage daughter of the late Dr. Green's (Anthony Edwards) on ER. She was a wee lass when the series premiered making Mad about You, Friends, Seinfeld, and ER the powerhouse of Thursday night.

There have been many retro-spectives done about the show, but being from the generation of "Friends"... here is how show impacted my life and lessons all my "friends" learned.

1. I cut all my hair off at 15 sparking the debate as to whether my shag more resembled Rachel's or Monica's hair. Thus, 10 years of mimicking "Friends" hair began.... well there was that brief period of Clair Danes/Angela hair too.

2. It gave our high school clique something to talk about lunch when we all hated each other over petty and sometimes serious teenage crap.

3. It gave us easy ways to superficially classify people. Such as, "Angie only like's Chandler types" or "My roomate drives me crazy. She's such a Monica!"

4. When trying to get out a bad date, all you had to do was the Janice laugh.

5. Before we had the girls of "Sex", "Friends" gave girls confirmation that everyone is just as crazy and neurotic as you... unless you can identify with Phoebe. Then you are just strange.

6. Tall thin blonde girls (Phoebe) don't always have a perfect life and be nice to the fat brunette!

7. It's okay to sleep with your ex-boyfriend whenever you need a pick me up. It doesn't make you a slut. In fact, it's normal behavior.

8. Women do not logically define a "break" the same way as men.

9. There should be no "cupping" by a tailor.

10. Family isn't always just your blood. It's who you laugh, cry, sleep, eat, and drink coffee with. It's who, no matter the dim or scathing wit, condescending or up lifting tone, drug problem or sobriety, that you can spend 10 years by each others' side with out a stack of bodies piled up in the celler.

The future: In 1994, Friends was credited with ushering in a new era of the sitcom. For every Murphy Brown, Cheers, and Seinfeld, it was the family that dominated this tv form. Friends showed that family wasn't just mom, dad, kids, and a brownstone with a butler or housekeeper or something eles thrown in for comedy. In 2004, Friends represents the end of the genre all together. In fact, Will & Grace and Arrested Development are the only shows i'll be tuning in for. That includes Joey. He was my least liked character on the entire series. While The Burbs, features Chandler and Monica would slightly peak my interest, Joey's exploits in L.A. leave no aching desire for more.

Lisa Kudrow is by far the most talented and I hope she has a long award winning career ahead of her in film and theater. Jennifer Aniston has poplular appeal but aside from an excellent turn in the Good Girl has yet to show any acting chops. I have a feeling she will become the poor man's Julia Roberts for sugar coated roles. She's set to be a powerhouse producer with husband Brad and their already establish shingle. David Schwimmer most likely will end up behind the camera directing t.v. and maybe crossing over into film. Ms. Cox-Arquette continues to make millions off her real estate mogal status and really never needs to work again. She'll probably to occasional guest appearances and hopefully tackle some gritty low budget roles. As for Perry and LeBlanc, they have little success outside Friends making them extremely tied to their characters. In fact, I love Chandler, but have very little interest in Perry. Because of that, I see them falling below the radar and living merely in T.V. syndication.

That's all I really have to say. The finale was happier than it was sad. It was predictable to just the right extent. We said hello to a new generation of Bings and Ducks good-bye to the standard and comfortable.

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