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Why Friends Is Still an Iconic Show

With ten seasons full of laughter and shenanigans, Friends has remained an iconic sitcom, even with millenials. Parents reminisced about the times they would turn on the TV to listen to Chandler’s wisecrack jokes or Phoebe’s famous rendition of “Smelly Cat,” but now, their children are falling in love with the series and keeping the legacy alive.

It’s been 14 years since the series ended. Yet in the age of social media and advanced technology, TV viewers opt for media that portrays intimacy, ‘90s fashion, and older traditions.

Although it seems strange that a 24-year-old TV show still has its magnetic appeal, here are a few reasons that the 1990s relic has stayed popular:

Image via Odyssey


1. Because the characters are balanced with flaws.

All six stars depicted their characters as human beings, which makes the story extremely relatable and allows the viewers to imagine their own similar scenarios. Ross is intelligent but slightly selfish while Monica is clean but controlling. They are all good people, but they’re not perfect. They mean well, but they make mistakes. Viewers can identify with the characters because they can see their own successes and failures in the types of situations the characters get into. The flaws are what make the characters so relatable.

Image via Elite Daily


2. Because viewers are craving human contact.

The majority of a person’s life nowadays is spent in front of a screen. Back in the ’90s, friends would sit down at a coffee shop to catch up. The characters on Friends spend their free time at Central Perk, talking out their issues and their latest flings.

In modern society, the millennials notify their peers of relationship changes through a queue of Instagram photos with their new beau. If they want to talk to their friends, the possibility is only a few clicks away on iMessage and Facebook Messenger. Friends portray a much simpler time of being there for one another, as the theme song goes, and is devoid of the anxieties that seem to intoxicate our society today. The only screen that got in the way of the friendships on TV show was Chandler and Joey’s free porn binge.

Image via Travel + Leisure


3. Because viewers miss the traditional love stories.

Viewers stayed for ten seasons to watch Ross and Rachel’s rollercoaster romance from Ross’s one-sided high school love to the “We Were On A Break” phase to their epic kiss at the series finale. And what about the surprise of Monica and Chandler’s spark when they got together in London? Their friendship blossomed into a beautiful marriage. The couples didn’t swipe right on each other as most millennials continually increase Tinder’s download rate. The characters grew intimate through time without the social media baggage that seems to weigh down on young adults nowadays.

Image via YouTube


4. Because viewers are struggling.

Friends remind viewers that it might not always be our day, our month, or even our year but to not give up. Millennials nowadays are struggling to find their place in society professionally. But the show tries to give hope, especially with Rachel’s riches to rags storyline in which she begins as a spoiled, rich girl who was destined to be a housewife to an overachieving, independent woman in the fashion industry. As students try to pass their exams and pay off student debt, they look to Friends for an optimistic outlook.Image via Scoopwhoop

Jessica Lee is a third-year Communication student at UCSB pursuing a certificate in Technology Management Program and a Professional Writing minor. When she's not studying for exams, you can find her enjoying the sunshine at the beach, binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, and catching up with her friends. Keep up with Jessica on Instagram @jessicca.lee
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