Caution: prepare to feel ancient. Friends, arguably the most successful sitcom of all time (yes, yes Seinfeld, we know…) turns 25 this week. TWENTY FIVE. Cruz Beckham wasn’t even born when the show finished in 2004. This article should probably be called The One Where We’re Reminded of the Terrifying Passage of Time.
If however, you feel like a trip down memory lane, from the 22 September you’ll be able to see the Friends set up close as Warner Bros US is bringing Central Perk to the Waterfall Atrium in the Dubai Mall and then to the Dubai Fountain.
Despite a quarter of a century passing since it first began, Friends has a cultural legacy that lives on, regardless of your age.
Its characters, actors, theme song and even its haircuts have entered the popular lexicon, even if the concept of living comfortably in a beautiful, rent controlled apartment hasn’t.
Why? Because in Rachael, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe you had six personalities, exaggerated versions of ourselves, that uncovered truths and reflected the best and worst sides of the viewer in a safe, low stakes environment. Chandler’s humour as an emotional shield, Monica’s neuroticism, Ross’s geekiness, Rachel’s careerism and Phoebe’s inner hippie meant there was, broadly speaking, something for everyone.
And then there were the catchphrases. Joey’s one-line pick-up technique “How you doin?’ was quickly adopted by every man over the age of 14, followed later, perhaps almost inevitably, by Ross’s “We were on a break!”
Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston’s hair transcended the show. Like Madonna and Prince it quickly dropped its second name and became known as the Rachel. Not since David Beckham shaved his Mohican – the first time around – has the hair of one person influenced so many.
We haven’t even got to the show’s influence on coffee shop culture, The Rembrandts’ having a hit single with ‘I’ll Be There For You’ or “The foothills of Mount Tibidabo” and “Oh. My. God!”
Despite its age, Friends continues to prove popular with new viewers as well as original ones and has found a home on Netflix, which means as we’re sure you’ve worked out, that it’ll be there for you for the forseeable future.