I was not even born when FRIENDS aired for the first time in 1994 and it was not until I was 20 years old when I watched the series and fell in love. I feel it was for the best that I didn’t watch before, because being a 20 year old and navigating through life I could relate more to the group.
I am not a very social person and always had a small group of friends, whether in school or college. In college, we were a group of five close friends who would always hang out together. It so happened that two of the five had watched FRIENDS and convinced me to give it a chance. To be very honest, I had never watched a whole series before. Maybe bits and pieces of what aired in the Disney channel but never more than that. Not because I didn’t want to, but being a science student in high school is not easy and you don’t get much free time.
So, when I started watching this show, I was like, ok, it seems interesting. A group of friends in their 20s is trying to make their career and find love in a big city. I felt like I could relate to them. And it so happened that one week after watching the show, I caught chickenpox and was quarantined in my room for 21 days. And guess who gave me company during those times? Yes, it was FRIENDS. I binge-watched the whole 10 seasons during those 21 days and never felt alone.
I am a kind of person who doesn’t like watching a movie twice. So when I finished this show, I was like, ok, I love this show, it’s a great show, but I don’t think I am going to watch it again. And I didn’t for like few weeks maybe. And then there came a sudden urge that I need to watch those friends again. And once I started re-watching, there was no going back. It’s been 5 years since then, and till today I watch FRIENDS almost every day.
I have watched many series since FRIENDS, but nothing matches the comfort level of this show. It has been with me through so many ups and downs. Whenever I feel sad, anxious, angry I watch FRIENDS to calm myself. It has been the savior of my mental health. You just turn it on, and your friends are there who make you laugh and forget your worries. While doing my final year project during graduation days or while writing my dissertation during post-graduation days, they were always there to help me relax. Whenever I felt like I needed a break, I switched to FRIENDS. It lifted my mood and I went back to my work with a fresh mind. Through these years, they have become my family. They have influenced my life in so many uncountable ways. They are the tight-knit group of friends everyone wishes to have.
If I talk about the characters, Monica is the one I relate to most. A career-oriented competitive woman who even knows how to fight for her love. Not many women propose to their partner, especially in those days, but she went against the stereotypes to marry the love of her life. People say Ross loved hard, but I say Monica loved the hardest. Chandler is one lucky man. She may be high maintenance but Chandler loved maintaining her. And of course Chandler, oh Chandler. He is the perfect partner every girl wishes to have. He can make you laugh and fall for him within seconds. He is charming, charismatic and sarcastic at the same time. After Monica, the next person I connect to most is Joey. If you know me well, you know that Sneha doesn’t share food! Phoebe is a free soul. She is funny, quirky and lovable. Her stories are really entertaining and out of the box. I am so happy she found Mike who loved her the way she is. Coming to Ross, he had the best expressions. Who can forget the classic “I’m fine!”. Last but not least, our very own Rachel, from a spoiled brat to an independent woman, she grew the most throughout the entire series.
On 27th May, seeing them all back and reminiscing their days made me shed tears of happiness and sorrow. Probably we won’t see these six together again but they are always going to live in my heart rent-free.