Friends is arguably one of the most influential sitcoms of all time, but a revival of Friends would only hurt the show’s cultural impact and legacy.
Friends, one of the most popular and influential sitcoms in entertainment history, had a perfect ending, and the franchise’s legacy would only suffer from future reboots, revamps, storylines, movies, or efforts to revive series. No other actor can better inhabit the characters of Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler Bong (Matthew Perry), Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer) and Monica Gellar (Courteney Cox) ), than the original Friends to throw. Contemporary mainstream comedy series such as The Big Bang Theory, to more experimental shows like Episodes, Web therapy, and 30 Rock, Friends has influenced a wide variety of popular and niche content. Combined with the many other ways that Friends changed modern culture, such as Jennifer Aniston’s haircut in the series, known as “The Rachel,“or how Matt LeBlanc’s catchphrases became familiar idioms, there is literally no way for any kind of Friends revival to even try to match the massive cultural impact of the original show.
On May 6, 2004, the Friends The finale drew around 52.5 million US viewers, making it the most-watched TV episode of this decade. 17 years later, the much anticipated May 2021 Friends The meeting was watched by around 29% of streaming households in the US, as well as over 5 million UK viewers, breaking records for UK streaming service Sky. Today, almost two decades later Friends major end-of-series finale, the release of any kind of Friends the recovery in the future will inevitably be met with more commercial success.
Friends is undoubtedly still popular, and a reboot of a modern series or movie would probably still do well in the streaming age. That being said, it’s time to put those stories and characters to rest. The ending was perfect for most of the characters, which is generally the best one would expect from a long-running comedy-drama series. Most importantly, because of the certainty of commercial success for any future Friends rebirth, any reboot effort would likely be seen as a cheap money-saver. After a decade on the show, there is simply nothing more to explore in Ross and Rachel’s intermittent relationship. The same can be said about Monica and Chandler. Although Phoebe and Joey have modeled the archetypes of their respective original characters in contemporary dramas and comedies, these characters have little or nothing more to contribute to either genre.
Rental Friends dying a natural death could allow these six actors to have other career-defining roles and moments unrelated to the popular sitcom they played in the ’90s. Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and David Schwimmer have become known for other roles (for example, David Swimmer’s notable role in Band of brothers) and have undertaken more compelling endeavors since 2004, all six continue to remain in the shadow of their respective iconic characters. A Friends the revival, whether with the original cast or a whole new set of actors, would only make comparisons to the original roles and only serve to stifle the original cast’s ability to define their career outside of Friends‘forest fire success.
Friends was large enough to rival the popularity of even Seinfeld in the late 90s. The two flagship comedies also air on Netflix, and both continue to be hugely popular among the streaming crowd. At the same time, many of the more memorable jokes of the two Friends as good as Seinfeld have aged poorly, which is another reason either show shouldn’t be revamped, repetitive, or remade. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David know this well enough. With a bit of luck, Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman also know the score.
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