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To Binge or Not to Binge Episode 26: “Friends”

Hannah Allred
(Graphic by Hannah Allred | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

“Friends” is a show that many of us know extremely well. Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, the sitcom ran from 1994 to 2004 and continues to be a regular in most homes, dorms and apartments. The ten seasons never fail to bring laughter, heartwarming moments and wonderful times to those viewing the show.

The main focus of the series circles around the lives of six close friends, played by Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The group juggles relationships, job issues, New York City and the struggles of attempting to live life in your 20s. Everyday life is made interesting with the use of good laughs.

Throughout the series, famous actors made debuts on the show, and more established actors like Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon and George Clooney partook in the comedy and created even more of a fan base for this critically acclaimed show. The long-running series won several awards, including Emmys. The six actors definitely made their names through this show and helped successfully create one of the most popular American television series known to several generations.

Previous Seasons Recap


Now, the show does last a full ten seasons, so there is a lot of life to cover. Starting in their favorite hangout, Central Perk, the friends show their daily routine of sitting in the coffee house, joking around and ultimately doing nothing useful. Ross, in his usual depressed tone, brings forth marriage news. Chandler creates hilarious comebacks and Joey is a terrible actor who will eventually make it as Dr. Drake Ramoray on the soap opera “Days of our Lives.” I’ll leave it there for the sake of not totally ruining what is to come. Nevertheless, many probably know exactly what the first three seasons cover. Following the entrance of five of the friends whom we eventually fall in love with, Rachel, a runaway bride, enters the show’s world. From then on, the series features Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.

Throughout the many seasons of “Friends,” Rachel and Ross are on and off again in their love story. Phoebe is a masseuse, as well as a mother to her brother’s triplets, a phenomenal musician and the most wonderfully eccentric person. Chandler is sarcastic and works an office job no one knows how to describe, Joey is Joey, while Monica is a chef and a control freak who vacuums her vacuum. I should mention the recurring character of Janice, because annoyingly enough she doesn’t seem to leave the series. I shall not say anything else about Janice and the pain she brings.

The friends grow, laugh, and face challenges throughout many years. They have kids, try to further their careers, get married, wear leather pants and create the absolute best comebacks possible. For fans of this well-known TV show, we of course can’t fail to mention Chandler and Monica’s relationship — it’s cute and creates quite a few fun times. Ultimately it’s the best and most stable romance created throughout the series. Each of the friends go through relationships that viewers can relate to.

The protagonists never fail to support each other through each odd quirk, terrible date, Thanksgiving dinner and “how you doing?”. But as they grow and move from their 20s to their 30s, “Friends” does near its end. Families are created, babies are had and their lives settle down as they grow up and become true adults.

[/media-credit] The cast of “Friends.” courtesy Flickr.

To Binge/Not to Binge

“Friends” is 100% binge-worthy. With school coming back into session and the need to try to remain fully focused throughout the beginning of the semester, Netflix or Hulu can become an enemy of sorts. But, with “Friends” as a choice of show, the ability to multitask is unbelievable. You can still get involved in the lives of this group of friends while completely staying focused on homework, other hobbies and such. “Friends” makes for great background noise.

Not to mention, for those nights when you can’t fall asleep, just watching episode after episode (particularly when you start at a random part in the series) can really bring a little slice of laughter into your life before you enjoy a night’s rest.

My personal favorite time to watch “Friends” is with my friends. Laughing together throughout the evening and relating way too closely to the cast is an entertaining time for everyone involved.

Best Episode


Honestly, there isn’t one episode I would or wouldn’t recommend. They are all good choices. Every viewer has particular parts in the series they prefer over others. If I were to choose a particular part in the series to watch, I would put my focus on season five. I am one of those fans of the series who loves seeing Monica and Chandler jump through hoops to keep their relationship secret.

Similar Shows

“Seinfeld,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “New Girl,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “Happy Endings.”

Trigger Warnings

“Friends” does contain some adult themes, while using general sarcasm.  The series jokes about subjects relevant to older viewers, and for the sake of comprehension, this series is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

5 out of 5 stars
Available to stream on Netflix.
236 episodes, approximately 89 hours.

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About the Contributor
Abigail Raasch, Arts Writer
Abigail Raasch is an arts writer.

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