Author Topic: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons  (Read 2536 times)

Offline DJ Doena

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Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« on: November 02, 2007, 04:39:29 PM »
In opposition to the early adopters I've always been more of a late adoper. Especially when it comes to trends and hypes. Every time a hype is rolling I am against it per se. And to be honest in most cases the hype doesn't last long and it was a good thing I wasn't being involved in that crap.

Something like that happend with Friends. It was running on TV all the time but I haver felt any connection to that flat sharing community from New York. Over the years I watched a few episodes but I had never the urge to zap in the next week. Since a few months, Friends is running again on the german TV station Kabel 1 and I watched a few episoded again.

When we talked about this show at work, a friend of mine recommended this show wholeheartedly. He watched it during its original run and additionally with the original soundtrack (usually movies and shows are dubbed in germany).

Thus I made the decision to buy this show three years after it ended. And I decided to buy the entire show at once. Unfortunately the german box is sold out and I didn't want to have a variation of different box types. Then I found the UK box and bought it for 90£ (135€, $187). 13.50€ is a fair price for a season box around here, although a national electronic store is currently selling them for 9.90€ apiece. Well, at least I've got a really nice package for all ten seasons:

And what can I say: I was fascinated from the first episodes on. The facial expressions and the gestures of the actors and the jokes are awesome.

But the most important element of the show is a continuing story telling. As I have stated before, TV shows must have a continuing storyline to be interesting. I grew up in the 80s and (being born in east germany) I watched a lot of "Westfernsehen" (TV stations from west germany). I watched everything the TV stations deemed worthy of broadcasting: Star Trek, The Fall Guy, Riptide, MacGyver and so on. But somewhere in the history of making TV shows they switched to continuing stories. Examples for this are Babylon 5 and later on also Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Both shows, as well as Emergency Room and Friends started in the years 1993/1994. In my opinion these shows had a lasting impact on TV shows.

Some say that Friends was corny and contained many soap elements (especially the Ross/Rachel story and the season cliffhangers) but they always spiced it up with a great pinch of humour.

But let's look on other comedy shows in comparison: Married With Children, Home Improvement and King of Queens. All sitcoms in the classical fashion with a certain set of places (first and foremost the living room) that remain constant throughout the years. The difference is that the characters only change slightly or not at all. Granted, the children get older but other than that very few things change. If you watch an episode of the first or seventh season becomes only clear through the age of the actors. That's my personal reason why I stopped collection these shows. There is no need to watch the next episode. You've had a few good laughs but when the next episode begins everything has been resetted.

On Friends there is the additional element of the relations between the characters. This is through the chosen setting (6 friends). Almost all characters are "combinable", while the classic sitcoms is based upon a family and thus the characters have defined relations among each other.  Just the combinations of who is roomie with whom and situations based on that are simply not doable in other sitcoms.

The next thing is the ensemble. No one of the six is perfectly normal but that is not unusual among sitcoms (Al Bundy, Steve Urquel, Dharma Freedom Finkelstein-Montgomery) but in this show everyone is a bit of a weirdo. And they are well-balanced. Nowadays Jennifer Aniston may be the well-knownst actress but I had never the feeling  one of the characters  was missed out. No character outshone all others nor was anyone over-shadowed. Granted, Joey had the least character developement of all (although he made a great leap forward over the last two seasons) but that doesn't mean the others outshone him.

So I watched The One Where It All Began for the first time on October, 18th and in the night from November 1st to 2nd The Last One. 14 days (in which I regulary went to work) for 236 episodes á 22 minutes. A great deal but absolutely worth it. One hopes, worries and suffers with the characters and that's exactly what makes a good TV show. When you almost get the feeling the characters are real and not just on that screen. When you ask yourself after the last episode whether they will see each other on a regular basis even when they live in different places now.

I thank you Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Chandler, Joey & Ross for a great time!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 09:28:42 PM by DJ Doena »
Karsten

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Offline Achim

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 05:09:20 PM »
 :o 2 weeks for all 10 seasons! Wow, kudos to you.

I like Friends too. Have seen certain sections of various seasons on TV in Shanghai and Taiwan (eventually my cable company dropped the channel where it was playing :(). While the continuous story arc is great to get attached to the people more, I always found it easy to get into it even mid-season (sometimes I would find the channel that was dropped for a while at a new location and could watch some episodes until it was dropped yet again).

It is one of the few laugh-out-loud shows for me. (I wouldn't buy it though, as I don't want to buy all 10 really and otherwise wouldn't know which one to choose. I did, however, buy all 6 seasons of 3rd Rock from the Sun, which I love even more.)

Offline Kathy

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 05:55:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing Karsten. Although this show was one of several of my friends favorites, I have never seen an episode of Friends. I never had any desire to do so...until now. I always thought it was a bit like the American afternoon soap operas, something I can not tolerate because the acting is horrendous. I guess the illustrates how wrong assumptions can be.

Najemikon

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 10:33:43 PM »
Excellent post, Karsten. I like to dip in and out of Friends... erm, that sounded dodgy...  ;D

It's weird for me because when I watch it, I like it. But when I remember it, I hate it! In general terms I don't like the US sitcom format, but Friends was definitely the best.
 
However, like I say, when I think of it, I remember all the showboating to the audience :devil: :

"Oh. My. GAAAAADDDD!" followed by whooping, about every 2 minutes; or "Could you BE any FUNNier?"; and Chandler with his deadpan delivery, followed by what looks like an electric shock, then yelling a contradiction to his first statement. An extension of the American alternative to sarcasm (say "NOT!" after a sentence).

I always liked Phoebe though and I think she got the best lines. My favourite was when she was asked to help with something: "Ohhh, I wish I could. But I just don't want to." Or when she ran like a kid because kids enjoy running just for the hell of it. Rachel tried and hit a horse.

Damn, I think I'm liking this thing again!

Nah. Spaced, Father Ted, Red Dwarf, Two Pints of Lager (Friends, as played by chavs near Liverpool!), Black Books. All of these are much better than Friends, simply because all these are British and the British can write funnies funnier than Americans... DUCK!!!  :tomato: :shutup:

Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 10:44:30 PM »
British humour I'll never get. It's just not funny. Life of Brian was ok but the other Python stuff? Not funny at all.

But who am I to tell, I am german, we have no humour we are aware of...
Karsten

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Najemikon

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 10:49:20 PM »
British humour I'll never get. It's just not funny. Life of Brian was ok but the other Python stuff? Not funny at all.

But who am I to tell, I am german, we have no humour we are aware of...

That's true! You lot are almost as bad as the Welsh...  :tease: :hysterical:

Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009, 10:32:36 PM »
I am about to finish my second round of this show (currently watching The Last One) and it's still as good as the first time around.

But I am again sad to watch the clique breaking apart - Monica and Chandler moving to the suburbs, Joey will go to L.A. :weep:

I only like conclusions to series when they are absolutely necessary (Like Galactica, Lost). Of the three kinds of series endings (open cliffhanger, the end, open end) I like an open end the most where you just can imagine that it will continue in a similar way it has been while it ran. Was there really a reason to break them up?
Karsten

Abraham Lincoln once said The trouble with quotes from the internet is that you never know if they're genuine.

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Najemikon

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Re: Friends: The One With All Ten Seasons
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 01:42:49 AM »
I'd put money on a reunion within the next year. Aniston has said she'd be up for a special, but not a movie. Kudrow says she'll consider anything if its good. The cynic in me says this is an executive putting feelers out, and it's given some weight with Aniston being first to mention it. She's the only one who doesn't need it! All the others have gone a little quiet, except Schwimmer who does a lot of directing now.