Yesterday night, I finished the season finale of “Friends.” It took me about three weeks to make it through ten seasons worth of 21 minute episodes. I had not grown up with Friends. For me, it was along the lines of “Sex and the City.” I knew it existed, I knew it was highly popular, but I just never watched it as a kid or as a teenager. I had all ten seasons with me, so I thought, why not watch it over summer vacation?
I came to know and love these characters as my friends. I laughed at Chandler’s stupid jokes. I found everything that was annoying about Ross to be endearing. I wanted Monica to take care of me and cook for me. I wanted Phoebe to teach me French. I wanted Rachel to take me shopping. I cried when Ross and Rachel broke up. I cried when she came back for him. I cried when Monica and Chandler found out they couldn’t have kids. It was like I was there, in that purple apartment, growing with them.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for people to watch the season finale when it originally aired in 2004. Saying goodbye to the characters must have been especially hard after a ten year journey together. People say “How I Met Your Mother” heavily references this show. I can see that, but it doesn’t even come close in the impact that this show had. “Friends’ may not always had a clear idea of where it was going but it always found its way. And it had heart. HIMYM gets easily distracted and quickly loses the viewer’s attention with one of Barney’s crazy schemes or Ted’s constant worrying.
This show now holds a special place in my heart. It ranks right up there with “Boy Meets World.”
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