Friday, September 28, 2007

To F.R.I.E.N.D.S - Part 1

Warning...This post is purely for FRIENDS buffs and all time addicts to the show.

In one of my previous posts, I had briefly mentioned about the series - FRIENDS. Here is my ode to that wonderful series.

FRIENDS - the most popular among sitcoms, aired for ten years(seasons) from 1994 to 2004 on CNBC in the States. I was initially averse to the idea of such a TV series as my supposed belief was that the "laughing audience" that accompanied the jokes were a hindrance to smooth viewing and that they were more of a make-believe mechanism to induce people into thinking that the joke was funny when actually it wasn't!!
Yet, it was during the December holidays of my third year in college that I watched the first ever episode of FRIENDS on Starworld late in the night. I remember that it was one from the last season, just to have a glimpse of how good/bad the show actually was. My hostel wing in my college was a constant hub for FRIENDS viewing. And that induced me to watch the show for the first time. With our hostel rooms being LAN-equipped, we had no better businees to do than to download movies and play LAN games. FRIENDS had always been there on the LAN. Within no time, I had all the ten seasons on my hard-disk once I got back to campus that January.

It's been nearly two years now. Woah! Never did I think that I would get so addicted to the show. Joey, Phoebe, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel - the six of them, unique in their own ways, have left an impression that probably no other contemporary characters on TV have.
First and foremost, the jokes. Each one of them is unique and authentic conforming to the highest standards. The best part is that almost all of them would make you laugh. There are few ones that would cause your face to contort. The script and dialogue writers have delivered in all the episodes with their skilled witticism, manifestation of really good humour, unlike the crass,cheap and slapstick ones that we get to see usually from many other comic capers.

Second come the actors. What a choice! All of them fit into their roles with elan. An ensemble of some of the finest actors, the fact that their careers never 'took off' even after this series tells how difficult people found to place them in other roles having seen them in FRIENDS. People couldn't just see them differently. They just didn't fit in!

Another amazing aspect is the characterisation of the lead players. They are not only distinct but also non-overlapping and their very nature has been maintained throughout the ten seasons. Joey with his innocence and profound stupidity, Phoebe with her assertive unconventional ways, Chandler and his outright sarcastic self, domineering Monica with her "Live by the Rules" obsession , Ross with his myriad expressive emotions revolving around his relationship conundrums and Rachel with her whiny, girlish self - characteristics of the six protagonists in a nutshell, the setting and the story revolve around them throughout the ten seasons.

For a beginner, the ideal way to kick start would be with season one and to progress along the timeline. The season takes you through one heck of a laughing spree as you get used to the humour(the accent and tone - so important to understand the context of a joke) and the characterisations. Chandler easily scores over the rest with his satirical lines, mocking every other in the group. "Ohh! Sorry Ross! I was very drunk and was in someone else's sub-conscious", "Yes! Around 200 others whom I went to high school with"...(to be continued)