Friday, December 12, 2014

5 unanswered questions from my favourite sitcom, F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S is a favourite with millions of people across the world. My best stress burster and an all-time comfort watch, the episodes transport me into a different world. I have written about it before here and here. But I think the more you watch something the more you try to reason things out. Beyond all the fun and laughter, there are a few lingering questions in my mind that keep coming back. I thought I should share them here and see if any of you have an answer. 

1. What was wrong with Pete?
Some twists in the sitcom feel like just a whim on the part of the writers. Pete was a perfect person any woman would want to marry. Handsome, intelligent, rich and considerate - he had all a woman would want in her man. And the best Monica could get! Why did the writers kill that relationship off? The couples who were eventually put together is even more imperfect.

2. Why do friends end up marrying each other?
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Why were friends turned into lovers? No new people except Mike. I guess there weren't any more friends left except for Joey who isn't marriage material. Monica could have married Pete, Rachel and Mark were great together, Ross and Mona were fine - she even liked his collection of semi precious stones!! I somehow don’t agree with the friends-marrying-each-other concept. Even the series is named FRIENDS!! 

3. Why did the Ross-Rachel track drag on for all 10 seasons?
It seems like the writers just did not know what new to do with the plot. The time after Emma is born, Ross and Rachel do find themselves living happily together and raising the baby. But they still act annoying by treating marriage with each other like a horrible idea. And they are anyways brought together at the end of the series! This also goes into my previous question. 

4. Why are pointless flings between friends just thrown in?
This started towards the later seasons of the series. Joey has a crush on Rachel. It doesn't work. And then Rachel has the hots for Joey! It can't get more silly. And the track is so contrived proved by their inability to take it any further even after they reveal their feelings for each other. Seems like the writers twist it that way to make it easier to kill it off. 

5. Why doesn’t Monica get pregnant?
This is my biggest question because it makes me very sad for her. Monica has always been in control and managed to discipline everyone. Looks like she just failed to control this. Given how she badly wants to be a mother, it almost seems cruel of the writers to deprive her of that joy.

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Do you find something to say about the series? Are there things that irk you in the otherwise perfect series? Or do you refuse to accept there's anything wrong in it and will defend till the end?

Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments. 


  1. I agree with you regarding Monica's pregnancy thing , never thought this, but yes the writers should have considered that given how badly she wanted to be a mother. agr

  2. I agree with Monica and Pete's relationship , they should have been married to each other ..:)

  3. Nice read, thank you for sharing your views!:)

  4. Thank you for your comments, Aniket!

  5. Hey there! I appreciate your take on Friends. I love the show, so I will try to allay some of your doubts and reservations..

    Why it never worked with Pete & Monica..the answer is timing. Yup, timing is a bitch. Maybe that was also in the minds of the makers of Friends. Remember the time Monica thinks Pete is going to propose to her, but he kills the buzz by getting boxing into the equation. It's unbearable for Monica to see Pete getting bashed up again and again. And slowly and most definitely, their relationship goes down the drain. With Chandler everything worked out. They were like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which are supposed to fit together. They complement each other's inefficiencies perfectly! Monica was a control freak (Pete had that edge too & that would have caused friction in their relationship in the future), while Chandler needed a relationship tutor, literally! Deep inside, Chandler yearned for stability, which came easily with Monica, who was obviously very sorted in her mind! Remember the episode, "the one that could have been". Even if Monica had remained overweight, she would have ended up with Chandler. As far as their fertility in concerned, may I point out that, as per their medical reports, Chandler and Monica, couldn't sire children. It's true, Monica had a burning desire to have her own children. Even in real life, we come across such people who fail to conceive, and so she ends up adopting children. If you can't have children of your own, that seems like a feasible option. I say, why not? It's better than more complicated options like surrogacy et cetera. Or maybe out of all the characters, Monica & Chandler seemed to have a perfect life. By adding this cliché, the writers simply wanted to convey that even they had their share of problems. This answers your 5th question too, I think.

    Why do friends get married to each other..? That could happened on public demand, true. Monica and Chandler were meant to be together, so their marriage seems quite feasible. Joey..well, he is an amazing person..but, he is more like a full grown child. He is the kind of person..the more you know him, the more you "like" him. See, I used the word "like". No wonder, Rachel feels all weird when she tries to make out with him. Rachel tries to hook up with Joey when she is emotionally vulnerable. Joey being "Joey", falls for her. Phoebe was never particularly fond of Ross, as a human being. She loved metaphysics & mysticism, while Ross was a man rooted in facts.

  6. Ross-and-Rachel, to be fairly honest, those two shouldn't have ended up together. I mean..10 years! I am not including those years when Ross had a secret crush on Rachel as a teenager. That's a lot of time!! You either marry that person or fade away. That happens in the real world, at least. But, that did not happen because their "friends" circle was the same. All those years, Rachel was Monica's roommate, than she became Joey's roommate. Ross leased the ugly-naked-guy's-apartment, right across Monica's apartment. They kept bumping into each other. Their history drove away every person who tried to date them. And we never really get over our exes, you know, unresolved feelings and shit! No wonder, they eventually even have a daughter together. Ideally, it's futile to be in touch with your ex. But, in their case that becomes inevitable. After Emma's birth, they get bound to each other, even more strongly. The last episode was, point in fact, the worst episode of the entire series. Because they made it all dramatic and "scripted". Let's just say, that comes with the whole package that continues to entertain us even today. :)

    Friends is called "Friends" because it was about friends. In India, our families are involved in all major decisions of our lives. Friends take a back seat, after a while. But, in that part of world where Friends got produced, "friends" play a very important part in people's life. Children move out of their parent's home, make end's meet and are fiercely independent. They visit their families, of course. But, as they toil and earn their bread and butter themselves, friends become closer than even their families. Friends become your new family. The same pattern can be detected in other sitcoms like "How I Met Your Mother" and "Big Bang Theory" too. So I guess, it's quite clear why some of those "friends" end up marrying each other and, of course, why the makers of Friends decided to call the show "Friends".

    PS:- Of course, I can be horribly wrong! This is my viewpoint. I throughly enjoyed reading your post. :)

  7. Interesting post... But then you have written it with the power of hindsight after having watched all seasons after they have ended... :) Those episodes were written on a weekly basis and if a lot of suggestions made by you were incorporated, it wouldn't have lasted more than 5 seasons... :) When they conceptualised the show, the original plan was to hook Joey & Monica but as the show moved on, it made more logical sense for Monica to be with Chandler while Ross & Rachel made a great couple... The reason why 'their relationship' dragged on for 10 years was because they never really had any 'closure' and if they had been together anytime before, the show would have fizzled.. My limited point being that it probably made the most sense when the show was being shot on a real time basis while might not make as much sense 10 years after the show has shut.. :)