F.R.I.E.N.D.S - The TV Show To End All TV Shows
When you have children, you might watch movies and shows you would never consider for yourself.
Like, when my stepson moved in with us in his early teens, he announced during our first dinner at home together: "I watch "The King of Queens" re-runs on television every day, is that okay with you guys?" We shrugged, then joined him quite regularly in front of the TV - and that became kind of our family ritual:
Chilling, laughing, sharing the situative comic of that very special family situation of a young couple, living with their in-law in the basement. As families before us used to watch "The Brady Bunch"" and families today love to share "Modern Family".
At the same time my stepdaughter loved "Friends" - I was never really interested, because I felt too old for those Twens and their Twenty-something-problems. I preferred "Sex And The City" - the first show ever I binge-watched on a DVD-player may husband gave me for Christmas together with the Third and the Fourth season of the show.
Then I spend a week in New York in early 2001; due to my jet lag I switched through television channels in the evening. And there it was: An episode of "Friends" in their then seventh season, called "The One Where Rosita Dies".
And I am close to the verdict: My life changed forever.
First of all, as I watched the show in its original language, I suddenly got the perfect writing - I was laughing so hard, I almost fell off the daybed in my hotel. Second of all, those characters, their actions woven into each other in three different plots within one single show, stroke me, touched me, stayed with me - they became MY friends within those magic twenty-two minutes.
Rachel, trying to fix the bizarre chair her roommate Joey (also a F.R.I.E.N.D) loves so much, he even named it "Rosita".
Phoebe, who tries to earn some extra money by selling copy-toner over the phone and of all people reaches a guy who wants to kill himself.
Monica, who always feels second best behind her older brother Ross (another of those F.R.I.E.ND.S), all of a sudden gets a surprisingly generous present by her father.
And last but not least Chandler, Monica´s husband, the weirdest of them all - but also my personal crush from moment One I saw him acting all funny and weird.
The amazing thing is: "Friends" is still my favorite show. Even though I now know so many good shows. Perfectly scripted, brilliantly acted, more modern, more sophisticated, more appropriate.
But never again I bonded so much with a show to re-run again and again every single season.
Like a good song that you can hear all over again every now and then, this show comforts me on busy airports, in lonely hotel rooms, in the wee hours when I cannot sleep.
I am sure you have your own perfect show, the one to end all others - but if you want to try mine: Always start with "The One Where Rosita Dies."
All pictures courtesy of Warner Brothers.
The show is now running in Netflix or Amazon Prime, depending on national rights.