On Sept. 22, 1994, 25 years ago, “Friends” made its NBC debut and forever changed the landscape of American sitcoms. Fans around the world fell in love with the show’s witty and sharp humor and continue to watch it today, still laughing along with the characters all the while. The show turned its six stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer into household names, as they still remain popular in the public eye to this day. Now, a number of “Friends” related events and television specials are celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary this month, including CNN, which will honor the NBC show with “Friends Forever: 25 Years Of Laughter.”
“Having ‘Friends’ on in the background of my daily life at home practically became second nature. It was my go-to source of entertainment and laughter in high school, college, and beyond. It cheered me up after bad days and helped me through bad breakups. Without fail, every episode took me back to the first time I watched it, and filled me with a sense of calm. It still does,” says Elizabeth Entenman, a writer for Refinery29, an American digital media and entertainment company.
CNN host Alisyn Camerota will take viewers on a journey back to the famous “Central Perk” couch, where the characters often met. Camerota will also uncover secrets and insider details on what paved way for David Crane and Marta Kauffman to create one of the most successful shows in television history. The “Friends” anniversary special marks one of the last times fans may get to take a trip down memory lane and catch glimpses of the show in a new light.
“Friends” is one of the most successful sitcoms to ever hit television because the characters are relatable and the actors who play each character portray them so well. Viewers can still watch the series and laugh, whether it be their first time watching, or the tenth time watching it through. Largely, the success of the TV series is attributed to its envelopment of friendship, love, family life, work life, fun times, sadness, jealousy and fights: real-world components of daily life for people across the world.
“Ultimately the big, core reason that ‘Friends’ was so universally popular and remains so is the fact that it is a show about friendship. It also speaks to the times in our lives when your friends take primacy and mean everything to you,” says Kelsey Miller, a writer, and author of the book “I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends.”
As it still maintains renowned status today, “Friends” will continue to have a special place in viewers’ hearts as they continue to celebrate the show and relate to each of the characters as they watch with them and laugh along, too. The fact that “Friends” still remains vastly popular and talked about today makes it both special and timeless--after all, Netflix would not have forked out $80 million to keep the show on its platform over the course of this year--according to entertainment news outlet,Vulture--for nothing.