“Friends” Pilot Review


Rachelle Eldar (Boss-Ass Bitch Fairy)

Well, all you comedy fans out there certainly have something to laugh about now… but not for the reasons you might think. The pilot for Friends aired on September 22nd, and while it may have received decent ratings, most viewers all agree on one thing: This show just isn’t funny.

Lack of humor could be present for a variety of reasons. For one thing, this show is obviously a total Seinfeld wannabe, yet will clearly never be as funny as Seinfeld, which, let’s face it, isn’t even as funny as it was in the past. Call me nostalgic, but how many of you secretly feel the same way?

The pilot did have its moments, admittedly. But it just felt like everyone was trying too hard. The constant banter
was exhausting and unrealistic. If my own group of friends spoke like that to each other all the time, “I’ll be there for you” would likely turn very quickly into “I may strangle you”.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s a brief rundown of the rather unsubstantial plot. The show is about a group of friends living in New York City in apartments that look too large for them to be able to afford. Joey and Chandler are teasing their friend Monica, who is about to go on a date with Paul the “wine guy” (what does that mean, anyways? Does he drink it? Sell it? We may never know).

Her gloomy-looking brother Ross soon joins them in the coffee shop where they’re all sitting on a weekday afternoon, because it’s not like they have to work to afford living in those huge apartments, anyways. Ross has just discovered that his wife is a lesbian and wants a divorce. Nice to meet you, Ross. Also, sucks to be you right now.

But wait! Dramatic plot twist! A pretty girl in a soaking wet wedding dress has just run into the coffee shop. She’s Monica’s best friend from high school and yet she didn’t invite her to her wedding. Ouch. Incidentally, she’s also just left her fiancé at the alter and no longer wants her father’s financial assistance (you go, Rachel! No one else around here seems to get any work done on a weekday).

The rest of the episode consists of Monica reluctantly taking Rachel in as her new roommate, Monica’s date ending up a disaster, and Rachel taking a job as a waitress in the coffee shop where the group spends all their time. We also find out that Ross has had a crush on Rachel since high school. We’re all feeling a bit sorry for Ross at this point, so hopefully that works out for him soon.

Since the actors admittedly all have good chemistry with each other, viewers are curious to see what happens next. But the writers have really got to get their act together and get rid of all the deadbeat jokes. The actors are making way too big an effort to portray one personality trait each: sarcastic Chandler, womanizing Joey, lovesick Monica, spoiled Rachel, gloomy Ross, and ditzy Phoebe.

Is it too much to hope that they’ll eventually break out of these tropes and develop real personalities? Maybe. We could all end up very pleasantly surprised. But I’m not sure we can expect too much from this show. It certainly won’t be around too long if it stays the way it is now!

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