The title question came from my girlfriend, who was sort of half-watching the episode of Friends I was watching.
"Wait you haven't watched Friends?!" I was in utter disbelief. I naively assumed even if everyone my age had not seen the show they at least knew the biggest 'will-they, won't they' couple from it. Apparently not.
So started a journey where we decided to watch all ten seasons of Friends in order. By the middle of the series, Carrie was hooked. She constantly complained it was predictable, but she laughed out loud more at Friends then any other comedy we have watched.
I asked her to describe her experience and she said "It was okay, but every character had exactly two jokes that were repeated over and over: Monica used to be fat and is obsessive about cleaning. Ross has effeminate qualities and is nerdy because of his profession. Joey is dumb and dates around a lot.
Phoebe has a rough background and says extremely quirky things. Nobody seems to like Chandler and he makes sarcastic jokes. Rachel...dates a lot and is sorta ditzy."
"Well I am impressed. That was surprisingly accurate." It is interesting to see how American television comedies have evolved continuously. My interest in watching Friends again stemmed from listening to Warren Littlefield's Top of the Rock: The Rise and Fall of Must-see TV.
Here are some great comedies you can check out from Des Plaines Public Library, along with some great books on the subject of television comedy: