This Sunday, Sept. 22, will mark the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Friends. In 1994, NBC executives decided to green-light the television program Insomnia Cafe, a show about six twenty-somethings who sit around drinking coffee and complaining about daily struggles. Little did they know that this show would change television comedy forever.
This program, which executives thought would be “too young” and “too inappropriate,” was later renamed Friends to make its premise simpler for audiences to understand. On Sept. 22, 1994, the show premiered to instant praise from audiences around the world. Young adults had never before seen main characters in sitcoms who were so relatable and open with their sexual histories; it was refreshing to see real life reflected in the media.
Twenty-five years later and Friends is still as popular as it was in the ’90s. People cover their phone cases in ugly-couch stickers and quotes like “PIVOT,” “UNAGI” and “Can You BE Any More…” scrawled upon them. The Central Perk set in Los Angeles is still one of the most visited television sets at Warner Brothers Studio (people propose to their loved ones every day on the famed coffee shop couch). People constantly binge-watch the show on Netflix. Consistently referenced in the pop culture lexicon, Friends has endured a quarter of a century.
For more information on Friends and its continued impact on society and modern culture, and whether its a good or bad depiction of America in a bygone era, be sure to read senior Lleyton Abell’s article “Are Our Friends Still Worth Our Time?” in the October edition of Sword & Shield.