Friends bowed out a decade ago today, but it hasn't really gone anywhere.
There are no plans for new episodes (thank God), no plans for a movie (thank greater gods) but its repeats continue to flourish as televisual wallpaper – a comfort blanket that is consistently mildly amusing and consistently, crucially, not Eggheads or Hollyoaks or Bondi Rescue.
The first couple of seasons were patchy, the third, fourth and fifth were a sitcom apotheosis (and I will fight anyone on a stormy mountaintop who disagrees), and the last few were increasingly two-dimensional and lazy, but the sheer volume of episodes (236) guarantee it eternal life – each feels familiar but never like you have seen it too many times.
Admittedly if I watched Friends for the first time today I would probably find it fairly disappointing and only marginally better than the comedies ABC churns out each year, but it’s the nostalgia that drives Friends' bankable ratings.
E4 gave up on it in 2011 after repeating it non-stop for half a decade but fortunately Comedy Central picked it up and has now resumed the repeats as a public service, probably indefinitely.
If our lives are extended, be it through nanomedicine or cybernetics (the argument for which will be 'to enable us to watch more Friends repeats') I don't doubt I will still be watching 'The One With The Embryos' aged 128, life slowly expiring as "How you dooooin'?" dribbles out of my dying mouth.Reuse content