End Times Are Here, Brothers

If I had a choice between watching a Friends marathon on the big screen and cancer, I would choose cancer because it has a higher survival rate than suicide.

There is absolutely nothing I detest more than this incredibly successful and long-running show that I have never seen save in clips and clicking past while channel surfing. Except maybe the people who enjoy it, as I blame them for all of the problems in the world.

If I need to explain to you the reasons why then you don’t belong on this site.

Now, Fathom Events, the company who is bringing us a re-release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture has conducted a vicious, cowardly attack on our culture and society in the form of Friends 25th: The One With The Anniversary.

Your friends are still there for you, 25 years later! Celebrate the milestone anniversary of the beloved sitcom, coming to the big screen for the first time ever! This is a show about love and sex and careers and a time in life when everything is possible … about the search for commitment and security … and the fear of commitment and security. Most of all, it’s about friendship–for when you’re young and single in the city, your friends are your family.

This crime against decency will be shown over three nights at the end of September 2019:

Sept 23rd
Pilot (ReDo), The One With The Black Out, The One With The Birth, The One Where Ross Finds Out

Sept 28rd
The One With The Prom Video, The One Where No One’s Ready, The One With The Morning After, The One With The Embryos

Oct 3rd
The One With Chandler In A Box, The One With Ross’s Wedding – Part 2, The One Where Everyone Finds Out, The One Where Ross Got High

I’m assuming that this “The One” bullshit is their meta, cutsie-pie naming convention for episodes. I don’t know why it enrages me.

Why It Enrages Me

For a large segment of society — mainly female — this television show became not just a mirror but a yardstick, then a guidebook. It was a time of grunge, alt-rock and indie cinema, but I suddenly became aware that co-workers and acquaintances we acting strangely upbeat, even cheery. Girls who a year earlier had vamped as Mia Wallace were now this bizarre caricature of a snarky sorority sister. Then I realized, they were all watching this TV show — and all watching it together!

I wonder if this show, along with some others, isn’t primarily responsible for the vast number of Americans — mainly female — who are heavily drugged over an anxiety and depression diagnosis. When this kind of vapid entertainment becomes your benchmark for human interaction, expressing actual human thoughts and emotion become, like, really weird, you know?

People feel like they can’t act outside of the approved conduct of sitcom land.

I realize that there were other shows like Seinfeld, which I did watch, but Friends, as well as its audience, seemed much more aspirational. Jerry and Elaine were you were supposed to laugh at, Ross and Rachel were who you were supposed to be.

After all, this is a show that played people’s natural reactions to the vicissitudes of life for canned laughs:

Perhaps the show dealt with these issues in a responsible, mature way through the power of humor but I really doubt it. That wouldn’t fit their demo. Here’s an example of a fan commenting on the above video:

It’s just too funny. but also like super-sad, guis. Right?