5 Reasons Why I Prefer ‘The Office’ Over ‘Friends’! #UnpopularOpinion
While the upcoming Friends Reunion is creating so much cheer in the world, it makes me think if the American sitcom deserves this appreciation. Read my opnion before you catch the special episode on ZEE5 on 27 May 2021.
FRIENDS, the sitcom that aired from 1994-2004, has a very big place in pop culture and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. But, here is an unpopular opinion. Friends is an extremely overrated show. Strictly a personal opinion, but it does not deserve so much praise for the kind of humour and writing that it has. Now that the Friends Reunion is going to be released, the kind of cheer it has created makes me raise my point once again. I believe the show is O.V.E.R.R.A.T.E.D, and here are some reasons why.
Very Problematic Humour
This point becomes very important to address when it comes to a sitcom that continues to influence millions. Throughout their entire run of ten years, Friends had a constant factor of homophobic humour. Not only that but there are also repetitive jokes about fat-shaming. And what’s worse is that, right from their first season in 1994 to their final season in 2004, things did not change really. Besides that, Friends created so many stereotypes, constantly. Like this scene, which still circulates on social media as a ‘funny post,’ needs to be criticised.
If we just talk about the basic factors of the show, the writing was way too repetitive. Be it any new situation that the episodes came to revolve around, there were always the same jokes that each one of them seemed to have, with just different words. It was like the show made a ‘law of conservation of jokes’ – no (new) humour is created or (old one) destroyed – it just transfers from one episode to another. Moreover, most of the jokes and punchlines in the show just seem very childish and immature.
That is one of the biggest factors why the sitcom The Office is a lot better – the humour is not immature and childish, and not at all repetitive.
Makes Heroes out of Cringe and Problematic Elements
When there are cringe-worthy elements in Friends, the show does not address it as cringe – it makes heroes out of it. Like the constant homophobic humour, for example – when one friend picks on Chandler and behaves that way, the rest of the four join in, instead of addressing it as wrong.
At the same time, when we consider the sitcom, The Office, we see how cringe humour could be addressed. The show builds on some of its characters’ cringe factors and elements, and directly addresses them as wrong and problematic to the audience – it does not make heroes out of problematic elements, it presents it in a way that tells us that this is wrong while creating humour out of it.
The Uselessly Long Laughtracks
Laughter tracks are not that problematic, they are acceptable to a limit. But this show has such long laughter tracks that continue even after the joke has died down. One can’t help but imagine how awkward the scene would be with all the silence if the laughter track did not exist.
Again, in this case, when we compare it with sitcoms like The Office and Brooklyn 99, those shows create far more humour, without forcing the viewers to laugh by inputting lengthy laughter tracks.
No Character Development
First of all, if the content is in the form of a long-running show (in this case a 10 years run), there should be at least some character development in it. Agreed, that in sitcoms, the character development is not really the point. But if it is running for 10 seasons and 10 years, there should be at least SOME character altering. And frankly, there were chances for the writers to bring some character development for the characters – like the divorces of Ross, for example, but sadly, we did not see that.
Once again, when we take an example of the show The Office, despite being a sitcom, it succeeds in bringing character development to a lot of its characters. Even if a character underwent a bad development, like Andy, there was still some change to his journey. When a character does not undergo a single life-altering phase in such a long series, it just feels very unnatural.
The Friends Reunion releases on ZEE5 on 27 May at 12.32 pm. Those who don’t have a ZEE5 subscription yet can have one at Rs 499 for one year. This would give y’all access to a variety of content available on ZEE5 including some South Korean shows and Hollywood movies that are dubbed in Hindi. In addition, you will also get a ZEEPLEX ticket for Radhe so, that’s a win-win scenario.
For more stories and entertainment, stay connected to ZEE5.