Few days back, a friend wrote on her FB wall – I wish I was one of the characters on FRIENDS. Life would have been so much simpler and fun. I wish she was true. Being a passionate FRIENDS fan, I knew it isn’t so simple and fun to be a FRIENDS character. Somewhere between those comic punches, stupidities, madness and laughs, the real struggle, each of the character went through in those 10 seasons didn’t really come out so clearly.
Perhaps the highest earning character in the series. He had a well paid job, great sense of humor (and sarcasm!), intelligence, honesty and helping nature, five close friends (which everyone had, in fact). By the end of season 10, he had everything a person can ask for – Beautiful and caring wife, nice house in the suburbs, steady job and two beautiful angels.
But all of this came at the cost of a father who had an affair with the pool boy and became a drag queen after that, erotic novelist mother, divorced parents during childhood, announced after Thanksgiving dinner that never let him celebrate the festival, smoking habit at the age of 9, paying his friend’s bills for 9 years and then let him (Joey) stay at his place even after marriage, risk to quit a well paid and steady job just to spend Christmas with his wife.
Along with Chandler, the most well to do, financially, but guys would envy him for having the most gorgeous girl in the group. A ray of hope for geeks!!! 😉
But if we rewind to Season 1, facing the fact that your 7 year old marriage has ended up with a revelation that your wife is a lesbian, is no ordinary thing. And then you end up marrying twice again and then divorcing even after trying everything under the sun to save them. If somebody can stand three divorces in life, especially with no apparent fault of anybody (except the second one), and chase the love of his life till the last moment (last episode, Season 10), the person deserves Jennifer Anniston!! 😉
A lot of people, especially unmarried, would also fancy Joey Tribbiani. Who wouldn’t want that eternal charm that makes every woman instantly attracted to him? Also, the most powerful among the three guys.
But the package comes with a disclaimer – if you are ready to struggle and chase your dreams for 10 long years. Also, you are ready to cope up with the fact of losing an opportunity to become a superstar after getting a dream break. Accept the person as your best friend who slept with your sister and doesn’t even remember which one. And also be with the other friend the whole night just to make sure he is OK in spite he sleeping with your girl friend but when you date his ex (since 6 years), he freaks out.
“I had a hard life. My mother killed herself and my step-dad was back in prison and I was living in a gremlin with a guy named Cindy who talks to his hand. I got hepatitis because pimps spit my mouth”
I would only add – not just ready to accept a sister-in-law about 2.5 times the age of her brother but also being surrogate mother for her brother with triplet and going through the pain of labor, carrying three children in the tummy and that everything for someone else. And, on a lighter note, if you are ready to have a twin sister who is a porn star – be Phoebe!!!
Nothing more to say I suppose!!
She has been the most desirable character of the series for both, men and women, albeit for different reasons. Always the center of attraction – be it high school or home or office. Well paid job in a fashion industry – what a women can ask more after that?
But all this came after cutting those credit cards after years of affluent life on father’s money, work as a waitress, face the same set of friends who used to be your fellow shoppers and now your customers. That does require some courage. And how much bad luck you need to not get a new job and lose the old one at the same time!!!
Of all characters, Monica would probably be the least desired. Not sure but perhaps due to obsessive-compulsive, especially when it comes to cleanliness, and extremely competitive nature. What people might love her for would be career perseverance, competitiveness (to an extent) and being the glue that held the group together. You would always want to be the one with the apartment that becomes the center point of get-together. For one thing she can also be an idol (at least hypothetically) for people who would want to lose weight.
But it’s crushing for a lady to deal with the fact that she can never be a mother. And this, on the top of, having a terrible “fatty” childhood, always being second-in-league among siblings and a pretty uneventful love life before she got with Chandler.
Sometimes our choice is not about the success or the life we want, but the struggle we would rather have. Our aspirations and its actual achievement is a lot controlled by the pain we are ready to endure for that.
So, the real question is not which FRIENDS character you want to become, but which FRIENDS character struggle you would pick up!!!