Earlier this year, when I'd come back late afternoon from doing long days of genetics experiments in a laboratory, not knowing how long my university project would take to finish, I would come back to college and relax for a short while by seeing if there were any episodes of Friends on satellite channel E4 which I could watch to unwind and feel happy about the world again.
In fact, I'd used Friends for this purpose for a long time. I think I got into it when I was about 15, when I got hooked one Easter holiday from school. I'd watch T4 mornings on Channel 4 and they'd broadcast 2 episodes every day throughout the school holidays. In fact, I ended up watching the final ninth and tenth seasons when they were being broadcast for the first time in the UK on Friday evenings, so I'm very glad I caught it during its original run.
Further to this, I used to catch the first halves of episodes on weekdays before I'd have to leave to catch the train to go to high school when studying for my GCSEs and A-levels. These were good times.
However, going back to earlier this year, coming back from the lab one day, and finding myself catching the last 3 episodes of the final series, I thought I'd go back to my room and try to find the pilot online to see how much it had changed over the years. This made me realise that I'd only seen patchy collections of episodes, and although I may have seen runs of consecutive episodes, I wasn't watching it in such a way that I could best appreciate the humoir and storylines that I knew ran from the start to the end of the 10 series.
So I embarked on a quest to watch all 236 episodes in order online, which has lasted me almost 6 months to this day...
Friends has to be one of the best sitcoms ever, if only for its continually good standard over its ten-year run. Watching from the start in order really endears you to the characters and the plots in that you actually care about what happens to them more. That said, it is what it is, an enjoyable comedic story that gives you a good laugh. (Although it did almost start affecting my real life at one point when I nearly started renting a flat above a coffee shop!)
During this run I stopped myself from doing several other things I will do in the near future:
- Buy the Friends DVDs to watch them in a legit way. I will now at some point buy the complete collection (15th anniversary edition), so the makers will get their money back from my enjoyment...
- Complete the Sporcle quizzes on Friends episodes and Friends guest stars.
- Download the official Friends screensaver.