How "Friends," HIMYM and Pretty Much All Buddy Comedies Lied to Me
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with “Friends.” I know we all were. But I was weirdly obsessed. I dominated “Friends” trivia and used physical VCR tapes to make sure I never missed an episode.
There was a lot of deliberation over the years between girlfriends over who was the Rachel. I always wanted to be a Phoebe but I know at heart I am a Monica.
“Friends” depicted a 24-hour slumber party where boys and girls were both invited! They lived across the hall from one another, never worked and could afford spacious New York apartments.
“Friends” represented adult freedom and fun. Now, I know this is all a sham. No one told me life was gonna be this way . . . And I’m not just talking about jobs, salaries or love lives being DOA. [four claps.]
Shows like “How I Met Your Mother,” “New Girl” and “Happy Endings” — really the whole young professional, buddy genre — have only perpetuated myths about love, life and friendship in your 20s.
Here are the lies TV taught me.
Your best buds won’t live across the hall
In college, you could call your people and see them in 10 minutes or less. However, the 20-something buddy system portrayed on “Friends,” HIMYM, etc. has turned out to be a lie.
Now that I am an “adult,” my friends are scattered all over the world. My surprise birthday party had a GChat connection with people tuning in across America. But, I guess this isn’t the ‘90s in the Village. The world is becoming more and more globally connected and so are relationships. So while the people I love may not be across the hall, they are only a FaceTime away.
You will have to go to work and work will cut into your fun life
Life isn’t all about grabbing coffee or hanging out at MacLaren’s. (And P.S. drinks ain’t free!) At some point, somebody has to go to work. In fact, this work often cuts into your social time. And, even when you leave work, you don’t always feel like grabbing a beer with your friends. Sometimes you want to go home, put on elastic pants and watch Netflix.
Dating your friend may not be the best idea
It will either go Chandler and Monica awesome but usually Ross and Rachel (the first nine seasons) awkward. Breakups usually do a lot of damage to friendships, and friend groups, IRL.
Apartments aren’t self-cleaning
Monica won’t be around to clean the toilet, even while you’re on it. If you leave dishes in the sink, Mom (or Ms. Gellar) won’t be there to pick up after you.
You may not be best friends with your roommate
In fact, you may not like your roommate. Or you won’t even have a roommate. It will just be you, your cat and Netflix. Once jobs and significant others come into the picture, your apartment probably won’t be the social Grand Central Station where friends are constantly cycling through — like Monica and Rachel’s, the Loft on New Girl or the apartment on HIMYM where everyone lived at some point but Barney.
Has TV lied to you?