Mother of all sitcoms

“How you doin’?”
— Joey

I love friends. I remember watching it when it first came out. At that age most of the humour went over my head, however I still found it fascinating. There was something innately funny about friends that did not require a prior understanding of either their setting or their culture. Friends was relatable beyond traditional boundaries.

The cast were very relatable and faced situations we all face in our day to day lives. They, like us, grew with relation to the passage of time and events in their life. It was an exhilarating experience to watch Ross and Rachel's love story unfurl and come to a wonderful finale.

Exam time was when I turned to watching friends for company. Friends are always in short supply during exams. Watching Friends made me feel like I was a part of their little Manhattan circle, sitting and discussing the vagaries of life with them in Central Perk. It made the moments between textbooks and exams more pleasant.


A show about nothing

“Yada yada yada”
— Elaine

First I thought friends was the best show ever. Then I watched Seinfeld. Confusion ensued. Now I don't know which show trumps the other. They are both set in New York and feature a group of friends going about their lives, but thats where the similarities end. Seinfeld was groundbreaking, leading to a host of other shows among similar lines.

It was reassuring to see characters who were as imperfect as we were. Who did not grow as people with each passing show and season. The main characters were all deeply flawed individuals, just as we are, and they didn't care about it. It managed to portray the minutiae of daily life while simultaneously being funny and entertaining.

The characters were more real and neurotic than what we had encountered in previous shows. We could never really come to care for them the way we came to care for the cast of Friend, but we could not pull ourselves away either, turning in week after week to catch their adventures. If Friends was a world in itself, Seinfeld was a universe.


Where no one has gone before

“For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence”
— Q

At first I wondered if I would like watching Star Trek. The Original Series was more than fifty years old for one. The Next Generation also ended over twenty years. Science fiction is something best enjoyed fresh. Or so I felt before watching Star Trek: The Original Series. I was wrong.

The Original Series was lightyears ahead of its time. It offered us a look into the future. A future in which people of different races worked together harmoniously. Where everyone was equal. A future set amid the peak of cold war tensions, where solutions and compromises could be reached without resorting to violence. 

Since then the show has spawned hundreds of episodes and several films. It has become multibillion dollar franchise with countless fans for a very good reason. It showed us a positive vision of the future. It inspired us and gave us something to strive for. To boldly go where no one has gone before.