Jon began dating ellen ross
1994, lest we forget, was also the year of Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites, the film that purported to hold a mirror up to Generation X, the flannel-clad, pop culture-weaned baby adults embittered by the world they inherited from their self-obsessed boomer parents.
The Friends ensemble may not have been clad in flannel but the theme song made the show’s intentions clear: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap), your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA ...” The first few episodes were barely distinguishable from the beer commercials that played in the breaks: pretty young people trading high-fives and conversing in ironic barbs.
It also dangled the possibility of a Ross and Rachel recoupling through several cliffhangers without ever putting them back together – even when he accidentally impregnated her.
Finally, it sprung the stealth relationship of Chandler and Monica on us, which we didn’t see coming and which we loved!
NBC put more shows from the Friends writing staff on its Thursday night comedy schedule, with limited success. Ellen Degeneres had the misfortune to star in a copy so blatant it was titled These Friends Of Mine (also featured Chandler’s nemesis, Janice! The BBC was not above manufacturing domestic equivalents in Game On and Steven Moffat’s Coupling, which in a coals-to Newcastle scenario was remade and botched by NBC.
Jerry Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Allen and Paul Reiser were making seven-figure-salaries.Within a year it was a phenomenon, pulling in the kind of ratings today’s most buzzed-about series – New Girl, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, even Modern Family – can only dream of.And its doubtful that any of those shows would even exist without Friends.And, crucially, audiences liked hanging out with them in their surreally expansive Manhattan apartments and imbibing javas in Central Perk.But what really ignited Friends was Ross and Rachel.