The Double Feature: Friends v. The Office
May 30, 2018
The Case for Friends
“Friends” has been a highly rated television series since its debut in the 90’s. The popularity of the show quickly regained as pop culture and mainstream trends have reinvented old school and vintage favorites including music, movies, fashion, and television shows.
Now a hit in many households, “Friends” is something that parents can watch and connect past feelings with while also watching it with their children and enjoying all the same emotions.
“Friends” has gained enough popularity to be called a classic or even iconic. It’s comedic interest and renowned image of the actors themselves, along with the involvement of real-world experiences has given the series a reputable status on social media platforms, Netflix, and even amongst die-hard fans. For these reasons, the sitcom has been affluent in teaching valuable lessons to viewers by being portrayed in light-hearted and fun ways.
The strong friendship between the six characters can set an example for the viewers, especially the younger audience. As someone who has watched multiple episodes of the series, I can say that some of the topics discussed are not appropriate for kids, however, I feel like teens and adults alike will be able to learn from the real-life scenarios and better understand the simplistic life that used to be lived before the outbreak of social media.
To start my argument, I would first like to demonstrate the high-profit value of the series. As Business Insider states, the popularity of the television series has drastically increased. The boom of the show in the early 2000s brought over 1 million dollars in today’s currency for a single episode. With 24 episodes in season nine and 18 in season 10, each cast member has made a whopping 42 million and counting.
The success of the show in modern culture has increased its ratings, allowing the series to be aired on multiple channels at various times of day and on Netflix as well. Now if you thought the income for the actors was high, then you’ll be astonished by how much the show has brought in for Warner Bros. USA Today states that “Friends” has brought in about 1 billion dollars each year for Warner Bros. I won’t do the math, but I know that those billions add up making “Friends” not only successful as entertainment to a wide audience but also successful in income to the cast and production team.
Furthermore, “Friends” is a series that should be watched because of the highly developed characters possessing both positive and negative traits. The duality of the characters makes them realistic, thus allowing the viewers to be able to connect with one or all of them, either because of their relatability through their humor, attitude, or even personalities.
While the characters do some things that are not the best influence for more naïve audiences, requiring some parental guidance because of acts like drinking and smoking, the characters are still admirable with the ability to demonstrate virtuous values of friendship, love, and real-life problem-solving. Not only does “Friends” display characters with good qualities, but it also is extremely humorous. What makes it comedic is the different ways each role acts, which can appeal to all sorts of humor; so, anyone and everyone can relate to and enjoy the show.
With everything taken into consideration, the series is an emotional experience with valuable and important lessons to be taught to teens and even to adults as well, making this icon of the 90’s and early 2000s a must watch for many!
- Nededog, Jethro. “How the ‘Friends’ Cast Nabbed Their Insane Salaries of $1 Million per Episode.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 Oct. 2016, businessinsider.com/how-friends-cast-got-1-million-per-episode-salary-2016-10#1-million-then-vs-now-4.
- Thompson, Arienne. “You’ll Never Believe How Much Money the ‘Friends’ Cast STILL Earns Today.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 27 Feb. 2015, usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2015/02/27/youll-never-believe-how-much-money-the-friends-cast-still-earns-today/77593556/.
The Case for The Office
The Office is an amazing NBC comedy series featuring a wide array of outstanding actors and characters within it. The series is about a documentary of an American workplace based at the fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
From the joking and immature regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) to the incredible and uncanny salesman Dwight Shrute (Rainn Wilson), the show is full of multifaceted characters who engage in ordinary and unordinary tasks full of relatable humor.
Throughout its 9 seasons of 201 episodes, there is actually a clear storyline present, full of twists and surprises. I firmly believe that there is a character one can relate to personally, or perhaps reminds one of someone they know. For example, office dimwit Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) is constantly seen making stupidly comical lines in reference to certain events. He is played nearly perfectly by Baumgartner through the raspy voice and facial expressions he employs.
Furthermore, Carell effectively acts as the immature boss, from making “That’s what she said” jokes and impressions throughout the series. When you just look at the cast of the office, you can see how talented of a set is working towards this series, with Carell picking up a Golden Globe for his acting in the show in 2005 among 6 total nominations. The Office also won an Emmy Award in 2006 for Outstanding Comedy Series, which Friends hasn’t been awarded.
Since Friends doesn’t have quite as much characters as The Office, some viewers may not be able to relate perfectly well to characters of the former compared to the latter. The Office is so beautifully written, and all characters seem to do every action for a reason- even with producing punch lines, they all sound very genuine of the character. I do not see the same kind of gusto present in Friends. The wide array of characters among The Office definitely trumps the more tightly knit stars of Friends.
While The Office is a comedic take on an average American workplace, many aspects of the show make it possible for Dunder Mifflin to be seen as a legitimate company, through constant sales calls and changes in management. This show is not just a ploy to garner laughs off people making jokes in a fictional office; Dunder Mifflin just contains the sort of life and genuine qualities of a real one. Thus, when considering which show is somehow greater than the other, The Office emerges as the victor.