Moms' Binge-Watch: Friends


Winter is prime time for Netflix binge-watching great shows we somehow missed the first time around. Editor Cheryl is now addicted to Gilmore Girls, blowing through all 150+ eps in seven weeks and queuing the whole thing up all over again. Resource editor Allison's moving at a similarly brisk pace through the 10 seasons of Friends, just like MomSpeaker Rachée Fagg, who shares her viewing experience and Friends-centric workout here.   

Confession. I never watched Friends during its run. I never watch it during syndication; it actually serves as a sort of alarm for me to head up to bed when it comes on one of the local stations in Philly. It is something I was sort of aware of but just wasn’t something on my television viewing list. I remember things about Friends because at least one or more of the cast members were the talk of the tabloids and talk TV.

When Netflix announced that Friends would be streaming my timeline went Friends crazy (not really; three people talked about it, but whatever) and as I ran out of Criminal Minds to binge, I thought I would check out Friends and see what the hubbub was all about. I knew there were over 200 episodes and didn’t think I was up to the task of watching them all. I called on Professor Facebook for advice because all I knew about Friends was :

  • There was “The Rachel,” Jennifer Aniston’s hairstyle that everyone wanted.
  • There was something about Phoebe having a twin (cause, twin).
  • Joey’s catchphrase “How you doing?” (Although I always equated that phrase with Wendy Williams, a then-radio jock, now-TV talk-show host when she was implying that someone was gay).
  • There was Ross who was just known as being whiney and something about his ex-wife being a lesbian.
  • The complaints about the Friends cast and background not being diverse enough.
  • And there was a line in the movie Undercover Brother about Friends.

My plan was to watch 10 episodes, fan favorites as it were, and find something else to watch. The universe had other plans. First there were the responses on Facebook which encouraged me to either watch the entire series, episodes in which Phoebe sings “Smelly Cat,” the one where Chandler and Joey lose a baby (which was funny) and so on and so forth. With a long weekend and plans to just veg, I grabbed my latest yaRRnthing and fired up Netflix to see what this show Friends was all about. My impression of the first episode was “Meh.” It wasn’t all that funny, it was kind of entertaining but not really chuckle out loud. I planned to stop watching and I would have if Netflix and my yarn had not conspired against me. See what happened was the episode ended and as I was about to stop the show, I dropped a bunch of stitches and had to fix my mistake and the next thing I knew, I was on season two and singing and humming the theme song!

What the what?

I knew I was in trouble when I heard that theme song. It has clapping, and y’all know how I feel about songs with clapping (I dig them!). And when I rushed home to be able to catch a few more episodes I knew I was hooked. The show is fun and funny and I enjoy being transported back to the '90s. Sure, there are not a whole lot of people who look like me (Effin Guy informed me that Aisha Tyler joins the cast later on), but I don’t care! It’s funny, I can get a giggle 21 minutes at a time and I enjoy the quirkiness of most of the characters. (No Ross. I absolutely can’t stand Ross all.the.shudders).

I’m still chugging through and since work and real life have resumed, my binging has been relegated to a few eps at a time. I may have missed it the first time but am getting a kick out of being able to watch now.

To make me feel not so bad about watching Friends, I added a bonus workout!

Rachée Fagg is a Delaware County, PA mom. This post was adapted from her blog, Say It Rah-shay, and inspired by the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's classic kid lit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


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