OH. MY. GOD.
The best thing the internet has resurfaced today? The first ever reviews of a little known TV show called Friends, from its first airing in 1994.
And funnily enough, Marta Kauffman and David Crane’s epic creation (which went on to be one of the most successful TV shows ever) was initially slated by critics.
Yep, before Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica and Ross started commanding $1million per episode, their acting skills and genius one-liners were rated as D+, with one heavyweight outlet rendering them ‘dysfunctional morons.’ (Cue canned laughter).
‘Life on Seinfeld may be laid back, but its characters always seem to have someplace to go,’ wrote Time magazine back in the day. ‘In Friends the crowd is always around to share their latest personal woes or offer a shoulder to cry on. But who would want advice from these dysfunctional morons, with their obsessive pop-culture references?’
More of the vintage reviews call the writing clumsy, the plots far-fetched and the acting ‘not rip-roaringly funny’.
‘Concept is OK, but the humour’s less sophisticated than expected from the exec producers,’ wrote Variety.
‘Friends sometimes does appear more like a clumsy parody of MTV‘s The Real World,’ said The Hollywood Reporter.
‘The show’s creators have come up with a highly likeable group of actors who are talented and charming, if not rip-roaringly funny,’ stated the Chicago Tribune.
‘The notion that all of these attractive people would remain platonic while flopping around together is a bit far-fetched,’ said the Los Angeles Times.
Oh how wrong everyone was.
The lesson we’ve learnt is to never judge a TV phenomenon by its pilot. As the show progressed it changed pop culture forever, inspired a whole generation to enjoy their dysfunctional twenties and, like, duh, it even changed the way we speak.