Despite being universally adored, a producer for The Big Bang Theory claims that Friends unintentionally destroyed sitcoms. Around twenty years after the popular sitcom ended its 10-year run, its popularity has continued to grow as a result of its reruns and accessibility via streaming services. HBO Max even put on a highly successful Friends cast reunion in 2021 to highlight the show’s cultural influence. A hit sitcom producer claims that despite all the praise the series has received since its 1994 debut, it pretty much ruined the genre for a while.
Eddie Gorodetsky, the producer of The Big Bang Theory, explains why he thinks the NBC comedy unintentionally destroyed the sitcom in Jessica Radloff’s book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series. His problem primarily has to do with Friends’ casting. To put things in perspective, Gorodetsky has contributed to a number of popular sitcoms besides The Big Bang Theory, such as Two and a Half Men, Mom, as Well as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Below is his complete quote:
“The worst thing that Friends did was find six people who are really good-looking and funny. So you went through this period of time on television where we kind of went backwards, and they just wanted to find good-looking people, and they didn’t care if they were funny for a while. Thank God we’re coming out of that again. The idea of seeing people you can identify with and going “I’m not a freak. I’m not the only one who has to bleach my mustache” is really important.”
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Despite being a fan favorite, Friends has some issues. The characters’ outward appearances and how they are used to hide other aspects of the show that Gorodetsky finds lacking are his main complaints about it. Everybody always maintained a nice, polished appearance. He criticizes the way the show depicted the actors, despite the fact that they are all gorgeous. Despite their financial difficulties, Rachel and Phoebe never appear to be in a tight spot. Friends at least demonstrated how Chandler assisted Joey with his financial issues. He contends that by putting more emphasis on the plot and humor of the sitcom than on the actors’ appearances, The Big Bang Theory broke the pattern set by Friends and its popularity.
Comparisons between the two are to be expected, but the answer to this question is more complicated than one might imagine. Despite being widely watched, The Big Bang Theory also had a lot of issues. It didn’t fall into the trap of relying solely on an attractive cast, as Gorodetsky contends, but it did have other problems, particularly with its particular brand of comedy in the first few seasons. There were complaints about how overly sexualized Penny was, and Kaley Cuoco agreed. Also criticized were The Big Bang Theory’s frequently offensive jokes.
Despite having their own problems, The Big Bang Theory and Friends are still two of the most cherished comedies of all time. Looking back at their flaws is essential to preventing future sitcoms from making the same errors they did, while also addressing their legacy in the present-day landscape and what viewers can take away from them. The Big Bang Theory cast members might get together again for a special project in the near future where they can discuss the legacy of the nerd-focused sitcom, similar to how Friends did.
Source: The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series