“Friends was a cultural phenomenon that transfixed an entire generation with its wit, humor and goofy characters and quirks. Featured on multiple top 10 sitcoms of all times lists, this is a show for anyone with a penchant for humor and not a stickler for continuity”
Every time I watch Friends there are two things that bother me. Firstly, Joey got a lot more stupid post season 4 as compared to the earlier seasons for no reason whatsoever and secondly, Ross and Rachel and their extremely convoluted love story.
Ross and Rachel are hallmarks of TV relationships. With countless mentions on popular shows like Two and a Half Men, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and others, this TV couple has left a huge impact on modern TV relationships to a large extent.
But were they meant to be?
For reference, follow the flowchart below for a quick summary of their 10 seasons long relationship.
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Ross and Rachel had an endearing love story. Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl fall in love and then chaos ensued. The ending was a payoff to fans everywhere and was a testament to how the show respected its core ideals and fan base.
Personally, Ross and Rachel should never have ended up together. Not because I didn’t like them together but because it was a relationship meant to fail on every level. Through the course of 10 seasons, Ross and Rachel had two qualities that should be a roadblock to any possible relationship. His insecurity and her selfishness. He was a douche and she was, well, Rachel.
Let’s do a quick character study of both.
Ross- Ross Geller was a thrice divorced paleontologist, father of the child of his ex-wife who was a lesbian and brother of Monica Geller. He was, for the most part, whiny and unsure of himself. It took him 2 seasons to acknowledge his love to Rachel and he got together with Rachel by breaking another girl’s heart. He is possessive, jealous, neurotic, obsessive, thoughtful and a wee bit crazy.
Rachel- Rachel Green was a fashion marketer who ran away from her own wedding in the start of season 1 and best friend of Monica since school. She is spoilt as obvious from her demeanor in earlier seasons and consequently selfish in some regards. She and Ross were great for the brief time they were together and she held Ross responsible for the way their relationship ended. She is also a little shallow which is justified by her hiring an assistant based on looks as well as a little pretentious.
Every major relationship that the two of them have had during the show has been a failure mostly due to the antics of the other. Be it Joshua, Emily, Mona or even Joey to some extent, the two of them are toxic to each other.
The problem with the idea of them ending up together essentially boils down to one single point. Before the last 2 or 3 episodes of the final season, Ross and Rachel hadn’t shown a lot of attraction towards each other. Ross was jealous of her relationships but he has always been that way. When Rachel dumped him earlier on, it wasn’t because she stopped loving him but because of how possessive and neurotic he was. Considering that, does it seem plausible that Rachel would give up her dream to be with Ross if this was real life? Ross will always be neurotic and if anything, it would strain them more and more as the years went by.
I do not like the fact that they ended up together. Yes, “I got off the plane” was a beautiful moment sure but in doing fan service, did the show writers essentially destroy Rachel’s credibility as a character that saw so much growth over 10 seasons.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.