I love re-runs of 'friends'. They make me chuckle ;) The in-jokes and long standing '20 something and still dating' storylines... everybody can relate to a character and situation they've been in. That's why we like it so much, and why it will never go out of fashion, however dated the wardrobe & set.
Still i seem to be the only one a little frustrated by the tidy last episode when Ross & Rachel finally get together. Really? After 10 years? After Ross went a little odd and Rachel had a baby? I don't buy it. The whole 'meant to be together' thing is just so 90s. Or maybe its just to Hollywood. Movies and dramas have been selling us 'The One', 'guy gets girl' or 'soul mates & true love' script for so long, that we rose tint our way through life expecting it as reality... actually no, correction.... we desire a happy ever after but expect reality to be different. More disappointing. And true to form, we always get what we expect.
In my view the last few generations are confused. We are not the romantics of the early 20th century, who have set family values, classic marriages and courting rituals, nor have we adapted to the realism of the future. Our ideals still cling to the past, to what society used to deem as acceptable.... and yet our lifestyle suggest something very different. How can a woman in her 20s in this day and age live as she desires and yet still fit with historic ideals of what 'should' make her happy?
In the 90s, dramas like 'friends' clearly emphasized this confusion. Thousands of weak heroines like 'Bridget Jones' were our role models. Stupid 'rom-coms' where people mess up in love taught us to accept misunderstanding in each other (men & woman) and see drama or a challenge in love as normal - no guy ever gets the girl straight away, no girl ever has it all without it being by chance and the end-goal is always to be 'lucky in love'.
What happened to strong, independant leading ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day & Marilyn Monroe? Role models that gave men a run for their money? What happened to guys like James Dean, Cary Grant & Bogart? Men who knew what they wanted (usually the ladies) and charmed their way into getting it? The golden era may have had old-fashioned ideals, but it also had strong personalities to go with it. Now? it seems society is reluctant to let go of these ideals and what is right and wrong behaviour for people in love and relationships. We judge to make ourselves and our situations seem better by comparison and in this messed up world of adult angst, there is not one celebrity out there that i would want to emulate.
Ross & Rachel may have been the 'couple' we all understood and wanted to be in. But seriously... look at the cracks that splintered their relationship time and time again. Where is the 'gone with the wind' moment when he just kisses her and says 'frankly my dear i don't give a dam' and walks off and leaving her hanging because she took him very much for granted? It didn't happen. Ross was weak and too indirect with his intentions. He was sloppy and hesitated way too much in moments when he needed to just act. He had poor boundary function and then pushed her away with his inability to communicate them. And Rachel.... was callous and lacked empathy & understanding. She kept score and nagged. She flirted with other guys to get attention. And generally drove him away with her ego's inability to just 'let it go'. Its no wonder a ton of my friends (men and women) are constantly confused, out of love, and always in the 'friends zone'.... we grew up in our teen years watching 'friends' who were most of the time just that and nothing much else.
And why should Ross & Rachel just settle for each other after all this time? There is more to life, and always someone new, than going back to something that 'just didn't work in the first place'. We all need to let go of past failures and enjoy 'fresh blood' so to speak. I can't tolerate 'love' for love's sake.... it doesn't exist. Like anything 'love' is an addiction to good emotions and feel-good chemicals. And no one is a slave to addiction. We all have the power to face the fear of being on our own and not accept 'second-hand' romances. I know Audrey wouldn't have.... and that's good enough for me.