Helen Bach: Friends will always be there for you

Friends' recent 20th anniversary has made Helen feel old
Friends' recent 20th anniversary has made Helen feel old

TV series Friends recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

This has served two purposes for me – firstly, to make me feel old, as I can remember watching it when it first appeared on Channel 4.

Secondly, to remind me how great the show was in its heyday.

In those days it was “appointment television” – hard to believe for younger readers I imagine, but we didn’t have fancy catch-up TV then – if you were lucky you had a video recorder to catch your favourite programmes if you were going to be out.

Otherwise you had to make sure you were in to watch them.

So Friday nights for me meant Friends followed by Frasier, another great US comedy.

Whereas I loved the subtle humour and sophistication of Frasier, I struggled to relate to him as a person – him being a male, middle-aged, successful psychiatrist and radio presenter – and me being a 20-something student and female!

Friends was a fantastic programme, funny, clever, quotable – I watched the shows when they were first on, then the seemingly-endless repeats.

The Ross/Rachel saga, Joey with his “how you doin’?” chat-up line, Phoebe’s kookiness, Chandler and his job that nobody knew what he did and Monica’s cleaning obsession.

The births, deaths, marriages, break-ups and guest appearances by famous faces – being a Magnum P.I. fan, I loved the fact Tom Selleck guest-starred as Monica’s boyfriend Richard.

All of this was underpinned by the idea that there’s a point in your life where your friends are your family and are always there for you, hence The Rembrants’ theme song.

And before anyone asks, no, I didn’t have “the Rachel” haircut, but I know a lot of people did as it is the most requested hairstyle ever.

I’m pleased to hear a new generation is now watching it on Comedy Central.

It’s good to know that great comedy never dies, it lives on somewhere on a satellite channel.

Read more from Helen here.