I get it, “Friends” is a classic sitcom and many people love it for the comedy, the characters and their wisecracks. Who doesn’t love watching Ross and Rachel argue over whether or not they were “on a break,” listening to Phoebe’s iconic songs, or Chandler’s witty comments?
Honestly though, there are so many other sitcoms out there that are way better than “Friends.”
Sure, “Friends” is a good show. But the humor is outdated now, and I can think of better sitcoms that don’t make jokes out of sexism, homophobia and fat-shaming like “Friends” does.
Remember how Monica lost a lot of weight from when she was younger, and is made fun of for how she used to look? Remember how controlling Ross was of Rachel (and a pretty terrible boyfriend and husband on the multiple occasions he was married).
How he was always weirded out by the relationship between Carol, his ex-wife, and her new wife, Susan? Remember how Chandler’s dad was made fun of for being gay? Remember how Ross was appalled at the prospect of having a male nanny for his child?
Yes, “Friends” has some funny moments, iconic scenes and the banter between the main characters is entertaining to watch. But at this point, “Friends” is overrated, and we should focus on sitcoms with better representation, that actually deal with social issues in an acceptable and non-offensive way.
Instead of obsessing over “Friends,” everyone should give “One Day at a Time” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” a watch.
“One Day at a Time” is my personal favorite TV show, and it’s similar to “Friends” in that it is a sitcom with some hilarious scenes and iconic characters. But the similarities stop there.
A sitcom that centers around a Cuban American family made up of a single mom, her daughter and son and their grandmother, “One Day at a Time” does a beautiful job of balancing comedy with moments of seriousness, where it touches on social issues impacting us today.
The representation in “One Day at a Time” is awesome – Penelope, the mother, is a single-mom, she served in the army and is supporting her family on her own as a nurse.
Elena, her daughter, is lesbian, she’s incredibly smart and she’s a huge advocate for just about anything and everything. Penelope’s boss and close family friend is pretty much the opposite of toxic masculinity.
The show touches on everything from LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance, to toxic masculinity, to mental health, to immigration and more. Unlike “Friends,” this show makes a point to discuss social issues in a mature and accurate way and makes the viewer really think about them, instead of making a punchline out of them.
Not only is “One Day at a Time” smart and a great example of positive representation, it is also really funny and heartfelt.
Everyone will love the dramatic flair of Lydia, the grandmother in the show, how relatable the interactions between Penelope and her kids are, and the banter between pretty much all of the main characters. Oh yeah, and “One Day at a Time” doesn’t hesitate to make subtle snubs at Trump, which makes it all the better.
In addition to “One Day at a Time,” another show that is way better than “Friends” is “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a sitcom about the 99 precinct of the NYPD.
In my opinion, the comedy in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is far superior to “Friends.” Jake, the main character, is the perfect balance of immature and serious when he needs to be, and his best friend, Charles, makes the perfect sidekick.
Add in Captain Holt, who is in charge of the precinct, with his straight-to-the-point manner, and Amy, a detective who is a total perfectionist and a lovable nerd, and it’s the perfect combination to balance out the chaos that takes place.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” not only features strong characters, but like “One Day at a Time,” it has a diverse cast in terms of gender, race and sexuality. This show also effectively intertwines social commentary with comedy, which proves especially interesting to watch since it is a show centered on a police department.
Now on its seventh season, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has evolved its story line as the show goes on but keeps some of the best moments as running jokes throughout. My personal favorite is the Halloween heist – the main characters all attempt to steal an object over the course of the night, getting into all kinds of shenanigans and creating elaborate plots to win.
The next time you’re looking for a sitcom to watch, don’t go back to watching “Friends” reruns. It’s outdated, and “One Day at a Time” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” provide better comedy, representation and are much more applicable to today.