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"Friends" - Reasons For Its Enduring Popularity as a Series

Ryan Ly

As head of Curate Entertainment, Ryan Ly provides television literary agenting services that build on experience representing properties such as Good Girls’ Revolt and Better Call Saul. Trend-focused, Ryan Ly has a strong interest in the entertainment industry of the past decades.

One classic show that has never quite left the popular consciousness is Friends. The zeitgeist-defining 1990s show portrayed four single, entrepreneurial Manhattan dwellers who live as on-and-off roommates and socialize at a local coffee shop. A 2015 article in The Week explored reasons for the series’ enduring appeal, which spans generations.

With the show standing with Nirvana and Pulp Fiction as foundational pop artifacts, it embodies the Clinton era of relative “peace and prosperity.” In many ways, the show is associated with nostalgia, as it predates the emergence of social media, devices, and a fractured political landscape. At the same time, its quirky pop references are amplified by a timeless chemistry between the costars that transcends a single era.
The popularity of the show is evidenced by the café set of the show's fictional coffee shop, Central Perk, being the largest attraction on the studio tour of the Warner Bros. property in Burbank, California. Today, episodes of Friends are accessible on Netflix.

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