How Friends Accidentally Ruined TV Sitcoms Explained By TBBT Producer
The Big Bang Theory producer Eddie Gorodetsky offers an interesting argument about how the iconic Friends accidentally ruined TV sitcoms.
Despite being universally loved, a Big Bang Theory producer argues that Friends accidentally ruined sitcoms. Around two decades since the hit sitcom capped off its 10-year run, the New York-set series maintains its popularity thanks to its reruns and availability on streaming services. In 2021, HBO Max even staged a Friends cast reunion, which proved to be very successful, further emphasizing its cultural impact. However, amid the love that the series has consistently gotten since it premiered in 1994, another hit sitcom producer says that it actually ruined the genre for a while.
The Big Bang Theory producer Eddie Gorodetsky explains in Jessica Radloff’s book, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series, how he believes that the NBC comedy accidentally ruined the sitcom. His issue primarily stems from the casting of Friends. For context, Gorodetsky has worked on several successful sitcoms aside from The Big Bang Theory including Two and a Half Men, Mom, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Read his full quote below:
“The worst thing that Friends did was find six people. “who are really good-looking and funny. So you went through this period of time on television where we kind of went backwards, and they just wanted to find good-looking people, and they didn’t care if they were funny for a while. Thank God we’re coming out of that again. The idea of seeing people you can identify with and going “I’m not a freak. I’m not the only one who has to bleach my mustache” is really important.”
How The Big Bang Theory Corrected Friends’ Casting Mistake
While it’s a fan-favorite, Friends has its flaws. Gorodetsky’s primary issue with it stems from the characters’ physical appearances and how it’s used to mask other aspects of the show which he finds lackluster. Everyone looked nice and polished all the time. While the actors themselves are all gorgeous, he criticizes how the show presented them. Despite Rachel and Phoebe’s money woes, they never actually look like they are strapped for cash. At the very least, Friends showed how Chandler helped with Joey’s financial problems. He argues that The Big Bang Theory broke the pattern that Friends and its success created by not focusing on the cast’s looks, but on the sitcom’s story and comedy.
While comparisons between the two are expected, the answer to this is more complex than one thinks. Despite The Big Bang Theory‘s popularity, it was also plagued by a lot of problems. It didn’t fall into the trap of relying on a beautiful cast as Gorodetsky argues, but it had other issues, especially with its brand of comedy in the earlier seasons. There were criticisms about how it oversexualized Penny — something that Kaley Cuoco agreed with. The Big Bang Theory was also blasted for its often offensive jokes.
Both The Big Bang Theory and Friends had their respective issues, and yet, they remain two of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. Looking back at their shortcomings is integral in ensuring that upcoming sitcoms don’t commit the same mistakes that they did while addressing their legacy in the current landscape and what audiences can learn from them. Perhaps like Friends, The Big Bang Theory actors can also reunite for a special project in the future where they can examine the legacy of the nerd-centric sitcom.
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Source: The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story Of The Epic Hit Series