In 2016, New York magazine made a compelling case that because of its Netflix popularity, “Friends” may still be the most popular television show, over a decade after its finale.
What’s not to love about the concept of friends hanging out? Friends are good. But maybe ― just maybe ― these particular friends are now pretty dated.
With homophobic jokes, fat-shaming plotlines and ever-puzzling rent situations, the show often doesn’t hold up to contemporary scrutiny. Still, “Friends” clearly has charms that resonate.
Presuming you’re looking for a comedy, here’s a list of shows that have themes and jokes that a “Friends” fan could potentially get into ― just with way less Joey.
The jokes are often crass and slapstick, but are generally tame -- much like those in "Friends."
The latest season begins with a guy acting out the entirety of the action movie "Point Break" for his friend while sitting on an apartment couch.
A very Joey and Chandler dynamic.
If you don't mind that the characters in "Friends" are able to spend unrealistic amounts of money on housing, food and entertainment, then the fabulous lives portrayed in "Master of None" will also be a pleasure to watch.
Of course, as a Tina Fey show, the jokes are much more inventive, but fans of "Friends" will also find much to love in the camaraderie the different characters share.
This is also yet another NYC-based show -- just with more believable apartments.
But this reboot of the '70s and '80s sitcom of the same name has a much more contemporary feel than the '90s sitcoms of the "Friends" era. This is also one of the rare sitcoms that critics love. Like "Friends," it's simply very good at what it sets out to do as easy-watching TV.
Although the main characters here are prepubescent, the themes are definitely adult-oriented. And arguably, Joey had the mind of a prepubescent most of the time in "Friends" anyway.
Yes, this is a cartoon, but wasn't Joey's stupid contorting face also cartoonish?
But the similarity doesn't stop there -- this is an ensemble comedy about people roughly the same age as the "Friends" characters who can't stop hooking up with each other.
It definitely has a slower and more realistic tone than "Friends," but the appeal is still very much the same.
The recommendation here is solely because this show focuses on New Yorkers bouncing around the city doing extremely expensive things and living in ludicrously nice homes.
If the aspect that appealed most to you about "Friends" was vicarious living, maybe give this a shot.