Aoife – New Girl
You may know every single line of every single episode, but it’s time that you forget Friends and move on with your life. If you happen to be Comedy Central, then I’m talking to you especially. Seriously, there are other shows, and if you’re looking for one centred around a group of friends hanging out in one place, as if they don’t have jobs or lives outside that place, the pool to choose from isn’t exactly a small one.
The size of said pool is really irrelevant however, when only one show stars Zooey Deschanel. Let’s face it; there isn’t a person in the world that is not totally in love with her and her demented, quirky ways. She is the very definition of manic pixie dream girl, and it’s adorable. She has baby farm animals on her cheques and has touched glitter in the last twenty-four hours, what more do you want?
Sure you could argue that Jess is a mere caricature of Zooey Deschanel herself, but the show is hilarious, and who doesn’t want some awesome female-led comedy? Well, hipsters, according to the Internet, but that’s just because Jess is the twee-est of all hipsters, and they’re just jelz that they will never quite live up to her levels of cutesy nonsense. Stop being jelz.
George – How I Met Your Mother
Of all the shows that emerged post-Friends, How I Met Your Mother initially seemed the most hackneyed and predictable. You had Marshall and Lily as the show’s solid couple (Monica and Chandler), Robin (Rachel) as the hot girl at the centre of a will-they-won’t-they drama with Ted, an insufferable, whiny tool that you couldn’t believe could be a palatable lead in a comedy (Ross), and then you had the awesome one, Barney (Joey/Phoebe).
However, things quickly changed as HIMYM became more quotable, funny and even complex – more closely resembling Seinfeld than Friends. These people had jobs to go to; vague, well-paying jobs, but they’d much rather spend their time in a bar, trying their hand at amateur sociology and coming up with apparently true-to-life concepts, such as the Crazy-Hot Scale, the Platinum Rule, and so on and so forth.
As with most shows, HIMYM has gotten worse with age, but people still watch it out of loyalty to a show that, in its first four seasons, was one of TV’s funniest and most adored programmes. You looked forward to spending time with these people, to what Barney would say next, to how Ted would present you with more reasons to cave in his skull, and to just hanging out with them, and isn’t that what a sitcom is all about?
Dermot – Parks and Recreation
The habit of watching the back catalogue of Friends on TV needs to stop. It is a comfort programme. When there is nothing on TV, a repeat of Friends is undoubtedly on. We all know the older episodes were pretty terrible and don’t really hold up, so you don’t need to watch them for the fiftieth time to confirm that.
It’s time to do something useful with our lives. It’s time to stop watching the repeat of “The One Where… stuff happens and Chandler makes a sarcastic comment about it,” and switch over to a newer, and arguably better, sitcom about friends. It’s time to watch Parks and Recreation.
Not only is Parks and Recreation one of the funniest sitcoms currently on TV, with great characters and the close bond of friendship required for any good sitcom, it also has one thing that allows it to lord over all the other alternative Friends sitcoms (and Friends itself for that matter): Ron Swanson. Despite his job in local government, Ron is a staunch Libertarian and has a fierce loathing of the general public. He has taken a picture of every steak he has ever eaten from his favourite steakhouse and once wrote a handbook for the Scouts containing only one guideline: Be a man.
You need to stop watching Friends and switch to Parks and Recreation, not because I told you to, but because Ron Swanson demands it.
Jon – The Big Bang Theory
Oh, The Big Bang Theory. What a show. It’s one of the most watched shows airing today. It has been widely regarded by many critics as ‘on television’. It is also features geeky men, so you know that you’re smart because you’re watching it, like how watching Frasier made you feel fancy. Sure, you’ve heard of Iron Man, the niche underground nerd that you are. Get away, that sort of hipness is catching!
The Big Bang Theory is the love child of creator Chuck Lorre and the day he found out that the Internet is a thing. Comic book movies have been making box office tills ring, and now we have a syndicated television show where we can have a hearty laugh at a high-functioning autistic. The show follows a group of comic book-loving physicists (and one belittled engineer) as they navigate through everyday social interactions with the grace of a group of comic book-loving physicists. The results, as you might expect, are pure comedic gold.
Will Leonard get the girl? Will Sheldon learn to understand human emotion? Will Raj ever gain the ability to talk to girls while sober? One thing is for certain: everybody cares. Also, the theme tune is pretty great. Vote The Big Bang Theory!