Thursday, May 06, 2004

Dear Friends,




Ahem. I've always been befuddled by the success of this lame, endlessly soap-operatic, and terminally annoying sitcom, and its departure from the airwaves is, to me, about 9 years overdue. Always found Lisa Kudrow about as funny as falling through plate-glass. Thought Matt The White's character should have been sent to live on a farm. Never understood the sex appeal of bad haircuts and eating disorders. Basically, I wanted all of the Friends to get shot.

But I do like this bit of counter-programming:
    Fox, meanwhile, offers a very special two-hour "Cops: Crimes of Passion," featuring "15 heart-wrenching segments" of cops responding to domestic violence calls. More must-see TV.

UPDATE: And it's heartening to read this:
    Most writers vastly overestimate the size of the Friends audience. (Sitcom declinists make no claims about the quality or critical reception of Friends, only its popularity.) Sure, it's been a Top 10 show from its inception, and it was the most-watched show on television as recently as the 2001-2002 season. But although Friends' eighth and ninth seasons were its highest-ranked seasons ever (No. 1 and No. 2 overall), the show isn't nearly as highly rated as it once was. It's just that its ratings remain higher than the still-lower ratings of other shows.

    Only 21 million viewers tuned in last year, compared to the nearly 30 million viewers who watched during the Ross-and-Rachel heyday of Season Two. And fans haven't been coming back for the show's final episodes, either. During last week's time slot, more viewers watched CSI than the penultimate episode of Friends. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel TV writer Tom Jicha pointed out this week, seven out of eight American homes don't watch Friends, and this season's ratings wouldn't have cracked the Top 20 for any show only a decade ago, in 1995. This is mass appeal?

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