It's hard to believe, but Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms ever made, which still makes a decent chunk of change in syndication ($944 Million is nothing to scoff at), is about to celebrate it's 20th anniversary (it premiered on September 22nd, 1994). Twenty years of will-they-won't-they Rachel and Ross plots, "Smelly Cat" sing-a-longs, and "How you doin'" pick-up lines, your relationship with Friends has probably spanned longer than your relationships with real-life friends, and definitely longer than your romantic endeavors with your own high school crush.
In reality, the most beloved show of our generation is a pretty simple plot: six twenty-something friends live in New York City. A pitch like that would never get put into production today. The Big Bang Theory is kind of close, it centers on the lives of a bunch of nerds who are friends and have a similar will-they-won't-they relationships; How I Met Your Mother also focuses on friends in New York City, but the underlining plot was always, "Jesus Christ, who is the actual mom, I can't believe this story taking so long." And, really, the staying power of these popular shows aren't anything like Friends.
It's the simplicity of Friends that make it such a success in syndication. There will always be friends trying to figure out their career, their romantic relationships, and supporting each other. Eventually, The Big Bang Theory's science and technology will seem hilariously outdated. Eventually, everyone will know of the horrible, horrible finale of How I Met Your Mother and figure it's probably best not to get invested.
Still, 20 years later, it makes us wonder, what would Friends look like if it was made today?
Hope Schreiber is a freelance writer who didn't watch Friends until her friend in fourth grade said she was Phoebe. She went home to watch and was insulted because she was the weird one. She gets it now and tweets here.