‘Friends’: Showrunners Regret These Two Plotlines

If you’ve ever watched Friends, you probably can agree that there was so much to love about the show. Like, remember the enviable bromance that Joey and Chandler shared? Or the nonstop bickering between Monica and Ross that you just couldn’t look away from? And who could forget episodes like the one where Ross, Rachel, and Chandler nearly died trying to move an oversized sofa up a narrow staircase?

But showrunners aren’t totally satisfied with the storylines. While speaking at the show’s 25th-anniversary panel at the Tribeca TV Festival on Sept. 13, showrunners Marta Kauffman and David Crane said they’re not happy with two plotlines.

Cast of 'Friends'
Cast of ‘Friends’ | Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The first plotline Friends showrunners regret

“The stalker,” Kauffman said (via Page Six). The outlet notes that Kauffman was referring to an episode from the show’s third season where Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) falls for a man named Malcolm (David Arquette). But, unbeknownst to her, Malcolm is stalking her twin sister, Ursula.

“We did a lot of rewriting on that to make that work,” Kauffman added.

The second plotline they regret

The second, Kauffman said, happened in season 2. It’s when Phoebe gives her Navy lieutenant boyfriend Ryan (Charlie Sheen) chickenpox after they reunite before a deployment.

Crane went on to say that certain story arcs actually make the show a little cringeworthy to watch. 

“It’s one of those things where I don’t watch the show at home, but occasionally if we’re traveling or whatever, it will be on and sometimes I’ll see something … and it will be like, ‘Wow, that actually holds up,’ and then there are definitely times where I’ll go, ‘Really? We went with that?’” he explained.

Kauffman agreed, saying (via Vulture), “I watch the show once in a while and it’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it that I’m just going, Oh my god, we let that happen? We did it?

Cast of 'Friends'
Cast of ‘Friends’ | Photo by Reisig & Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

How to watch ‘Friends’

If you’re in the mood to go back and check out these episodes (or if you simply want to binge the entire series for yet another time), it’s currently on Netflix for your viewing pleasure. But you have to watch it fast, as it will leave Netflix and move to WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, in 2020.

“The One Where We Have to Say Goodbye,” Netflix tweeted back on July 9. “We’re sorry to see Friends go to Warner’s streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US). Thanks for the memories, gang.

It’s definitely unfortunate news, but you can always sign up for HBO Max, which will also have shows like Luther, The Office, Doctor Who, and Top Gear.

Or, if you don’t want to shell out any extra cash on yet another streaming service, here are five shows that are similar to Friends that should keep you satisfied. You’re welcome.