Friends was a Warner Bros production from the producers and some of the scenarists of Dream On, a very successful (in my opinion) situation comedy sitcom which ran on HBO between 1990-1996.
"Friends", as the title implies, was about the daily lives of six friends with their ups and downs while making you crack in almost every episode of the 10 seasons. Even though the tempo slowed down a little around the 7th season and so on, it never really lost its dynamic. Friends had one of the strongest comedy scenarists I had ever watched on tv who I might as well add, kept the fun going for 10 whole years. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe were all comedy makers in their own ways with their cardboard characters drawn elaquently so as to balance each other out. Actors were incredibly talented despite their weakest links who would be Courtney Cox and Matt LeBlanc. I have to give it to Matt though; playing that dumb a character must have been hard on him. What I most admired about Friends though was this: They never had a specific character, shouldering the entire comical elements of the show which is exactly the case with How I Met Your Mother.
How I Met Your Mother was an originally CBS production about a guy telling his children how he met their mother and it had impressed me during the first 3-4 seasons. It had a unique structure with a light-hearted and understated comedy. Over the years I watched it succumb to the worst kind of mushy, sticky melodrama. The character Barney (aka Neil Patrick Harris) had to shoulder 99% of the comedy because the rest of the gang were so dramatically un-funny.Robin turned incredibly sour and Lilly turned annoying while Marshall grew dumber and Ted...oh my oh my Ted...well suffice it to say that from a character I hardly liked he turned into a character I truly loathe. The scenarists could think of no more original jokes and so they fed us the same old used up humour of theirs under the name of retrospection. I hardly ever laughed during the last seasons and I was unmoved during the last episode which I just finished watching. As for the very last 3 minutes of the last episode I actually said the words : "You have got to be kidding me!" How I Met Your Mother began its career from a very strong point, started to fall periodically until it fell to the point of being cheesy. I have got one suggestion though, change the title of the show...we now know (and somehow, have always known) that mother of Ted's children was, in reality, just a stepping stone...It never was about the Mother.
I had watched Friends on and on again when I just wanted something light for a restful evening. I would never do that with How I Met Your Mother. Once was more than enough! I am afraid I would get a condition of "rolling eyes syndrome" or something...No offence meant to the fans of the show though.
Now in all fairness, I have to say that it is not easy to keep the pace of a show for a very long span of time but Friends showed us that it, in fact, can be done. I am sorry but "Friends" wins my face off without even breaking a sweat.