Friends is the perfect escapism, apparently
Friends, the widely successful '90s sitcom first aired in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons up until 2004. Despite the series being off the air for 15 years, yes, hard to believe its been that long, Friends still resonates with viewers. With every eposide still available of Netflix, Friends remains the go-to show for a quick pick me up.
According to a psychologist, there could be a deeper meaning behind our Friends obsession. Marc Hekster, Clinical Psychologist at The Summit Clinic in Highgate, has revealed the show actually calms your brain and that it could have soothing qualities for those suffering from anxiety.
Having worked for over a period of 20 years with those experiencing anxiety, I can conclude that among other factors, it is the repetitive and relational nature of programs such as Friends and Big Bang Theory that will be doing the trick.
I can see how Friends would have a calming effect on the brain. A group of twentysomethings going through the ups and downs in life, but at the end of it all, they always have each other. I would argue, however, that the Big Bang Theory is if anything anxiety-inducing, the bad jokes, the forced laughter and the offensive stereotypes. There's a reason this show was cancelled.
Hekster goes on to explain how watching Friends is perfect escapism as we see the group solving life issues.
[Watching Friends] is about an experience of repair, of watching the characters in the show repeatedly having worries, which then get repaired and soothed, usually in the context of other relationships in their lives.
Complex problems are made the focus of each episode, and then they are resolved within the relationships which are the essence of the shows. It is pure escapism, excellent, bring it on.
Based on the fact that the man has even mentioned Big Bang Theory, I would take his view with a pinch of salt. It's common knowledge that the best form of escapism is by picking up a book.