Two quirky groups of friends sitting on a couch and discussing life, but which one is better? While the classic NYC based FRIENDS has been the star of the TV charts more than once, The Big Bang Theory has also taken the crown on a few occasions.
Time and again, people have compared The Big Bang Theory with the global sensation, FRIENDS. Both the shows have a huge fan following and is very similar in the concept of their plot. Both follow the lives of a group of friends who have their own quirks as they deal with their career and love lives. Although FRIENDS is considered a major legend in the history of American sitcoms, The Big Bang Theory has stolen the show more than once.
- Breaking body stereotypes
- Matured evolution of characters
- Inclusiveness was the mantra
- The most phenomenal cameos in television history
- Showing the door to homophobia
Breaking body stereotypes
The Big Bang Theory broke the glass ceiling when it came to breaking stereotypes. While FRIENDS frequently took shelter under fat jokes and casual body shaming, The Big Bang Theory steered clear of such clichés. FRIENDS often joked around Monica’s past weight, which sometimes bordered on offensive as well. The Big Bang Theory not only refrained from body-shaming, but also took the unconventional way in employing actors. Unlike FRIENDS that always had its major characters in great shape and form, The Big Bang Theory had major characters that were overweight, lean, and short. The unconventional appearances of the characters were also treated respectfully in The Big Bang Theory.
Mature evolution of characters
Every character in The Big Bang Theory came out as more matured and evolved on the other side of the tunnel when compared to the characters from FRIENDS. The characters in both shows have gone through incredible journeys in life. However, The Big Bang Theory even managed to grow Sheldon Cooper emotionally. On the contrary, the characters from FRIENDS rarely showed any growth in their lives in terms of maturity and emotions, barring Chandler and Joey who evolved. Every character in The Big Bang Theory, be it Sheldon, Howard, Penny, Raj, or Leonard, went through remarkable changes through their story arcs.
Quiz: Which Big Bang Theory Character Are You?
Inclusiveness was the mantra
FRIENDS might be the rave of the party, but it’s no secret that it was quite stunted with respect to diversity. It makes very little sense, because the characters of this classic series are from the very hot seat of diversity –New York. The show lacks inclusiveness in terms of cast and characters. The Big Bang Theory has inclusivity built right within its framework. One of the lead characters, Raj Koothrappali, was an Indian played by Kunal Nayyar. Moving away from the exclusively white cast and cameos of FRIENDS, The Big Bang Theory showed inclusiveness even in its cameos. The show had recurring cameos of Hollywood legends like James Earl Jones and Regina King.
The most phenomenal cameos in television history
Although FRIENDS had an impressive list of cameos, The Big Bang Theory did it better in terms of their timing and contexts. The popular cameos in FRIENDS, from Julia Roberts to Brad Pitt, seemed a bit forced than the naturally fitting ones in The Big Bang Theory. The events associated with the cameos in FRIENDS come across as having been constructed around the guest stars and not the other way round. The biggest cameos of The Big Bang Theory included actors like Laurie Metcalf, Sarah Gilbert, Kevin Sussman, James Earl Jones, and many more, who all fit in perfectly with the storylines.
Showing the door to homophobia
FRIENDS had instances of homophobia. Every now and then, the show presented jokes and showed discomfort among characters regarding queer relationships. One of the major subplots involved the lesbian relationship of Carol and Susan, but it was one that was the butt of jokes. The show mocks queer relationships many a time too. The Big Bang Theory has shown queer relationships in normal light. Although there have been digs taken at the close friendship of Raj and Howard, every character demonstrates comfort in their relationship, including Raj and Howard. The Big Bang Theory presents the adorable friendship of Raj and Howard in an almost a couple-like manner, and even Bernadette seems to be comfortable and welcoming of that. The show does not mock queer relationships as unnatural.
What’s your take on the battle between FRIENDS and The Big Bang Theory? Let us know in the comments.