Friday, February 20, 2009

How “Friends” Caused This Depression (or I Can’t Buy A House Thanks To Monica, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Ross)

This depression that we are in is really starting to bug me. So much so that it actually took up at least 15 minutes of my time this morning as I was making breakfast. And in that time I had an epiphany: I have found the reason why we are so bad off financially. It’s because of the 90s hit sitcom “Friends.” So here, my four readers, is a completely non-researched explanation of the economic crisis.

Everyone likes to say that the Bush administration is responsible for our current economic depression. Yes, well, perhaps he and his minions are (and if there is anything bad that needs blaming, I am happy to blame W), but he was aided by the entertainment industry. The downward spiral towards financial ruin started when the stars of “Friends” wanted a cool million dollars each per episode for the making of their silly but entertaining show. Okay…sure, why not. Here’s a million dollars for a week’s work. Because showing up every day and saying things like “Monica! Please stop organizing the shelves!” is worth a million dollars. And by paying them that money, it meant that in a 24-episode season, the star’s salaries alone were $144,000,000. Notice all the zeroes. That’s one hundred forty four million dollars. Unbelievable.

Old news, you say? We’re over that, you say? Think again, I say. I hope you all enjoyed watching Rachel be confused about love or Joey make a fool of himself over and over again, because even though Reagan’s “trickle down economics” didn’t work, the Friends “trickle down depression” sure did. Think about it: NBC had to pay them stupid amounts of money to act (act, people…not perform brain surgery or find a cure for disease or perform sex acts your spouse wouldn’t dare), so NBC was then forced to raise the advertising rates on that show and other “Must See TV” shows of the era. (Well, they told us it was “Must See TV,” but to them it was really “Must Pay Jennifer Aniston’s Salary” night where they got to charge really high rates for 15 seconds of airtime on all the shows, because most people sat like zombies the whole night and watched whatever was thrown at them just so they would ultimately get to see 30 minutes of twentysomething (and later thirtysomething) zaniness.) But how do you think the companies whose wares were being hawked paid for those exorbitant rates? They raised their prices, that’s how. And you are paying now.

So the next time you are lashing out an unseen enemy, the next time you are cursing how impossible it is to make $100 pay for $143 worth of groceries, please remember your “Friends,” the people who brought you this depression. Or better yet, call them up and ask for a loan. Combined they are worth more than the gross wealth of the entire nation of Cambodia, and have better credit ratings than 90% of US banks. Go ahead, call.

Copyright (c) 2009 Leslie R Becker


Joanne said...

I have to agree with you. Although, you must admit that there is nothing on TV now nearly as funny as this show was. The Office is mind-boggling NOT funny, 30 Rock is funny but not pants-peeing funny.
What other sit-coms are on TV???

Andrew Andrew said...

The Office is hilarious, and 30 Rock is the funniest thing on TV ever.