5 To Watch: Could you be any more excited to watch these 5 episodes of Friends?

In 5 To Watch, five writers from The A.V. Club look at the latest streaming TV arrivals, each making the case for a favored episode. The reasons for their picks might differ, but they can all agree that each episode is a must-watch. In this installment: Friends, which made its Netflix debut January 1.

If Friends isn’t the most durable, most influential sitcom of the modern era, it’s at least the most significant comedy of the late 1990s, with its 10 seasons bridging the gap between the end of Seinfeld and the earliest harbingers of the rise of the single-camera format. Friends invented the hangout comedy and remains its exemplar, despite countless failed attempts to recapture its essence in the decade since the show completed its run.

Networks have searched exhaustively for the next Friends, a reasonable effort considering the series was among the last ratings behemoths …

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