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Friends was one of the most popular TV shows in the world. Friends was on TV for a decade and ended in 2004. It is still incredibly popular 15 years after the show ended. September 2019 is the 25th anniversary of the first episode of Friends, which aired on September 22, 1994.

In 2019, it is still one of the most-watched shows in the world. In 2015, Netflix paid $120 million to have Friends on their service for 4 years. It is so popular on Netflix that they paid $100 million to keep the show for just 2019. It still makes around $1 billion each year and each of the main actors earns millions from the show every year. The show has continued to find new audiences many years after it finished. Lots of the people who watch it now were not born when the show started in 1994.

There has been some criticism of the show in recent years. Some people think it has aged badly and that some of the jokes in the show would not be okay today. It has also been criticised for having very few non-white characters. However, Friends was also ahead of its time. It was one of the first shows in the US to have a gay wedding. Gay marriage was only legalised in the US in 2015.

No matter what some people think, it seems like Friends will still be watched for many years to come.

Difficult words

Decade (n): 10 years.

Aired (v): For something to be put on T.V.

Audience (n): A group of people watching something.

Criticism (n): To say negative comments.

Legalise (v): To make something legal or okay with the law.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Decade A. Show on T.V.
 2. Aired B. Negative words.
 3. Audience C. 10 years.
 4. Criticism D. Okay with law.
 5. Legalise E. A group watching.

True or False?

1.  Friends is only popular in America. T / F

2. Friends was on T.V. for 10 years. T / F

3. The actors from Friends no longer make money from the show. T / F

4. New audiences are watching Friends every year.  T / F

5. Friends never showed a gay wedding. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. decade / Friends / on / for / a / was / TV

2. popular / It / still / incredibly / is

3. popular / so / It / on / Netflix / is

4. each / still / makes / around / It / $1 billion / year

5. has / There / been / some / criticism

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Service Recent Popular
Criticised Finished Watched

Friends was one of the most (1)____________ TV shows in the world. Friends was on TV for a decade and ended in 2004. It is still incredibly popular 15 years after the show ended. September 2019 is the 25th anniversary of the first episode of Friends, which aired on September 22, 1994.

In 2019, it is still one of the most-watched shows in the world. In 2015, Netflix paid $120 million to have Friends on their (2)___________ for 4 years. It is so popular on Netflix that they paid $100 million to keep the show for just 2019. It still makes around $1 billion each year and each of the main actors earns millions from the show every year. The show has continued to find new audiences many years after it (3)___________. Lots of the people who watch it now were not born when the show started in 1994.

There has been some criticism of the show in (4)__________ years. Some people think it has aged badly and that some of the jokes in the show would not be okay today. It has also been (5)____________ for having very few non-white characters. However, Friends was also ahead of its time. It was one of the first shows in the US to have a gay wedding. Gay marriage was only legalised in the US in 2015.

No matter what some people think, it seems like Friends will still be (6)___________ for many years to come.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Have you watched Friends? What do you think of the show?
5. Do you use any TV shows to practice English?
6. Is it right to criticise TV and movies that were made a long time ago?
7. What is your favourite TV show?
8. Do you have any fun ways that you like to practice English?
9. Is Friends popular in your country?
10. Is Netflix popular in your country?
11. Have you learned anything about America from TV or movies?
12. What is the most popular TV show from your country?
13. What is your favourite genre of TV?
14. Is gay marriage legal in your country?
15. Has a show in your country shown controversial topics?
16. Do you think its important for TV shows to be progressive?
17. Do you think it was wrong for Friends to have an all-white cast?
18. Can you see diversity on TV in your country?
19. Do you think TV has changed a lot in the last 25 years?
20. What TV show are you currently watching?