the FRIENDS and their film exploits, ranked

Holding that distinct spot as my favorite television series ever – believe me, it’s high praise; I’m an avid watcher (and past watcher) of probably several hundred of them – means that I have a soft spot for that six-some gaggle of goofballs known as the Friends cast. But when it comes to their continuing efforts for careers after (and during) their tenure on NBC, some have fared better than others. I present, a study (and some very high-tech scoring techniques).

Jennifer Aniston
**Friends fame (1 to 6 scale): +6
**Awards cache: Five Emmy noms (+2.5), One Emmy Win (+2), One Globe nom (+.75), One Globe win (+3), Two Individual SAG noms (+.75), One Indie Spirit nom (+.5), One Razzie nom (-1)
**Failed comedies (1 point docked per): She’s the One (-1), Picture Perfect (-1), The Object of My Affection (-1), The Switch (-1)
**Successful indie cred (1 point per): The Good Girl (+1)
**Cult/fanboy hits (1 point per): Office Space (+1)
**Laughable dramas (1 point per): Rock Star (-1), Derailed (-1),
Love Happens (-1)
**Box office biggies (1 point per $100-mil.): Bruce Almighty (+2.4), Along Came Polly (+.8), The Break-Up (+1.2), Marley & Me (+1.4)
**Later TV work (1 point per lead per season, .5 for guest): 30 Rock (+.5), Cougar Town (+.5)
**Behind the camera (1 point per credit): N/A
SUCCESS SCORE: 16.3
notes: He’s Just Not That Into You wasn’t counted due to its ensemble nature, and The Bounty Hunter was far too much of a toss-up to be considered either success or failure.

Courteney Cox
**Friends fame: +4
**Awards cache: One Globe nom (+.75), Two Razzie noms (-2)
**Failed comedies: The Shrink Is In (-1)
**Successful indie cred: The Runner (-1), November (-1), The Tripper (-1)
**Cult/fanboy hits: Scream (+1)
**Laughable dramas: N/A
**Box office biggies: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (+.7), Scream (+1), Scream 2 (+1), Scream 3 (+.9), The Longest Yard (+1.6),
Bedtime Stories (+1.1)
**Later TV work: Dirt (+2), Scrubs (+.5), Cougar Town (+2)
**Behind the camera: Producer of Cougar Town (+1), Producer of Dirt (+1)
SUCCESS SCORE: 12.55

Lisa Kudrow
**Friends fame: +4
**Awards cahe: One Chicago Film Critics nom (+.5), Six Emmy noms (+3), One Emmy win (+2), One Globe nom (+.75), One Indie Spirit nom (+.5), One NY Film Critics win (+.75), One Razzie nom (-1), Three Individual SAG noms (+2.25), One individual SAG win (+1)
**Failed comedies: Hanging Up (-1), Lucky Numbers (-1), Marci X (-1), Bandslam (-1)
**Successful indie cred: The Opposite of Sex (+1), Wonderland (-1), Happy Endings (+1), Kabluey (+1)
**Cult/fanboy hits: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (+1)
**Laughable dramas: N/A
**Box office biggies: Analyze This (+1), P.S. I Love You (+.5),
Hotel for Dogs (+.7), Easy A (+.6)
**Later TV work: The Simpsons (+.5), Mad About You (+.5), King of the Hill (+.5), The Comeback (+1), Cougar Town (+.5), Web Therapy (+1)
**Behind the camera: Producer/writer of Web Therapy (+1), Producer/writer of The Comeback (+1)
SUCCESS SCORE: 21.55
notes: Analyze That and Paper Man were too divisive to consider them “hits” or “failures.”

Matt LeBlanc
**Friends fame: +2
**Awards cache: Three Emmy noms (+1.5), Three Globe noms (+2.25), Two Razzie noms (-2), One individual SAG nom (+.75)
**Failed comedies: Ed (-1), All the Queen’s Men (-1)
**Successful indie cred: All the Queen’s Men (-1)
**Cult/fanboy hits: N/A
**Laughable dramas: Lost in Space (-1)
**Box office biggies: Lost in Space (+.7), Charlie’s Angels (+1.3),
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (+1)
**Later TV work: Joey (+2)
**Behind the camera: Producer of Jonah Hex (-1)
SUCCESS SCORE: 4.5
notes: Though it pained me to do so, Joey lasted two season and gained LeBlanc a Globe nomination, so sticking by the rules it earned a +2.

Matthew Perry
**Friends fame: +3
**Awards cache: Four Emmy noms (+2), One Globe nom (+.75),
One individual SAG nom (+.75)
**Failed comedies: Almost Heroes (-1), Three to Tango (-1), Serving Sara (-1), The Whole Ten Yards (-1)
**Successful indie cred: Birds of America (-1)
**Cult/fanboy hits: N/A
**Laughable dramas: N/A
**Box office biggies: The Whole Nine Yards (+.6),
Disney’s The Kid (+.7), 17 Again (+.6)
**Later TV work: Caroline in the City (+.5), Ally McBeal (+.5), The West Wing (+.5), Scrubs (+.5), The Ron Clark Story (+1), Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (+1)
**Behind the camera: Director of Scrubs episode (+.5)
SUCCESS SCORE: 7.9
notes: Fools Rush In wasn’t such a critical hit, but it did relatively well in theaters. Not ranked as a result.

David Schwimmer
**Friends fame: +1
**Awards cache: One Emmy nom (+.5), One Razzie nom (-1)
**Failed comedies: The Pallbearer (-1), Kissing a Fool (-1)
**Successful indie cred: Nothing But the Truth (+1)
**Cult/fanboy hits: Run Fatboy Run (+1)
**Laughable dramas: Six Days, Seven Nights (-1)
**Box office biggies: Six Days, Seven Nights (+.7), Madagascar (+1.9), Madagascar Escape 2 Africa (+1.8)
**Later TV work: ER (+.5), Band of Brothers (+.5),
Curb Your Enthusiasm (+.5), 30 Rock (+.5)
**Behind the camera: Director of Friends episodes (+1), Director of Joey episodes (+.5), Director of episodes of Little Britain USA (+1), Producer of Kissing a Fool (-1)
SUCCESS SCORE: 7.4

So there are my final results, my friends – comment away on my extremely flawed system (which is completely meant for entertainment purposes, just to be clear; I don’t actually consider myself a pop culture scientist). It looks like Kudrow comes out the winner in a landslide, and LeBlanc’s failed attempts at movies and lack of work post-Friends did him in. If you’d like to see more of “Ranked” in the future, please let me know!
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2 responses to “the FRIENDS and their film exploits, ranked”

  1. Dan says :

    Great little feature. I like the way you've reviewed their respective careers. Off the top of my head I always felt Kudrow was the most talented actress so it's fitting she comes out on top. Likewise, Le Blanc was the weakest – although I don't think anyone could have predicted that awful post-Friends career. I think Matthew Perry deserves a little more credit – his rom-coms have been better than average and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was brilliant, much better than anything Aniston and Cox have done in TV since Friends.

  2. Jude says :

    Friends is also my favorite television show, and it was amazing to see these ranks. And how unpredictable they were! Kudrow for the win, over Aniston even, was exciting. I LOVED this feature. And yes, these points are a little arbitrary, but that's because everybody judges pop culture differently. You did it as best as you could and it led to very interesting results (save for Matt LeBlanc… he was a foregone conclusion when I read the post title hahaha.. he'll be back with David Crane's "Episodes," though!).

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