With one of the best casts in TV history, Friends makes excellent comedy look easy.

Once upon a time, we made do with less television. Three broadcast networks dominated everything. (Channels weren't flipped so much as triangulated.) We had a local public station and whatever oldies a UHF signal could tune in. Now? Now, we romanticise our cable-assisted, internet-borne so-called golden age and carp about the galactic girth of the streaming era. Somebody even lent the girth a fretful name: "peak TV" — the "money can't buy happiness" of screen life.

In retrospect, less television has come to imply lesser

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