I'll be honest here. I do like the show but at the same time I think its overrated and by no means perfect. There are other sitcoms I find much funnier. Friends started to go downhill after Season 4. The show started to take itself a bit too seriously and they were clearly running out of ideas by the end - the decision to get Joey and Rachel together is a good example of this!
The characters just seemed to change so much as well. Don't get me wrong, character development is good and all but the way that some of them changed just wasn't very believable. Rachel started off as being a bit dim and ditsy but then she became really smart and successful. Huh? I think getting Chandler and Monica together didn't help matters either. One of the funniest things about the early seasons was Chandler's total lack of success with women that stemmed from his childhood, and he seemed to completely lose his spine and balls when he got together with Monica. Monica's OCD wasn't handled very well either in the later seasons. In the early seasons it was a constant theme - she was always slightly uptight. But then in the later seasons she was either completely MANIC or she was completely fine and it wasn't even an issue. This will be controversial but a part of me thinks that they should have written their characters out after their marriage and brought in Paul Rudd's Mike as a regular character, and maybe even got Rachel's sister Amy in as a regular character as well. And then there's Phoebe. She started off as being a sweet, kooky character but then she became really bad-tempered and unlikeable. Her constant screaming got on my nerves as well. Ross is the only character who actually improved and became funnier as the show went on. He went from being the show's most serious character to probably the show's least serious but somehow it worked. By the end he had replaced Chandler as the show's best character. The final seasons were greatly improved with the introduction of the immensely likeable Paul Rudd too.
However, the first four seasons of this show are genuinely great, laugh-out-loud television and very re-watchable. The quality went down in the middle seasons and it was never quite the same but there was a definite improvement towards the end. Heck, I would still choose to watch the show's weaker, middle seasons over crap like Two and a Half Men or Will and Grace anyday. Season 2 is probably my favourite season of Friends overall. It was before everyone got successful, Rachel was still working at Central Perk, Joey was still a struggling actor and Chandler hated his office job. Also, I just love the Eddie episodes! : ) His character really was a stroke of genius. This is one of my favourite Friends moments. I'd put more up but for some strange reason none of the Friends clips on YouTube seem to allow embedding. Anyway, enjoy!