Most of the dumber plot lines on the later seasons of Friends are clearly and directly related to the rock solid contract they were able to negotiate together that made it impossible for producers to pick off any one actor to be replaced by novel and more poorly paid cast member. Ross has to date Rachel again because their inspiring act of worker solidarity left the writers with a serious constraint that no main character can leave and no new main character can join the cast.
In perfect contrast, the more nonsensical plot lines in Teen Wolf are clearly and directly related to their shitty labor practices and tendency to fire actors/kill off main characters on a whim.
Okay, I’m adding a source because apparently people were not universally aware of Friends’ role in Labor History nor Why Friends is Like That. Also, I didn’t realize that they made this pact after Season 2, so Friends had these constraints almost the whole run:
1994 was the first season of Friends, and all six members were paid $22,500 per episode. However, as that initial season centered on the characters of Ross and Rachel — played by David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston — the duo became the main stars by the end of season one. When contract negotiation time came for season two, the two received a pay rise to $40,000 per episode. This was more than the remaining four main actors were paid.
By the end of season two, Schwimmer was being offered lucrative movie deals, and his agents once again renegotiated his ‘Friends’ contract. This time Schwimmer came up with the selfless idea of getting his costars to form a mini-union of sorts and demand the six to be paid equally. It was a decision that would cost both Schwimmer and Aniston in the short term but had the potential to pay off long term.
However, by doing so, it would give the group of six control of the negotiations. Previously the show’s producers could easily drop one of the actors and write their character out of the show if contract negotiations for that individual stalled. Under this new tactic, the studio couldn’t write all six at once as it would kill the show. It was all or none.
So, I do love this little essay about Pizza and Loneliness on Friends, I think it’s missing that this whole “your friends from your 20s will be your friends forever and there will always be pizza and you will never be lonely” fantasy is downstream from the cast’s labor negotiations.
Whereas every weird plot twist on Teen Wolf is downstream of an actor either being fired on a whim or quitting based on the assumption they’d be fired on a whim.