What was generally the best written, best acted, best directed, best overall season of Friends?
Personally, I think their best season was Season 8 (also the year they won the Emmy). The Rachel pregnancy storyline was so well-handeled in the beginning of the season, and the cast and writing were fantastic. That’s the season I always go back to. Beyond that, I think Season 4 and 7 are very good seasons. Season 4 has some of my all-time favorite episode (TOW the Football, TOW the Embyros), and Season 7 just had a lot of fun leading up to Monica and Chandler’s wedding, and transitioned the show from young adults to full-fledged adults.
To me, Seasons 2 and 3 had a really great energy to them (particulary the former), so I can always come back to them with great affection. Phoebe was adorable to watch, Chandler was appropriately manic, Monica had avoided settling into her flanderization and had a great relationship arc with Richard, and I loved watching Ross and Rachel interact and form their relationship at this point in the show.
I think one of the greatest achievements of the Friends creators/writers/actors was most definitely that seamless transition from young what-are-we-doing-here adulthood to mature adulthood… You hardly notice the transition, it’s so well done. It could have gone south at season 5, but it really only upped its game from there. Season 10 was like watching a bunch of grandparents, true, but definitely seasons 6 – 9 were glorious, just as brilliant as seasons 2 – 5