I recently read a scathing article, depicting the innocuous and beloved sitcom, “Friends”, as offensive – especially to millennials.
Let me be a little more specific. 24 years after it debuted, “Friends” is now being described as transphobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic and sexist.
Other than hanging out in bars and restaurants – as opposed to coffee shops – “Friends” exemplified my single and carefree twenties, living in Manhattan. In every episode that I catch today, I not only laugh, I get to relive my own Rachel haircut, every nightmare date I ever had, and even my old wardrobe.
With “Friends” being one of my all-time favorite TV shows, it saddens me to think that someone could see so much ugliness in a harmless comedy that truly epitomized the 1990s – an illustrious era.
To me, the “Friends” era – at least till 2001 -, was marked by laughter, happiness, great fashion, technological achievement and economic prosperity – not hatred, “ism’s” and phobics.
If “Friends” can now be perceived as hate spewing entertainment, then what does that say about all of us who found joy in each episode? Was “Friends” feasting off the trends of the day or was it creating them?
Was “Friends” merely a sign of the times or was it defining the times?
It comes down to the age old debate: Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?
I think that when art imitates life, it is called, “dramatization”. And when life imitates art it is called, “Pop Culture”. It’s as simple as that.
And I think pop culture is much more enjoyable when we’re reminiscing – not wasting our energy searching for some shred of nonexistent bigotry.
22 post down – 343 to go…