"F.R.I.E.N.D.S" a portrayal of Positivity or just another Toxic Series?
"F.R.I.E.N.D.S" is not just a show; it's a rollercoaster of emotions.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S is one amongst the best shows ever created in the history of cinema. It is a comedy series and is considered to be one of the most hilarious shows in the world. It is American Television series which aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004. This popular series consists of 10 seasons with the total count of 236 episodes approximately 20 mins each. Friends is a story about six reckless adults who live in New York. They indulge in adventures and bear various ups and downs of life as they grow. However all six of them never fail to support one another and never leave each other, showing us the meaning of true friendship and care.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S has become a popular series with minimum 50+ million viewership and the actors are still getting paid for their roles because people across the globe loved it and are still watching it on various digital platforms like Netflix etc. It’s vast popularity is the reason why it has influenced so many people and inspired various trends or cultures all over the world.
What are the Positive Key points of F.R.I.E.N.D.S series?
- Stress buster: Friends is an evergreen series, no matter what you are going through and how bad your mood is, it will always cheer you up and let you forget all your pain and sorrow. When we watch Friends, we just get lost in its story and characters. It never fails to make us laugh by its hilarious jokes and funny incidents. Friends is such a comic marvel that no matter how many times you have watched it, re-watch will still feel fresh, funny and joyful.
- Teach Life lessons: Friends teach us various life lessons through varied means like humour, strong dialogues and actors bold acting. It shows us the essence of love, care, and friendship. It tells us the importance of friends and family in our life and the need to support and look after one another because loved ones are the one who makes our journey of life more pleasant and fun.
- Friendship: F.R.I.E.N.D.S series shows us the true meaning of friendship. True Friends argue with us, make fun of us, fight with us but they always stick to our side no matter how bad decisions we make. They always guide us and support us to fight the vast challenges of life and accomplish our goals.
- Progressive Elements: Friends supported feminism and was way progressive of its time and various scenes justify this statement as Rachel being a single mother, Ben being brought up by a lesbian parents, Phoebe being a surrogate for her brother and Monica and Chandler adopt the twins. This comedy series has inspired individuals worldwide to bring a positive change in their society and accept what needs to be accepted.
- Cultural Impact: Friends played a huge role in creating coffee world famous and gave enormous contribution in its popularity as this show contains a majority of scenes shot in a coffee house where characters talk with one another while having a cup of coffee. Release of Friends provided a boost to the coffee sector as people got influenced and started drinking coffee over tea. Moreover, the coffee house became a new hangout place for youngsters. This gave an opportunity to numerous start-ups to grow and it is one of the reasons for the success of many coffee companies like CCD (Cafe coffee day) in India.
- Influence Viewers: Friends is a show based on a life of 6 youngsters, this makes viewers connect with them. These characters have quite common habits and qualities which made it so worldwide relatable. They enjoy their life as we wish to do; they follow their passion and live independently. These things influenced the viewer's to do the same and follow this Trend of living alone and following their passion and do what they desire.
- Positive Attributes: Watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S surprisingly spread the positivity within us. It's a positive show and while watching we do feel the positive vibes that makes us joyful and calm. It also spreads the message of living with a positive attitude as life is full of ups and down and with a positive attitude you will be able to positively overcome varied obstacles of life and live a healthy and happier life.
Everything has two sides and even F.R.I.E.N.D.S has two sides, a positive and a negative. We have already covered its positive one above.
Now, let’s take a look at its negative:-
- Problematic Elements: I, myself being a "Friends" fan can't deny the allegation that there was some problematic content within the show. Friends have several things that society today consider as problematic and disrespectful like gay jokes, fat shaming etc.
- Homophobic/Transphobic: Some people consider Friend's a homophobic and transphobic show because there were many incidents in which Ross’s wife Carol who was a lesbian and Chandler's father who was a transgender were used as a joke opportunity to spread humour.
- Fat Shaming: Fat shaming was used as a humour in the show as jokes on Monica for being fat as a child were pretty common and she was typically teased for the same. Characters in the show never missed the opportunity to make fun of fat people.
- Anti-intellectual: Some people also consider Friends an Anti-Intellectual show because Ross' knowledge and his intellectual talks are portrayed as boring and other characters make fun of him for the same. Ross smartness is displayed as dull and boring while Joey’s dumb habits are portrayed as cool and sexy.
In spite of its Negatives, Friends received many rewards and worldwide appreciation including Primetime Emmy awards and Outstanding comedy series award for its spectacular story and funny writing. The actors who performed deliver a marvellous performance and have given justice to their characters by their authentic acting. This is the reason why Friends is considered to be ''Greatest show of all time'' and is still the world's Favourite sitcom even after 25 years of its initial release.