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blockparted t1_iuifh87 wrote

- Lack of black people or casting them for short storylines and dropping them, then doing the same for LGBTQ characters.

- Ross. Just Ross, dropping his older child once Rachel got pregnant and being controlling AF throughout his and Rachel's relationship in general.

- Fat jokes at Monica's expense and others.

- Transphobia

EDIT: some things.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuihrfg wrote

Fat jokes are problematic? The “character” was morbidly obese


blockparted t1_iuijc2n wrote

I'm confused at this - So they're morbidly obese jokes? Do they not count as fat jokes if they're morbidly obese?


gtreble9 OP t1_iuimlm4 wrote

But why are fat jokes problematic? Fat is not a minority


blockparted t1_iuinaye wrote

You do not have to be part of a minority or protected class to be offended by a joke. Ridiculing someone because of their physical appearance can get you fired from your job and is considered harassment.
How old are you?


gtreble9 OP t1_iuinwje wrote

Does anyone in Monica’s work place or ever in the show make fun of her weight? You’re taking a close group of friends who joke about their friends weight when she was younger and taking it to a place of workplace discrimination


blockparted t1_iuihwdg wrote

Yes, they were problematic because several episodes implied that Monica was only loveable when she lost the weight.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuii5lf wrote

Entirely untrue, there’s literally an entire episode built around chandler learning how dumb it was to break up with someone for being fat and that he would love Monica at any size


blockparted t1_iuij7s9 wrote

No it's not ENTIRELY untrue if it took almost an entire series to dedicate an episode to addressing the issue.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuimin3 wrote

But why is joking about a friends extreme weight problematic?


wednesdayware t1_iuinngl wrote

Because people can't seem to get that comedy comes from extreme reactions and unexpected situations. They want utter reality when it comes to morals and ethics, but still have characters be wacky and funny.


WordsAreSomething t1_iuifcrb wrote

>seeing modern reviews of people calling it problematic and terrible.

Did those reviews not say what they found problematic and terrible or something?

>if anything it’s representative of minorities etc?

I have no problem with Friends I just finished rewatching it recently, but this has to be trolling.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuihoku wrote



WordsAreSomething t1_iuii7ki wrote

What's confusing here?


gtreble9 OP t1_iuii9h7 wrote

You have no argument


WordsAreSomething t1_iuiipit wrote

I'm not trying to have an argument. You clearly only made this post for that one reason which was the point of my comment. Go troll somewhere else.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuijiz5 wrote

Or just ignore the post if you don’t want to discuss


WordsAreSomething t1_iuikogc wrote

But I wanted to point out that you weren't posting this in good faith. Which you've made more than clear now.


SynthD t1_iujv20y wrote

You aren’t ignoring the post you made.


spaghettimiilk t1_iuidywq wrote

The problem is people upholding all older media to modern standards. Friends was very progressive for its time.


thebruns t1_iuif8n4 wrote

NYC is incredibly diverse and in 236 episodes there are like 5 non-white people with speaking lines including the "sassy black woman" trope for the bus driver


Latter_Feeling2656 t1_iuiyt6h wrote

There is a lot of sociology to the effect that people who live in large areas that are diverse overall still live insular lives. In other words, the cities are diverse, but the neighborhoods are not. That's Friends.


thebruns t1_iuiz54t wrote

We could buy this argument for the leading cast, and one could even try for a reach and say that Friends is a criticism of this fact.

The issue is that the cast is also almost entirely white as they interact with the world around them which shows us this is an issue with the studio/writers.

They live in Manhattan, not Staten Island.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuihm6s wrote


thebruns t1_iuij5bk wrote

27 over 236 episodes including

>Child looking at Chandler

Nope, I am correct and it looks like you just came here to start some bullshit.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuimfg5 wrote

So what to you is the right amount of non white people? In a show about 6 white people


thebruns t1_iuimszl wrote

And there it is.

Amazing how "What is about friends that people deem “problematic” so quickly turned into "So what to you is the right amount of non white people? In a show about 6 white people"

Fuck off with your trolling.


dissident87 t1_iuijfud wrote

The gay panic jokes are what really stick out to me. The guys freaking out at any implication they might be gay. Like the rest of the things brought up in here, it’s just a product of it’s time and it’s not a big deal but nobody would think to make those jokes today.


Latter_Feeling2656 t1_iuixtoy wrote

Again, they're idiots. They're not supposed to be role models. Just the opposite, in fact.

It's an important point, because it goes to why the cast couldn't "diversify." The writers just didn't have the guts to make the lesbian couple a pair of idiots, which would make them funny. When Ross dated a Chinese girl and then a black girl, the writers wouldn't let them be stupid, so they couldn't be funny, and they couldn't stay around the show.


bigplopa t1_iuierw1 wrote

The jokes about Chandler's dad are transphobic


gtreble9 OP t1_iuih8lt wrote

How so? They seem to make fun of the fact that he’s in a burlesque show in vegas opposed to actually being a trans woman


QuintoBlanco t1_iuj70qe wrote

Just to be clear: problematic means that something needs to be discussed.

Friends was made during a time when sensibilities were different.

Some subject matters would have been addressed in a different way if the show was made today.

Acknowledging that, doesn't mean that the show is terrible.

Also, many sitcoms suffer from the same problems: over time, characters become caricatures and act in ways that in real life would make them extremely unpleasant.

The reason I like Seinfeld is that the show always acknowledged that the characters are not very good people, whereas Friends is less self-aware.


anasui1 t1_iuihsdp wrote

let me take a wild guess, no gays or blacks in it


gtreble9 OP t1_iuii0ve wrote

There’s both? Carol is a fairly central character


anasui1 t1_iuiimnm wrote

doesn't really matter when the main six are all white and hetero, which is absolutely outrageous in the minds of modern twattivists


gtreble9 OP t1_iuijgwz wrote

It’s insane, but it doesn’t work in reverse


Prax150 t1_iuifs8z wrote

There is a narrative that the show was a ripoff of Living Single, which was basically the same premise but with an all-black cast that came out a year earlier. Friends wound up overshadowing its legacy. Whether or not it was representative of the reality of living in the 90s in New York is of course debatable, as is whether or not that actually matters since it's a sitcom. But I get it's important for people to look at the history and get the full context of something so culturally pervasive. Like Friends is the show from that era that people remember even though it's arguably not very good and derivative. It's lowest-common denominator and every era has a show like that that sticks when, if given the proper attention, other, better, more representative and/or inclusive shows could do the same. Friends has Living Single. The Big Bang Theory has Community. Modern Family has Parks or Veep. Friends' impact on similar shows is probably more destructive since it was at the acme of appointment/watercooler viewing whereas those more recent shows eventually all live more comfortably in streaming.

Like, ultimately it's just a middling sitcom with a much bigger following than it probably deserves, but I don't know how much that really matters. It's not like it's copaganda, it's just white people hanging out mostly with other white people, who cares.


gtreble9 OP t1_iuihwmo wrote

Comparing BBT to community is crazy, the settings aren’t even similar


Prax150 t1_iuinuf3 wrote

I think you missed the point I was making. More popular shows targeting similar audiences overshadowed better, arguably more niche shows.


CableCoShow t1_iuil5qn wrote

It was not derivative or middling. Mimicking a general concept doesn't make it derivative. Can you imagine there only being one 'odd couple'-type show in the history of television?

It was a cultural phenomenon because it broke new ground in terms of content and writing. For comparison, as popular as The Big Bang Theory might have been, it was not a cultural phenomenon like Friends. Friends was obviously helped by the media landscape at the time, but you can't fake your way into being culturally influential to that degree.


Prax150 t1_iuinpno wrote

You're drastically downplaying the similarities to Living Single, but even if it was just the basic concept, that still makes it derivative, by definition. On its own being derivative isn't necessarily bad, of course art is iterative and there are tons of shows that are great are also derivative, I just don't think the quality of Friends makes up for that. But I already admitted that this is my subjective view.

Whether or not it was a cultural phenomenon is not up for debate and I never suggested it was, but, again I don't know how that proves anything about its quality. A ton of people liking a mediocre thing doesn't make it retroactively better. Of course it was more popular than The Big Bang Theory but, again, as I pointed out, that could be at least in part attributed to its timing. Friends was perfectly timed culturally with the popularity of appointment viewing. It's pre-DVR, largely pre-internet, and at the apex of NBC's Must See TV. People watched Friends Thursday nights because that's just what you did on Thursday nights. When TBBT, Modern Family etc came on it wasn't like that anymore. We'll never know if they would have been as popular if they all came on at the same time but the culture around TV was already different.

And I would love to know what you think was groundbreaking about the show. I don't think Friends did anything that Living Single, Seinfeld or other similar shows hadn't already done. The biggest difference I can think of is how Jerry and co never dated people of colour whereas Ross did. But as the Living Single debate has long proven I don't think that undoes the quote-unquote "problems" with Friends and race. If Friends is "groundbreaking" for being sex-positive etc in the mainstream then so is TBBT for what it was doing for nerd culture, or Modern Family for gay couples on TV.


Latter_Feeling2656 t1_iuivpyj wrote

"You're drastically downplaying the similarities to Living Single, but even if it was just the basic concept, that still makes it derivative, by definition."

One of the issues with this argument is that nothing much of Living Single was original, either. The free floating cast of peers had been long established by Seinfeld and even shows like The Golden Girls. The long-running romances come from Cheers and multiple clones. One show can't be said to copy another if they both just trace back to common ancestors.


Prax150 t1_iuj33hx wrote

> On its own being derivative isn't necessarily bad, of course art is iterative and there are tons of shows that are great are also derivative

This was literally the thing I said right after that part of my comment so, yeah.


CableCoShow t1_iuirdfn wrote

Your entire comment was tearing down Friends, so you were using derivative as a pejorative, and there was nothing negative about its use of a similar concept. Did Living Single rip off Three's Company? A Different World? Seinfeld? MTV's Real World? Wait, The Golden Girls? Changing genders, ages, setting, or adding characters doesn't make it a completely new thing. It's silly to say there's anything negative about using a concept.

The changes to women's lives that started in earnest in the 1970s had culminated to a new level of independence in the 1990s and that's what Living Single and Friends were reflecting. No one ripped anyone off. It was where society was at that moment.


Prax150 t1_iuj3c30 wrote

> Your entire comment was tearing down Friends, so you were using derivative as a pejorative, and there was nothing negative about its use of a similar concept.

I said a bunch of things about Friends but you decided to fixate on that one word because it's seemingly the only thing you can refute.


CableCoShow t1_iuj49v2 wrote

You're either young and weren't around before and after the show started, or you're a revisionist with a bad memory. Everything you said is known to be false by anyone who lived then and who knows anything about TV production and writing. I just can't waste time grabbing examples and news articles, etc.


Prax150 t1_iuja4st wrote

So you're just not going to address anything I said and throw out ad hominems claiming that I can't have an opinion about Friends because you perceive that I'm either too young or too old to remember the nuanced history around the show? Wtf are you even talking about lmao

I do like how I'm apparently not worth your time to actually address what I said but worth enough of it for you to try and insult me. I'm sorry I don't like your favourite show as much you, I guess?


CableCoShow t1_iujbqn1 wrote

How did I insult you? I said you're either analyzing this without being there and basing it on modern perception, or you have a warped memory and sense of what came before and how Friends was different. You can't just put any show in Thursday night and have it become a hit for a decade. That's idiotic, if you want to be insulted now.


[deleted] t1_iuidvxi wrote



gtreble9 OP t1_iuih3ky wrote

But himym, Big Bang theory, two and a half men. Those monster sitcoms had all white cast and never seem to get the retrospective abuse


[deleted] t1_iuiowab wrote



gtreble9 OP t1_iuipcdi wrote

Ah yes, Mexican icon Charlie sheen


[deleted] t1_iuipqk0 wrote



gtreble9 OP t1_iuipxew wrote

And what about famous French Italian Matt leblanc?


[deleted] t1_iuiq815 wrote



ricardo9505 t1_iuigt2x wrote

Let's do Archie Bunker next in the great "All in the Family". My dad, immigrant from Caribbean, loved that show. So did I.


NGNSteveTheSamurai t1_iujeg6e wrote

The point of Archie in All In The Family is to lampoon racists. The jokes in Friends punch down and don’t make the person making them look like an asshole the way they did with Archie.


raylan_givens6 t1_iuii2nw wrote

  1. its not a funny show. watch scenes on YT with the laugh track removed. its as bad as the Big Bang Theory

  2. nothing really made sense - Rachel dated one neurotic dweeb after another - Barry to Ross, etc. how did phoebe afford anything? even Ross, professors don't make that much to live that comfortably in nyc.

  3. none of them are likable people

  4. they all seemed fond of covering their mouths with their hands - like all the damn time to express shock.


WordsAreSomething t1_iuiijzl wrote

>its not a funny show. watch scenes on YT with the laugh track removed. its as bad as the Big Bang Theory

This is always a silly criticism of sitcoms. Comedy is all about timing so removing audio que for the pause in dialogue is obviously going to make something worse.


raylan_givens6 t1_iujeki1 wrote

i'm not talking about the timing, i'm talking about the dialogue itself

its awful


WordsAreSomething t1_iujer9s wrote

You are though. They write for the laugh track. If they didn't film in front of an audience it would change the dialogue.