“Friends” is loved by everyone. You’d be lying if you said you’ve never spent an entire day on the sofa, binge-watching the 90s comedy. But it’s safe to say that some of the jokes, punchlines, and themes of the show wouldn’t have been very well received in 2020 —aka some of the show’s storylines have been regarded as more than a little problematic. Here are some examples.
“Friends” originally aired in the 90s —but with Netflix reviving the craze for the show a few years ago, millennial viewers noticed a few insensitive punchlines.
The show was on air since 1994 and up until 2004. But since “Friends “started streaming on Netflix just a few years ago, modern day fans have found issues with the way the show depicts and handles some issues —like its lack of diversity for instance, or its depiction of women and LGBT people.
Pretty much everything about “Fat Monica,” for example.
The whole ‘Fat Monica’ storyline fed into the media’s perpetuated image of overweight individuals as punchlines and nothing more. She only became a “worthy” character after she lost the weight, or at least that’s how the show made it seem.
Exhibit B. The treatment of Chandler’s trans dad.
Chandler’s homophobia and jokes about his transgender parent were awful. While the addition of a proud gay character in a show during the 90s was a huge step forward in television, they totally misrepresented the community. The show conflated transgender people and drag queens. In trying to expose and dismantle some prejudices, they also perpetuated others.
The objectification of women by the male characters
There’s a Thanksgiving episode where Ross and Joey are trying to leave so they can go and meet Joey’s good looking roommate and her dancing friends. And just like this one, there are many other episodes in which “the boys” spend the whole show trying to think up ways to trick women into sleeping with them —in this particular episode, Joey literally calls the women “objects” —and I’m triggered.
Joey’s sexism usually went unchecked—and he was downright creepy a lot of times.
Most of Joey’s scenes revolved around women —and a lot of them are problematic. Sure, he had his good and sweet moments, but it’s super problematic that he can’t remember who he’s slept with, or how he makes his roommates make breakfast for his conquest and then dump them for him. His roommate’s search was also awful: “Female, non-smoker, non-ugly.” —Seriously?
The constant examples of fragile masculinity.
The male characters frequently had to make a HUGE issue out of their fragile masculinity. Here’s an example for you: In the episode where Chandler moves in with Monica, she has him making cedar sachets with old pantyhose. Chandler asks to leave to go do “guy stuff.” He then finds Joey learning to knit and Ross applying face powder to try and minimize the contrast of his overly bleached teeth. He leaves in disgust. Later, after pointing out all the feminine touches Joey’s new female roommate has applied to the old apartment, Chandler points out that Joey is turning into a woman. “Why would you say that? That’s just mean,” asks Joey. “Now I’ve upset you? What did I say?” replies Chandler. “It’s not what you said. It’s the way you said it… Oh, my God! I’m a woman!” exclaims Joey in disgust —*ALL THE EYEROLLS*
Ross has been one of the most criticized characters.
The character of Ross has seen a lot of criticism, for his dismissal of the importance of consent, his possessiveness over women, the casual anti-gay comments and more.
Even the show creators have admitted to feeling uncomfortable with some scenes.
The creators spoke about their regrets at Tribeca Film Festival’s “Friends” 25th anniversary. When asked by the audience if there were storylines that they regret, Kauffman had a couple of examples ready: “the one when Phoebe starts dating her sister Ursula’s stalker, played by David Arquette (“we did a lot of rewriting on that to make it work”).” “It’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments in it where I’m going, ‘Oh my God, we let that happen? We did that,'” she explained.
Meanwhile, co-creator, David Crane, admitted he doesn’t remember a lot of specific scenes and jokes after working on 10 seasons 15-25 years ago, said that when he does stumble upon an episode, he’ll occasionally wonder, “Wow, really? We went with that?” “There are some that are better than others,” he said.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, “Friends” star David Schwimmer who played Ross, said he”doesn’t care” about the backlash, because he believes it comes from the show being taken out of the context of its time.
When asked about the backlash that the show went through after its Netflix renaissance, the actor said; “I don’t care.” A few articles and several Twitter threads suggested that the show’s jokes hadn’t aged well, like Chandler worrying about seeming gay, or jokes about Monica’s weight. “The truth is also that show was groundbreaking in its time for the way in which it handled so casually sex, protected sex, gay marriage, and relationships. The pilot of the show was my character’s wife left him for a woman and there was a gay wedding, of my ex and her wife, that I attended.”
“Friends” is a product of the pre-“woke” era when it comes to race, too.
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends,” Schwimmer says. “But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.
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Have you ever heard of the tradition of the “June Bride?” It comes from Roman times when couples would get married during that month in order to appease Juno, the goddess of fertility. While Summer is still a popular time to get married, October is actually the most sought after month to get married. September and November are also often chosen because of the mild temperatures, beautiful changing foliage and because they are before the winter holiday season.
With so many saying “I do” during this time of year, let’s focus on one of the most important parts of the wedding experience: the bachelorette party. Whether you’re tying the knot soon or are hoping to in the future, there’s no way your girls are letting you walk down the aisle without one last party totally in celebration of you. Since it’s such an important milestone, it’s only right that it be an extra special affair. If your needing some inspiration to upgrade your bachelorette plans from average to awesome, explore these fun options.
1. Get goosebumps with a spooky ghost tour.
Instagram / @citytoursmke
Is that cold feet your getting or are you just spooked by the ghostly specters at this party? Don’t be afraid to embrace the macabre and explore the haunted parts of your town. Most cities have some sort of ghost tour company that can take you and your girls through the history of local haunts. Whether you prefer a walking tour or to be driven around sipping spirits, this option will scare up a good time. Just be sure to sage the bridal party afterwards.
2. Explore your favorite winery, distillery or brewery.
Instagram / @winelabmx
If you can rosé all day, are curious to see where your favorite vodka is made or are just in it for the booze, this party is for you. Breweries, distilleries and wineries are always down to offer tours to the public that offer as much tasting time as they do information. The best part: the alcohol is included with these tours so you don’t have to worry about settling a bar tab at the end of the night.
3. Take DIY to a whole new level.
Instagram / @mmadalynne
For the crafty sort of bride-to-be, diy events are a lot of fun but a bachelorette party should take it to the next level. That’s where Madalynne Intimates comes in with their DIY lingerie kits. The company sales sewing kits complete with everything you’ll need to make a handmade piece of lingerie. The bridal party can create sets for the future bride’s wedding night or can make a little something sexy for themselves with this option.
4. Embrace your inner thrill seeker.
Instagram / @gravitybah
They say marriage is the ultimate adventure but your bachelorette party can still get in a ton of excitement. Whether your interested in indoor skydiving, a trapeze party, bungee jumping or paragliding, there are plenty of thrills to be had before you take that marital plunge. After this party, the actual wedding will be a piece of cake.
5. Learn how to work the pole.
Instagram / @chromerosespoledance
You aren’t the only one who got inspired by the movie “Hustlers.” Make Jennifer Lopez proud and conquer the pole with a group pole dancing class. If you’re really bad at it, you and your girls will have plenty to laugh about and, if you’re really good at it, you’ll have something new to show the fiance.
6. Hit the road.
Instagram / @thetravelergene
What better way to celebrate your upcoming journey into marriage than with a journey with your favorite girls. Load up the car and rent an Air B&B somewhere new. Explore the local night life and enjoy what a change of scenery can do to your group. It doesn’t have to be Vegas to be a good time.
7. The ocean is calling.
Instagram / @jessecalauren
All life comes from the water so why not return there to celebrate this next step in your evolution. Rent a place by the beach or a real life boat house for you and the crew and enjoy the sunshine and surf while ocean-side. You could also plan a private yacht trip or book a vacay with a cruise line and experience the bounty of the sea that way.
8. Eat your heart out.
Instagram / @oysterhousechs
You’ve probably been watching what you eat the past few weeks but what better time to indulge than now. If you’re a foodie who loves to feast, take your bridal party on a food tour of your city. Discover all the best places to dine or just hit up some of your favorites. You deserve every last bite in honor of your big day.
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