Do/did you like the TV show Friends?

Do/did you like the TV show Friends?


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Tisch

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Despite liking it, some of the transphobia is shocking. Anything involving Chandler's mother (who I believe was supposed to be transgender but was always referred to as his father) is horrible and I probably would skip those episodes now
Chandler's father was transgender but played by a cisgender woman (who has since said she regrets taking on the role).

They also (of course) mixed up references to him being gay / a cross dresser / a drag queen / a transsexual throughout the show (not to mention it being the butt of the joke whenever the character was mentioned).
 
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straightorbroken

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They kind of did that to all of them (except Rachel). They all went from being well-rounded (for a 90s sitcom) characters to being just their worst traits.

Rachel was cranked up in season 5 into a total goof. It was my favourite season by the time the show ended, but that could be a nostalgia thing.
 
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dUb

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Despite liking it, some of the transphobia is shocking. Anything involving Chandler's mother (who I believe was supposed to be transgender but was always referred to as his father) is horrible and I probably would skip those episodes now
Genuine Q: if someone's parent transitions, is it insensitive for them to still call them by the name they used growing up? "Dad" for example if it's a trans woman. Like I can see why it would be, but also I feel like I've heard about people with healthy relationships with trans parents using them still. For want of a better example, I think the Jenners do?
 

RJN

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Genuine Q: if someone's parent transitions, is it insensitive for them to still call them by the name they used growing up? "Dad" for example if it's a trans woman. Like I can see why it would be, but also I feel like I've heard about people with healthy relationships with trans parents using them still. For want of a better example, I think the Jenners do?

I would imagine that this is personal for each individual person/family/situation. It's easy for me to say that if one of my parent's transitioned I would change would I would call them, but unless you're actually in that position, it's hard to say.
 
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ZZ

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It's among the 3-4 sitcoms that I still watch the same way someone eats chocolate for the comfort factor.
But I never thought Ross and Rachel were cute as a couple (also Ross is very irritating as a character), Phoebe was WAY too weird 95% of the time (but 5% utterly brilliant) and Joey just uninteresting. I love Chandler and his awkward jokes though and the combination of all 6 characters together just works.

I'm just grateful that Friends gave Lisa Kudrow to the world and all the things she did after Friends. We wouldn't have known how good she was if it wasn't for this.
 

Phoenix

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I like HIMYM enough, but its fans are very smug, for some reason. Big Bang Theory is the fucking worst. My roommate has a cat named Sheldon, and people ALWAYS ask if he's named after it, and he's NOT

HIMYM ended so badly that I feel it’s legacy died with that last season.

Big Bang I could never get into. Watched a few episodes on airplanes and I never got it.
 
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Gangsta Nancy Lam

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Oh yeah I don't know why anyone would want to watch HIMYM again when you know it's leading to two series built around a wedding that will dissolve in a matter of scenes, and TERMINAL ILLNESS?

I'm glad it rescued Greta Gerwig from being in that spin-off they were planning though.
 

KindaCool

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Loved it a lot. Absolutely one of the best I think.

Although it hasn't aged terribly well.

Monica is my #1
Rachel and Joey #2
Phoebe and Chandler #3
Ross -23
 

Jark

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Despite liking it, some of the transphobia is shocking. Anything involving Chandler's mother (who I believe was supposed to be transgender but was always referred to as his father) is horrible and I probably would skip those episodes now
But the transphobia (more misgendering than intentional cruelty if memory serves) wasn't considered shocking at the time. All representations of trans people in mainstream media were like that in the 90s - there wasn't the education around it the way there has been for the last decade or so. Friends wasn't seen as problematic at the time, it's just that society has developed a more sophisticated understanding of trans and gay issues so of course looking back it feels dated. I don't think that should be held against Friends and I think it's actually quite useful and necessary to have those references to look back on to see how far we've come and how fast culture can change.
 

ZZ

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I don't think that should be held against Friends and I think it's actually quite useful and necessary to have those references to look back on to see how far we've come and how fast culture can change.

That's also my opinion on the 'Chandler's dad' issue. Had the writers been living in today's society, these jokes and approach would've been much different.
 

RJN

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But the transphobia (more misgendering than intentional cruelty if memory serves) wasn't considered shocking at the time. All representations of trans people in mainstream media were like that in the 90s - there wasn't the education around it the way there has been for the last decade or so. Friends wasn't seen as problematic at the time, it's just that society has developed a more sophisticated understanding of trans and gay issues so of course looking back it feels dated. I don't think that should be held against Friends and I think it's actually quite useful and necessary to have those references to look back on to see how far we've come and how fast culture can change.

You're right in that wasn't shocking at the time, and I wonder how many Americans watching didn't even realize that transgender people existed beforehand.

For me, at least, it's easier to forgive the homophobia, since I am gay. As a cisgender person, I don't really feel like it's my place to forgive transphobia (or sexism or racism, as a white man).

As a CULTURAL ARTIFACT, it is interesting. It probably was seen as liberal at the time
 

Ag

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But the transphobia (more misgendering than intentional cruelty if memory serves) wasn't considered shocking at the time. All representations of trans people in mainstream media were like that in the 90s - there wasn't the education around it the way there has been for the last decade or so. Friends wasn't seen as problematic at the time, it's just that society has developed a more sophisticated understanding of trans and gay issues so of course looking back it feels dated. I don't think that should be held against Friends and I think it's actually quite useful and necessary to have those references to look back on to see how far we've come and how fast culture can change.
I absolutely agree and the editing of old media to meet current standards is a bugbear of mine. And I bet those involved regret the dated consent. It still doesn't mean I want to watch it ever again!
 

Ag

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That said I look back at Ab Fab, which was outrageous and I can only recall a couple of references that aged badly.
 

RJN

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I absolutely agree and the editing of old media to meet current standards is a bugbear of mine. And I bet those involved regret the dated consent. It still doesn't mean I want to watch it ever again!

I hope I wasn't suggesting it should be edited, because I don't agree with that. I would just choose to skip those scenes (probably)
 

vespertine

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It's one of those MAJOR things that slipped completely past me, to this day I've never seen an episode in full.

Will & Grace was my show at the time.
 

octophone

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There was a spell where it was genuinely funny - the 2nd and 3rd series contain some properly great writing and some excellent performances, especially from Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc (for an actor, the role of a bad actor is actually quite tricky).

But they ran out of ideas several series before they stopped the programme and, yes, the storyline with Chandler's trans parent was excruciating. It's my bad that I missed some of the casual homophobia in the early episodes but we live and learn and all that.
 

Ag

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I hope I wasn't suggesting it should be edited, because I don't agree with that. I would just choose to skip those scenes (probably)
Not at all. Thankfully we just have WARNINGS now, which I can't decide what I think of.
 

KindaCool

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The cringiest parts for me was how fucking fragile all the men were. Especially Ross, who was in constant need to reaffirm his masculinity, even though he was the biggest pussy from the whole group. The rugby episode was really embarrassing to watch.
 

Beryl

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It’s probably second only to Will & Grave for favourite sitcom for me.

I could quite happily sit and watch it now (and often do for background noise) but I’d absolutely not buy any related merchandise or go to a fake set to sit and have a photo in ‘central perk’.
 

RJN

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Not at all. Thankfully we just have WARNINGS now, which I can't decide what I think of.

Seems like a good compromise. It wouldn't stop me from watching something new (I don't think), but if it does save someone who is likely to be hurt from watching it, then it can't be too bad. However, it probably isn't good to be sheltered from all offensive things, so actually who knows?
 
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Ellie

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But the transphobia (more misgendering than intentional cruelty if memory serves) wasn't considered shocking at the time. All representations of trans people in mainstream media were like that in the 90s - there wasn't the education around it the way there has been for the last decade or so. Friends wasn't seen as problematic at the time, it's just that society has developed a more sophisticated understanding of trans and gay issues so of course looking back it feels dated. I don't think that should be held against Friends and I think it's actually quite useful and necessary to have those references to look back on to see how far we've come and how fast culture can change.

That’s what I loved so much about that Apple Docuseries called Visible: Out on Television. It really went through the evolution of representation on TV through the decades and how it was necessary to lead to acceptance.
 
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I never thought this was funny in the slightest. I remember some Americans asking me if I had watched the series finale when it was aired and when I told them that I didn't like the show they were AGHAST.
For me it's always gonna be Roseanne or The Golden Girls followed by Will & Grace when it comes to sitcoms. I suppose my humour never progressed beyond the 80s or 90s. I did enjoy Mom for a while but I'm not too bothered about tracking it down online now that it's no longer broadcast here.
 

straightorbroken

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If I were to watch any re-boot it would have to address and make up for the transphobia, no question. I don't watch 1940s films with grotesque depictions of anyone not white and not think disgraceful.
 
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Loved it at the time, have fond memories and would watch it if there was nothing else worth watching on tv but wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again as i've seen it so many times. So quotable, too.

I'm currently rewatching HIMYM and it's dated worse.
 

lolly

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Yes, I did quite a lot back in the day. It was never my favourite comedy on at the time, but I watched the entire run, even if only for the sake of completion at the end.

Obviously doesn't bear scrutiny today, but as much for just not being that funny as any of the problematic business.
 
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Yes I thought so. He was a drag queen and a homosexual. There was no indication at all about being transgender.

I don't recall any transphobic jokes either, except when Rachel mistook a woman in a black dress for Chandlers father, she introduced herself as Amanda and Rachel said "Oh, I get it! A Man, Duh!"
 

funky

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It’s amazing how popular it still is but I think it has dated horribly. The characters become less and less likeable as the years go on and I think it must be because humour has evolved - what made them charming and quirky just doesn’t quite have the same bite any more.

there’s still a lot of good stuff in there, the first 5 years in particular - after that it felt like they were just looking for new ways to make them do and say daft things.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the internalised homophobia. I’ve read about it and not thought much about it as that sort of thing doesn’t usually bother me, different time different place etc, but for a show so massive and not really that old, it’s amazing how tone deaf some of the writing was.
 

funky

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Oh I see that part was already covered. Sorry I really should read other posts first.
 

Pipo

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Surely to nowhere near the same extent

literally, every person I've met that mentions Friends as their fave tv show ever follows it with "closely followed by HIMYM as #2" :gross: As for the country, in terms of social media/news coverage, reruns, merchandise, and general pop culture impact I'd say it's pretty much up there with Friends :( Another one that fits in that category but isn't even a comedy to begin with, would be Grey's Anatomy.
 

lolly

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I don't think HIMYM had the same appeal in the UK, did it? Or perhaps it did, and I just didn't like it.
 

Jark

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I watched an episode (the "first time they met Rachel" flashback episode in season 3) for the first time in a good few months on Friday night with my housemate and some amazing fried chicken and it was really the perfect comfort viewing. to me that's why it's still a great show - you know the characters and they feel like (charmingly exaggerated versions of) real people that could kind of exist. And so spending time with them (especially in the best episodes of the first five seasons, which are often the ones where nothing much really happens plot-wise but the writing is just so on point) is really a pleasure. And for how much of it they made, there really are so many classic episodes, some really slept on.

So basically long live Friends I love it sorry.
 

RJN

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I don't think anything post 2000 has the same mass appeal as something like Friends. Media consumption is so fragmented
 

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I lived for it at the time but never felt the need to back and do a full rewatch. That said, I'll watch the episode "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" whenever I see it repeated on the TV.
 

RJN

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I lived for it at the time but never felt the need to back and do a full rewatch. That said, I'll watch the episode "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" whenever I see it repeated on the TV.

I know its a cliche, but that one and the one with the quiz (where they end up switching apartments) really are two of the funniest half hours of TV
 

KindaCool

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To be fair, have MOST 90s sitcoms aged that much better?

"The Nanny" still absolutely timeless though :disco: Their representation of homosexuality was quite wonderful (mostly).
 

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