10+ Reasons Why 'Friends' Was Actually a Disaster And It Screwed a Generation
The sitcom ‘Friends’ is acclaimed by most people as one of the best TV shows of all time. We saw the lives of Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, and Phoebe for ten years, but many people do not realize that the stories depicted on the series might have left scars on our generation. Its humor might not work well today, and here are several reasons why people should not idolize it.
1. Money problems were not really that big
They were a group of friends living in New York City, but they barely talked about money, which seems completely unrealistic. Some of them had pretty great jobs like Ross, and others like Rachel and Joey were always struggling.
However, this problem was not discussed much except for the episode ‘The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant’. Most friends would talk about this fact about their lives in reality, but the show chose to ignore this aspect, and everyone was equally happy in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
2. The apartments were unrealistic
Talking about living in an expensive city, the show left viewers with the most unrealistic expectations of homes for people in their 20s. In the real world, none of the characters, except for Ross and Chandler, would have been able to afford those apartments.
The fact is that these people would have had to rent small places that barely accommodated anyone, much less Monica’s spacious living room. Millennials have enough on their plates while paying life insurance and student loans to afford such cool places.
3. You had time to hang out with your friends all the time
Another unrealistic aspect of this show was the fact that they were able to see each other, grab a cup of coffee, and hang out all the time. It was as if their jobs did not exist. We see them all the time at Central Perk in the middle of the day without a thought to other responsibilities.
Ross, Chandler, and Rachel had 9 to 5 jobs which makes this even more unreasonable. Maybe, Phoebe, Monica, and Joey had different schedules due to their jobs, but there is no way that all of them had all the free time to have a laugh at the coffee shop.
4. “We were on a break”
While Monica and Chandler’s relationship was the perfect example of a healthy romance where both partners grow with each other and face trials together, Ross and Rachel were a whole different story. Through ten years, viewers saw them break up and still have feelings for each other.
However, the main thing with these two was the “we were on a break” debacle, where Rachel asked for some time off and Ross immediately cheats on her with a random woman. Ross says her name during his wedding to Emily, and a myriad of things that did not show emotional stability.
5. They could quit their jobs out of the blue
When Rachel decides that her job at Central Perk was not going anywhere, she quits and magically, a new job offer falls into her lap from her dream place though she had no qualifications. In this day and age, millennials cannot just quit because they have huge responsibilities.
There are many bills to pay that a normal job can barely afford. Chandler quit his demanding job later on in the series to pursue advertising, and again a job offer came along quickly which is unrealistic, though not as problematic as Rachel’s situation.
6. Living in the city
Since ‘Friends’ was shot on a studio in California, you do not feel that the characters are actually in New York City. City life is actually much more hectic and problematic than they portrayed in the show. Furthermore, most apartments in the Big Apple would be dirty.
The image that the sitcom described was too idealistic, and if viewers had delusions of living like these people, once they moved to New York, they would get a serious reality check. The New York City is nothing like ‘Friends’.
The show was definitely ahead of its time as they showed that Ross’ wife was a lesbian who left him for another woman. It also featured their wedding, but the sitcom was not without stereotypes for lesbian women.
Ross once said, “This was Carol’s favorite beer. She always drank it out of the can. I should’ve known.” This clearly shows that lesbian women were still considered manlier than straight women. Also, Chandler’s dad was a drag queen, which the series exploited for many jokes.
8. Divorce was a normal thing
In the 70s, the divorce rate increased exponentially, so many kids in the 90s had to deal with their parent’s separation. Rachel’s parents had serious issues, and Chandler often talked about his tragic upbringing. Ross’ divorce from Carol was also dealt with, and for the most part, it was fine.
However, Ross married and got divorced, twice more over the course of the show, and it was used a joke for the rest of the series. It showed that the idea of marriage was not that big of a deal, and it probably hurt some people watching.
9. Sexism was portrayed as adorable
Joey Tribbiani is remembered by all fans as a ladies’ man, and ‘Friends’ fans love him for it. However, in many ways, he was sexist and misogynist in his trysts with many women without feeling any remorse that he would never call them again.
He viewed strange women as nothing but new conquests and sexualized the women in the gang. Younger audiences that have recently experienced the show through Netflix have complained about this aspect of the character.
10. Their jokes were judgmental
Humor has changed incredibly over the past decade, and back then, it was based on making fun of others. In ‘Friends’, they would tease one another often, and it was hilarious, but nowadays, those jokes would not be considered as funny.
Monica’s overweight childhood was laughed at often, and today, it would just be offensive, and Phoebe was mocked for her different kind of lifestyle and her vegan choice. Furthermore, Ross’ career as paleontologist was a joke as well.
11. There were gender stereotypes
While ‘Friends’ tried to be progressive in many ways like the girls slept with men without being labeled slutty. However, in other aspects, like the male nanny that was hired to watch Emma, they tended towards gender stereotyping. Furthermore, there is a scene where Ross hates that Ben has a Barbie.
12. Coffee shop hang out spot
No other show in history has placed such importance on hanging at a café. The characters would always be there, and some even worked there. Starbucks was founded in the 70s but did not reach big status until the 90s. By the show’s end, there were more than 10,000 shops of the chain.
13. Lack of diversity
Despite that great display of friendship, all the characters were white and straight, and there was a lack of diversity with minor roles as well. It’s like these people live in a bubble, and nothing touches them outside their privileged white American lives.
14. Staying indoors
This is one of those shows that happened mainly in the characters’ homes. There was even an episode where Joey and Chandler did not want to leave their apartment. They would hang at Central Perk, but aside from that, their adventures were not varied, so it’s not believable that they were in their 20s and 30s.
In that aspect, it resembles today’s world, where young people stay at home, binge-watching shows on streaming sites, and seemingly losing their youth at home. We have all turned into the people from ‘Wall-E’ before they get saved.
What do you think about ‘Friends’ in general? Does its humor not work with kids today? We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below and share this article with all your friends who love sitcoms.