Friends may have seemed as wholesome as American apple pie when we were all in our teens. But it isn’t the bundle of warm fuzzies you might remember it as. Here is why.
The way it handled age differences in relationships
Both Monica’s relationship with Richard and Ross’s with Elizabeth were handled with the delicacy and subtlety of a sledgehammer. The flack Ross had to endure over his relationship meant it was destined to fail from the off. And the insinuations that Monica was a floozy for her relationship with the much older Richard were once again ANGB (that’s bang out of order – shame on you friends!)
We all remember those episodes where there were flashbacks to when Monica was younger and she was a little bigger. Some of the jokes she endures from Chandler are really offensive. I mean yeah, I guess contextually when he refers to Monica as Ross’s “fat sister” this can be explained by the fact he was young and not so worldly. But even the “present” incarnation of Chandler is merciless about Monica’s size when she was younger. While we are on the subject of body shaming he also takes pot shots at Rachels’ nose. Is there no end to his body shaming? Thinking back Chandler was a bit of an ass!
Remember Paolo? Okay, it’s safe to say that the guy was a bit of a sleaze. Yeah, none of us really liked him because he was with Rachel and Ross was supposed to be with Rachel. He also did himself no favours by feeling up Phoebe. But some of the insults Ross used against his nemesis were really disrespectful. Referring to him as the “Weenie from Torini” and regularly mocking his accent. Come on Ross, you’re educated, you should know better. Although actually under the Trump administration this is pretty much the fair game isn’t it?
Their views on homosexuality
You could argue that the show was groundbreaking in giving screen time to Carol and Suzanne’s relationship. So often though Lesbians are sexualised throughout the show. With Chandler making comment such as “sometimes I wish I was a lesbian”. Shame on Chandler! I’m seeing a pattern here!
Their views on Chandler’s transgender father
This really rankles me. I’m sure it does members of the LGBT community too. Chandler’s father is somewhat of a running joke on the show. It’s so unfair that the poor woman doesn’t identify with the body that she is in and has to tolerate ridicule. The worst part of it is that it comes from her own son!
Oh my god! Poor Janice. I mean they never really say anything to her face. But the facial expressions they use and the fact that they stop talking when she walks into a room. And don’t get me started on the things they say about the poor woman when she isn’t there. When you watch Friends back now, is Janice even actually annoying? I really don’t think so. If anything she is cute, kind and caring! And we have already concluded that Chandler is a bit of an ass so…. #teamjanice
The fact that they never tip Gunther
Perhaps you can explain or forgive some of their other misgivings given the time period. Especially given how times have changed. But poor Gunther is probably on awful wages and you never see him get a tip from any of the 6 “friends”. Let’s be honest, with the wages that the cast were on they could have afforded to chuck him a few sheckles! So there we have it. Friends are evil, ban it! And definitely throw Chandler in jail. On reflection, he was a terrible human being.