3 Reasons Why Friends is Super Problematic in 2017

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Over the years, Friends has progressed from being just another sitcom on TV to becoming an outright obsession with the masses. Among constant re-runs, fanfictions and references to the show popping up in every second conversation, Friends has managed to create a niche for itself in the world of sitcoms and has, somehow, managed to survive and even thrive amongst the millennials. However, if you are over 18 and still swear by the show, are you even adulting correctly? If you still don’t find this show problematic at a very human level, are you even living in 2017? If you still don’t see why the show isn’t funny anymore, have you grown up at all?

Now for all those people who are already rolling up their sleeves to type out long replies as to why I am so grossly wrong, breathe! Let’s discuss this out and then see where you stand, shall we? And if you still don’t understand my point? Well, isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck fantastic?

1)      Fat Shaming: 

Throughout the show, Monica is constantly fat shamed and our gullible minds are made to believe that her life turned around simply because the needle on the weighing scale moved to the left! I mean, who cares if she is a talented chef or a great person, right? God forbid that a woman has some skin on her body! How dare you think that you could be attractive and have ‘fat’ at the same time? Honestly, the writers never forget to remind us just how ‘miserable’ a person would be if they aren’t a certain body type and if that still doesn’t disturb you, what will?

2)      Homophobia: 

I don’t even understand how the writers managed to pass off homophobia as humor. Throughout the show, Chandler’s dad’s job (he worked as a drag queen at a club in Las Vegas) is constantly mocked and Chandler is constantly insecure about people assuming that he is gay. The show further propagates several gender stereotypes and has numerous instances when this is highlighted like Ross has a problem with Ben playing with a ‘Barbie’ or Ross having a problem with having a male nanny. Not only is this offensive to the LGBT community but the male characters constantly defending their masculinity is just tiresome.

3)      Casual Sexism: 

One of the most frustrating and recurring themes of the show is how the female characters on the show are obsessed with getting married. Despite having successful careers and a good life, all they really want to do is ‘catch a guy’ and settle down (apparently, that’s not just India?). Not only are the girls constantly whining about not finding the perfect guy, they are also portrayed as weak and sexual objects. The way the guys are always ogling after women and talking about who they want to sleep with next (and even referring to women using analogies of ice cream flavors) is not only disgusting but also severely sexist. Oh, and please don’t start about I should learn to take a joke because the raging feminist in me will show you just how funny that is!

Oh, and the whole We were on a break’ deserves a special shout-out for being the most overused and most annoying dialogue in the entire show (No Ross, being on a break does not justify cheating. Period.) 

It’s time we stop finding humor in offense and call it out! Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You are gonna love it. 

Disclaimer: All the views expressed here are extremely personal and are not meant to offend anybody. The writer is a hardcore feminist, who has developed the inability to enjoy anything remotely related to pop culture without getting offended. Please do not hunt her down to justify your love for the show. She will probably just cringe and run away.


About the Author:

Aashima Garg (Dept of Economics; Subeditor, PU Mirror)

Writer. 18 years old. Pursuing B.A. Economics (Hons) from Department of Economic, PU. I am a Hindi poetry enthusiast and an avid reader. I love binge watching movie and sitcoms.
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