“Friends” have finally made it to our streaming screens via Netflix. The 90s American sitcom is still widely watched til today, but it seems like majority of millennials only got their chance to press play on the series.
The show ran til 2004, chronicling the lives of best friends Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey. The group often gets together at Central Perk, a coffee house near their New York apartments, and across 10 seasons we watch them screw up relationships, welcome new family members, and witness their careers get better. But two decades later, its humor doesn’t seem to be as hilarious as it once was.
Viewers recently expressed their discomfort about the show’s main punchlines: the Fat Monica storyline, Chandler’s so-called “quality” and his incessant jokes on his father’s cross-dressing, Ross’ unending bitterness about his lesbian ex-wife, and Rachel’s incompetent hiring decision as a manager. The young generation of viewers have dismissed it as sexist, pro-bullying, homophobic and transphobic.
I was a uni student in the 90s so looked forward to rewatching Friends on Netflix over New Year. But I agree – the ‘fat Monica’ and ‘gay Chandler’ ‘jokes’ feel very out of place now. And was Joey *always* that bit creepy? Disappointing.
— Christine Carr (@ChristineCarr) January 4, 2018
This whole time "Friends" has been transphobic, homophobic, racist, and sexist. It just took us 10 years for our morality to sufficiently evolve so that we could realize it! https://t.co/jqKtHsrGcv
— Daniel Haqiqatjou (@Haqiqatjou) January 13, 2018
The new audiences have also called out the fact that throughout its entire run, “Friends” have only given two roles to people of color, particularly Ross’ girlfriend Julie and Dr. Charlie Wheeler.
As for us, we continue to love the series (in fact, here are 10 episodes we can’t wait to rewatch on “Friends”), but are still aware of where our values lie at this age.