A Negative View of “Friends”

Written by: Ayla Acosta

Although Friends has been one of my favorite sitcoms since for as long as I can remember, I was recently persuaded to believe otherwise by an article from David Hopkins. Normally, I would fight for this show because of the humor and ultimate display of friendship that it provides, but Hopkins brought up a point that I could not dispute. He states: “…Friends signals a harsh embrace of anti-intellectualism in America, where a gifted and intelligent man is persecuted by his idiot compatriots.” At first I was taken aback by his harsh opinion, but the more I read the more I began to think: what if Friends really has had a negative impact on the way society views those with intellect? Think about it: Ross, a paleontologist with a Ph. D. from Colombia University was known more for being the boring, yet goofy, love interest for Rachel. Let me reiterate that for you: He has a Doctorate degree from Colombia University and began working as a professor at New York University later on in the series, yet he is the one who is made fun of by his friends. Towards the end of the show’s life, the show depicts Ross as a not-so-good teacher. But that could be partially accredited to his friends who have rung him so hard for a career that he loved and admired that he started to become less and less enthralled with his studies. He had become so primed into believing that no one cared about his studies nor for what he had to say that he became lethargic in his lessons. If the show were written solely around Ross, it could be filed into the genre of tragic comedy.

Had Ross’ friends taken the time to appreciate his work once in a while, then he probably could have gone on to be a more successful paleontologist, professor, and writer. His work could have done something to better society, but how can one expect to create something like that when the ones you love the most do not give a damn?

 

Bibliography and link to article:

Hopkins, David. “David Hopkins: How ‘Friends’ Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization.” David Hopkins: How ‘Friends’ Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization. The Dallas Morning News, 23 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016.

<http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20160323-david-hopkins-how-friends-triggered-the-downfall-of-western-civilization.ece>.

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6 Responses to A Negative View of “Friends”

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Hopkins’ article is such an interesting representation of “Friends.” While I do not totally agree, he does make some powerful points about culture and how it is represented through television. I really enjoyed your post and retrospective opinion on Hopkins’ view of “Friends.” – Corey

  2. mediaphiles says:

    It’s sad that Ross gets made fun of so much because he is so intelligent. I agree with your point that TV is portraying the smart person as lesser and the person to tease. I could see that transferring over to children, as they don’t want to be ‘The Ross’ in their friend group. Yet all that does is discourage kids from venturing into to science and higher education

  3. mediaphiles says:

    It’s sad that Ross gets made fun of so much because he is so intelligent. I agree with your point that TV is portraying the smart person as lesser and the person to tease. I could see that transferring over to children, as they don’t want to be ‘The Ross’ in their friend group. Yet all that does is discourage kids from venturing into to science and higher education– Laya Mohan

  4. marymdalton says:

    Hey, I always thought Ross was the only one of the guys I would consider dating…but that’s apparently just me!

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I must admit, Friends was never my favorite show even though I never minded watching it and like Dr. Dalton- Ross was one of my favorites on the show too! I like the light hearted comedy that gave this show an easy watching experience. You did not have to follow the entire sequence to understand what was going on, even though it probably would make the show better. I can see where it gets critiqued, but I would not fully agree.

    Alexandra Peralta

  6. mediaphiles says:

    Interesting argument….but I always thought Ross was by far the WORST character on the show. Sure, he is the only one with a PhD, but the reason the rest of the gang mocks him is because he is so damn self-aggrandizing and pretentious about it, while also being as mature as a teenage boy. He totally lacks self-awareness, whines, and treats his significant others like crap. I would make fun of him for liking dinosaurs too.

    Elyse Conklin

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