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.