Cadence Armstrong

Get-to-know-you activities at the beginning of year often involve finding out your classmates’ favorite TV shows. Since “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” is a well-known sitcom, it’s frequently at the top of the list for a lot of teenagers. But while the show is entertaining and is easy to binge watch, it’s out of date in both its style and jokes. Additionally, the plot itself is slow-moving, dragging every relationship out. The show may have been relatable to teenagers in the 1990s, but for people today, it’s 30 years out of style. 

“F.R.I.E.N.D.S” ran for 10 years from 1994 to 2004. The final episode aired a month before most high schoolers today were even born. Because of this, it is difficult to relate to the show. Over nearly two decades, times change and culture is different. When I watch the show, I often question the outfit choices of the characters and dislike the decor of the setting. The show takes place in a setting most teenagers can’t relate to. As a 15-year-old who has never been to New York, I can’t relate to it, and as a result, cannot get into the show. Instead, I find myself preferring more contemporary sitcoms like “Modern Family”. In that show, there’s no age gap between the main characters and I, so it’s much easier to enjoy it.

Additionally, “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” moves at a snail’s pace. Much of the series centers around whether or not Rachel and Ross will end up together, and that plot gets dragged out for 10 years. It could have easily run its course in two or three seasons. Instead, the show gets stretched out, making an incredibly slow-moving plot. 

Furthermore, due to the era in which the storyline is set, “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”  makes jokes about things that wouldn’t be appropriate to laugh about in 2020. For instance, the show often jokes about how Monica was undesirable in high school due to being overweight, calling her “Fat Monica”. The joke in this instance is simply that Monica was corpulent. In 2020, when body positivity has finally come a long way, these jokes aren’t acceptable. As teenagers, we often struggle with recognizing that all body types are beautiful. Watching a show such as “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”  where the main character is laughed at for being overweight only discourages progress towards overcoming the idea that “one size fits all”.  Rather than watching a show that makes jokes at the cost of their main character’s sake, people should watch other series promoting self-confidence and body positivity. 

While “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” may have been fitting and relatable when it came out, it has lost its relatability 30 years later. Instead of watching 10 seasons of an outdated sitcom that makes light of serious issues teenagers face today from the 1990s, people should spend their time watching more modern TV shows.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the Acumen staff. Reach Cadence Armstrong at [email protected].