Friends is a sitcom, comprised of six young adults, who experience the complexity of life to an excessive degree. Monica is a head chef. Rachel begins her career as a waitress. Chandler works with computers and numbers. Joey is an aspiring actor. Ross is a palaeontologist and Phoebe is a private masseuse and singer/songwriter. Although the storylines to some extent resemble moments of reality, the characters personalities and occupations are highly relatable which creates a family-like friendship group that is desired by many of its viewers.
Friends explore contemporary issues such as, sexism, ageism and homophobia which were problematic in society, during the 90’s. An example of sexism is significantly recognised in ‘The One with the Male Nanny’ when Ross claims to be “uncomfortable” (Favourite Videos, 2016) with the idea of hiring a male nanny. Ross believes that “it’s weird” followed by “what kind of job is that for a man? A nanny” (Favourite Videos, 2016). This scene does not promote sexism, instead, it demonstrates how Ross overcomes his prejudices by becoming aware of his own beliefs and judgements. Although these issues are frowned upon, it is important to recognise that even in the 21st century individuals will show signs of prejudices, especially of different cultures and lifestyles.
Nevertheless, Friends heightens the importance of friendship through the opening song lyrics “I’ll be there for you, cause you’re there for me too”, despite all the regrets, lies and conflicts; they forgive one another because their friendship is more important.
Favourite Videos (2016) Friends – The Male Nanny, Part 1. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_zVZ_Ox9jc [Accessed 31 January 2019].