In American television history, a sitcom “Friends” was added by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which initially aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, and ended on May 6, 2004. It had 10 seasons in total. The casting for the television show “Friends” was miraculous. The story revolves around six friends living in Manhattan. The balanced chemistry between all the six brilliant actors justified the casting. Not to forget the legendary director and the writers, who with their words gave all the young and single, something to relate to. In a place where recession is normal, you have to fail a couple of times in order to win. It was a thought about those who work and struggle in their mid-twenties, looking for jobs, at the basic stage of building and exploring a life they want. The director wanted to reach those particular people that are the targeted audience. Imagining about those young ones struggling in big cities, it is very expensive to live on their own, they all almost face same kind of difficulties, it’s a tough physical as well as emotional journey. Now, with a friend, it’s a lot easier, this general idea influenced director to transform it into development and so we had this show, its name reflecting the idea itself as knows as “Friends”. Six friends having six different characters as following: Chandler Bing (an executive in statistical analysis), Monica Geller (a chef), Rachel Green (fashion enthusiast), Ross Geller (paleontologist) and Joey Tribbiani (struggling actor). The writers had to modify the script in order to suit it with the casted actors. The actors very well played their respective roles and they became friends off air as well which really paid off well.

Critical Reaction

Early reviews for the show were mixed. The producers always tried to match the right stories to location; it’s funny that it was never filmed in New York. They decided that filming outside would make the show less funny. The series was criticized for portraying New York the wrong way, by showing a group of friends which are struggling they are weak financially and they are not able to afford large apartments. With this being a minor criticism over the location, it also faced some serious accusations. The major criticism which it faced was focused on the use of sexuality charged themes specially the time for the show was when the kids usually watch television.


This genre, situation comedy, has become an integral part of American culture. This show presented a window meant to show us the homes of our favorite characters to know more about their ethnic background and lifestyles like we came to know about Chandler’s indifferent behavior towards Christmas and Thanksgiving. Another positive aspect would be the common national portrayal of group of friends who functioned as family units where rather than parents or siblings; they relied on each other for support. While if critically observe this, they failed to include minorities in the depiction of common national or cultural tradition. With the all-American lifestyle depiction, six Americans, unmarried, young people living and struggling totally depicting that today’s society is biased in choosing friends. Whites go for whites. It can be said that audience would not have watched the show with this fan following if it was about six minority friends. This show might have presented a wrong conclusion about different ethnic groups. People do not want their children to be racist; they want them to be diverse. All of the six characters were never seen with a minority; they were shown hanging out in a café or bar that too in a large city. Closely, I saw African-American or Mexican in the background.

The show which I chose is a product of its time because of the positive responses it received, not to forget the targeted audiences was satisfied with the show it had given them something to relate to and enjoy watching. As the show shown a casual latter day sequence of shots, for example, the friends always gathered at the coffee shop to discuss their issues and breakups.

Cultural Significance

There are very few of the sitcoms in the history of television which have had long-term Cultural impact. It does not matter how much you categorize the TV programs or how much influence the novel reality trend has on it; it is a fact that will remain that television sitcoms are not realistic. It’s impossible for it to be 100% real because TV is not reality. The stories included are however chunks of the maker’s perception.

Big changes sometimes happen with sitcoms, in Friends the characters ask out, date, and break up. If, fortunately they get married, they have babies, or go to London. Writers use this in order to maintain the surprise factor, they couldn’t think of something new and something that can convey a message something useful let say they could have family that adopted a homeless kid. The show do not follow the ever changing context of real line, in contrast the viewer just tune in to see what’s next in the line which is systematically created; what happens next in a plotline. Like what would be the Ross’s reaction when he would see Rachel’s at the airport. Will Emily dump Ross after he took Rachel’s name on the wedding altar? Friends, nevertheless, depict postmodernism, and the absolute value of small community in which individual find his/her identity and safety. There was however no religion involved much, apart from occasions like Christmas. The characters weren’t shown visiting churches apart from only weddings.

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