Check out “The big bang Theory”, i would like to know what you take away from that show. I see it as the polar opposite of ‘Friends’. I prefer ‘Friend’ to ‘The Big Bang Theory’ but to offer a counter to your ‘Fall of western civilization theory’ the i believe the show places its part well.
The perspective that you bring in your article is refreshing, new and ingenious. But that is just that a perspective. Everyone has Goggles on that dictate what and how you see things and perceive them. Any form of expression no matter how descriptive and self explanatory is open to interpretation. We project our ideas and experiences outward and i believe that effect was dominant in this case.
I identified with ‘Ross’ in the show and i agree it bothered me when his friends Dissed him for trying to have an intelligent conversation but that wasn’t the entirety of who he was on the show. I was equally annoyed by his stupidity, impulsive and absurd decisions. Not for lack of trying but i couldn’t stop myself from doing things just like those. I am annoyed because i see too many of my flaws in him. His friends were no better and worse than he was as their Friend. Yes he could have done better than Rachael but that is the story of Life. Sitcoms turn characters into a stereotype, you fall into this or that category and that is all you can be. The characters in ‘Friends’, i perceive, within those boundaries managed to be more than just labels. They were people who changed, grew, were open to new ideas, accepted mistakes, appreciated the highs and lows of life and managed to hold onto friendships that weren’t dictated by need. You say Ross needs better friends and i say i would rather have his friends than Sheldon’s friends.
I imagine you would agree with my view that Sheldon’s friends are the opposite of Ross’s friends. We may disagree on who were better friends but the reasons we list as the differences would most definitely be the same. I would say those same reasons are positive while you might argue the opposite. Sheldon’s friends are enablers. There are no challenges to his views and absurdities. Because he has high IQ his lack of empathy is somehow acceptable. He can’t stand criticism, has no clue about flexibility and is the least accommodating person you can have. He exemplifies Ross’s intellectual flaws and none of his endearing qualities, ones that allow Ross to have friends that don’t always agree with him on everything.
I would agree ‘Friends’ marked the end of the best period in tv but not because it was bad for society but because it did the job too well . The show did trigger a spiral but that was because other shows that came after were rip offs trying to replicate what ‘Friends’ managed to do and were failing miserably.
Your article within the limits of your perspective was brilliant and insightful but i just think the world and the show has more than one shade, one sees what one wants to see.