Interesting perspective and as someone living in the US you’ve probably got to see the sinister side of Friends & the depiction of the character played by David Schwimmer. I totally agree with your points on why people should not take things at face value and the knowledge which books have to impart & so and so forth..
I think at least in India we tend to go overboard with the “nerdy” intellectualism and to us (myself, my friends & lot more of the Indians, I’m sure) Friends presented a humourous side of the life we take way too seriously. But I agree, we come from a very different background and most of us are “graduates & postgraduates” — I’m only self-mocking!
I think the character of Ross, also showed another side — be a nerd — I have friends who appreciate my knowledge on certain subjects — given my formal education — BUT know your audience — he is often shown as getting carried away and lost in his jargon, which is what makes him a soft target to poke fun at.
On a lighter note, Big Bang Theory has reversed what Friends might have done — according to your theory? Although it’s debatable whether they are again pushing Americans far from choosing Science degrees (by showing how nerdy scientists are) or showcasing their amazing abilities??