Growing up with the TV show FRIENDS might have affected us more than we can imagine.
All of the friends are so judgemental. First, they are so judgemental to each other, they ridicule their “best friends” all the time, without any shame. Here’s a very loose analysis of each character because I wanted to write about them for no specific reason:
Even the “open minded” goofy Phoebe Buffay is being judgemental. For example, she judged the X actors when Ursula is using her name, she judged the alcoholic man who drinks at 9am when she’s in front of Macy’s for Xmas, etc.
She accepts others as they are, for sure, but she also makes it important to point out that she is above them by being a vegetarian, by buying second hand furniture, by giving birth to her brother’s kids and more. Is it just an act?
Phoebe is also a bully: she pushes Ross to make his kid be friends with Sting’s son to get her concert tickets. She goes overboard by even going to his school and pretending she is Ben’s mom. Awful.
I don’t buy her pure character vibe, she’s definitely not cool when she thinks she is better than someone else. Which happens a lot. I’m not sure if she’s a good friend.
Judgment level: 7/10
The most judgemental is of course Ross Geller, aka the worst character ever, but also kinda real. He lies all the time, runs after women and desperately tries to be the nice guy. He actually is such an asshole. He wants his girlfriends to look a certain way, to be a certain way (for example when Bonnie shaves her head at the beach, his disgust is the worst). He is overly jealous and thinks he owns women, should it be his sister or girlfriend, he plays the protective guy but actually never hesitates to ruin their lives.
He would always choose to lie instead of being upfront with people, unless it’s for him to show them that he has more knowledge than them.
He also makes fun of his sister for being fat in her youth.
He is a bad father.
He judges Carol and Susan for being lesbians and for raising his son together.
Judgment level: 1349875238/10
Rachel Green is a liar, cheater, spoiled, goofy kinda gal. At first, I thought she was mistreated by Ross when they were together, but it became clear that she is a manipulative and disruptive person, it started with Julie, who was dating Ross after his trip to China. Instead of just confronting Ross and telling him about her feelings, she treated Julie like shit and manipulated Ross into not having sex with his girlfriend. When he and Rachel later became a couple, Ross was extra problematic, but the way she broke up with him for sleeping with another woman was also questionable. It basically shows that they all only believe in one scenario possible for men/women relationships: monogamous, cis, straight, etc.
But somehow, even if she’s a fucked up manipulative person, she’s not that judgemental towards others (on the surface). Of course she carries that rich bitch energy, so she will make comments about superficial stuff, but at the same time she lets everyone be themselves, she doesn’t care.
No one should ever be her partner though, because everything turns to shit then…
Judgment level: 3/10
Monica Geller cannot really lie, she doesn’t play with other people’s lives or feelings, she is more genuine. But she is obsessed with getting married and having children, and with always wanting to please everyone with her food or her friendly advice. Getting into a wedding dress makes her so happy, it’s ridiculous. She used to be fat (actually not that fat, sorry) (I’ll make a post dedicated to fat Monica for sure) and the way she portrays herself being fat is so shameful: only obsessed with food, sounds stupid when she talks as a fat girl, is not popular, kinda goofy, lazy. She decides to lose weight when she overhears Chandler tell Ross that his sister is fat in their parents’ kitchen, and in a year she becomes the thinnest version of herself, which is applauded by everyone. She is having her revenge, finally.
This portrait of Monica Geller doesn’t depict someone that I would call judgemental. But she definitely has her flaws and is a people pleaser. It is hard to trust people pleasers, as they never really show their true feelings, their truth. But this another subject.
Judgment level: 1/10
Chandler Bing is always happy to make fun of his “best friend” Joey because he is so dumb. Chandler uses his friend’s lack of culture to even make him more ridiculous by not telling him when he’s wrong (for example when Joey doesn’t know who Joseph Stalin is). Chandler also is a bad friend because he acts behind his friend’s back (when he falls in love with Joey’s girlfriend and kisses her), he has no loyalty.
And of course, his homophobia that is present in almost every episode. Chandler is made fun of by others for “looking gay“, and this hurts him so much, it’s really sad. Of course the way masculinity was depicted in the 90s plays a huge role in this. It just makes him a real bully when he constantly drops jokes about gay people, and even more when he mocks transgender people. Because his father is a transgender woman, it feels like he has the right to be an asshole towards her, even at the end when they reconnect through Chandler’s wedding, he has to make anti-trans jokes around her. But to be fair, everyone makes those jokes on the show, they all laugh at queer trans people all the fucking time.
All in all, I see Chandler Bing as a sad clown, he could be much more relaxed and still funny, but he mocks everyone around him: his friends, women he dates, his parents, gay people, etc.
Judgment level: 8/10
Joey Tribbiani is dumb but apparently it’s ok because he’s sexy and uses his sex-appeal to conquer women. Even the fact that he was bad at school is not so problematic because he could actually get the girls, unlike the nerds. His life revolves around women, food, becoming an actor while not working on his craft, being financially supported by his friend/roommate, being lazy. He acts sensitive and kind but at the same time treats women like objects. And what’s worse? Rachel, Monica and Phoebe don’t really get angry at Joey for being such a misogynistic pig. They even play along sometimes by judging other women the same way he does.
Lesbians exist just for his male disgusting fantasy: gross. So tired of this, honestly.
He is the manliest man of the group but also the most cliché one: dumb, has a kind heart, loyal, eats a lot, sleeps with many women, has multiple partners at the same time, sleeps a lot, lazy, loves sports. I mean, when described like that, he sounds really lame, right? Because he is, I guess.
Judgment level: 2/10
They all suck.
#friends #monicageller #rossgeller #chandlerbing #joeytribbiani #rachelgreen #90sTV #essay