A Critical Media Analysis of Friends
In the 1990s there was a resurgence of the “all-American sitcom”. Situation comedies have been a popular form of television since the media was developed. They are characterized by two camera shots, singular sets that are only viewed from a few angles and a cast of (hopefully) hilarious characters. In the 1990s popular sitcoms included: Friends, Drew Carey Show and Seinfeld. These were all popular American television programs portraying America. But portraying what vision of America? Look at the cast of Friends: Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel Monica, and Phoebe: all white characters. Why don't these characters have any minority "friends"? What happened to programs such as the Cosby Show or the Fresh Prince? Why were (and why are) all-white television shows so popular in America and what happened to minority-based shows? Today's television depicts popular white America while leaving out minorities. The lack of ethnicity on television shows, such as Friends, gives America an inaccurate idea about minorities. Americans live in a society where ethnicity is frequently depicted as sinful. People are not shocked to see minorities being arrested or convicted on the news. Frequent viewings of the “news magazine” Dateline reveals a pattern of African-American and Mexican men being labeled as murderers. What would be the public's reaction if they went to watch television and saw six minority "friends" on a show just after watching an all-white neighborhood rioting on a news program? Friends reinforces the humorous "all-American" lifestyle. Six white, unmarried, young Americans live together and grow their relationships with one another. The cast poses all the qualities that people enjoy. Number one, the characters are all beautiful or handsome. Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow are all irresistible female actresses while Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc are all good-looking actors. They...
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