The Men of “Friends”
By Liz Everly
My daughters have recently discovered “Friends”—and we’ve been binge watching the show. We all remember that (now) classic sit-com, right? I’m not a big fan of most sit-coms. I loved “Cheers” and “The Seinfield Show” and very few others. But I did like “Friends.”
Now watching it with my daughters, it’s been an interesting exercise—the show still makes me laugh and my teenaged daughters love it. (But I find myself rolling my eyes a good bit, as well.) Also, now since I’m writing romance, I’m looking harder at the romantic elements of the show. Monica and Richard, then later Chandler. Ross and Rachel. Chandler and Janice. Joey and Phoebe and their romantic escapades with a slew of other characters.
But I’m also thinking about the men of “Friends”and how they represent different male characters.
My 14-year-old daughter thinks that Ross is arrogant and spoiled. I can see that. But if you look deeper at Ross, he’s also sensitive, smart-but-clueless, and awkward. I dig the brainy-awkward in Ross.
I think that Joey is both of my daughters favorite character. Joey is one of the best written characters, to my mind. Charming, handsome, and not too bright, he exudes warmth and sexuality. But for me, this only works until he opens his mouth and uses the wrong word, or reveals some other stunning gaff. But Joey isn’t completely stupid, he has a kind of people-smart about him. He’s very much like a big warm puppy dog, right?
And then we have Chandler. Both of my girls really like him. And I tend to think this guy is one of the best actors on the show. (Now he’s in another sit-com. I caught a couple of episodes and he’s fabulous.) If Ross is the bumbling intellectual, and Joey is the opposite—the confident not too bright guy—what is Chandler? Chandler is the damaged one. He’s the funniest and wittiest—usually the funniest people have the deepest flaws, right? But his family life as a kid was not exactly stable and it’s left him with some wounds, which he deals with through his humour. I love Chandler. Great character.
If I had to pick one, I’m not sure I could. Could you? I can see rolling some of their traits together to create someone I’d have no problem choosing. None at all.
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