Five Reasons FRIENDS Ain't for Fags
by Wil Forbis
July 16th, 2002
A few weeks ago I was out of town visiting a friend of mine. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and after about two minutes of conversation we decided to do what we do best: watch television. We settled down in the various comforters and began flipping through the channels. “Hey, it’s FRIENDS!” I said, catching sight of a rerun appearing on one of the cable stations. “Let’s watch it!”
“FRIENDS!” my compatriot responded. “FRIENDS is for fags!”
“Then just call me ‘Johnny McCocksucker!” I replied. “Because I think FRIENDS is a great show!”
And I do, though I recognize that a lot of the cutting-edge hipster types I constantly find myself involved with consider FRIENDS to be the epoch of commercial drivel. And for a time, I was with them. On the surface, there’s a lot to criticize about FRIENDS. It’s yet another comedy featuring impossibly attractive young adults with the sorts of dating problems most of us would kill for. (“Geee…” Joey muses. “Should I bang this drop dead gorgeous broad or this other one? I know - I’ll have a three way!”) They all live in comfortable apartments in downtown Manhattan, while working part time jobs that wouldn’t cover the rent on their closets. (Sometimes I like to imagine that in addition to their regular jobs, all the characters are professional escorts.) And while real life friends can only be counted on to steal your oxycontin prescription and sleep with your significant other, the gang on FRIENDS actually love and support each other. (At least I think that's what they're doing - having only heard of the phenomenon, I have a hard time recognizing it up close.)
But whatever blemishes may cast themselves upon the show, it still has a lot going for it. For instance dig these exciting FRIENDS AIN'T FOR FAGS FUG FILLED FACTS (TM)*. (By "facts" I mean "my selected opinions.")
* Nope, that's not a typo. Regular facts are fun-filled. My facts are FUG-FILLED!! Here.. open wide and have some more delicious, nutritious FUG!!!
1) At times, it’s the most cutting edge show on television
Let's be honest - Comedy is a contest. It's a contest to see how far you can go towards offending your audience while still remaining popular. Murphy Brown may have tweaked Dan Quayle by having a kid out of wedlock, but FRIENDS' Phoebe did her one better by having triplets out of wedlock. And the dad was her brother! (How did that work exactly?) If that's not enough, remember Joey's rubber eraser penis? The Lesbian Wedding? Ross having sex with his five year old nephew. (Sorry, just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)
2) On top of a great cast, the show has featured some of the best sketch comedians around.
One of the weakest criticisms FRIENDS detractors make about the show is contention that the actors are just a bunch of pretty faces. If someone such as I, who always begrudges beautiful people their good looks, can acknowledge this isn't true, then so should the pop critics of Hollywood. The six main characters all possess a comic talent that is extremely rare on television. On top of that, the show has featured players like Giovanni Ribisi ("Boiler Room"), Debra Jo Rupp ("That 70's Show"), Jon Favreau ("Made"), Steve Zahn (Tons of Shit), Adam Goldfarb (fucking hilarious as Chandler’s short lived roommate), Michael Rapaport ("Boston Public") and Sean Whalen ("Got Milk?" ads). And more importantly, FRIENDS featured many of these players before they got famous. Clearly the producers go out of their way to find good people.
3) It was the first show to offer positive portrayals of gays that transcended feel-good archetypes.
Ha! See! You read the title of this column and thought I was some sort of right wing homophobe, didn't you? You stupid buttmuncher!
Up until the late eighties, gay characters on television were either effeminate twits like Billy Crystal or one-dimensional, holier-than-thou characters created in an attempt by liberal scriptwriters to make up for the centuries of oppression homosexuals have experienced. This tide was turned by two shows. Rosanne made great strides for gay characters by using Martin Mull, Sandra Bernhardt and Morgan Fairchild to portray them as either bumbling buffoons or flighty egomaniacs. FRIENDS utilized several non-moronic gay characters like Ross's ex-wife, Carol, her lover, Susan and several guest characters, the most humorous being Phoebe's "husband" as played by Steve Zahn. I think you can safely say, that there would be no "Will And Grace" without the water tested by FRIENDS. (No wisecracks, Saleeby.)
4) It’s got Courteney Cox.
Look, I don’t usually go for overly skinny chicks but there’s no getting around the fact that Ms. Cox* is the hottest piece of ass since a secret government project in the late sixties cloned a fusion of Brigitte Bardot and Jane Mansfield. The girl is just plain tight, y’all - and only gets better with age. When you look at her in that old Springsteen video she just seems like some forgettable gal next door, but as the years have passed, her features have cemented themselves into one of the classic beauties of our age. Well, it’s either cement or Botex.
* Notice I don’t call her Courteney Cox Arquette. This is because I have discovered a little known law that proves her marriage to David Arquette is invalid. This law also dictates that Courteney is actually married to me and must be my mindless love slave. Hey, I don't make the laws around here. Blame John Ashcroft.
5) It allows you to relive the endless stream of romance and self discovery that was your late twenties.
In the same way that watching the "Wonder Years" allowed me to vicariously enjoy the bittersweet teenage coming of age story I never actually lived, FRIENDS allows me to experience the joy of "finding myself" in my twenties while engaging in variety of relationships with fantastically attractive sexual partners. In the world of FRIENDS, even a dolt like Chandler gets some pretty hot pussy!
What do you think? Leave your comments on the Guestbook!
Wil Forbis is a well known international playboy who lives a fast paced life attending chic parties, performing feats of derring-do and making love to the world's most beautiful women. Together with his partner, Scrotum-Boy, he is making the world safe for democracy. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Wil's web log, The Wil Forbis Blog, and receive complete enlightenment.