Like a lot of others of my generation, I was ecstatic when I heard the news that Netflix was going to start streaming F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
I have probably spent WAY too much time watching the series since January 1st. Let's just say, the month is three-quarters of the way over and I may be on the last season.
Whether it be the adorable goof-ball Joey or the crazy, obsessive-compulsive Monica, there is someone or something to which everyone can relate. Over these past few weeks, I have seen some part of myself in almost everyone of the characters.
We all have our favorite characters, favorite episodes, and favorite lines.
The truth is this television helped shape popular culture.
I used to argue with my mom because I wanted watch it during the week or stay up and watch the reruns that came on at 10.
I do have to say there is a big difference in watching it as an adult compared to watching it as a kid in junior high or high school.
It's like listening to an old Backstreet Boys or 'NSYNC song. There's so much I never saw or understood when I was younger.
I've picked up on a few key things that changed the way I see the series.
- Life is not as easy as Rachel Green makes it seem. Completely changing your life is not easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy. You can't just walk into a coffee shop, find a roommate, & find a job in a twenty-minute period. It takes work. Things are not handed to you. You have to work hard to succeed. You can't spend significant portions of your day sitting on a couch drinking coffee and expect to go far in life. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12, ESV)
- Their easy-going lifestyle isn't exactly easy-going. The series really does promote the idea of sexual freedom. They teach you should have sex with whomever. There is no necessary commitment according to them. What they seem to skip over or not acknowledge is how unfulfilling that lifestyle is. There's the feelings between Ross & Rachel that just seemed to get joked about. There is Joey who doesn't understand what's happening when he falls for Rachel. Then, there's Phoebe who says she'll never settle down. Ultimately, we long for the commitment that goes along with the intimate relationship. But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2, ESV)
- Pornography is never okay. The way the series views pornography is beyond distasteful. They talk about it like it should be commonplace. There is no consequence discussed. The only time it is ever seen in a negative light those aspects are joked away. They never talk about how degrading it is toward women or the struggle it can cause for men. With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. (Proverbs 7:21-23, ESV)
You might think I'm coming down too hard. You might think it seems silly to point these things out. You might think it's just a television show.
I know I've had all of those thoughts. I also know there are quite a few things I'm not mentioning that aren't exactly holy.
I now understand why my mom tried to guard me from this show when I was younger.
What it came down to is this: It is easy to excuse things as "just part of life" when you see them so much you become desensitized to the actual weight they hold.
Do you hold yourself to the standard of the world or to the standard of the Word?
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)