My son has fallen in love for the first time, and not in the way my partner and I might have expected- he’s in love with Rachel and Ross of Friends. He started watching it on Netflix about a month ago and will happily watch back to back episodes. I warned him yesterday that there are only ten seasons and he gasped in mock despair.
Re-watching it with him, I’m reminded what good writing it had. Some sitcoms struggle to find their sweet spot, but Friends hit a strong stride early on. I’m also struck by how white it is, which he and I have talked about.
There’s plenty to discuss about sex and relationships. The first episode in the series’ ten year run talked about sexual identity when Ross’ wife leaves him for a woman. And there’s a lot from there- consent, desire, one night stands, birth control choices and responsibilities, respectful use of porn, people having different sex drives in relationships, homophobia, and supportive friendships.
It‘s been a good show to watch with the kids to get these conversations going. It is TV, so life vs entertainment comparisons have been plentiful even as we laugh. In a “Where are they now?” post, Anne Thériault of The Belle Jar projected the ongoing drama of the six friends ten years after the series ended. It’s pretty great. As for the question that rang through multiple episodes, I agree with Ross and Hugh Laurie in his role as Rachel’s airplane seatmate- they were on a break.
As the parent of a teen and soon to be teen, I am familiar with the dramatic. Black and white thinking is all the rage, so I wasn’t surprised to read this article that said teens overestimate each other’s shenanigans. Researchers from Stanford University looked at teen’s perceptions of others in terms of sexual choices, […]
When I was in grade seven one of my classmates stopped coming to school- kids said he was afraid to leave the house. I don’t know what it was that kept him away but one day, maybe six months later, he reappeared, pale and quiet. I thought of him immediately when I read Emily Landau’s […]
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the US FDA’s first HIV test. In a piece for the Huffington Post, Dr. Jonathan Mermin writes about the changes to testing, treatment and care and suggests that its more essential than ever to be tested. The changes over 30 years are very hopeful. It took two health care […]
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