Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
6 White Complainers in NYC: Contemporary Diversity and the Lasting Appeal of Friends
Humorous jab aside, I recently read an article here about the appeal of Friends to a younger generation of Netflix users. While the platform itself eases the process of binge-watching, what do we think about the notion of diversity which is presented here? This isn’t a desire to recast Friends using actresses and actors of colour. Rather, it’s a meditation on what exactly these six white characters offer that elicits such interest and intimate connection. Is it because they’re the same on the outside but diverse on the inside? Is there a philosophy of entertainment which trumps race to viewers of Friends, or do are the characters themselves constituent to a desire for "emotions" transcending narratives of culture, ethnicity, and race (each of these ideally intersecting, rather than divorced from, class)?
Edit: Munjeera brought up a good point about the diversity of the cast members themselves, and the ways in which some character in the show attempted to maintain an authenticity to themselves (specifically the "Holiday Armadillo" episode). The point about love is something really important to consider too: love of others, love of self, love of life as is, and as it could be.
Musing aside, I what I was hoping to convey is why these individuals in particular seem to transcend Netflix user social borders marked by culture, ethnicity, and race. And, perhaps more importantly, is this the standard which must be met when creating a narrative of love and friendship? What does Friends make self-evident and what does it silence?