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Arts & Life

Connections: Debating "Friends"

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Are you a fan of Friends? The megahit show just had its long-awaited cast reunion. In a piece for the Atlantic, Megan Garber writes that the special treats the nostalgia of the original series as "a kind of absolution." She says, "Friends, after all, has not just failed to age well; it showed its failings even when it was young. Its jokes are sometimes homophobic; its plots are occasionally cruel; its cast, and its world, are almost entirely white. The show is popular, and it is, as a separate proposition, beloved. But the affection tends to come with an asterisk. Many other series have similar problems, and use their versions of a reunion or reboot to acknowledge that the world has moved forward around them. The Friends version, instead, goes out of its way to change the subject."

This hour, we talk about the original series, the reunion, and how to evaluate a show like Friends both now and in the context of its time. Our guests: