You Just Knew This Was Coming

I mainaged to get through the nineties without seeing more than an episode or two of Frazier, Roseanne,Seinfeld, and of course the big sitcom icon of the era, Friends.  

But thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I managed to binge my way to currency in the NBC classic sometime over the past year.

And when I watched it, I thought “what an almost quaint throwback; it almost felt like a seventies sitcom” – which, in many ways, it was; a transition between the  manners of 70-s and ’80s TV and what we have today.

But as I watched – and mostly enjoyed – I couldn’t help think that stories like this were pretty much inevitable:

Having been given a new life on Netflix two decades after it debuted on NBC in 1994, Friends is being seen by a suspicious new generation with beady new eyes. Those eyes are more determined to find something to be offended by than anyone was in the 1990s, when the Paul Reveres fighting the political-correctness revolution were already warning you, “The idiocy is coming! The idiocy is coming!”

“Millennials watching Friends on Netflix shocked by storylines,” ran the headline of a piece by Ilana Kaplan, writing from New York for the Independent. Examples of the kinds of things Millennials apparently find shocking: “New audiences claimed that Rachel would have been fired for sexual harassment because she hires an assistant who isn’t qualified for the position because she wants to date him.” Fat jokes — “Some girl ate Monica!” cried Joey (Matt LeBlanc) — are also now out of bounds, the Independent huffs. Using the royal “we” for extra authority,

Cosmopolitan writer Katie Stow says “the show is getting ripped to shreds for its ‘problematic’ content and — even as hardcore fans — we can’t help but agree,” scoring the sitcom for “chucking offensive and inappropriate hand grenades all over every episode.” This must be the first time in recorded history that anyone compared Friends’ cutesy banter to hand grenades.

I can not wait for the millennials to have teenagers and twentysomethings of their own.

7 thoughts on “You Just Knew This Was Coming

  1. You know, I have a Millennial child (the other Gen X), I work with a number of Millennials, and I know a few more and none of them, not a one, exhibit the behavior typically ascribed to them.

    Millennials described in the above are simply knuckleheads who have been given a mouthpiece and no more.

    And not only that, but all the pissing and moaning about Millennials in general indicates to me a failure of Boomer/Gen-X parenting. The Bible speaks of reaping what one sows and I think Boomers (of which I am one, to my annoyance) need to recognize their culpability.

  2. Not true. We were ok until our snowflake went to Madison. I admit we are culpable for sending her there, but we though we ok until that very moment.

  3. failure of Boomer/Gen-X parenting

    We were ok until we sent our daughter into that soci@list pit. If you consider that a failure of our parenting skills then I agree.

  4. I don’t know that we can totally blame Madison. My niece went to Ann Arbor and has kept her sanity pretty well, except for rooting for stinky weasels, and my oldest daughter ended up simply laughing at the p***y hat brigade in Winona. Plus, a few years in Boulder made me far more conservative than I’d been before.

    Has a lot to do with how a kid (or adult) deals with peer pressure. One thing I’ve done with my own kids is to inculcate the attitude that the person who tells you something is not always correct, to the point of rebuking them fairly emphatically when they simply accept nonsense. One example is when a kid in their youth group nearly died canoeing, and they were told “it could have happened to anyone just randomly.” Well, yes, if you ignore the need to wear a life jacket and pay no attention to signs of high water and your proper route to canoe, but those are some pretty big failures there.

  5. Oh, we preach thinking for yourself and critically. Never to accept someone else’s assertions, especially when they only have a singular point of view and claim always to be right. We always teach to explore the facts from all sides, make critical assessment and make up their own mind not chant the talking points. That there cannot be a win-win – EVER. That whenever there is a winner, there HAS to be a loser, just like without evil there cannot be good. That participation trophies are evil and that trying your best is not good enough if you want to achieve something. That money is the visible and tangible result of your labours, not an evil. That with money you can CHOOSE do to more good than any ill-conceived personal actions du jour. The fact that man was born to be free and not a slave to a higher authority, be it a nobleman, or an elite, or a goobernment. You know, the humanistic approach, but somewhere along the line, other than her chosen field, Madison managed to beat critical thinking out of her.

  6. Entertainment is created for the moment, and for what is humorous at the time (heard any blonde jokes lately?). Taken out of it’s context, almost anything will be awkward.

    Still, my then-teenage daughter and I were channel surfing one night and came across an H.R. Pufnstuf episode. “This was really popular when I was a kid,” I said. We watched for about 10 minutes. Then my daughter turned to me: “Drugs were really a problem in the 70s, weren’t they?”

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