Good Essay On Analyze A Television Show, News Show Or Advertising Campaign
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is one of the milestones in the history of television programs. The show took the world by storm. The characters went on to become iconic ones. The show has seen many reruns on television channels across all these years. The ten seasons of the show have left an everlasting mark on the minds and hearts of the avid audience who never forgot to tune in to the television channel at the time of the show.
This show is a story of six friends who lives and events constitute the episodes of the show. The quintessential dose of laughter in the show is what makes the audience watch an episode over and over again. The show is timeless in the truest sense of the world. Every character, be it a major one or a small one has left a mark with the distinct characteristic traits and acting. The potential of the actors who have played the various parts is commendable to say the least. The success of the show lies in the fact that it not only made a name for the actors of the show, but it also made people identify with the characters and situations shown on the screen.
The characters of the show are very human with many flaws. The show goes on to delve deep into the dynamics of relationship among a group of friends. Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe and Chandler went on to become household names. The uniqueness of each character on the show is a worthy innovation. None of the character portrayals can be termed as a stereotypical one. Each character with its distinct traits comes to make the show an interesting one. The changing dynamics among these six characters is the main focus of the show.
One unique thing about the show is that it gives almost equal emphasis on the lives of all the six protagonists. So, the plot revolves round very interesting and funny events of the characters. The audience always has something new in store for them in every episode. There was ample scope for the scriptwriters of the show to explore possible situations that could range from a romantic moment to an outright funny one.
While one of the characters called Joey shows signs of being a Casanova with no intention of commitment in relationships, other characters like Ross and Rachel are involved with one another by a fine thread even when they are shown to be at loggerheads with one another. On the other hand, Phoebe lives in her own world with relationships that come and go. The equation between Chandler and Monica is another very interesting thing about the show. The best thing is that none of the characters is shown to be perfect. It is their flaws and commonplace experiences that make them stand out. The situational comedy of the show steals the hearts of the audience with its correct recipe of emotions, comic timing, and acting.
The production techniques that are employed in the filming of the show make it a unique one of its kind. The show’s innovation lies in reinventing the genre of sitcoms. The innate potential of sitcoms is used to the utmost degree in the show’s seasons. The show is shot mostly indoors. The café is one recurrent ambiance that is seen on the show. The café went on to become a signature place that got associated with the characters of the show and the events of their lives.
The sets used are iconic ones as majority of the events occur indoors. The sitting room of Monica and Chandler’s apartment is one place that is immortalized in the minds of the audience. Another place of action is the sitting room of Joey’s apartment that he shares with Chandler, Ross and Rachel in the course of events of the show. Thus, the production unit successfully limits most of the action on the show indoors. This facilitates the process of shooting for the show as the sets are recurrently used over all the ten seasons of the show (that span for ten years).
One of the most significant production techniques that are used in filming the television show in context is the multi camera technique. The show is one of the longest running multi camera dramas. The show was some time filmed with the presence of a live audience at the set (something that was normally done for every first episode of a new season of the show).
The production used about four to five cameras for the process of multi camera shooting of the show. Very interestingly, while filming show, the actors had to practice the lines given to them and these lines were often changed by people from the writing team for making the jokes funnier. Multi camera technique goes on to record the actors in a scene from various angles and positions. This makes the holistic performance of the actors of a particular scene very important for the perfect shooting of the scene in the cameras present. Thus, multi camera production is a long process indeed.
Apart from the shooting technique, the sound for the show is also quite different. In multi camera technique the boom mic is generally used to record the sounds. However, in the case of this television show, the boom mic was not used to record the sounds. Rather, the makers of the show decided to record the dynamic sounds afterwards. While the dialogues of the characters were recording while shooting, the ambient sound was recorded later and added to the final version to be aired on the editing table. The structure of the show is in compliance with the basic conventions and codes of any other television multi camera show. The comedy show uses the basic camera shot, set, sound, and other technicalities.
The thematic consistency of the show lies in its portrayal of relationship of friendship and love among the characters. The show endeavors to explore the emotions related to friendship and love by putting the characters in various situations with one another. The show never tries to abide by the moral, but sees life and reality as they are supposed to be. The characters have flaws and shortcomings, while they try to supplement each other’s shortcomings by giving advice, help and support.
Apart from that, the intricacies of the human heart also get explored in the course of the show. The characters get involved with one another romantically as the show progresses. How friendships transform into love, and failed love into friendships show the essence of human dynamics that drive the society in the present day era.
The show portrays Ross getting divorced with his wife as she is found to be a lesbian. While Ross seeks emotional support from other females, his ex-wife lives a happy life with her partner. She also raises the child of Ross with her new partner. Such a portrayal is reflective of the world society where nuclear families face such situations. The portraiture of the lesbian relationship also shows how the same sex relationships have come about to be accepted in the popular culture and society with time. As they raise the child, it also reinstates the fact that same sex relationships are capacious enough to give proper parentage to children.
It has to be understood that a famous show like this one has many implications and influences on the audience and the society. While in America same sex marriages and divorces are seen with normalcy, in many parts of the world, such things are taken to be taboo. This show, although being a portrayal of the contemporary American society, dares to break into the conservatism of certain communities with its message of transformation of the society. Apart from spreading its influence of the western culture, the show works in favor of challenging the taboos of conservatism.
Once again, Chandler’s father is found be gay. Chandler is shown to be ashamed of his father, but he is convinced by Monica to make amends on the relationship with his father- a wish that he obliges to before his marriage. This is another portrayal of homosexuality in the show that iterates the normalcy of the sexual orientation.
While Ross’ child is imbibed with Christian values by her mother, Ross tries very hard to make him know and follow the Jewish customs. This can be taken as an example of the influence of hegemonic religious practices on the minority communities in the society. The cultural and communal dominance of Christianity in this context makes Ross understand the importance of imparting knowledge about Jewish rituals and customs to his child. This is his endeavor to make his son stick to his cultural roots and paternal identity.
Joey’s phobia of commitment can be seen as the changing dynamics of relationships in the contemporary times. He remains casual about affairs all through the seasons, apart from falling in love a few times only to get hurt. Nonetheless, he is portrayed as a person with a great heart- something that explores the parameters on which a person should be judged.
Monica is shown to be an overpowering wife who dominates over Chandler. Chandler is a very loving character, and he never puts across the idea that he is suppressed in the marriage by his wife. Rather, their relationship is a very understanding and caring one. This subverts the patriarchal structure of the nuclear families of the society. It also puts across the idea that a female can be a very good organizer. She is equally capable, if not more. Thus, the relationship of Monica and Chandler communicates a very important social message in the show.
Phoebe is shown as one eccentric character. She thinks and acts out-of-the-box. Her appeal lies in her weirdness. She is one character who has lived on the streets, mugged people for money, and seen much struggle in life. She is a perfect example of a person with a disturbed past. However, she is very well accepted by the other people of the group. She is shown to be a person with a golden heart. Her ultimate happiness shows how a person can brave against all odds to be able to find a good life for oneself.
The love story of Ross and Rachel is one of the most famous subplots of the show. The two people get married, then get divorced, then have a baby out of wedlock. Rachel raises the child being a single mother. This is another reflection of thee familial dynamics of the contemporary society. The dynamics of their relationship is surely one of points of centrality of all the ten seasons of the famous show. They finally come together at the very end of the show in the tenth season.
The television show has got immortalized in the hearts of millions with the depth of emotions, comedy, and the thematic content. The issues are very relevant to the society, but are portrayed to the audience in a comic way only to grip their attention. The show’s popularity has transcended the American households, and has served the purpose of having an influence on the minds of the audience and the world society. It would definitely not be wrong to say that the show has created history in the truest sense of the word.
Blat, Benn. “Which Friends on Friends Were the Closest Friends?” slate.com. Slate, n.d. Web. 2
“Friends – A critical analysis.” Wordpress. n.p., n.d. Web. 2 April 2015.
“Friends.” Thetvcritic.org. Thetvcritic, n.d. Web. 2 April 2015.
Marshall, Lisa Marie. “I’ll Be There for You” If You Are Just like Me: An Analysis of
Hegemonic Social Structures in “FRIENDS.” Ohiolink.edu. Ohiolink, n.p. Web. 2 April 2015.
“Multi Camera Techniques.” Wordpress. n.p., n.d. Web. 2 April 2015.
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