3 ways you probably never knew the show ‘Friends’ influenced TV and the world

1 – After 9/11, “Friends” helped to change how the world viewed America.

Miller tells “GMA” that there actually has been research on that. Ultimately, ‘Friends’ was having a stronger impact on positive attitudes toward views on America.”

Yep, Ross, Rachel and the gang were actually influencing the world and shedding a silly, fun light on this country.

“Yeah, this is a show we can all kind of watch in our heads without thinking about it,” she said. “But there really is a lot we can learn from it. It also stands as this huge historical marker from that era.”

“‘Friends’ was in a really unique position and they handled it in a unique way,” she said. “Before the attacks happened, the show was probably going to wrap up after the next season. The audience was drifting away and it seemed like it was time to go, but afterwards, viewers came flooding back to it.”

She said most viewers were glued to the news and also glued to “Friends,” because it was “New York, it was unchanged, familiar and really good comedy.”
The show organically added in tributes like New York Fire Department (FDNY) shirts and American flags in the background as well, without adding the attack into the storyline, but just letting it represent pride of New York and its heroes at the time.
“They made it so the show would be there for them, and the way world sees it, the same way it always had been,” she said.

2 – ‘The One Where Two Women Gets Married’

Miller also has a chapter that focuses on the union between Ross’s ex Carol and Susan.

The marriage took place in 1996 and definitely was ahead of its time. Even having that on the air; but looking back, it also was very conservative.

The actual wedding scene lasted for 60 seconds.

And while the show had Ross’ ex married to a woman, it also had a ton of gay jokes.

“When I was first writing about the revival of the show in 2014, 2015; everybody was talking about the homophobia,” Miller said.

Even so, having this union on air, was an “envelope-pushing” moment.

“The one with the lesbian wedding was definitely a ground-breaking episode,” she said. Adding there are subtle moments as well, like; “Newt Gingrich’s sibling actually plays the officiant, which is kind of crazy.

3 – Let’s talk about Chandler’s family and ‘fat Monica’.
So, “Friends” fans know very well that Chandler’s father left his mother for the pool boy and later decided that she was a trans woman.
Another envelope-pushing moment, but she was played by Kathleen Turner and not a female trans actress.
And like the gay jokes, there were also some trans zingers thrown in when she would appear in the series.
Then there was “fat Monica,” Ross’ sister’s old nickname, and it is easy to guess why — she was overweight in her younger years. This was another polarizing issue, Miller said as she spoke to producers and fans.

“A lot of people were obviously offended by her and a lot loved her,” she said. “It’s not cut and dry, and it’s the same with Chandler’s dad.”
“One woman I spoke to, a trans woman, who wasn’t out yet while still in college, was saying, ‘There was literally nothing else for me to watch.'”
So, while Chandler’s family may have been offensive by today’s standards, some say it was the representation that the trans community needed and deserved.

That trans woman admitted that she watched “Friends” and the trailer for the 2005 movie “Transamerica” over and over; because, there was just nothing else.

“She told me, ‘Yeah looking back, it’s horrible how they treat her; and the fact she’s such a joke.

This has to be the best sit-coms in the world!

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