MS1 Representation and Responses Case Study: Friends (Sitcom)
Learning Objectives: To learn how to recognise character types in the media and how to use a specific text as evidence.
Learning Outcomes: To know how basic gender types are constructed and recognise the conventions of the genre as a part of this construction.
In pairs, list 10 things that you know about the sitcom Friends
Use the following sub-headings to help you
Ideology (messages and values)
Friends list o’facts
The show ran for ten years from 1994 to 2004.
Other titles considered for the show were "Friends Like Us," "Six of One," and "Across the Hall." "Insomnia Cafe" was also considered.
Courteney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel, but she asked to play Monica instead after reading the parts.
Although set in New York, the show is recorded at NBC Studios in Los Angeles.
Viewing figure held steady from season 1 to 10 at over 20million per episode.
Running time of 25 mins.
Narrative is contained within the episode. Disequilibrium is resolved by the end.
A small group of characters, all of which appear in each episode.
The show has both work-based and domestic themes.
Conflict occurs through gender stereotyping and subversion of type.
Watch the first part of the episode ‘Joey’s Dirty Day’ (Series 4). Fill out the grid for each character.
Clothes/Appearance Possessions House Office Locations Role in the family PHOEBE BUFFAY Lisa Kudrow MONICA GELLER Courtney Cox RACHEL GREENE Jennifer Aniston CHANDLER BING Matthew Perry ROSS GELLER David Schwimmer JOEY TRIBBIANI Matt Le Blanc SIGNIFIERS
PHOEBE BUFFAY Lisa Kudrow MONICA GELLER Courtney Cox RACHEL GREENE Jennifer Aniston CHANDLER BING Matthew Perry ROSS GELLER David Schwimmer JOEY TRIBBIANI Matt Le Blanc SIGNIFIERS Status Position in Society Class Power Aspirations Dreams Opportunities Narrative/ Situations Speech, Language used
Watch the second part of the episode.
Summarise your finding for each character with the following question:
Do they CONFORM to the traditional gender stereotype?
Do they CHALLENGE tradition and SUBVERT expectations?