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Analyse The Appeal Of The Situation Comedy “Friends”. Use The Evidence Of The Three Episodes We Watched To Consider Characters Plots And Presentational Devices, You May Also Use Your Own Knowledge From Other Episodes

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Introduction

Analyse The Appeal Of The Situation Comedy "Friends". Use The Evidence Of The Three Episodes We Watched To Consider Characters Plots And Presentational Devices, You May Also Use Your Own Knowledge From Other Episodes One of the main points of appeal about the situation comedy "Friends" is the characters. The show is largely character driven so the characters are all interesting people whom the audience will wants to see over and over again. An example of this is Chandler, played by Matt Perry. His mother is a glamorous novelist, yet his father is a gay drag artist working in Las Vegas. Chandler hates Thanksgiving, as it was the time when his parents announced that they were going to divorce. He works as a financial analyst, yet much humour has been created from the other friends not understanding what his job is. For instance, in one episode where the friends have a quiz, men against women, and one of the questions asked of the women is "What is Chandlers job?" the women are not able to answer the question correctly. Another character trait that can be taken from this quiz is Monica's fierce competitiveness especially with her brother, Ross, played by David Schwimmer. This is again shown in Series 3, Episode 9 "The One With The Football", when Monica, played by Courtney Cox-Arquette, an Ross revive old rivalries ands get very physical during a touch football match, cheating just to win "A troll nailed to a two by four," as Chandler describes the Geller Bowl Trophy. This is an example of his sarcastic nature, which is a very prominent feature of Chandler's character. Inevitably the other characters are the butt of his sarcasm. Because we know that Chandler is sarcastic we expect him to make jokes when something is there to make a joke about. The other recognise his sarcastic tendencies. We see this in one episode where Chandler is forced to not say anything nasty or sarcastic for a day. ...read more.

Middle

Phoebe had to live on the streets for a time. She has also previously lived with her grandmother before moving in to her own apartment. She has two siblings, an identical twin sister, Ursula, with whom there is much mistaken identity. For example Ursula uses Phoebes name as her stage name when starring in pornographic films and Phoebe keeps getting recognised for that reason. Her other sibling is her half brother Frank for whom Phoebe acted as a surrogate mother for his and his partner, Alice's triplets. Although Phoebe earns a living as a masseuse her passion is being a singer/songwriter, which is just part of her New Age beliefs and way of life: she is also a vegetarian. Along with these six main characters at the centre of the series, there is a huge array of guest stars. Some have featured for only seconds such as Ralph Lauren, some have featured in full episodes, such as Julia Roberts, and a few have been in several episodes, such as Reese Witherspoon. It seems that appearing in "Friends" is good for one's career as has been for the well over twenty guest stars who have featured in "Friends. There is also a cast of regulars who open things up on the show. They give the audience an extended version of the world. It would be unrealistic and boring if we only saw the six main characters in their homes. These regulars include Gunther, played by James Michael Tyler, who runs Central Perk. There have also been long-term partners such as Richard, Emily and Janice, played by Tom Selleck, Helen Baxendale and Maggie Wheeler respectively. Of course the main characters have families so we also see them on occasions. These characters include Phoebe's half brother Frank, played by Giovanni Ribisi, and Ross ands Monica's parents, Jack and Judy, played by Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles. But the reason there are six main characters and part of the reason why "Friends" is such a popular sitcom is the fact that their families are dysfunctional. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example in "The One With The Football" there is a slow motion sequence during the football game, which is reminiscent of replays in professional sports coverage so is most likely why that was used. As with almost all television programmes, there is a routine of the "Friends" episodes. It starts with a short opening sequence, usually related to one of the plot lines. Then there is the title sequence with the theme tune and clips from previous episodes. This introduces the characters without going in to any detail about them. Then there is the main and most important section. At the end of this the credits roll below there is a final scene, usually humorous and related to the main section in some way. All this happens at a very fast pace. This has to be because the episodes are under thirty minutes long altogether. This is all very familiar to viewers just like with programmes such as "Coronation Street" and "Eastenders". If the routine of the episodes were changed there would certainly be some viewers unhappy with the directors decision. "Friends" is filmed in front of a live studio audience although it is not broadcast live. There are some problems with having a live studio audience. These include the audience's laughter drowning out the actor's lines. Because of this, the actors have to be very effective and careful with their timing. I think that the reason why "Friends" is so universally popular is a culmination of all the things I have written about. But I think the most important factor is the characters. It is a primarily character driven show, viewers know and love the characters because they can relate to on or more of them in some way whether it be their background, appearance or personality. As they produce more and more series of "Friends" then in some ways it could be easier to write because the characteristics and past events will allow some parts to write themselves. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Bloomfield 11NM Miss Young ...read more.

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