Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Selling Our Youth Back To Us

Sooo…Pottery Barn unveiled its new “Friends” line this week.

And as we’ve discussed, everyone in the 90’s was watching Friends. It’s just what you did on a Thursday night.

Of course, this line of new products (including a Monica-esque apothecary table priced at a whopping $1,099! Seriously, people, have you ever gone to an antique store, or a yard sale?) is mostly powered by the popularity of Friends on Netflix…which is in turn powered by new viewers (aka those Millenials) “finding” the show for the first time.

This is all wrong, on so many levels, IMHO. Reason #1: Despite the fact that Friends had a gay character–Central Perk barista Gunther, who was a secondary character at best–and a transgender character–the show is wildly, datedly homo- and trans-phobic. The running joke of the whole show is that the guys (especially roomies Chandler and Joey) are such good friends–and share a bar of shower soap–that they might be kinda a little gay…and ewww. Let alone the constant “trannie” “jokes” when Chandler’s father is revealed to be transgender.

Reason #2: the whole series was predicated on this set-up, as I said in one of our episodes: “Oh, paleontologist Ross, you nerd. You’re in love with an airhead who can’t hold down a job. Just stop being nerdy and be dumb with the rest of us.” Big Bang Theory this was not (oh wait…actually it is.)

Reason #3: the show, like the proffered pillow and mugs, was super white. There is ONE purple pillow, however.

Reason #4: this product line feeds into the flawed thinking that the 90’s were a simpler, easier time. Before mass shootings and 9/11 and climate change and FOMO, there was this idyllic time when people with no discernible income (except for that paleontology salary) could afford to live in a massive downtown loft without having to worry about how “woke” they are (not) to the plight of other communities. They could enjoy their privilege without any worries at all! The 90’s had their moments (the music! the raves! the fall of the Soviet Union!) but it wasn’t all coffeeshops and spying on neighbors. (Another running joke on the show that is now very, very troubling.)

I can forgive anyone who watched Friends in its original run and enjoyed it. Or still enjoy it for nostalgia’s sake. I’m Tagging for Hate all those who are watching it now and enjoying it without irony, and enjoying its datedness. Go support your local Good Will or similar charity thrift shop and buy an apothecary table from them instead of feeding into this PB cash grab.

For more tirade on Friends (and another 90’s staple I didn’t like, not even at the time) you can go back to our “Sidebar” conversation a few months ago.