Post #5: Symbolic Convergence Theory Perspective

I will be using the Symbolic Convergence Theory Perspective to analyze the TV show Friends.

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Friends is a show that details the lives of six friends living in New York. The show was created in 1994 and ran for 10 seasons over the span of 10 years. There is a shared group consciousness and rhetorical vision reality link surrounding the show which is easily seen through people today still wearing t-shirts with the Friends logo on is as well as plenty of fan websites for the show.

The characters of Friends are Phoebe, Monica, Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler. They are seen as the heroes and the villains are varies characters that pop up in each episode like Ross and Monica’s mother or Chandler’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Janice. The show is usually structured with A and B plotlines focusing on one or two characters in each plotline accompanied by other characters helping them. At the end of the episode, the plotlines usually converge into one and are solved. The show evokes an emotional reaction from the audience because of the attachments they form to the main characters. These attachments are made because of the character’s distinct personality traits. For example, Monica is the obsessive neat freak and Joey is the loveable ditz. This also plays into the show’s fantasy types. In most episodes, Joey tends to meet a woman and starts off his conversation with her by saying, “How you doin’?” and Ross always begins talking about his and Rachel’s relationship by yelling, “WE WERE ON A BREAK”. Friends also has symbolic cues like when Phoebe sings the song she wrote called “Smelly Cat”. The fanbase of Friends enjoy the predictability of the characters. The audience is able to put each character in made up situations and guess how they would react.

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4 Responses to Post #5: Symbolic Convergence Theory Perspective

  1. Grace Girdley says:

    I really liked how you mention the fanbase and how they enjoy the predictability of the characters. Having those reoccurring catchphrases is nice for an audience because they are catchy and relatable. My sister, who is ten years older than me, still uses these catchphrases and I am able to comprehend them. This show is timeless and will allow for many years worth of watching. There is not much in this post that I would disagree with because you can’t go wrong writing about such a popular comedy! I resonate with how the connection the audience has with the characters evokes an emotional reaction because I have personally had my heartstrings pulled by it!

  2. Grace Girdley says:

    I agree with how the fanbase of this show enjoys the predictability of the characters! It allows for the audience to have something they can count on. The shows use of these catch phrases and distinctive personality traits also allows for the show to be more relatable. My sister, who is ten years older than me, will reference this show quite often and I am able to comprehend what she is saying. It is a timeless show because of how it uses these characters. There is not much that I disagree with this post because it is hard to go wrong when talking about this popular comedy. I really liked how you also talked about the emotional reaction that is brought on by this show! Everyone wants the main characters to be happy and the show will pull at your heart strings.

  3. Rachael Poole says:

    I found it interesting that you said the fanbase of “Friends” enjoy the predictability of the characters because that is exactly what I hate about it. Nonetheless, your statement is still true – “Friends” is definitely one of those shows that has defined pop culture television and has made it what it is today. Your description of the show and plotline do show that, no matter how iconic the show is considered, it is a pretty static TV show. I think it would have been interesting to comment on where the inspiration of “Friends” came from and how that is considered a more “symbolic” or iconic show than its predecessor, “Living Single”.

  4. Claire Baugh says:

    I think “FRIENDS” is a GREAT artifact to use because it is still relevant today. You bring up an interesting point talking about the structure of the show. It is something I had never thought about before. I know this is just the blog post, but if you choose to use this for your Critical Essay #2, I would do some research of studies that have been done on why FRIENDS was so successful. You’re on the right track and I’m excited to see where you go with this!

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