Friends star Lisa Kudrow has defended the show from its critics, saying that it was “progressive” for the time it was made.
The iconic sitcom remains a firm favourite on streaming services well over a decade since it finished airing on television, although some have taken issue with certain aspects of the series.
Recurring complaints involve the lack of diversity in the cast and certain jokes about the LGBT+ community that some modern Friends viewers have found offensive.
Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay on Friends in all 10 seasons and reflected on the series in an interview with The Sunday Times, sharing her thoughts on what a modern-day reboot would look like.
“Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure,” she said. “I’m not sure what else, but, to me, it should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong.
“Also, this show thought it was very progressive. There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together… We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive.”
She went on to talk about the enduring appeal of Friends among young adults, who continue to watch avidly despite some not even being born when the series began.
Kudrow added: “Part of what appeals about it now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection, and not just right now during the pandemic, but before that.”
The cast of Friends will reunite later this year for an unscripted special reflecting on the series for American streaming service HBO Max. The hotly anticipated event does not yet have a confirmed UK broadcaster.
Friends is available to stream on Netflix. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.