Last year, I was told that there was an American TV serial called “Friends” that enjoys an overwhelming popularity in America. This semester I had an opportunity to watch it and from that moment on I learned that it had been filmed for ten years. What a great accomplishment it is! Indeed, The TV serial “Friends” has been a sensation throughout the world. More and more Chinese audience are exposed to Friends and deeply impressed with the actors’ good performance and the funny stories. I begin to think about the reason why it is so popular with people; what on earth motivated them to film the serial on end for more than ten yeas. Before answering the questions, I give a briefing of the story and leading characters. It is a story in which six of typical young people live a common life. They are Ross, Phoebe, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Rachel. They have many conflicts in terms of emotion, principles, interest, and social status. Meanwhile, the friendship and love are promoted to a new level. This story actually mirrors our daily life and routines. It also stimulates us to think about how to live a better life and appreciate the beauty of life. Some tips I gained from this story are as follow: 1. Pursuing love and it is difficult to love a person Any popular TV serials are all like a small Utopia that not only reflects the reality but are faraway form reality. In this story, the emotion between six people attracts much audience. Their behavior demonstrate young people’s pure attitude towards love. For instance, for ten years the story between the key couple Ross and Rachel moved the hearts of thousands of audience. In the beginning Ross was too shy to express his love to Rachel and then fell in love with Rachel. Later they broke up and then they reconciled in a short time. Again and again, the love and experience between them bear a remarkable resemblance to common people’s life. Two common persons fell in love after various kinds of arduous tests. Like two children walking on the road, they once tumbled and cried and in the end hold his or her hand to stride forward in life. 2. Cherishing affection among family members and respecting decisions made by parents Every family has its own problems. It is in the case of the family of six young people. For instance the parents of Ross and Monica are very partial. They take great pride in Ross and pay little attention to Monica. When Phoebe is young, her father left home and her foster mother committed suicide. What’s phoebe’s mother didn’t k know anything about her daughter’s situation. After all, however, parents are parents. One must have deep affection toward his or her parents. Of course, six young people do love their parents. This story also tells us what attitude towards parents we should have. First of all, don’t expect your parents are saint. Don’t point out directly the demerits of parents. Take Monica for example, she told her mother not to be rigorous. In addition, we should endeavor to avoid conflicts with parents. For instance, on Rachel’s birthday six of them organized two parties in order to save Rachel from meeting her parents. Besides, we should respect our parents’ decisions. Although Joey didn’t like parents and sister’s behavior, he could nothing about it. Affection makes us have no
choice. You cannot choose your parents or sisters. You must accept them and they are equal to you. 3. Cherishing friendship and trusting friends Friendship is difficult to establish and easy to destroy. The phenomenon happened to the six friends. Chandler once chased Joey’s girlfriend and had a romance with Joey’s sister. They all have various defects. Ross sometimes declares a dissertation like a a sealed book. Chandler is an expert in making jokes. Monica’s cleanliness and emulation is unbearable. Rachel doesn’t do anything and can do nothing but shopping. She even doesn’t know how to dispose waste. What’s more terrible is Phoebe’s voice. She loves singing but no one can afford to listen to. Nevertheless, we can learn a lot from them. The solid friendship among them doesn’t just result from the demand of plots. The real reason is they know the greatest principles of friendship: trust, tolerance and support. They trust each other and tolerant others’ shortcoming and mistakes, what’s more, they support each other to do what he or she likes to do. 4. Positive attitude toward life and no abuse The reason why Friends has become a hit among young people lies in their positive attitude toward life. Many people think their way of thinking is very simple and don’t have any corrupt practice. They have strong sense of humor and often make a mistake. However none of them have conspired to harm others. Most jokes in the serial are almost their innocence and exaggerated performance. Another point is that they don’t have any corrupt practice. Sometimes they drink a little to make a special atmosphere. Although they support each other, they may quarrel with others about trifling things. At last, however, they embrace each other and reconcile, saying: “I love you”. Sometime you ma y feel that they are the most qualified citizens. These tips above are adequate answers to the questions posed before. Of course, a good serial is a product of culture. We know that American is multicultural country that respects liberty and individualism and independence and so on. This serial presents us a live textbook of contemporary American culture and American lifestyles. Let’s mine some cultural backgrounds behind the scene. 1. Left Boob Once, Monica must go to work with fake corsage and searched everywhere for left boob. At that time, Joey said he liked the movie. Obviously, Joey correlated left Boob with the famous movie “My Left Foot” featured by Louis. of course, this was a joke. 2. Hello Kitty Hello Kitty is a very popular doll in America. Ross wanted to see her sister with broken leg and asked Monica what present she should bring. Monica told her to bring a Hello Kitty. This is a satiric saying.
There are a lot cultural backgrounds behind the scene. You cannot understand the joke if you are not familiar to the American culture. From this point we need strengthen our understanding of American culture. Only adequate background knowledge does enable us to fully enjoy this serial. It is no wonder that we heard many Chinese students don’t understand where the fun in the TV serial is. The most impressive things at the first sight at the serial may are their funny and wise dialogues. You may perceive the free mind and unique way of thinking behind the American culture. Enjoying the fun in the language, you are definitely moved by their friendship and love. The long Ten years’ “Friends” is miracle in the history of American TV. I love Joey’s freedom and innocence. Phoebe is charming and full of wisdom. Ross have good education and grace. Rachel’s loveliness and beauty is impressive. Chandler is humorous and nice. Monica is arbitrary but generous. I have got used to American way of humor. Some scenes are impressive. For instance, they always embrace others to console them. I feel it is a great way to show affection whether it is love or friendship. I bet that embrace gives you a sense of security. In China, embrace is almost a symbol for love not for friendship. I think Chinese people are shier than Americans. These are different characteristics of different nations. I begin to love the serial because of in many areas it teaches us a lot, including American social society and lifestyles and even American values. In conclusion, this TV serial is a masterpiece that influences numerous people. What experience can we Chinese, especially Chinese young students draw from it? In my view, we can learn three important views. First, youth is invaluable. As a college student, I see many college students idle away on campus all days and don’t cherish youth days. We should always maintain a state of young mind. We should make good use of youth time to develop our strengths and to make contribution to our country. Second, respect parents and cherish friendship. Chinese parents are well known for their dedication for children. However, we children need dedicate more time and effort to accompanying parents. Friendship is also precious that can lead us to a meaningful life. We should trust friends and cooperate with friends. Third, Positive attitude is everything. We face a more fierce competitive society in which we must develop a positive attitude for the rest of our life. Every year, we heard a lot of college students commit suicide because of unbearable stress from study or something else. What a pity they don’t have a positive attitude. Admittedly, they are stressed. I believe that only if you are alive you have hope and your future is bright.