Thursday, July 28, 2016

More Than Friends

Although it has been over twelve years since series finale episode of Friends aired, it is still being analyzed in ways that are of interest to this blog. If you're not familiar with the show, it revolved around six young adults. Two were brother and sister, and the other four were connected with them through friendships, romance, and as roommates.

Josh Hill provided "The 5 worst moments on Friends" at
5. The One Where Ross and Monica Kiss | Season 10, Episode 11

If there’s one thing that an objective observer can surmise about the mindset of the Friends writing staff late in the show’s run, it’s that they must have been obsessed with incest. Ross and Monica kissing wasn’t the most aggressive incest storyline, but the fact that it was a throwaway joke that they kissed was pretty lazy, at best.

In the 1970s, studies involving college students revealed that at least 10% of them had already experienced consensual sexual contact with a sibling. It is likely the percentage has increased since, including in the years the characters Ross and Monica would have been living at home and into their early 20s. It would have been entirely realistic if Ross and Monica had a history of experimenting with each other. There are siblings the ages of their characters during the show's run that also experiment and others who are actually in love. Including such scenarios in fiction would be nothing new. Such elements are in the Bible and Greek mythology.
2. The One Where Ross Tries To Bang His Cousin | Season 7, Episode 19

Ross did some pretty lame things over the course of the show’s run, but this might be the worst. Say what you will about things like thinking he was on a break with Rachel to his temper tantrums later on in the series, but trying to have sexual intercourse with his cousin is too far, even for Ross.
I'm not familiar with the plotline, so I infer from this (and nothing else being cited) that Hill's problem is merely the consanguinity of their relationship. That Hill would express such prejudice against this is astounding, given that first cousins can legally marry in about half of US states and only a handful of regressive states criminalize sex between first cousins. Moreover, marriages between first cousins are legal and common in much of the world today, as they have been throughout history.

Like other television shows, sitcoms need to touch upon consanguineous sex and consanguinamorous relationships. It is the right thing to do, because these relationships are part of life and yet are unjustly discriminated against. Are there creatives, producers, and executives with the guts to take this on sooner rather than later?

There is much comedy and drama to be mined from this subject, and it can be done in ways that are enlightening and affirming. Viewers need to see that these experiences and relationships can be positive and beautiful, that there's nothing inherently wrong with them, and that they're common enough that they know people who have been in relationships and situations like these. Representation would be the right thing to do for people who are in such relationships.
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1 comment:

  1. Five years ago I posted the following on a discussion for the topic "Incest is The Next Liberal Sexual Revolution":

    Alright, enough of this . . . let’s have some fun! I’ve been looking for a place where I can share my list of related TV characters I’d like to see hook up with each other. Keep in mind we’re talking ’bout FICTIONAL characters, so Billy Ray and Miley wouldn’t count. (Not that I’d enjoy watching them do anything together anyway.)

    1. Jethro Bodine and Elly May Clampett – “The Beverly Hillbillies”

    I’m starting off with an obvious one. This pair of attractive-but-lunkheaded hillbilly cousins probably DID have relations there in the backwoods before moving out to Beverly. It’s not like they had a lot of options out there, and hey, why mess with tradition!

    2. George-Michael Bluth and Maeby Fünke – “Arrested Development”

    Another pair of cousins who actually WERE attracted to each other but apparently never consummated their forbidden love. Michael Cera was on the male side of this potential coupling, so I’m sure it would’ve been absolutely adorable if they’d ever gotten together.

    3. Chuck and Ellie Bartowski – “Chuck”

    A super-spy with a super-hot sister! If only she hadn’t married that super-awesome guy . . .

    4. Lorelei and Rory Gilmore – “Gilmore Girls”

    I love this show, and much of the appeal of it for me is the fact that this witty mother-and-daughter team are the perfect BFFs. Still, I wouldn’t have minded if they’d gotten even closer.

    5. Jack and Kim Bauer – “24”

    A father and daughter who are just as intense and dysfunctional as those Gilmore gals are frivolous and well-adjusted. Can you imagine how insanely passionate the sex would be if they ever decided to express their complicated love for each other . . . in bed?!

    6. Clark and Martha Kent – “Smallville”

    I think Ma Kent getting down with her super-powered adopted son would be cool just cause they’re such damn fine specimens of humanity. Oh, right, Clark’s not actually of this Earth. Well, SHE’S human, at least.

    7. Nathan Petrelli, Noah Bennet, and Claire Bennet – “Heroes”

    That cute cheerleader who needed saving has TWO dads, one biological and the other adoptive. That led to all kinds of confusing issues between them, so maybe a threesome would’ve sorted things out. (Or at least it would have in MY twisted world.) I think most fathers of extremely attractive girls are conflicted in that they want to protect their daughters’ virtue but also desire to be intimate with them in a not-so-virtuous way. With Claire’s ability to heal at a remarkable rate, Nathan and Noah could have had it both ways by doing the deed and then kicking back until she “mended,” which would’ve allowed them the freedom to pretend she’d never been touched at all!

    8. Buffy and Dawn Summers – “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

    This is my all-time favorite show, so it was inevitable that the Summers sisters would pop up here somewhere. I wouldn’t have wanted to see an affair develop in the series cause it would’ve seemed so implausible, but I’m sure someone out there devoted some slash fiction to these two at some point. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Joss Whedon himself had contemplated such a union as well.

    9. Sam and Dean Winchester – “Supernatural”

    Thought I’d add some brotherly love just to cover the bases. I believe most straight women and gay men would agree that these guys would make a pretty hot couple.

    Well, that’s it! Any others you can think of?


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