Task 3.2- Intertextuality

FRIENDS is a sitcom that follows the lives of six, 20-something year olds, living in Manhattan. FRIENDS aired in 1994 and ran though 10 seasons, ending the series in 2004. Although the series has ended over a decade ago, the show still plays on multiple channels such as Nick at Nite, TBS, and NBC. So, seeing that those are major channels, FRIENDS is widely popular, among both an older generation and mine.

FRIENDS is and has been my absolute favorite show forever. I can watch the same episode reruns everyday and still find myself laughing hysterical. The characters. The casting. They’re perfect. The beautiful Jennifer Aniston plays Rachel Green, a former daddy’s girl who moves to the city in order to restart her life with her old friend, Monica. Monica Geller-Bing (Courtney Cox) is an obsessive neat freak with an extreme like for things to go her way, and a desire for winning. Monica’s brother, Ross, played by David Schwimmer, is a paleontologist, who divorces frequently, facing single fatherhood, and an undying love for Rachel. Ross’s best friend since college, Chandler Bing, survives by way of his sense of humor and goes onto to marry Monica. Joey, Chandler’s roommate before he moves in with Monica, is a handsome, soap opera TV show actor who loves sandwiches, women, the New York Knicks, and most of all, women. Finally, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) played by a sweet, new age waif, makes money being a missus, and singing and playing guitar in the coffee house.

So there’s a background on the characters and the show and now for intertextuality in the show…

  • How do the FRIENDS use intertextuality to make jokes?
  • For a show that spans over 10 plus years, how do the characters develop overtime using intertextuality for comedic purposes, specifically pertaining to presupposition?
  • Since FRIENDS was created and filmed during the 90’s, do people of that generation understand the intertextual jokes more so because of an age difference? (So references to people.. although I can laugh cause I know its a joke, I don’t always understand the reference)
  • Where do we see intertextuality at play in the series?
  • How do the boys use of intertextuality differ from the girls use of intertextuality?
  • Since all of the FRIENDS are funny, how does intertextuality play a role in their style of comedy?
  • Does presupposition matter in understanding the story?

In relation to my last question:

Recently, thanks to Netflix, I have been watching FRIENDS in order. Prior to this, I could confidently say that I know every episode, front to back. This was true and to this date I am almost done with season 9 and there has only been 1 episode that I haven’t already seen before. However, it’s like watching a new show all together. By simply watching the show in order, instead of picking up reruns, the show is strung together in a way that DOES in fact make a difference! I knew story lines, but not as much detail and reasoning as I do now. So I think that’s a cool idea.

I feel as though I need to learn more about about intertextuality to finalize my research questions, so I am assuming were not locking in any questions here. I’ll be posting more, hopefully stronger questions, when they come to me!!

My Hypothesis: Chandler, “the funny one”, will have the most use of intertextuality for comedic purposes.


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