The One with the Feminist Critique: Revisiting millennial postfeminism with Friends

Hannah Hamad

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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In the aftermath of its initial broadcast run, iconic millennial sitcom Friends (NBC, 1994–2004) generated some quality scholarship interrogating its politics of gender. But as a site of analysis, it remains a curious, almost structuring absence from the central canon of the first wave of feminist criticism of postfeminist culture. This absence is curious not only considering the place of Friends at the forefront of millennial popular culture but also in light of its long-term syndication in countries across the world since that time. And it is structuring in the sense that Friends was the stage on which many of the familiar tropes of postfeminism interrogated across the body of work on it appear in retrospect to have been tried and tested. This article aims to contribute toward redressing this absence through interrogation and contextualization of the series’ negotiation of a range of structuring tropes of postfeminist media discourse, and it argues for Friends as an unacknowledged ur-text of millennial postfeminism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-707
Number of pages16
JournalTelevision and New Media
Issue number8
Early online date12 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Friends
  • television
  • feminism
  • postfeminism
  • masculinity
  • femininity

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