Pre-Woke Watching

Friends From India

I grew up watching the show in Mumbai. I worry about the damage its gender stereotypes still do there.

When you watch old favorites years later, sometimes you realize how much you used to overlook. In Pre-Woke Watching, based on the recurring segment from Slate’s Represent podcast, viewers revisit their personal classics and evaluate how they look now.

Growing up in India, I watched Friends all the time, even though I wasn’t allowed to. Everyone watched it—and even today it’s one of the most popular shows on the air at home.

I still love the reruns too, but 14 years later, I have trouble getting through a full episode without wincing at the show’s rigid views of gender and sexuality. And as explained in this video, while the show has faced several reckonings from fans in America, I fear the damage it’s still doing at home.