I’m reading a book about Friends this week (“I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends” by Kelsey Miller) and I realized that something that, honestly, gave me mixed emotions:
Hustle Culture is the reason we have so many workplace comedies like Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99.
As someone who loves workplace comedies and hates hustle culture, I didn’t know how to feel about this at first!
Maybe consider it one of the few good things hustle culture has done for the world?
Yes, that’s how I’d like to feel about it – bright side and all that. 🙃
I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s pretty clear. Here’s how the Friends book helped me realize it:
Living Room, Coffee Shop, and Break Room Comedies
One of the beginning chapters went into the difficulty the show’s creators had selling a show about 6 friends. You know, instead of a family of parents and their kids.
The early 90’s was a moment of peak family-friendly comedies (think Full House, Fresh Prince, etc.). So the networks wanted a show that revolved around a living room, not a coffee shop.
The reason they could ultimately sell the coffee shop concept was because they proved that wider mainstream culture was beginning to recognize the importance of friendships and chosen families as much as immediate families.
It was the era of friend group comedies. Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, Happy Endings, etc.
(Obligatory “Happy Endings was cancelled TOO SOON comment here” Because I’m still. not. over. it.)
It was an era of some funny shows.
And even though so much of those shows felt unrealistic (obligatory comment about the size of Monica’s apartment here 😉), the reason they were popular was because the relationships were relatable and reflected how we saw (or wanted to see) our own friend groups.
And even though friend group sitcoms are still one of the most popular kinds, the focus has shifted to a new type of friend group: work friends.
Where Did the Living Rooms and Coffee Shops Go?
Yep, I feel like we’re now firmly in the era of workplace comedies.
The Office, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, Superstore, Brooklyn 99, I could go on forever so easily…
And listen. I love these shows.
30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and Brooklyn 99 have literally shaped who I am as a person. They changed how I see the world and my place in it (I was put on this earth to be the Leslie Knope to your Ann Perkins).
I first watched Superstore only 3 months ago and how now watched through the 4 seasons 3 times. Y’all, it has SO MUCH HEART. 😍
I obviously have nothing against this subgenre. But I have to say, I’m a little annoyed at why it’s become so popular.
Because I just realized that the reason we all want to watch workplace comedies right now is because our workplaces are our new chosen families…here where we live in Peak Hustle Culture.
I didn’t realize I’d be having workaholism realizations when I picked up a harmless-looking book on the history of my favorite TV show. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But this is the magic of going outside your own niche, like I talked about last week.
I don’t need to read books about workaholism and hustle culture to learn more about it. Inspiration comes from anywhere, and the best stuff usually comes from outside your niche’s bubble.
So go watch some Friends CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP! 🙃
If you liked this post, you’ll love:
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- 9 Reasons Leslie Knope Would Be a Fantastic Entrepreneur
- 21 Comfort TV Recommendations for Your Next Bingewatch
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