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TV Blog Buzz: The worst 'Friends' character; 'Empire' interview

David Schwimmer, left, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox Arquette, Paul Rudd and, and Lisa Kudrow appear in this scene from the series finale of NBC's "Friends," in this undated publicity photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Warner Bros.
January 26, 2015 - 7:03 AM

You may be considering a "Friends" marathon binge-watching session now that the classic sitcom is available on Netflix.

Slate's Ruth Graham recently did. Her conclusion? Chandler Bing, the character played by Canadian Matthew Perry, is just the worst.

"Of all the aspects of 'Friends' that seem trapped in the past, Chandler Bing is the most agonizingly obsolete. Once he may have seemed coolly sarcastic, the gang's designated 'funny one.' But through the eyes of a 2015 viewer even vaguely cognizant of modern gender politics, he's also the cringe-worthy one," Graham writes.

She notes the character comes off as a major homophobe and is particularly hard on his gay father, who moonlights as a drag queen in Las Vegas. He's also terrible to his girlfriend Janice and altogether unlikable until later in the series.

"Maybe by 2015, Chandler would have gotten some therapy.... He could grow up, embrace his softer side, apologize to his father, and become a confident and comfortable adult. Maybe he'd even become a friend worth keeping for sweet, dim, loyal Joey," Graham writes.

"But looking back on Chandler in the '90s and early 2000s, well: Could he be a bigger creep?"


TVLine has an interview with "Empire" showrunner Ilene Chaiken, who is helming one of the hottest new shows on the air.

Just a couple of episodes in, the show was picked up for a second season by Fox.

Chaiken says she's thrilled the world is embracing the soapy drama about life behind the scenes in the hip-hop industry.

"Television works best when it takes the audience some place new, gives them an experience that they've never had before and couldn't have had elsewhere, but that's also profoundly relatable in so many ways," Chaiken says.

She has no problems with the show being labelled as a soap opera.

"You know, (co-creator) Lee Daniels has no hesitation about it. Lee has always called this his 'black Dynasty.' He wants the show to be that. My feeling is: I don't run from it, I don't object to it, but I do think that this show is better than those soap operas from that era. And I grew up in that era, I learned at the feet of Aaron Spelling. I worked for Aaron Spelling for many years. But I think that this show has qualities, and importance, and authenticity that those shows didn't have. They were confections, while there's a lot of grit and a lot of truth in 'Empire' that feels much more powerful."


If you're not plugged into TV blogs daily, you might've missed some good news and gossip that dribbled out over the past two weeks or so at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Entertainment Weekly has a comprehensive recap, including the talk about Bill Cosby, all the new shows coming soon, and coverage of what could be the most controversial new comedy: ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," about an Asian family's move to the United States.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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