A close analysis of an extract from television text drawn from the sitcom genre: Friends, The One With All The Cheesecakes, Series 7 Episode 11.

Essay by humdiddydumUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.3 2 reviews

Downloaded 96 times

The American television sitcom "Friends" is by genre an ensemble sitcom it follows the everyday lives of six twenty something's living in New York, who are all friends. Although by definition a sitcom the show has established soap elements such as an ongoing storyline and example in this episode is phoebe's ex-boyfriend David from the first series reappearing there is a bleeding over of storylines from series to series. This is known as open text however the majority of the show is written on a closed text format with problems being solved with in episodes. Also likened to soaps are the staging of seasonal episodes at Christmas and thanksgiving to be aired at the same time of year this has been done on friends.

In terms of narrative structure the plot is organic as the audience appears to drop in on the everyday lives of the characters. Most sitcoms are set in the workplace and or at home.

Friends demonstrates both of these situations in previous episodes but in this episode just the home is shown.

Friends demonstrates classical narrative and an episodic nature. Within each show there will be a basic problem and destabilisation of the characters lives and by the end of the show these problems will be resolved and stabilisation will be present once more. In the episode discussed destabilisation is represented by Phoebe being reunited with lost love David, Monica not being invited to a wedding and the main storyline, Rachel and Chandler and their dilemma over the cheesecakes. The episode ends with all these problems solved and stabilisation returned to the group.

The synchronising motif of the episode is the cheesecake, it is the cause of the main problem. The theme of the episode is friendship (this is shown by Joey and phoebe's argument over...