No Friend To `Friends'


Sir, - As Editor of an august journal such as The Irish Times, you surely have a responsibility to recognise symptoms of the distressing disorder, reviewer's fatigue, among your professional contributors. I refer to Eddie Holt's savage deconstruction of the perfectly innocent, light-hearted, entertaining and popular American TV sitcom, Friends (December 12th).

Mr Holt believes that Friends provides "a veneer for the vacuousness and superficiality which are the enemies, not the friends, of young people." Furthermore, he finds sexual intercourse between two of the characters in Friends to be incredible, since he alleges they are both so "appallingly narcissistic that it's impossible to believe they are other than .. . onanists". As Chandler might put it: "Oh, please!"

Either Ms Holt is totally lacking in a sense of humour (in which case he is scarcely suitable for writing critiques on comedies) or he is in the grip of reviewer's fatigue. The latter disorder usually results from over-exposure to simple, popular entertainments, combined with an unnecessarily cerebral educational qualification (Leaving Cert English, for example), which leads to delusions of intellectual grandeur and a conviction that "I was meant for better things than this!" Typically, these frustrations will explode in the form of a merciless vivisection of (say) the children's TV programme Blue Peter, as though it were a play by Chekov or Beckett. - Yours, etc., Colin Brennan,

Nutley Square, Dublin 4.