Famous Sofas on TV

26-06-2013 16:08 (0 comments)

An alternative disquisition on the use of sofas as an instrument of entertainment

Figures released by Ofcom some time ago suggested that people spend half their waking lives (about seven and a half hours a day) using media and communications. While a large slice of this cyber-cake is concerned with Internet usage, visual entertainment still dominates our media-consciousness. The figure rises to nearly nine hours when taking into account media multitasking (so, of course, when buying your sofa online at english-sofas.co.uk you may be watching Mad Men or The Sopranos in your search for identical contemporary furniture). The point I am labouring to make here is that the sofa plays a subliminally dominant role in our lives. Having been taught to make examples the dominant force in any literary pursuit I shall furnish you with a couple rather mainstream references as evidence of the subversive influence of couches and other inanimate objects of comfort.

‘Friends’.  The TV series. Not only are the producers of Friends veritable experts at product placement – the La-Z-boy is consistently shone out of the backsides of advertising executives willing to excrete pieces of furniture as a light towards which the moths of the junior execs should follow – but it is the couch of Central Perk that is the focus of Chandler’s failed sexual exploits or Joey’s unnerving paradoxical success. Not once was one of those huge mugs of coffee spilled on Gunther’s furniture, and never shall it be: it fetched a princely sum along with other Friends memorabilia. A scene was once dedicated to the fact that some ‘randomers’ had taken their place on the couch (these randomers were no passers-by as anyone who has viewed a screen can attest to). Perhaps the writers of Friends were following the example set by Matt Groening, creator of ‘The Simpsons’ and long-time utiliser of furniture as a seemingly endless source of comic debauchery. The various reincarnations of the opening sofa scene constitute possibly the most memorable opening credit sequences of any sitcom (cartoon or otherwise) ever. The couch in Springfield is possibly more famous than Brangelina – you will no doubt be sure that I am not exaggerating. And why are these two icons of the nineties dominated by what seem to be mundane items of inconsequence? Find out next time on ‘The philosophy behind the TV sofa. Part Two.’   

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