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As a typical 19 year old girl, I have spent a lot of my time procrastinating my studies to watch various television series. Some of my favourites include, The Office, Seinfeld, Community and of course, Friends. So naturally, I thought that focusing on television with a particular series in mind, would actually be interesting for me to research and be intriguing for me to hear what other people thought.

For my research topic, I will be focusing on which season of “Friends” is the most popular among students of the University of Wollongong and which character is the most relatable. I think through researching this topic and obtaining relevant information, this topic will be suitable because “Friends” is a highly successful and well known series which showed for 10 years (between 1994 and 2004), meaning a whole generation grew up watching the show! However, finding statistics and research on the show can be difficult, but have managed to find viewer statistics on this webpage. It is very specific to each season and shows views for re-runs on television too, which is useful.

Although information on this topic may be scarce, it makes it important to find out the information regarding the television show considering it is one of the most watched television shows EVER! While the program ran for 10 seasons and 10 years, it allowed viewers to grow while the characters developed. I believe that many students at the University of Wollongong would have watched “Friends” and believe that this topic would be relevant to research.

Unfortunately, there is no distinct Australian statistics in regards to ratings. Most findings are relating to American viewers. I am yet to come across any Australian statistics. This has led me to pursue research in finding out the rating/viewer statistics and comparing them to my secondary research. I will also like to find out which character is favoured most by UOW students and which season is the most popular.

To begin my primary research, I will need to find the general demographic at UOW to try and get an equal representation of the university and an understanding of what I will be working with while comparing to my secondary findings. I will need to create different surveys in order to gain a general idea of the demographic (I will need to ask for age, gender and whether they are international or local students). This information is important in regards to getting a fair and equal representation of the students and where they are placed in the demographic.

My main question that i will be asking include:

  • Have you watched Friends?
  • Which season(s) do you regard as the best? Why?
  • Were there any particular moments which made the season(s) good? What were they?
  • Which season(s) do you regard as the worst? Why?
  • Were there any particular moments which made the season(s) bad? What were they?
  • Which character do you find to be the most relatable? Why?

As the process of researching continues, my questions and ideas will alter and evolve to suit the needs of this research task.

Once I have completed the research and I have correlated the data, I will organise it into graphs which will easily break down my findings. This will then make it much easier to write my final report which will include all of my primary and secondary findings. I will publish my final report on this WordPress blog for all to read.

I hypothesise that 90% of students will have watched “Friends”, but fewer people will be able to identify their favourite season, instead opting to write down favourite episodes (the show is 236 episodes long!!). I believe the most favourable characters will be Joey and Phoebe and the favourite seasons/episodes will vary greatly.

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Sources:

  • Ginsburg, Dan. “Friends Nielsen Ratings Archive”. Newmusicandmore.tripod.com. N.p., 2004. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
  • “Friends”. Friends Central. N.p., 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
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