Friends has received a fair amount of retroactive criticism for its outdated humor and for not aging well. Yes, many of the jokes Friends made wouldn't fly today, says Kristen Baldwin. "But Friends wasn’t made today; it began nearly a quarter-century ago, and it ended 15 years ago," says Baldwin. "Pop culture should be aspirational, but it also reflects the society as it exists in the moment it was made. It’s not particularly productive to hold Friends (or anything else from past eras) up to 2019 standards — and it’s disingenuous to scold the show for failing to adhere to a level of discourse that literally did not exist in mainstream pop culture at the time. The latter-day critics often fail to acknowledge the many ways that Friends was ahead of its time. People who accuse the writers of trafficking in 'gay panic' jokes for laughs seem to ignore the fact that those jokes were made at the expense of the man panicking — in most cases, Matthew Perry’s Chandler Bing." Baldwin adds: "It’s wonderful that today, we can talk in a frank and honest way about why those things are hurtful. But insisting that Friends was intentionally derogatory or somehow more problematic than any other pop culture at the time is a silly exercise in false outrage. It’s okay to celebrate the show while also recognizing it as an example of how far we’ve come as a culture. And if you still need something to be angry about, you needn’t look any further than the here and now." ALSO: Meredith Vieira's 25 Words or Less to launch with a Friends anniversary faceoff between Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.