I’ve just learnt something new. The other day, I was watching an old episode of Friends when a weird thought came to me: the personalities of sit come characters seem gradually to expand in annoyance over time, to an exaggerated state and to the point of irritation. At the moment I am making my way through old DVDs of Friends episodes and I am currently on season 8 episode 10. I am just two seasons from the end. And Joey, Phoebe, Ross, Monica and Rachel are all getting on my nerves. They weren’t at the beginning and they weren’t just two weeks ago. They are now.
So today I decided to google this weird thought of mine and to my horror I find that I am not the first person to have this thought. Not only that, there is a word for it: Flanderization. Students have probably written essays on it and I didn’t realise. It is a well-known phenomena. The phenomena is named after Ned Flanders, a character from The Simpsons who started off in the animation as a fairly benign man next door with nothing outstanding about him but over time he changed to become a mad religious zealot.
Do people suffer from Flanderization in the real world? Possibly. Perhaps that is something else for those same students to write essays about.