Wednesday 3 October 2018

Book ~ "I'll Be There For You: The One About Friends" (2018) Kelsey Miller

From Goodreads ~ This definitive retrospective of "Friends" incorporates interviews, history and behind–the–scenes anecdotes to offer a critical analysis of how a sitcom about six twentysomethings changed television forever.

When "Friends" debuted in 1994, no one expected it to become a mainstay of NBC's “Must See TV” lineup, let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, "Friends" has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from prime–time hit to '90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters and millions of people around the globe continue to tune in or stream their stories every day.

"I'll Be There for You" is the definitive retrospective of "Friends", exploring all aspects of the show from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show's most iconic moments, analyses the ways in which "Friends" is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee–shop culture to “Friendsgivings” to the ultimate '90s haircut, The Rachel.

Everyone knows what Friends is ... an American television sitcom, which aired for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004, starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.  The show revolved around six 20 to 30-something friends living in Manhattan.

I watched Friends when it started and watched it until the end (I still watch it occasionally in reruns).  There were some things I wasn't crazy about ... like Joey and Rachel dating, Rachel and Tag dating, Marcel (the monkey), Ross being a neglectful father (he seemed to have forgotten about his son, Ben, after the first couple of seasons), etc.  I liked the series for the most part, though, so that's why this book caught my eye.

There is a chapter for each of the seasons giving a high level of what the season was about, what is/was going on in the lives of the six actors and in the world, the salary negotiations, commentary from print articles and TV interviews, lack of racial diversity, what else was on TV and how tastes were changing, the effects of 9/11, the after effects of the show, what the stars are doing today, etc.  I thought it was interesting to get the scoop from behind the scenes.

Non-fans may find this book interesting as it touches on pop culture in the 1990s and 2000s.  Fan of Friends will enjoy it more since they will have watched all the shows at least once.

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