Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era
A nostalgic, fascinating a behind-the-scenes look at the blockbuster success of NBC’s Friends, including brand-new interviews with the series creators, published for the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere.
1994 was a very different time. Bill Clinton was president, Starbucks was just entering the popular consciousness, and life as a young adult in the newly-safe and prosperous New York City seemed as exciting and achievable as inheriting your grandmother’s giant, rent-controlled apartment in the West Village.
Friends was, and is, a smart, hilarious, inventive show about six friends that became pop culture icons. But it was much more. Somehow, the right combination of talent, pop culture dominance, and a time period when people still watched TV together (in every sense) turned Friends in a cultural force, and ratings phenomenon, that may never be repeated, especially in the divided world we live in today. And the popularity has actually continued and spread, with a generation of fans that weren’t even born in 1994 obsessed with the show today, thanks to reruns and especially Netflix.
Noted pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz, who has written successful, well-reviewed academic books, is writing his first big book. He’s reordered hundreds of hours of interview featuring interviews with writers, cast members, creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, executive producer Kevin Bright, and director James Burrows. He shares the story of how the show was created, cast, and filmed; analyzes the best episodes, plot points, and themes; and provides a fascinating analysis of why the show that defined 1990s television has a popularity and legacy that endure beyond wildest expectations.