Like so many people, Friends is a constant in my life. The 90s’ and early 2000s’ sitcom is my sister’s all-time favorite TV show and is always on repeat at least once a day in our house. With the show leaving Netflix next year, I’ve been going back and rewatching with my sisters this summer. Between my Friends’ mood and always trying to get to books on my TBR, it was time to pick up Kelsey Miller’s I’ll Be There for You: The One About Friends.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I’ll Be There for You provides a ton of background and behind the scenes information about Friends. Kelsey Miller welcomes readers into the book by sharing her own experience with Friends and then dives into everything Friends related. There was a nice blend of information on the show creators, the cast and how the show was perceived at the time—and how it’s more popular than ever thanks to Netflix and cable reruns. I really liked how she integrated interviews with cast members alongside her own interviews with people involved in the show and the TV industry. I loved getting some ‘inside’ information from the cast and crew—for example, Matt LeBlanc really didn’t want Joey to come off as a player and there’s one storyline in the latter seasons the cast really wish didn’t happen. One element I really didn’t pick up as a fan evaluating each season was that the latter seasons are really transition from stories about being in your twenties to true adulthood and growing up (which silly storylines of course still involved).
I don’t know much about TV production, but I found myself so invested in learning about the contract negotiations and syndication rights. Kelsey Miller discusses a lot about the contract negotiations between the cast and NBC. It was so interesting to see how much they made per episode ($1 million each by Season 10) and to imagine how much higher their salaries could have been now. There was also a ton of discussion on social commentary, from the Rachel haircut to the first lesbian wedding on TV to 9/11. Overall, Kelsey Miller does acknowledge the show’s lack of diversity and chalks most of it up to stereotypes and social stereotypes that prevailed during the show’s time. She also discusses how Friends would have differed in our time and what differences could have been made then (and how they would have likely affected the show). She does get a touch into the #MeToo era, discussing the Lyle vs Warner Bros. case.
Despite many fans’ wishes, there really isn’t too much about a potential sequel. The cast isn’t entirely sure about it and the creators are happy with way the show ended.
Friends continues to be such a relatable show (much about life during the time where friends are your family) and truly a comfort food show to millions of people. Overall, whether you haven’t seen every single episode or rewatch a season everyday, I’ll Be There For You is the perfect read for any type of Friends fan. I would love to see and read more books about TV shows written in Kelsey Miller’s writing style.
My Favorite Friends Episodes
Since I’ll Be There For You sent me to Netflix for even more rewatching, I wanted to share my favorite Friends episodes. I’ll definitely be rewatching these episodes in particular before the show leaves Netflix—my sisters and I are thinking about just buying the entire show on DVD.
S2 E14: The One With The Prom Video
I won’t get too into it now, but I am a big Ross and Rachel fan. They definitely aren’t perfect, but they are my favorite OTP in the show. This episode is such a fan favorite for what Ross does in the prom video (and the episode’s ending of course).
S3 E9: The One with the Football
It’s an indisputable fact that the Thanksgiving episodes are among Friends’ best. I always wanted to replicate Phoebe’s outfit in this episode where the group splits into two teams to play football.
S5 E24: The One in Vegas: Part 2
The Season 5 finale had so much for the couples in the show, especially Ross and Rachel. I loved their drunk with Sharpies-inspired antics throughout the episode and they might just have one of my favorite cliffhangers.
S6 E9: The One Where Ross Got High
I always go back and forth on deciding my favorite Thanksgiving episode, but Rachel’s trifle is definitely one of my top favorite Friends moments. I also love Ross and Monica’s back and forth fight in this one (with Phoebe’s dream-inspired interjection of course).
S7 E11: The One with All the Cheesecake
As the title suggests, Rachel and Chandler’s obsession with cheesecake is one my favorite storylines between the two.
S8 E17: The One with the Tea Leaves
I consider this episode to be one of my favorites because of one single scene. In this episode, Ross sneaks into Mona’s apartment to get his salmon-colored shirt. It’s likely not even considered to be one of the funniest Friends moments, but me and my sister go hysterical when Ross grabs the key from the top of the light box and realizes how hot it is a few seconds later.
S10 E8: The One with the Late Thanksgiving
I probably laugh at every funny moment in the show’s final Thanksgiving episode. My favorite scene is hands-down though when Phoebe, Joey, Ross and Rachel (aka the floating heads) stick their head in the door when Monica locks them out.
Are you a Friends fan? What’s your favorite episode? Have you read I’ll Be There For You? Share in the comments!