I'll Be There For You: The One about Friends

I'll Be There For You: The One about Friends

by Kelsey Miller

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A Mental Floss Best Book of 2018

A Bustle Book to Know in October

An InStyle 10 Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down This October



Today, Friends is remembered as an icon of ’90s comedy and the Must See TV years. But when the series debuted in 1994, no one anticipated the sensation it would become. From the first wave of Friends mania to the backlash and renaissance that followed, the show maintained an uncanny connection to its audience, who saw it both as a reflection of their own lives and an aspirational escape from reality. In the years since, Friends has evolved from prime-time megahit to nostalgic novelty, and finally, to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and yet their stories remain relevant still.

I’ll Be There for You is a deep dive into Friends history and lore, exploring all aspects of the show, from its unlikely origins to the societal conditions that amplified its success. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show’s most powerful moments, sheds light on its sometimes dated and problematic elements, and examines the worldwide trends that Friends catalyzed, from contemporary coffee culture to the wildly popular ’90s haircut The Rachel. Taking readers behind the scenes, Miller traces the cast’s rise to fame and untangles the complex relationship between the actors and their characters. Weaving in revelatory interviews and personal stories, she investigates the role of celebrity media, world-changing events and the dawning of the digital age—all of which influenced both the series and its viewers.

I’ll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, not only for fans of the series, but for anyone who’s ever wondered what it is about this show—and television comedy—that resonates so powerfully.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488098642
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication date: 10/23/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 15,702
File size: 961 KB

About the Author

Kelsey Miller is a journalist and the author of Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life. Her work has been featured in Glamour, Allure, Teen Vogue, Salon, People, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health and other outlets.  She is the founder of The Anti-Diet Project, one of Refinery29's most popular franchises, and was the recipient of the Project HEAL Social Impact Award. She lives in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Sweet Spot 9

Part 1 17

1 The One That Almost Wasn't 19

2 The One with Six Kids and a Fountain 39

Part 2 81

3 The One with Marcel and George Clooney 83

4 The One Where Two Women Got Married 98

5 The One Where We All Got the Haircut 110

6 The One After "The One After the Super Bowl" 124

7 The One Where They All Go to London (and Everywhere Else in the World) 134

Part 3 147

8 The One Where Everything Changed 149

9 The One Where Nobody Died 175

10 The One Where It Ended, Twice 190

11 The Comeback 216

Acknowledgments 241

Source Notes 245

Index 297

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I'll Be There for You: The One About Friends 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
ZacharyP 3 months ago
I was able to read this in a day. It's a quick read. I was immediately drawn to this book when I saw it on the Barnes and Noble new releases in paperback table. Who doesn't love FRIENDS? A book about its entire run and behind the scenes looks? I was thrilled. I love anyone's connection to the hit series, but I wasn't entirely enthusiastic reading Miller's lengthy introduction. It felt elongated and juvenile, it a sense. Please don't overthink my review, it's truly just from my experience. I loved loved LOVED the first chapters introducing the iconic ensemble. There was quite a bit of new information about the three boys that I wasn't previously aware of. Everything that followed just didn't cut it for me. I think this book reads as a school research paper rather than an actual biography. There wasn't anything included that most fans didn't know. Most of her information feels like it came from interviews found on Youtube or old magazine articles. This is where I learned it all. What this book lacked is also what failed it. Something majorly exclusive. Piping hot gossip or exclusive interviews with the creators, directors, or with the Major cast. Even some of the minor guest actors? Never before seen or read content. That's what this missed. Instead we got interviews from what seemed like "a friend of a friend of a friend of a neighbor's sister's fiance's best friend's old roommate who may have been on set one time." I don't recommend this book, ONLY on the basis that it lacks anything new or enticing. We do agree on one thing... We both LOVE FRIENDS.
Carstairs38 7 days ago
Over the course of the book, we get a well-researched look at the sitcom Friends and the impact it has had on the US and the world in the 25 years since it premiered. We learn about how the creators met and came up with the show, the path the actors took before they landed on the show, and some of the bumps and growing pains that everyone experienced during the 10 years the show was on the air. There is also talk about the impact the show has had on fashion, trends, and overall pop culture the world over. Author Kelsey Miller starts out by talking about her own connection to the show, and at various times in the book she talks about how she gained insight into the show (and vice versa) while talking to her real-life friends about it. As I said, the book is well-researched, but that is part of the problem – it has too much research, rehashing stories we can find elsewhere with little new insights from the cast and crew. I did find her commentary on a few episodes and arcs to be interesting. I had already thought of some of her comments myself, and the rest make perfect sense to me. My biggest issue with the book is the way she works modern social issues into a look at a comedy from 25 years ago. Now, I’m not saying that the issues on the show aren’t worth talking about. This is the only part of the book where she did her any original research, reaching out to people to get reactions to the show’s handing of diversity, etc. However, her experts all seem to be of the opinion that it would be nice if the show had done a better job, but that was TV in the day, and it is a funny comedy that wasn’t trying to push an agenda. It is clear she wasn’t happy these people didn’t agree with her more since she obvious thinks these are major issues in the show. She even spends much of the last chapter talking about the lawsuit a writer’s assistant brought for a hostile work environment and speculating how it would have been handled in the current environment. These complaints aside, I found the book very readable, and when I picked it up, I was hooked. I was even choking up as I read about the taping of the final episodes. This would probably appeal most to die hard Friends fans, but most of the material here they probably already know.
CharJones2525 12 months ago
All fans of the TV show Friends will adore this comprehensive look at the program, done in grand style by pop culture expert/journalist Miller. Named a Mental Floss Best Book of 2018, among InStyle’s 10 Books You Won't Be Able to Put Down, and a Bustle Book to Know, I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU covers the history, cast, insider stories, and impact — even The Rachel “do” which I hugely dug. Highly recommended! Pub Date 23 Oct 2018 Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #IllBeThereForYou #NetGalley
HEABookNerd More than 1 year ago
FRIENDS was a defining part of my childhood and teen years. I've probably seen every episode at least 7 times and I regularly re-watch the series. Because of all that, I loved reading about the success of the show, how it all began, how it evolved and how it ended. Reading I'll Be There For You was a great trip down memory lane and now I have a bunch of new FRIENDS trivia to share!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After just reading the synopsis, I was excited to read it and it definitely did not disappoint. I thought it was going strictly about the show, but it also give us an inside glance into what the actors did before and after the show. It was everything I wanted and more!
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
To say I’m a Friends fan is a vast and ridiculous understatement. I am possibly THE Friends fan. I have loved this show for the majority of my life - I love this show even now, when parts of it are dated. I don’t care. It’s my show through and through. I watch an episode (or 5.... usually 5) legitimately almost every day. It’s the show I have on as background when I’m puttering around or cooking or cleaning or reading and I never ever get tired of it, despite the fact I clearly have entire episodes memorized. So I am BEYOND excited to have finally snapped up a copy of I’ll Be There For You, because honestly I’m was going to love this book no matter what. This book was written for me. This book is my perfect Monday night. Honestly this book is PERFECT for fans. Does it have new groundbreaking information in it? No, but it really doesn’t need it. It revisits the show and the seasons with insight to what was going on behind the scenes of the show for the decade it was on tv. That in itself is enough to satisfy even the most rabid fan, as it adds depth and perspective to our beloved show. It made me want to flip on all the specifically referenced episodes again and watch them with refreshed eyes. This book is like one of the notorious group hugs from the cast that happened when they shot every episode. Warm, comforting and like coming home. I love this book - if you loved Friends, or liked Friends, you are probably going to love this book too. Its an easy relaxing read, and let’s face it, it would make a GREAT gift for that Friends addict in your life. Absolutely pick this one up. You won’t regret it.
Kristy_K More than 1 year ago
“The thing that mattered most about Friends was right there in that simple, one-word, unambiguous title.” I watch the complete series of Friends at least once a year. More if a major event or life catastrophe happens. There’s something about it I can’t quite pinpoint, but it makes me feel calmer, like everything will be okay even if real life is a complete disaster right now. “Some things don’t change. Friends is a reminder of that, and that’s why so many of us reach for it in times of grief or fear, when catastrophe strikes or when life seems suddenly unrecognizable.” When I heard a book was coming out about my beloved series, I jumped at the chance to get an ARC. But I was also nervous. This is something I love and have read and watched so much about already. If you are a Friends’ fan you will love this book. Not only does Miller give us great behind-the-scenes access, she also brings to light some criticism and issues with the series. I’ll Be There For You is knee deep in nostalgia but it also doesn’t shy away from any controversies Friends had (lack of diversity, etc). Like the ending of the series, this book leaves you feeling bittersweet. “The memories we made on Stage 24 are better than any dreams we ever had.”
sspea More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I loved friends, yes watching them today, I do notice some sexism, but "Friends" was simply a product of the time. This TV show did not set out to be trailblazers, lighting the way for equality. It was a show from the 90's, it was written in a language we all understood. This book not only gives you a behind the scene look at the creation of the series, character development, and auditions. But it also talks about the cast dynamic, the way they stood together as a team during contract negotiations, as well as the way the show was and is perceived in regards to homophobia, sexism and lack of diversity. I have been talking about this book non-stop since I started reading it. Highly recommend for any friends fan
S_White_1218 More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but I had to request this one. I adore the show FRIENDS! It's one of my favorite shows of all time, and this book really reinforced why I feel that way. It's got a timeless quality and delves into the feelings of what it means to have a framily when your family disappoints. This book doesn't make it all appear to be roses and rainbows, either. It discusses the problems with the show - the gay jokes, the huge lack of diversity and representation, etc. And I can see those problems, more so as the years go by and those things have become a bigger part of the national dialogue. While it has its issues, every show does, and it doesn't diminish the huge effect that the FRIENDS phenomenon had on the world. The author's telling of the history of the show is compelling, and I really enjoyed it.