Generation Friends

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

I admit it: I am a “Friends” addict! I have watched every episode of the show numerous times and know most of the lines by heart. Even so, I read some interesting bits of information in Saul Austerlitz’s new book, Generation Friends, that I had not heard before, and I thoroughly enjoyed  hearing some behind-the-scenes stories and learning more about how the show was put together.

Austerlitz is a talented writer, and the way his book is set up makes it very reader-friendly. The analysis at the end is also admirably done. The only things I might quibble with are a few tiny details in the book that aren’t quite right (things I probably just noticed because I have watched the episodes so many times), plus there is a bit too much rehashing of storylines for my taste, although that is clearly a personal preference.

Still, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to other “Friends” fans, both old and new. It is a wonderful tribute to a groundbreaking television series that has stood the test of time and will always hold a special place in my heart.
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This was a funny and interesting look at the world of Friends, from its conception to its end. It made me smile in so many instances and I found out things I didn't know about the show. I think the book definitely needed photos of some of the scenes mentioned in the book.
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I grew up with friends. I spent 10 years watching Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe live their lives. Now I have been given the chance to see the behind the scenes things. And I couldn’t be happier! I love this book! It’s an amazing tribute to an amazing show.
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Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz is the latest in a recent wave of analyses and retrospectives on the history and lasting legacy of FRIENDS. FRIENDS will always hold a special place in my heart as I watched it with my brother on DVD and it was one of the first things we really bonded over. Generation Friends takes a look at the history of the show - how it came to be in every facet, what made it so successful, and why it has endured long since it went off the air, not just with those who watched it during its run, but as a new generation has found it and identified with it.

The writing of Generation Friends was great; Austerlitz provided great detail and new nuggets of information that even this avid FRIENDS fan didn't know. However, there were times where SO much detail/rehashing of storylines was provided, down to many many quotes. While I understand the necessity of explaining storylines for a reader who may not have every episode memorized, for someone who is extremely familiar with almost all of the storylines at time it just felt like a bit much.

That said, I really enjoyed the way the book was structured and all of the different elements that were examined from the casting, to the writing, to the design, etc. I think this is a great read for FRIENDS fanatics, and for those curious about why it has connected with so many people for so long.

4/5 stars
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I really wanted to love this book with all my heart. I did for the most part, and it succeeded at getting me out of a major reading slump. However, my issue comes with some of the smaller details. I'm a huge Friends Superfan. I've seen every single episode more times than I can count...and can even quote the lines cut from the NetFlix versions of the episodes, because I own them all on DVD. So my only issue is that some of the who said what, or did what is wrong. For example, it was Monica who whistled (or woo-hoo'd) to put the guy in the coma. And it wasn't boxer shorts that were found in the couch at Monica and Rachel's, they were Chandler's tighty-whiteys. 

That is really my only grievance with this book, Generation Friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the behind the scenes moments. I'd recommend this book if you're a huge fan of Friends.
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I am on the fence about this book. I really wanted to read a fast-paced and engaging book about my favorite show, but this was not it. This book read more like a thesis paper and was very technical in its descriptions of the show itself. I just could not get "into" this read, unfortunately.
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The book with something for every Friends. As someone who was less invested in the series when it was airing, I still found a lot to value in this book. The behind the scenes glimpses of how a television program is created from the writers to costumers and set designers etc. was very informative. The analysis at the end of why and how the show continues as a part of the national and international dialogue of people young and old was especially well done.

The Ross and Rachel parts, which mostly just recounted the evolution of their relationship which anyone reading a book on Friends surely knows, was the weakest part. I also wish there were more focus on the negative parts, not in a salacious way but because that is a very real part of the legacy of the show. The chapter on the Friends lawsuit was too short and left out nearly all details on what was actually alleged. One can be all in for free speech but realize it crosses a line when reading what was alleged to have been said in the room. The only mention of what the accused writers thought was that they denied the worst parts. The analysis of how the Friends lawsuit impacted the entertainment industry and delayed many other accusations of sexual harassment was on point but it also feels as if the section would have been even shorter or just a passing mention in another chapter if the #metoo movement had not happened and brought the case to light again.

But I get it. Friends is a feel good show that was set in New York but didn't acknowledge 9/11. For a Friends book to skip or gloss over some of the seedier parts of the show seems apt. 

Recommended for the Friends fan who wants to know more about one of the last great cultural touchstones of television.
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This book is most definitely for fans of the TV series Friends.  Perfect for me, since I love the show.  I was skeptical at first because I am such a fan of the show that I didn't think there was anything left for me to find out.  I was definitely wrong.  This book is full of interesting nuggets about the show, the creators, and the stars.  I loved everything about this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the TV series Friends.
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This is the second book in the last year that I have read about Friends. I enjoyed reading this one much more. If felt less political and more about the actual show and actors/actresses.
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Fans of Friends will love this book. Nonfiction is not my go to but I couldn’t not pick up Generations Friends. This book has such a good balance of information while also calling on all of the parts of Friends we know and love so well. If you love Friends hit Buy Now!
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In September 1994, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe all sat down in a coffee shop for their first infamous cup of coffee as “Friends”. Twenty-five years later, Friends still airs on television and has never taken a break. What makes this series so iconic? How does it withstand the test of pop culture through time? In this book, Austerlitz dives into the pop culture, the making, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at what occurred as the show was cast, written, and filmed. The layout is well-done and the intriguing is helpful and intriguing. Fans of the Friends television show will want to pick this one up.
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I’ve been a fan of this show for basically my entire life. (I was born December ‘94) 
Even though I was really young, and didn’t understand most of the jokes, I still remember being captivated by the characters. Now that I’m actually in my mid twenties, I’m still in love with this series. Reading this book has only made me love it more. Friends will never lose my interest.
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This is a must read for anyone obsessed with FRIENDS, like me! I know every episode front and back.....but I did not know the backstory of the show. This book gives the details on how the show was developed, casted and how they came up with some of the storylines. I enjoyed learning the little tidbits. While this book is not for everyone, superfans will eat this up!
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Generation Friends is a trip down memory lane that fans will cherish! What a wonderful way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Friends. This book is filled with interviews, memories, and reminiscing some of the best episodes/moments. I cherished this book and will be purchasing the physical copy as well. Such a great addition to any fans collection!
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I have a complicated relationship with the show; it was a huge part of my life as a teenager, and my friends and I even embarked on a mission to watch all ten seasons my freshman year of college, but I now cringe at the homophobic remarks and other insensitive plot lines of the show, and I still fume when I think about Amaani Lyle's awful experience with the writers on the show (which later turned into a lawsuit). Also, I've listened to Andrew Reich on enough podcast episodes to find him obnoxious and man-splainey. 

Thankfully, Saul Austerlitz doesn't shy away from these aspects of the show's history; I appreciated that he interviewed Lyle and made her experience into its own chapter. It's clear that Austerlitz deserves his reputation as a prolific author and historian of pop culture; his narrative structure is excellent. He also managed to invoke even more nostalgia for the show than I thought I could ever have.
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A behind the scenes look at the pop culture phenomenon that is Friends! ⁣
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I usually don’t read too much Nonfiction but when I saw this was about my favorite TV show I knew I had to read it! This novel has exclusive interviews with staff members that were present during the filming of Friends. Fun Fact: Friends was not the original title they had planned for the series! ⁣
I also found it interesting that the entire cast that we know and love were almost not apart of the show due to prior commitments! It also lays out all the episodes of the most important moments in the series and how it created such a wave in our culture! ⁣
This novel was super informative and being such a huge fan of the show it was amazing getting an inside look! ⁣
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Huge thanks to @duttonpublishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! Publishes September 17th
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Special thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton and Saul Austerlitz for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

If I had to title this book as an episode with Friends, I would name it - The One With All the Memories.  As a HUGE fan of Friends - I own all ten season on DVD and have even pre-ordered some items from the Pottery Barn 25th anniversary collection but not that apothecary table - I found myself reminiscing about the show a lot.  The memories brought a smile to my face and provided a few surprises as well.    

Generation Friends take the time to not only captivate the essence of the show and review each season's biggest episodes including the ballad of Ross and Rachel, it also discusses what it was like to be behind the scenes from the writers to the producers to the design teams (both set and wardrobe) to the auditions to contract negotiations, etc.  I never realized how many big name actors and actresses auditioned for a part.  It is fun imagining how the dynamic and the show's success could have all been different with one simple change in cast.  

My biggest love regarding Generation Friends and what Saul Austerlitz really seems to get is that Friends worked and still works because it is an escape from reality.  To this day, I still watch the reruns on TBS.  It is still my go to show.  I know all the episodes and most the lines.  Friends has the wonderful ability to bring a sense of nostalgia to its viewers.  I watched it religiously with my friends in high school and then in college.  Times were simpler and so was Friends.  Saul Austerlitz captures the sentiment perfectly.
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Filled with great facts and thoroughly researched this book weaves together the facts to turn an interesting tale of a wonderful topic into a must read.
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When you don't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!!			
			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.		

A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Friends, published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the show's premiere. Howyoudoin’?

In September 1994, six friends sat down in their favourite coffee shop and began bantering about sex, relationships, jobs, and just about everything else. A quarter of a century later, new fans are still finding their way into the lives of Rachel, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica, and Phoebe, and thanks to the show’s immensely talented creators, its intimate understanding of its youthful audience, and its reign during network television’s last moment of dominance, Friends has become the most influential and beloved show of its era. "Friends" has never gone on a break, and this is the story of how it all happened.

Noted pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz utilizes exclusive interviews with creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, executive producer Kevin Bright, director James Burrows, and many other producers, writers, and cast members to tell the story of Friends’ creation, its remarkable decade-long run, and its astonishing Netflix-fueled afterlife. Readers will go behind the scenes to hear from the people who were present as the show was developed and cast, written and filmed. There will be the talk of trivia contests, prom videos, trips to London, Super Bowls, lesbian weddings, wildly popular hairstyles, superstar cameos, mad dashes to the airport, and million-dollar contracts. They’ll also discover surprising details—that Monica and Joey were the show’s original romantic couple, how Danielle Steel probably saved Jennifer Aniston’s career, and why Friends is still so popular that if it was a new show, its over-the-air broadcast reruns would be the ninth-highest-rated program on TV.  
 
The show that defined the 1990s has a legacy that has endured beyond wildest expectations. And in this hilarious, informative, and entertaining book, readers will now understand why.

I LOVE the show Friends but I learned nothing new in this book. Why? Because last year I read and reviewed a book named "I'll Be There for You" and it had pretty much 95% of the information in this book. (It was also 1/3 footnotes - at least this book was "all writing"!) If you have not wasted your time reading that book (which I did not like) you would like this one - it is perfect for any fan of the show. 

I am going to give it a solid middle of the road 2.5/5 stars (rounded up to 3) as someone who did not read the other book would enjoy learning what is in this book.
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I did not like the way this book was written it felt stilted and dry.  I could not even finish this one.
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