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Friends

A Reading of the Sitcom

Authors: Knox, Simone, Schwind, Kai

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  • Only book-length analysis of Friends to date, paying long overdue attention to the material detail of the show
  • Features original interviews with key creative personnel (Marta Kauffman, Kevin S. Bright, James Burrows and John Shaffner)
  • Explores the sitcom from a range of thematic approaches (humour, performance, style and set design, representation, impact on global television production)
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Buy this book

eBook £15.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-25429-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover £19.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-25428-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book offers a long overdue, extensive study of one of the most beloved television shows: Friends. Why has this sitcom become the seminal success that it is? And how does it continue to engage viewers around the world a quarter century after its first broadcast? Featuring original interviews with key creative personnel (including co-creator Marta Kauffman and executive producer Kevin S. Bright), the book provides answers by identifying a strategy of intimacy that informs Friends’ use of humour, performance, style and set design. The authors provide fascinating analyses of some of the most well-remembered scenes—the one where Ross can’t get his leather pants back on, and Ross and Rachel’s break-up, to name just a couple—and reflect on how and why A-list guest performances sometimes fell short of the standards set by the ensemble cast. Also considered are the iconic look of Monica’s apartment as well as the programme’s much discussed politics of representation and the critical backlash it has received in recent years. An exploration of Joey, the infamous spin-off, and several attempts to adapt Friends’ successful formula across the globe, round out the discussion, with insights into mistranslated jokes and much more. For students, scholars, creative industry practitioners and fans alike, this is a compelling read that lets us glimpse behind the scenes of what has become a cultural phenomenon and semi-permanent fixture in many of our homes.


About the authors

Dr Simone Knox is Associate Professor of Film and Television at the University of Reading, UK. She sits on the board of editors for Critical Studies in Television, and has published on topics including acting, audio-visual translation, format adaptation, representation and television aesthetics.

Dr Kai Hanno Schwind is Associate Professor at Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway, and has published on international television formats, format adaptation, sitcom, television humour and satire. He has a background in creative writing and directing for radio, stage and screen.  


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: The One where They Take Stock and Identify the Strategy of Intimacy

    Pages 1-34

    Knox, Simone (et al.)

  • The One with All the Laughing and the Hugging: Specificity of Humour and Comedic Types

    Pages 35-82

    Knox, Simone (et al.)

  • The One where They Tame the Three-Headed Monster: Foregrounding Holistic Performance

    Pages 83-123

    Knox, Simone (et al.)

  • The One where They Look at Monica’s Apartment: Style, Space, Set Design

    Pages 125-167

    Knox, Simone (et al.)

  • The One with the Emblematic Problematic Fave: Friends and the Politics of Representation

    Pages 169-221

    Knox, Simone (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook £15.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-25429-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover £19.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-25428-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Friends
Book Subtitle
A Reading of the Sitcom
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-25429-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-25429-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-25428-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 300
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 27 illustrations in colour
Topics