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Friends: a reading of the sitcom

Knox, S. ORCID: and Schwind, K. H. (2019) Friends: a reading of the sitcom. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783030254285

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-25429-2


This book offers a long overdue, extensive study of one of the most significant programmes in the history of television, namely Friends. This sitcom has become a cultural phenomenon, but received rather little scholarly attention thus far, and the available critical literature tends to lack in-depth analysis. Featuring original interviews with key creative personnel (co-creator Marta Kauffman, executive producer Kevin S. Bright, director James Burrows and production designer John Shaffner), the book pays detailed attention to Friends’ use of humour, performance, style and set design. It also considers the programme’s politics of representation and the critical backlash it has been receiving in recent years. Moreover, the book looks beyond Friends to consider the show’s impact on global television production and reception by viewers across a range of national contexts. The book’s central argument is that Friends has become such a seminal success because it adopts a strategy of intimacy that speaks to the ways in which its cast, narrative, style and humour continue to engage viewers, on Netflix and beyond. By exploring this strategy of intimacy through close analysis, interview testimony and engagement with relevant contexts of production, industry and consumption, the book offers a number of interventions into scholarly debates on Friends, sitcom and television.

Item Type:Book
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:84376
Uncontrolled Keywords:Friends; sitcom; multi-camera; NBC; strategy of intimacy; failure; format; genre; humour; performance; acting; directing; television style; set design; politics of representation; Marta Kauffman; David Crane; Kevin S. Bright; James Burrows; dubbing.
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan

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