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I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends  By  cover art

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

By: Kelsey Miller
Narrated by: Amber Benson,Kelsey Miller
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Publisher's Summary

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

SIX FRIENDS THAT BECAME A FAMILY.

A TELEVISION SHOW THAT BECAME A PHENOMENON.

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 listeners 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.

©2018 Kelsey Miller, LLC (P)2018 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited.

What listeners say about I'll Be There for You: The One about Friends

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Don't be there for them

As a father who experienced Friends when it aired originally, and watching it now with my 2 sons, I was excited to hear about this book.

What a disappointment it was to sit through over 8 hours of this audio book performance.

I'm sure it's not all Amber Benson's fault.The book itself is only mediocre, including mostly stories that a fan would have heard over the past 20 years or so. But Benson's reading, coupled with some atrocious editing, made listening something of a horrible experience.

I won't give the audio book one star because it was not total rubbish. But the painful vocal inflections Benson used for the characters, particularly the male characters, and a read that made it sound like she was reading both a text book and an angry diatribe at times puts this squarely in my never listen again column.

8 people found this helpful

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Decent book, poorly read

The book is about Friends but more about their place in various aspects in cultural history. The author reads the first and last chapter and it’s natural and engaging. When the performer reads the rest of the book it’s robotic and sounds more like someone reading through an article for the first time in front of an audience.

If you’re looking celebrity gossip or insider info this is not the book. If you’re looking for an examination of Friends impact through different lenses of cultural history then this is a decent start. The author is a fan of the series and that bias comes through in the writing but does tough on objectivity at times.

8 people found this helpful

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The One That Shouldn’t Have Been Written.

As a fan of Friends, I was expecting a more celebratory, anecdotal, behind the scenes tome. Instead, this Is an analytical and psychological study of what Friends did wrong, by people, most of whom were not even born when the show debuted. What you have is a bunch of people nitpicking the show to pieces, desperately looking for something to outrage them. So, most of the book is boring. And the reader is awful.

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

After learning of this book I was excited to give it a listen. I anticipated learning more about the genus is of the show and the migration/aggregation of the actors. While the book did include a portion of these elements these portions were entirely too short. In its place valuable book real estate was taken up by social commentary with extensive chapters on gay rights, lack of minority actors, and transvestites, and oddly a focus on how Friends failed all of those cats girlies. First part? Good. Middle? Squishy. End? A let down.

4 people found this helpful

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Meanders into Topics Most People Don't Care About

An entire chapter about FRIENDS not acknowledging 9/11. Really? The equivalent of 3 chapters about the lack of racial diversity in the cast and behind the scenes.

I was hoping for a book that looked at each of the ten seasons, their story arcs in particular, to bring a new meaning to the show, as a whole. It's a lot of critique not history.

If you are willing to skip over whole chapters, a few of the chapters are really fun like the false-last season 9 and the eventual last season 10.

3 people found this helpful

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Very conflicting book

From the start, it seems like the author is a genuine fan of the book and really took you for a walk down memory lane with a few new facts sprinkled in. But several times, she goes on these very long rants on how the show failed society at representation of gays, Jews, transgender, and minorities. She acknowledges the steps they did take and criticized them for not being to her liking. This ended up feeling much more like a very long op-ed piece by the end of it.

1 person found this helpful

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An enjoyable listen but it felt like two books crammed into one

I really enjoyed listening to this behind-the-scenes look at one of my all-time favorite shows. I don’t know if I’d qualify myself as a Friends superfan, but I do really enjoy the show and watch it on tv regularly. I picked up this book eager to hear behind the scenes tidbits and how the show related to 90’s/00’s culture. And I did get a generous helping of that, however, there was a lot discussion of hot button topics like racism, lgbtq issues, and sexual harassment interspersed among discussion of season cliff hangers and on-screen relationships. Don’t get me wrong, these topics definitely belong in a discussion of Friends given things like Ross’s wife leaving him for another woman or Chandler’s dad being a drag queen. It’s just that every time the author sidelined into one of these issues, it was always a jarring unexpected turn that broke the narrative flow. She even points out more than once that the show was a product of it’s times, which makes the modern-day examination of such topics feel a tad unfair to the source material. I feel the author would have done better to write two books, one on the behind-the-scenes times and tales of the show Friends, and a second on the sociopolitical issues brought up in the show. It would have allowed a deeper dive into the show episodes and would have made the book feel less choppy.
A second note, I personally think the author should have read the audiobook herself. She reads the foreword and afterward and I enjoyed her performance far more than the main narrator’s, especially given Ms. Benson’s obviously unfamiliar delivery of quotes from the show. A true Friends fan delivering lines like “How you doin’” or Ross’s depressed “Hi” would know the proper inflection to put into them.

1 person found this helpful

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the one where it was boring

there was nothing in this book of interest that hasn't already been broadcasted in every media outlet. save your money

1 person found this helpful

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Reads like an essay of Friends context in Culture

If you want fun backstage anecdotes or inside scoops on creative process read something else.

If you want to listen to twenty minutes explaining what happened to the country on 9/11 or lengthy chapters on how other shows embraced diversity over the years, you'll like this book.

I wanted light reading about a sitcom and I got a needlessly tedious dissertation on a SJW perspective television history. PASS on this.

1 person found this helpful

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Big Let Down

​I was really excited to listen to this book as I loved the show Friends. This book didn't tell me anything I hadn't heard before which was a let down. The book reads a bit like a textbook and the narration doesn't help. The narration is flat and the voice imitations are annoying. Also not sure why this book had to add in all the information about other shows that were on at the time, comparing Friends to them. The other thing the book did was add in how Friends was racist, and the show did not address LGBT rights and sexual harassment appropriately. It was a different time so one cannot look through the lens of today to exam these issues. I couldn't even finish listening to the last chapter as it wasn't about the Friends characters. It was about sexual harassment and not the show. It was almost like the writers wanted Friends fans to not like the show by bringing up all these back room issues about sexual harassment.





1 person found this helpful