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I'll Be There for You

The One About Friends
Written by: Kelsey Miller
Narrated by: Amber Benson, Kelsey Miller
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

how you doin?

what a great book showcasing the intricacies of this amazing and cultural historical show. it's a favourite of ours and a definite source of escape. I'm pretty sure my wife can outdo anyone on line by line recounting lol.

well done Kelsey!

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A must read even if you didn’t think you were a true fan

Friends had always been one of those shows that you watch when there’s nothing else on or you just want some quiet time to yourself. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t just my opinion but that if practically everyone who watched it. This book is basically a sociology course about modern society and the role friends played. I never realized or thought about it being anymore than just a show. After listening I gained an all new appreciation for the show, the writers and understanding of people. I will listen again and would recommend to anyone. Funny story -several hours after finishing I was at a restaurant in a resort in the Dominican Republic when 3 women were at the next table discussing their favourite episodes. I laughed and said oh my god everything the author said is true... everyone relates to friends in some level. Of course I had to interrupt and apologize for listening to their conversation to recommend this book - for which they truly appeared thankful and sincere in saying they too were going to have to get.

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  • S. Feld
  • 2019-03-03

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy
  • 2018-10-30

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JosephusD
  • 2018-11-14

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • JH Easton
  • 2019-03-15

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • kokobean99
  • 2018-12-20

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

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  • Brent
  • 2018-11-01

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 2020-04-25

The One With The Review

Can I SAY anything better about this book?!

I laughed, I cried, I contemplated my life. I make Chandler’s sex face as I write this, attempting to smile about it.

I never watched Friends when it was on TV, but it became my favorite when I got the DVD set from a discount bin at GameStop circa 2007. Since then, it’s been my go to, via my now overworn and lent out DVDs or Netflix.

I have calculated a realistic number of how many times I have watched each episode (minus the 2nd disc that had Joey’s face on it, that one mysteriously disappeared) and I have seen them at least 385 times. I say these things to give my review cadence and the type of authority everything Richard said had.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I will start it over tomorrow for my drive to work, and revisit it as often as I revisit my Friends, no matter how sick of it my real life friends are of listening to this or the series.

**Best consumed with frozen margaritas while spying on cute famous neighbors with your girlfriends.

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  • D. Malone
  • 2020-02-28

Sheer. Guilty. Pleasure.

As someone who was in her early 20’s living away from family and building my friend-family, I LOVED the show Friends. I re-watched it a few years ago with my six-year old and he loved it (there is relatively little I had to skip for him). I am not sure how I found Kelsey Miller’s book I’ll Be There For You but I downloaded it on audible and basically inhaled it. She talked about how it got on the air, insights on those famous salary disputes and how truly groundbreaking they were in the industry, why the producers made decisions they did, and whether it is still relevant today. If you are like me and ready to sign up for HBOMax today and watch Friends again and the Friends reunion, this is a great book to help you make it until July.

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  • Sandy
  • 2020-02-12

Not a lot of new information here.

If you are looking for tidbits that haven't already been widely reported, you won't find many here. It does give a somewhat comprehensive recap of the show, but I was hoping for more than a synopsis of the episodes, which was much of this book. I also get a little ragey when people look back many years through the lens of 2019 culture. IE: Friends was too white, not gay enough, not multi-cultural enough, not this, not that, apartment too big, they don't do anything, etc., etc. TV is a business that is about making money which requires it to give paying customers what they want or those customers go elsewhere. According to this very author, the creators and writers very much pandered to what their audience wanted and since it was on the air for 10 years and continues to be popular over 25 years later, I am going take a leap and say that they delivered perfectly. Society is very different in 2019 than it was in 1994 when this show was created and right or wrong, it is NOT the job of sitcom TV to be groundbreaking and/or politically correct, it is to be funny. And this one was. Perfect, no, but funny, YES.

I am a huge fan and have enjoyed watching the show again and seeing it again through the eyes of my teenager. We have bonded over many a Friends moment. Fortunately, this was on sale and probably worth the sale price, but not a credit, in my opinion.

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  • OpinionatedEducator
  • 2020-01-01

Really good, if you love FRIENDS

My official review for this book can be found at the following web site: https://opinionatededucator.tumblr.com/post/180701697290/ill-be-there-for-you-the-one-about-friends