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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
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 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 members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • JosephusD
  • York, PA
  • 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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Feld
  • Boston
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • m.boyea
  • 2019-09-30

Very Engaging!

At the time, Friends was an incredible advancement in television culture. Even though not every part has aged well, you can still see the cultural advancements where they were. Lesbian wedding, surrogacy, single motherhood, etc. These were not topics that were typically broached in 90s television. Granted, a lot of the jokes are now outdated, and some are now considered offensive, but many parts of Friends still lives on today.
On the air for a decade, with reruns still going 15+ years later, it is rare that you will find someone who has not heard of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler. This book was a wonderful look into the behind-the-scenes aspect of one of the most popular television shows.
I loved learning that the cast were friends in real life, and not just on the show. I loved that they handed together when it came time to renew their contracts….if one person was fired, they were all going to leave. And that they all stuck together for their pay as well. They weren’t just friends, they were a family.
This book was wonderfully written and extremely engaging. I listened to about 95% as an audiobook during my daily commute and it brought back all kinds of feelings of nostalgia. And as I was reading this, iTunes released a deal of the entire series of Friends for only $30-$40 (I can’t remember the exact amount now). Needless to say, I’m rewatching for the umpteenth time and loving it.
If you are curious at all about Friends, love the show, or just want to learn some background information on creating tv shows, I highly highly recommend this book!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • Pittsburgh, PA United States
  • 2019-06-28

ok

I liked it, but it's not a great book, somewhat juvenile and insubstantial in nature. Not really worth keeping.

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  • hayli
  • 2019-05-29

Decent story, dreadful performance

The narration of this book is absolutely atrocious. It would have been so much better to have the author read the entire thing, rather than just the first and last chapters. I liked that the book was more about cultural implications of the show rather than celebrity gossip or minute trivia!

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  • Zachary A Kendall
  • 2019-05-22

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