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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 38 | September 30 , 2007|


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are forever…and why not?

Compiled by Sabrina Hasan Shoily

Hey there, friends! Hope all of you are doing well, as the new semesters start up in full swing! As the title of this article suggests, this is all about the trendiest and popular TV show called Friends! I am pretty sure you watch it, and can't stop loving it. But now that it's over, how about going back to its history?

Friends is a situation-comedy that was originally broadcast from 1994 to 2004. It's about a group of six friends living in the New York City borough of Manhattan. One of the most popular television series of all time, the show has been broadcast in over one hundred countries, and still continues to attract good ratings for its presentation and management of episodes. The final episode of the show remains one of the largest in terms of television audience numbers in the U.S.

Friends, created in 1994 by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, was aimed at young adults who during the early 1990s were identified by their café culture, dating scene and modern independence.

Originally to be named Across the Hall, Six of One, Insomnia Cafe, and Friends Like Us, this comedy serial debuted on September 22, 1994, and was considered a must-see comedy in no time. The show was a huge success throughout its ten year run and was a staple of the NBC Thursday night line-up. The final episode aired on May 6, 2004, which was one of the most watched series finale ever, only behind M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Seinfeld.

During the show's run, each and every cast achieved household name celebrity status for all justifiable reasons. And this helped them to experience varied degree success in their movie careers. Fir example, Aniston's movie career is predominantly populated with light rom-coms. Cox made several lightweight films, though achieved her greatest success with the Scream series. Kudrow fared best in low budget indie films - a far cry from the role of Phoebe, most notably The Opposite of Sex.

During 1994-2004, four of the cast married. Kudrow was first to marry in 1995 to advertising executive Michel Stern. Next in 1999, Cox married wedding Scream co-star David Arquette. Aniston married film star Brad Pitt in 2000 while Le Blanc married long-term girlfriend Melissa McKnight in 2003. Kudrow gave birth to son Julian in 1999 (her pregnancy was incorporated into the show, as explained in the 'Season 5' section). Le Blanc's wife, McKnight, gave birth not long before the end of the show, and Cox gave birth to her long-awaited first child within a month of the final episode of Friends being screened. Since the end of Friends, both Aniston and Le Blanc's marriages had ended.

Behind the scenes, the show was known for its unusually cohesive and unified cast. The six main actors made deliberate efforts, from early on, to keep the show's ensemble format and not allow one member to dominate. This included requesting that all actors on the show be nominated either for the same category of award ("Supporting Actor" until 2001, then "Lead Actor" from 2002 onwards) or not at all, and entering collective instead of individual salary negotiations. The actors became such close friends that one guest star, Tom Selleck, reported sometimes feeling left out. This criticism was later echoed by British actress Helen Baxendale, who guest-starred as Ross's second wife Emily. The cast remained good friends after the show's run, most notably Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, with Aniston being godmother to Courtney's daughter, Coco.

Coming into the show as relative unknowns the cast quickly had to get used to their new found fame at the hands of the show. The show and, as a result, its cast, are hugely signified in modern television history.

Awards and nominations:

Emmy Awards
* 2003 - Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Christina Applegate
* 2002 - Outstanding Comedy Series (nominated also in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003)

* 2002 - Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Jennifer Aniston
* 2000 - Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Bruce Willis
* 1998 - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Lisa Kudrow
* 1996 - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series - Michael Lembeck (for "The One After the Superbowl")

Golden Globe Awards
* 2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy - Jennifer Aniston
* Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical - (nominated 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003)

People's Choice Awards
* 2004 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 2004 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston
* 2003 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 2003 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston

* 2002 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 2002 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston

* 2001 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 2001 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston

* 2000 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 2000 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston

* 1999 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
* 1995 - Favorite New Television Comedy

Screen Actors Guild Awards
* 2000 - Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Lisa Kudrow
* 1996 - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (nominated 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)

Last words
A successful creation creates history, and hardly allows others to recreate history. This is what Friends! has done with immaculate perfection, so much so that the impact is be too much to overlook. I still see people buy Friends! DVDs and spend time in intense excitement. It can be safely maintained that the American serial Friends! has easily become the reflection of modern day youth, regardless of geographical boundaries.

So those of you who have missed watching it, or may be willing to watch it again for refreshing themselves, please rush to the nearby DVD shops for the entire volumes of its episodes. For those who are still skeptical about collecting it, you better rethink your TV viewer-ship status!


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