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Friends and the Golden Age of the Sitcom (Hardback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Film, Media & Television P&S History > Social History

By Joanna Hagan
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 32 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399052856
Published: 30th July 2024


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Friends ran for ten years, beginning in 1994 and airing its final episode in 2005. The show is inarguably the peak sitcom of its era. It's the most remembered, most quoted and so essential that companies have spent hundreds of millions on the streaming rights to Friends in recent years. But why does Friends mean so much to so many? What did this sitcom have that the other giant shows of that era didn’t?

This is a deep dive into the history of Friends, but it’s also the history of ten years of network television. How did the world of sitcoms evolve through that decade? How much of a show’s success is down to small details like schedules and syndication, and how much of it is down to the content itself?

The landscape of television has changed drastically in the years since the end of Friends, but the biggest show of sitcom’s golden age has endured like no other. This look at the history of Friends, its legacy and the history of television in general will show you why. Both why the television industry has become what it is today, and why Friends has survived long beyond its decade. This is a celebration of Friends, an interrogation of its success, and a history of television that explains much of what’s on our screens today.

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About Joanna Hagan

Joanna Hagan is a writer, podcaster and pop-culture obsessive who watches far too much television. She co-hosts The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret - a popular Terry Pratchett podcast she uses to talk about storytelling, comedy and whatever she’s watching on television. A sitcom obsessive first and foremost, Joanna has spent many hours taking apart television to see how it works. Eventually, she’ll figure it out.

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