When you get to a certain age, your friends become your family. For ten years, the television show Friends reflected that time in our lives.
Back in September, pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz published his latest book, Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era. The book takes readers and fans behind the scenes from the conception of the show to height of its popularity and ends by reflecting on it’s legacy as a modern American sitcom. Containing interviews with the cast, the creative team and the crew, this book is one that Friends fans will want to read.
This book is well written. However, it is not for the casual Friends fan or someone who only knows of the show in passing. This book is for the superfan who has seen every episode, can quote every line and knows everything that there is to know about this program.
I would like to say that I loved this book. But I can’t. I felt like there were moments that the author was only writing for the superfan. As a casual fan, I felt like the author was not writing to or for me, which nearly led me to put the book down without finishing it.
The 20’s are a very interesting time in our lives. We are adults, but brand new to the adult world. There is often a lot of growth, maturity and heartache in these years.
The classic 90’s sitcom, Friends, is about six friends who live in a Manhattan apartment.
Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is the suburban princess. Monica (Courteney Cox) is the type A chef. Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) is the quirky musician/masseuse who is smarter than she looks. Joey (Matt LeBlanc) is the wannabe soap actor. Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) is the sarcastic one of the group. Ross (David Schwimmer) is Monica’s older brother and a paleontologist.
This sitcom still has a major fan base for a reason. There s something universal about being in the early adulthood stages and the growth that leads us to the next stage of our lives.
Imagine putting in a room a group of Janeites and asking them which is their favorite Jane Austen book. The answers may surprise you.
The 2007 film, Jane Austen Book Club, based upon the book by Karen Joy Fowler bring together five women and one man, all to discuss the novels by Jane Austen. They soon find how much their lives begin to resemble their favorite Jane Austen characters.
Sylvia’s (Amy Brenneman) marriage to Daniel (Jimmy Smits) has just ended. Her friends, Jocelyn (Maria Bello) and Bernadette (Kathy Baker) organize the book club to draw Sylvia’s attention away from her ex-husband. They recruit Sylvia’s daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace) who falls in love with another woman while skydiving, Prudie (Emily Blunt), a teacher who is considering having an affair with a student, Trey (Kevin Zegers) because she feels like she is drifting apart from her husband (Marc Blucas) and Grigg (Hugh Dancy), who is joins because he is attracted to Jocelyn.
I saw the movie first and then read the book. Normally the book is better than the movie, but the book was horrible and the movie is enjoyable. I have a general rule that if I cannot get past the first couple of chapters in a book, it’s not very good. What I enjoyed about this movie is that I know and understand the conversations these characters have about the Austen novels. I’ve had these same conversations with my Janeite friends. This movie shows that Jane Austen’s writing is timeless and her characters transcend the early 19th century English countryside in which they lived.
In 2009, the perfect fan satire movie was introduced: Fanboys.
In 1998, months before the premiere of Star Wars, Episode I, a group of friends go on a road trip. Their mission is to sneak into George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch and steal the rough cut of the movie.
This movie is hilarious. It’s not only a satire of the Star Wars Fandom, but of the science fiction fandom as a whole. The characters are what an outsider might see as a science fiction fan: a nerdy guy or girl who lives with their parents, whose sole focus in life is their fandom. As a Star Wars fan, I knew who these characters were without cringing, I was able to laugh at them. I understood their obsession. I was able to quote the movies along with them. And I loved the cameos, especially the ones from Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams.
Unlike other fan satire (Austenland, I’m looking at you), Fanboys is one of funniest movies in the past five years. Underneath the stereotypes of the scifi fan, there is heart to these characters and a solid friendship that keeps the story going.