The author of Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life offers a cultural history of the hit '90s sitcom that remains popular in syndication, exploring all aspects of the show, from its unlikely origins to the societal conditions that amplified its success and contributed to now-controversial decisions, such as all-white casting and storylines that featured homophobia and fat-phobia.
It's a familiar story, though told more in depth than we've seen it before, and it puts the show into its historical context—for example, looking at the impact of 9/11 on the show's storylines and longevity. I'll Be There For You is definitely a must-read for Friends fans. But what will make the book appeal to even casual Friends watchers is Miller's nuanced examination of how Friends reflected—and influenced—the culture of the time. She shows a willingness to grapple with the show's shortcomings—and not just 'how did they afford that apartment?' but the show's all-white main cast; the gay jokes; the treatment of the lesbian and trans characters; Fat Monica ... it's hard to believe that any thinkpiece or retrospective will be more nuanced, considered, or better-researched than I'll Be There For You.
Kelsey Miller has written the quintessential fan book ... Miller leads readers through interesting insider scoop and includes various behind-the-scenes interviews spanning the length of Friends. She highlights trends such as 'the Rachel' haircut and high-profile celebrity guest appearances, but doesn’t ignore the bad ... One theme that weaves through the book is the camaraderie among the leading actors ... Miller compares Friends to comfort food. No matter what your mood, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Rachel will always be there for you.
Miller...offers a loving, insightful, and entertaining tour ... Highlights include the cast's determination to work as an ensemble and the importance of filming before a studio audience—with writers retooling jokes on the spot to elicit greater laughs ... the author doesn't shy away from more modern criticisms of the series' homophobia, lack of inclusivity, and jokes that rely on body- or slut-shaming ... Miller successfully revisits a classic television show, demonstrating its larger place in pop culture. A must-read for fans of Must See TV.