The TV series “FRIENDS” needs no introduction. It started in September 1994 and was completed in May 2004 and is considered until this very day, one of the most successful comic series of all times. It has no specific plot. We just watch the daily lives of 6 friends who live in Manhattan for 236 episodes.
In those ten years, we saw the actors grow up, fall in love, change jobs, confront all kinds difficulties and live happy moments. And all that together.
The idea started in 1993, when David Crane and Marta Kauffman – the creators of the series – decided to make something based on their own lives from the time they had just graduated and attempted to build a life in New York. The first title that was considered was “Insomnia Café”.
Later that title changed to “Friends like us” which ultimately became just “FRIENDS”. There were some other ideas for the title such as “Six of One”, “Across the Hall” and “Once Upon a Time in the West Village”.
The first actor who agreed with the producers was David Schwimmer, since the producers created Ross based on him. They stated that the main inspiration about this character was David’s voice. The second actor was Courtney Cox and the last was Jennifer Anniston.
One of the most subversive statements that the channel has ever made about the “FRIENDS” series, is that the main couple was not meant to be Rachel and Ross but Monica and Joy who would present themselves to the audience as lovers. Eventually the plans changed when the producers noticed the chemistry between Jennifer and David from the first day on the set. Also Chandler was supposed to be gay. When Mathew Perry went through a casting for the part, he revealed that he had a hard time approaching women and that when he did, he became pretty bawdy. That element of Chandler’s character stuck to Chandler and he became straight. Also, Gunther the waiter didn’t exist on the initial script. James Michael Tyler was a real waiter and was chosen for the part because he could handle the espresso machines!
Many guest stars made their appearance to the show such as Bruce Willis, Brad Pit, George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Julia Roberts.
No one knows how the series would have gone if the production had stuck to the original plans. But probably it would still be a success because the secret weapon was the clever and sweeping dialogue. Each line warms up the next joke and there are little to no expressions that do not serve a hilarious scene that is coming. If the audience didn’t laugh they’d change the script at once. That is why there are no easy tricks used that could bring some good viewing figures but only on short term.
We truly can’t tell how the “FRIENDS” would have gone if the producers had chosen the original script. And thank god that we don’t have to find out!