‘Friends’ Anniversary: Behind-the-Scenes of TV’s Most Caffeinated ‘Comfort Food’

In 2014, I published a book called “Sitcom” that served as a history of the American situation comedy, covering the gamut from “I Love Lucy” to the present day.

For that work, I wrote a chapter on “Friends,” rewatching the entirety of the series and appreciating its warmth and its acidic vigor.

I felt like I’d said my piece.Then I came across this story in the New York Times about high-school kids watching “Friends” on Netflix and shipping Ross and Rachel, as if this were a hot new series and not a two-decade-old show.

Some combination of the series’ streaming debut and the internet’s unstinting love for “Friends” helped it find an entirely new audience, and I wanted to tell the full story of the show for everyone who was only just discovering it now, as well as the fans who had tuned in for the first episode

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