Letter From the President
We here at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY have always counted on our Friends. Even before the impossibly attractive sextet sipped their first lattes at Central Perk, EW’s 1994 Fall TV Preview dubbed the upcoming NBC sitcom ”one of the season’s few bright spots,” noting that the show ”looks like an affable winner.”
Hey, sometimes we get it right. Ever since Sept. 22, 1994 — America’s first meeting with Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) — Friends has been the sitcom gift that keeps on giving. The Friends themselves have graced EW’s cover 12 times (both as a group and individually), and the show’s incredibly consistent supply of charming, clever comedy has landed it in the Nielsen top 10 every year since its debut.
But it’s not just the one-liners and inspired slapstick that keep us coming back to Monica’s living room. Consider our national obsession with the following: the Friends’ hair, specifically ”the Rachel” (see page 29); their oh-so-trendy apartments (see page 60); that damnably peppy theme song by the Rembrandts (see page 52); their forays into feature films…. Okay, maybe not the last one (still, see page 68). That’s where this ultimate viewer’s guide comes in: The Friends freaks at EW have lovingly dissected absolutely everything related to TV’s coolest clique — including reviewing all 171 episodes.
”’Get a life’ — that’s what I’m often tempted to tell our staffers who work on an issue like this one,” says executive editor Peter Bonventre. ”But, God love ’em, thanks to their various pop-culture addictions, our readers couldn’t ask for a better bunch of…well, friends.” Confesses assistant managing editor Maggie Murphy: ”All my years of watching Friends — sometimes three times a day, thanks to syndication — finally paid off. I guess I’m going to have to take up needlework now that this is over.” (As Chandler might say, ”Could that idea be any more frightening?”)
Now, get yourself a big cuppa joe and start turning the pages.
John Squires, President