James Martin, S.J.May 28, 2021
Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer as Rachel and Ross on ‘Friends.’ (IMDb)

This review was originally published in the Sept. 24, 1994 issue of America.

Pity the poor television pilot. Within its half-hour or hour time frame, a pilot show must introduce the main characters, furnish a compelling plot and, most importantly, make of all this entertaining enough to hook viewers for the remainder of the season. Of course, some of these problems are as old as Euripides, but then again, they didn’t have channel surfers in ancient Greece. Bearing in mind these challenges, here are some new Fall offerings: The producers of HBO’s quirky and successful “Dream On” have created “Friends” (NBC, Thursday 8:30-9:00 P.M. ET), an affable comedy about six young friends living in Manhattan.

But one question: Where do supposedly struggling twentysomethings find apartments like this in Manhattan?

Courtney Cox (late of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”) provides some focus for a cast of newcomers-—most of the action takes place in her spacious apartment. The premiere episode, with fresh dialogue and good ensemble acting, revolved around a high school friend dropping in unexpectedly after having left her fiancé at the altar. (She arrives in a wedding dress.) There’s lots of talk about sex and a good many references to pop culture. The ex-bride, for example, wistfully watches Joanie and Chachi’s marriage on “Happy Days.”

Most of the show is about relationships today, with some easily recognizable 90’s moments (espresso bars with comfy sofas and wing chairs) and some that may be less recognizable (wives leaving their husbands for other women). The actors also use the word “sucks,” signalling its successful movement from “Beavis & Butthead” to network prime time. All in all, a thoroughly post-modern comedy, and a promising one at that. But one question: Where do supposedly struggling twentysomethings find apartments like this in Manhattan?

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

During his keynote address at the Catholic Media Conference on June 10th, Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles said the role of Catholic media is to prioritize the proclamation of the word of God.
Túpac Shakur is widely recognized as a musical pioneer. On what would be his 50th birthday, it is time to recognize him as a prophet as well.
Sam RochaJune 11, 2021
Corey Hawkins as Benny and Leslie Grace as Nina in “In the Heights” (photo: Warner Brothers)
The new movie version of “In the Heights,” directed by John M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), will be a must-see for fans of “Hamilton.”
John AndersonJune 11, 2021
“Scandal” is a word often heard used in recent months by U.S. bishops regarding the best ways to provide pastoral care and communicate authentic church teaching to pro-choice politicians who identify as Catholic.
Sean Salai, S.J.June 11, 2021