×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Friends

An ideal slot between "Mad About You" and "Seinfeld" should shore up the prospects for "Friends," new sitgiggle about six pals' lives and fortunes in Manhattan. Spirited ensemble playing, directed aptly by James Burrows, should help ease the show through its early days, but if the series is to have legs, funnier writing is needed.

With:
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, John Allen Nelson, Clea Lewis, Cynthia Mann.

An ideal slot between “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld” should shore up the prospects for “Friends,” new sitgiggle about six pals’ lives and fortunes in Manhattan. Spirited ensemble playing, directed aptly by James Burrows, should help ease the show through its early days, but if the series is to have legs, funnier writing is needed.

Storyline revolves around Monica (Courteney Cox), who’s sharing her apartment with spoiled Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), who just walked out on her own wedding; Rachel fights with her rich father and doesn’t know how to get a job.

Monica’s older brother Ross (David Schwimmer) is in the dumps because his wife has just ankled after four years. Blonde Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Monica’s college roommate and dealer in psychic-related matters, offers bubblehead advice; roommates Joey (Matt LeBlanc), an actor, and Chandler (Matthew Perry) so far act as a chorus to the action.

Concept is OK, but the humor’s less sophisticated than expected from the exec producers of HBO’s comedy series “Dream On,” and the dialogue is not exactly snappy. Ross: “I honestly don’t know if I’m hungry or horny!” Chandler: “Stay out of my freezer.”

Moral and health issues are sidestepped altogether: “Friends” touts promiscuity and offers liberal samples of an openness that borders on empty-headedness. It’s not much of a positive example for juves, though.

Pilot centers around Monica’s bad luck with previous dates and what happens when she welcomes a new man to her bed. An embarrassing situation seems to be the worst that comes of the encounter — at least, for the time being.

All six of the principals, especially Cox and Schwimmer, appear resourceful and display sharp sitcom skills. But even the best tightrope walkers need dependable rigging, and the pilot, a getting-to-know-you script, offers little support. Maybe the timeslot will give everyone a break.

Friends

Thurs. (22), 8:30-9 p.m., NBC

Production: Filmed at Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. Executive producers, Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman, David Crane; supervising producers, Jeff Greenstein, Jeff Strauss; producer, Todd Stevens; director, James Burrows; writers/creators, Crane, Kauffman.

Crew: Camera, Ken Lamkin; editor, Andy Zall; art director, John Shaffner; sound, Bill Stevens; music, Michael Skloss.

Cast: Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, John Allen Nelson, Clea Lewis, Cynthia Mann.

More TV

  • Outlander 412

    'Outlander' Recap: Brianna Confronts Her Rapist in 'Providence'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Providence,” the 12th episode of “Outlander” Season 4. There were two competing narratives on “Outlander” this week — one that was largely invented for the show but was a very clever way to keep a certain character involved, and another that was also changed [...]

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content