Created by David Crane and Marta Kaufman. The plot to 'Friends' is simple: six young men and women trying to succeed in their careers, relationships and generally in life.
Monica Geller is a chef who lives in an apartment in Greenwich Village with her friend from high school, Rachel Green, a pampered girl starting her life over independently. Across the hall live Chandler Bing, a computer programmer with a dry wit, and Joey Tribbiani, a not-so-intelligent actor. Phoebe Buffay is a new-age masseuse and was Monica's former roommate. Monica's brother, Ross, is a nerdy palaeontologist whose wife left him for another woman. This group of six frequently hang out at a Central Perk or at one of their apartments, and get entangled in humorous everyday scenarios.
Since September 1994, more than 20 billion people have tuned in to see if Ross and Rachel are getting back together, if Chandler and Monica are going to adopt a baby, if Joey will ever return as Dr. Drake Ramoray, if Phoebe will delight us with one more chorus of 'Smelly Cat' or to try and find what exactly Chandler actually does for a living. One of the shows most remarkable accomplishments is that for ten years, it has always remained funny. Who could ever forget Miss Chanandler Bong? Dr Drake Ramoray, the Geller Bowl, the 'Ugly Naked Guy' or 'Fun Bobby'.
The show has also been subject to many special guest appearances. The infamous theme tune is sung by the Rembrandts and we've seen the likes of Winona Ryder, Robin Williams, Richard Branson, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Jeff Goldblum, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jay Leno, Helen Hunt, George Clooney, Gary Oldman, Donny Osmond, David Arquette, Danny DeVito, Dan Castellaneta (voice from 'The Simpsons'), Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis, Billy Crystal, Tom Selleck, Morgan Fairchild, Hank Azaria (another voice from 'The Simpsons'), Elle MacPherson and, of course, Brad Pitt - and these guest stars and merely a handful of celebrities that the six friends have had walk into their coffee shop or through their door over the past ten years.
The 'Friends' we have come to know and love started off life with a few curious working titles including 'Across the Hall', 'Friends Like Us' and 'Six of One'. Would the programme have worked as well if we have been tuning into 'Across The Hall', we may never know, but the combination that Friends has, works, and with the stars demanding $1,000,000 an episode its hard to believe that these funny and charismatic stars have never let their characters get too big for their boots.
It's rare the world of sitcoms for one to last as long as 'Friends' has, but after the 10th series the stars are bowing out gracefully. The irony is that the friends on set are in fact all great friends off-set and so filming the final episode and saying goodbye to their characters was not so far removed from the real thing!
Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Green
Courteney Cox (Arquette) - Monica Geller Bing
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan/Ursula Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller
James Michael Tyler - Gunther