The actors of “Friends” reveal their discomfort and their aggressive behavior during the later seasons

Writing for Friends: a dream turned nightmare for a screenwriter

Working on a series as popular as Friends might seem like a TV writer’s dream. However, Patty Lin, who worked on the famous sitcom, says the experience wasn’t as glorious as it seemed. In her memoir, “End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood,” Lin reveals behind the scenes of the show and the struggles she faced.

An impressive career before Friends

Prior to joining the Friends writing team for season 7 in 2000, Patty Lin already had an established career in the television industry. She had notably written for series such as Freaks and Geeks, considered a cult classic, Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad. However, Friends was a big challenge for her, as she recounts in her memoir. “Writing for Friends after just two years of experience felt like going straight to the Olympics after learning to skate,” she writes. The stakes were high, because if she was wrong, it could ruin her career.

Integration difficulties and tensions on set

Once on the Friends team, Lin quickly realized the difficulties she was going to face. She was a member of a racial minority and struggled to find her place among her fellow screenwriters. “In all my fears about this new job, I never anticipated that one of the challenges I would face would be that the writing team on Friends was clicky, more so than on any other series I’ve been on. would work,” she wrote. Plus, she says the hours spent rewriting the jokes that didn’t make the studio audience laugh was exhausting.

Disgruntled and demanding stars

Lin also doesn’t have many positive things to say about the cast and co-creators of Friends. According to her, the stars, despite their success, seemed unhappy to be tied to a series they considered old and tired. They even purposely misplayed the jokes they didn’t like, so that they would be deleted or replaced. “Dozens of good jokes were thrown just because one of them mumbled the phrase through a bite of bacon,” she explains. As for the series’ co-creators, Lin describes them as demanding and hard to please.

Challenging shoots

For Patty Lin, filming episodes of Friends was also a source of tension and frustration. She says that the actors were not shy about expressing their opinion, but they never offered workable solutions to the issues raised. In addition, these sessions were often “terrible and aggressive”, according to her. Ultimately, Lin only worked on Friends for one season, before leaving the show.

An inevitable end

In 2004, when Friends ended after 10 seasons, the cast was ready to move on. Jennifer Aniston said in an interview with NBC News that she wanted the series to end while it was still at the height of its popularity. For his part, David Schwimmer said: “For some reason, there is no fear. I’m more excited than anything. I think we all feel like it’s just…we’ve reached our time to move on. »

Working on Friends wasn’t as glamorous as you might think. Patty Lin faced many challenges and tensions on set. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Friends remains an iconic series that has made television history.