Summary of “Excerpt: ‘Generation Friends’ by Saul Austerlitz”

The Friends writers’ room was simultaneously a party room and a prison cell, a wild daily gathering whose participants, like the dinner guests in Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, could never leave.
Participants were thrilled to be granted the privilege of being a part of the work of writing Friends.
The remarkable thing about the Friends writers’ room, Chase believed, was its complete allergy to compromise.
The sheer volume of polished material that the writers of Friends had to come up with placed inordinate pressure on the writers’ room to work in sync and to pick up each other’s slack.
The Friends writers’ room was, as some of its participants described it, a remarkable feat of alchemy, in which a dozen talented individuals transformed into a team that was far greater than the sum of its parts.
Being in the Friends writers’ room, Sikowitz thought, was like an emotional stock market.
The Friends characters were the writers’ stand-ins and doppelgangers, their adventures and discoveries simultaneously reflections of the writers’ own lives and romanticized versions of their more humdrum existences.
Kauffman notwithstanding, the Friends writers’ room was, at the outset, an exceedingly male place, its tastes and interests formed by the concerns of funny young men.

The orginal article.