Was ‘Friends’ Really a ‘Seinfeld’ Rip-Off?

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

20130303210812!Friends_season_one_castSpoiler alert: My answer is going to be NO.

I do think it’s interesting, though, that Jerry Seinfeld was, during the Must See TV era that his show and Friends dominated, and has continued to be, convinced that Friends “stole” their show premise from his hit. I like that Seinfeld is so competitive when it comes to his art — I’m sure that’s what’s fueled him toward such excellence in his work — but I can’t believe he’d really believe this. Aside from both shows being about single, unrelated people hanging out in New York City — hardly a unique description — these two shows couldn’t be more different.

In fact, I see them as Platonic opposites. Because of the similarities in their basic stats — sitcom, group of friends, Manhattan, professional-class, white — their differences are more obvious. Friends is really about friends — that is, earnest feelings…

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Author: tvfestival

Monthly Festival showcasing new TV Pilots and TV Spec Screenplays. All submissions receive full feedback. Winners get their script performed by professional actors and shown online.

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