I’m always fascinated by sitcom pilot scripts. Reading them, it’s hard to imagine how any actually get made. Most are totally generic— bland stock characters acting out one-joke scenes. This script for the pilot of Friends (then titled Friends Like Us) is 100% no exception. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just nothing special. It’s reminiscent of every other sitcom pilot before or since. But a pilot is not a good representation of a show (one of the many reasons pilot season is an idiotic concept), and a pilot script even less so. The good shows take a basic bland script, cast great actors, and tailor it to fit their personalities. Take a look at these original character descriptions:
Monica’s a little more cynical, Phoebe’s a little dumber, but they’re all about halfway to where they eventually end up, wouldn’t you say? Although “A Paleontologist. Not that it matters” is the perfect complete description of Ross.
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