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FRIENDS case study

NEWSFLASH: You Can Learn How To Plot Watching TV

How To Plot One of the questions I get asked most by writers is ‘How do I learn how to plot?’ It’s easy to understand why … If screenwriting is structure (and it is), then plot is all-important, no matter the genre or tone of your story. Authors are not exempt either. Whilst novels can get away with less plot than the average movie or TV show, the convergence between the mediums is very strong. Readers demand a considerable amount  more plot as standard, especially from genres and subgenres that get adapted a lot. This means horror, romance, comedy and… Read More »NEWSFLASH: You Can Learn How To Plot Watching TV

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Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

Theme in Friends It’s fair to say the internet erupted with news of a Friends reunion, recently. I’ve written about Friends a fair amount this year on this blog, so thought I would return to the show, with reference to theme. Theme refers to ‘an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature.’ Friends is about a bunch of young friends, all getting through life and love, dealing with whatever it throws at them. Being a sitcom, it’s about dysfunctional family too. Le duh. However, with theme we make our OWN meaning too. How each individual audience… Read More »Why Theme In FRIENDS Is Better Than You Think

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How FRIENDS Makes Character Archetypes Look Easy

All About Archetypes The difference between archetypes and stereotypes is subtle, but crucial. Archetypes are frequently mistaken for stereotypes and vice versa … Not just by writers, but audiences and critics too. This is never more obvious than with comedy. This genre sometimes DOES use stereotype for comedic effect, in shows like The Simpsons. Homer is ‘The American Dream gone wrong’. He is a cliché of white, middle-class male entitlement. It doesn’t matter how he screws up, he will fall on his feet (usually because someone else will clear up his mess).  It is the point of his character and why we… Read More »How FRIENDS Makes Character Archetypes Look Easy

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Why FRIENDS Has An Awesome Pilot (And What It Can Teach Writers)

Rise of the Spec TV Pilot Every screenwriter alive wants to write a great pilot episode of their own, if the spec pile is anything go by. When I started B2W back in the day, I hardly ever saw spec TV pilot episodes of any kind. Fast-forward fifteen years and I would venture I read more spec TV pilot episodes than anything else! It also means THE most popular article on this entire site is How To Write TV Series Bibles – over 130K+ unique hits now. Wow! That said, spec TV pilot episodes are notoriously difficult to write. Whilst… Read More »Why FRIENDS Has An Awesome Pilot (And What It Can Teach Writers)

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