When the first series of Friends
debuted in September 1994, it was immediately obvious there would be no need for the show to find its feet. "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate" was a confident introduction to the six lead characters, opening in the middle of an everyday conversation with the soon-to-be uncharacteristic line: "There's nothing to tell". In fact, the soap opera-style plot got complicated pretty quickly, with spoiled brat Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) moving on from her failed wedding to feelings toward nerdy/heartthrob Ross (David Schwimmer). However, no love life was more complicated than Joey's (Matt LeBlanc), with an endless stream of girlfriends that annoyed the hell out of wisecracking roommate Chandler (Matthew Perry), who only seemed to be able to connect with Janice (Maggie Wheeler), the shrillest voice in the city. Bouncing all manner of neuroses around them were Ross' obsessive sister Monica (Courteney Cox) and endearingly ditzy Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). Premise established, Series 1 matured the characters by providing a monkey and a son for Ross. We met also meet Ross and Monica's parents Jack (Elliott Gould) and Judy (Christina Pickles), Chandler's mother (Morgan Fairchild) and Phoebe's twin sister Ursula (Kudrow, naturally). Fans loved cameos from George Clooney, Jay Leno and show creators Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. But really the focus was on building to "T.O.W. Rachel Finds Out" that Ross is in love with her. --Paul Tonks
Four more episodes from the first season of the popular US sitcom. In 'The One With the Boobies', Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is caught with her guard, and everything else, down by Chandler (Matthew Perry). 'The One With the Candy Hearts' sees Valentine's Day become an occasion for exorcising past demons rather than celebrating new romances. Monica (Courteney Cox) is job-interviewed by a drug-addled chef in 'The One With the Stoned Guy', whilst in 'The One With the Two Parts - Part One', Joey (Matt Le Blanc) becomes attracted to Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) twin sister.