The year was 1993. Fox debuted a show about the lives of six friends living in a Brooklyn brownstone. One year later, NBC debuted a show about the lives of six friends living in Manhattan. Friends was a complete rip-off of Living Single and I will never be over it.
When Friends came out I refused to watch it because I was so angry that they took the Living Single blueprint and dropped in white friends, with no acknowledgement of the original show. I get it. People get “inspired” by other shows, movies, books, etc. all the time, but to do it a year later with the EXACT SAME premise and roles??? Yup. I was super salty. And the salt shaker came out again yesterday when Friends cast member David Schwimmer (Ross) came out and said, “Maybe there should be an all-black ‘Friends’ or an all-Asian ‘Friends.” Wait what? Who’s going to tell him? Hang on. Queen Latifah would like to have a word.
Oh, and Erika Alexander (Max) would too. THIS is a great interview with Shadow and Act about Living Single’s success vs. Friends.
And John Henton (Overton) you’re up…
Listen, I get it. It happens all the time. I just can’t lie and say that it still doesn’t bother me after all these years, especially when after all these years, the people behind Friends can’t admit or acknowledge the show that paved the way for them.
I know that some of you reading this haven’t even heard of Living Single and I’m sorry you missed out on one of the greatest shows ever made. The good news is, all seasons are now streaming on Hulu. Go get your life and watch it. Me? I’ll just be sitting over here still mad.