As David Schwimmer notes in an engrossing Vanity Fair oral history of Friends, finding one actor who is perfect for a role is a true victory. Finding six actors who are perfect fits, and then they all turn out to have perfect chemistry, is divine intervention. And that’s Friends. Conceived by young playwrights turned TV producers Marta Kaufmann and David Crane, their pitch hit the sweet spot that NBC (and everyone else) was looking to fill: a close-knit group of young, attractive adults trying to make it together in the big city. The stories about casting, finding success, handling success, and the inevitable end–everyone involved gives honest, heartfelt answers while adding fascinating anecdotes. A great read (and there’s a fun slideshow too).