The long-awaited Friends Reunion finally made its way to streaming platform HBO Max on the 27th of May 2021, after facing two consecutive filming postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re looking back at our favorite moments from the one-and-a-half hour long special.
David Schwimmer was the first cast member of the six to reach ‘The Friends Stage’ at the Warner Bros Studios. The set was reconstructed into three iconic places seen on the show, Monica and Chandler’s apartment, the iconic Central Perk Coffee Shop, and the Friends Fountain we see during opening credits. Through the course of this talkshow-esque special, fans were treated to candid conversations between the shows frontrunners, behind-the-scenes tidbits and surprise visits from renowned celebrities. All-in-all, the Friends reunion was met with praise from across the world, quite possibly sparking a rewatch of the original 10 season sitcom for many viewers.
Joey and Matt LeBlanc are the same people
As Matt LeBlanc arrived on-set, he was welcomed with a warm hug from co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and David Swchimmer. LeBlanc quickly picked upon how small the space felt after 17 years off set. “It all seems small to me, the whole stage” to which Aniston responds “It’s impossible though, because we haven’t grown.” “Speak for yourself”, Matt responds, sounding almost like his character counterpart, Joey. We can just imagine the size of the smiles on viewers!
Not long after Matt lands on set, Courtney Cox makes her entry and instantaneously starts reminiscing about how she used to write her lines on the table and on props. Matt says “You had this big speech and you were struggling with it all week long, and wrote it on the table. And when you weren’t looking I erased it and you got so mad at me!” Courtney goes on to take in the scene. Laughing, she recalls “I had so much dialogue hidden in these apples.” Oh, to be an apple on the set of Friends!
Matthew Perry’s struggle on the show
Fans of the show were concerned for Matthew’s health due to his speech and appearance in the trailer. He opens up about how deeply affected he was, owing to his need for recognition from live audiences while shooting, acknowledging the immense and unique pressure he put on himself during shoots back in the day.
“I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh, and it’s not healthy for sure. But I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat, and go into convulsions. If I didn’t get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out. I felt like that every single night.”
We saw this but didn’t notice it in his later works, such as his play, The End Of Longing. Perry’s admittance took fans by surprise, sparking concern and appreciation from viewers both old and new.
Needless to say, what resonated with Friends’ audience was the progression of our beloved characters, relatable and so lifelike that viewers were able to draw similarities between themselves and every character in the series. This was, of course, also the case with popular singers and actors, making room for some satisfying guest appearances in the series special.
English footballer David Beckham made a surprise entry, treating viewers to wholesome recalls. He states “I’d have to say I’m most like Monica, because I’m a clean freak,” adding “I travel a lot, I’m always in hotels, I’ve always got down time, when I’m missing the kids, missing the family, I put on Friends, because It makes me smile.”
Although the show first only aired in the United States, it wasn’t long before Friends became a global phenomena. Such happened for RM, leader of Korean boyband BTS. He says “My mom bought me the DVDs of the whole series when I was in elementary school,” and adds “Friends really had a big hand in teaching me English.” BTS fans will know this isn’t the first time RM has credited Friends, recalling his appearance on The Ellen Show during 2017.
As the Friends Reunion special came to a close, host James Corden addressed the elephant in the room. He asks an extremely important question.
Will we ever see ‘Friends – The Movie’
Fans were delighted to hear from Lisa Kudrow. “Maybe we can do another episode, maybe we could do another movie?” She straightens up and spills the truth, in the most Phoebe way possible. “No. I’m sorry, I haven’t,” and adds “Because that’s all up to Martha and David, and I once heard them say, and I completely agree that they ended the show very nicely, everyones lives are nice, and they would have to unravel all those good things in order for there to be a story. And I don’t want anyone’s happy ending unravelled. Also, at my age, to be ‘floopy?’ Stop. You have to grow up.” We agree, but it is bittersweet indeed.
Nevertheless, the Friends Reunion was long-time-coming, and its debut sent our pandemic-affected selves right back to that special place in our hearts, one that is only reserved for six best friends and one extremely cool apartment.