After months of rumors and years of anticipation, the “Friends” reunion has finally arrived. The hit sitcom, which followed the merry misadventures of six 20-something friends juggling through work, life and love in 1990s Manhattan, concluded in 2004 after 10 seasons.
It has been 17 years since Rachel got off the plane; Monica and Chandler wrapped up their apartment and moved to the suburbs with their twins, and we heard Joey yell “Joey doesn’t share food!” however, it is the show that has never gone away. Now the reunion special is here, marking the first time when all six members appear on screen together since the finale aired in 2004.
All six main cast members got back for an unscripted episode (as themselves and not as their characters from the show) to discuss their time on the set, while going through table reads, trivial games, fashion shows, archive clips and celebrity interviews weaved into the 1-hour 39-minute reunion.
The one where they get back together
Get ready to welcome Ray Ray Green, Miss Chanandler Bong, Harmonica Geller, Regina Phalange, Rossatron and Ken Adams for the last time (or not).
The official trailer shows the cast of the iconic show getting back together on the original “Friends” studio on Stage 24 of the Warner Bros Ranch in California. Part talk show, part trip down memory lane, and part celebrity-fueled tribute – the actors get together and talk inside Monica and Rachel’s old apartment in this special episode.
As the six members come onto the stage, there is genuine wide-eyed joy and emotion as they see the meticulously recreated sets of the apartments, hallway and Central Perk, millions of memories crossing their minds of a time when no one told them life was going to be this way.
The actors got together, tested their trivia knowledge of the show Friends-style, revisited key sets, re-read their lines and joined James Corden for a joint sit-down interview in front of a live audience with the famous fountain in the backdrop.
We get to learn about their time together on the show, their pranks, behind the scene jokes and many secrets while Lisa Kudrow serenades us with our favorite Smelly Cat. Although we may never get to see the gang of these six brilliant actors together again, the reunion brought some closure to the fans.
Could we be any more excited?
“Oh, My God!” We are not the only ones excited for the reunion special, but many of our favorite celebrities also share our enthusiasm and joy. When Jen Aniston shared the 40-second teaser of the episode on Instagram, actor Olivia Wilde commented, “This is my vaccine!”
When the reunion was announced, the actors all shared the same photo and caption on Instagram – “It’s happening” – and tagged each other. Initially slated to be aired to honor the sitcom’s 25thanniversary, the pandemic pressed pause on the production. The shoot finally began in March this year and wrapped up in the second week of April.
Reactions to the special have been mostly positive so far, although many critics do point out that some elements of the show work way better than others.
According to Rolling Stone, it is “an overproduced affair with too many guest stars and detours. When it lets the iconic gang of six just talk amongst themselves, it hits the nostalgic sweet spot.”
The “Friends” reunion, titled “The One Where They Get Back Together,” starts streaming on HBO Max on Thursday, May 27, around midnight Pacific Time. “Friends: The Reunion” is out May 27 at 12:32 pm IST on Zee5 in India, 12am PT on HBO Max in the US, at 3:01 pm SGT on HBO Go in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, 5:02 pm AEST on Binge in Australia, and 8 pm BST on Sky One in the UK.
A star-studded event
The exclusive episode includes the main cast Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, with Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, Christina Pickles and Elliott Gould who appeared on the show in recurring roles. Even Mr. Heckles makes an appearance, probably to ask them to “keep it down” and not to disturb his “oboe practice” or “his birds.”
The long list celebrity guests David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Kit Harrington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon and Malala Yousafzai also made an appearance.
We, however, will be missing some of the most beloved cameos by Sean Penn, Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Christina Applegate. Ben (Cole Sprouse) and Mike (Paul Rudd) are the faces to be missed the most in this reunion.