[Warning: very minimal Friends: The Reunion spoilers.]
“Where is everyone? Come on, I want to see everyone.”
David Schwimmer says this around three minutes into the reunion special. The same words were running through my mind as I watched it for the first time.
“So no one told you life was gonna be this way,
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA,
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,
When it hasn’t been your day, your week,
Your month, or even your year… But
I’ll be there for you (When the rain starts to pour),
I’ll be there for you (Like I’ve been there before),
I’ll be there for you (‘Cause you’re there for me too).”
I’ve been excited about the reunion – the first one since the series finale in 2004 – ever since it was confirmed early last year. Like a lot of other things, it was delayed due to the pandemic.
Given how nobody knows when things are going back to normal, I didn’t think much about it again until news started popping up in my news feed that filming was finally happening last month.
The reunion features all six cast members – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc – who will be as themselves and not in character, reminiscing about their time in the show which ran for ten seasons from 1994 to 2004.
The May 27 release date was announced a couple of weeks ago and the trailer dropped last week.
My cousin introduced me to Friends back when I was still a kid. I remember eagerly anticipating Wednesday nights to watch it in ABC 5. Without internet and streaming, we didn’t really know when we’d be able to watch the episode again if we missed it.
It gave us a glimpse of how life in the US was during that time. There were a lot of memorable sitcoms, but none of them made as big of an impression to me as Friends. Despite not being in that age yet, and despite being set in another country, it ironically felt very relatable. And it was one of the funniest shows on TV.
And then life started to get busier and I couldn’t follow it on TV anymore. My aunt, who was also a fan of the show, would buy CD’s of the different seasons and we’d borrow them to binge watch.
I’m not sure if I was able to watch all episodes – especially the later seasons – but I’ve watched enough to know most of the more famous references. Every time I see a clip, it brings back memories of watching it, not much different from remembering things that happened during childhood.
When news came out that the show was finally coming to an end, it felt like letting go of something that was a big part of my life. While watching the final episode, I remember shedding a tear as the camera pans over the empty apartment before finally stopping and focusing on the iconic frame around the door’s peephole in the final seconds.
“But like anything good, it’s sad when it’s over,” said Marta Kauffman, one of the show’s creators, about the finale.
It was great seeing the cast back together in the reunion. Even if they were not in character, their interactions with each other and the set as they reminisced about their time in the show made me feel they’re just like any group of good friends having a reunion, seeing each other after a long time.
The one hour and forty-three minute special was longer than I expected, but it also felt too short. They could have done a 10-part season of this and it might still not have been enough.
There’s a lot of stories and memories 17 years after the show ended, but there’s just not enough time for all of them. And just like any reunion, before you know it, it was already time to call it a night.
***Friends: The Reunion is currently streaming at HBO Max and HBO Go.
// by Francis Abad