The Reel Review
The cast of Friends, one of television’s most popular sitcoms, has reunited on HBO Max after 17 years, to reminisce over the show’s ten year run from 1994 to 2004. The cast relives series highlights, outtakes and even shares some surprising bombshells – two cast members at one point had a real life romantic attraction – in this long-awaited, unscripted two hour special.
The powers that be smartly decided to make this a true reunion, instead of one of those awkward, one-time performances that more often than not, fail to capture the magic of the original series. Show fans will particularly love the details about how the show’s creators came to cast the six roles.
Alternating among a cast member chat on the original Friends set, an interview with James Corden, and table reads of key scenes spliced with what originally aired, this reunion is an absolute delight. It also features appearances by supporting cast members as well as celebrities and viewers around the world sharing what the show meant to them. Lady Gaga even performs “Smelly Cat” with Lisa Kudrow. Like the series itself, the reunion is raucously fun, heartwarming and immensely entertaining.
The cast’s table reads of show scripts also are a real treat, showing fans that even after 17 years, the cast still has the onscreen chemistry, comic timing and a fondness for one another that has made Friends one of the most popular TV series ever made.
• Friends: The Reunion originally was supposed to air in May 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• During its decade-long run, Friends was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002. Aniston and Kudrow are the only main cast members to win individual Emmys for Friends with Cox being the only one of the six never nominated.
• Friends generates approximately $1 billion in syndication revenue annually for Warner Bros, with each of the six main cast members getting about $20 million in residuals each year.