Arts & Culture

Preview: the Friends reunion4 min read

The cast of Friends recently revealed on Instagram they would reunite for a one-off special on HBO Max, the network’s new streaming service.

Loved and watched by millions, Friends was a huge hit when it first blasted onto our screens in 1996, later spanning for 10 seasons and 236 episodes. It remains as popular today, with all seasons available on Netflix’s UK platform. A new generation has been introduced to Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow, with Friends being the most popular Netflix show in the UK in 2018. 

Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, posted a photo of herself and her five co-stars on Instagram last October, prompting speculation about a reunion. Aniston spoke to Ellen DeGeneres about a possible new Friends project, saying: “We would love for there to be something, but we don’t know what that something is. So we’re just trying.” When the news dropped that the cast would return to the original soundstage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, fans got excited.

 

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And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM 👋🏻

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) on The Instagram post went viral, with more than 10 million people liking Aniston’s picture, and celebrities including the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mindy Kaling, and Ashley Benson all responding. The pressure is on for the Friends cast to get the reunion special right.

Where can I catch up?

HBO has recently bought the rights to Friends, so fans can watch the old episodes on their new streaming service, HBO Max. Netflix previously had the rights to Friends in the US, but the show was taken off the platform last year, leaving American fans without a way to watch. Other HBO content will be moving onto HBO Max, including Game of Thrones and Westworld, in the hopes of drawing in subscribers.

As of yet, there has been no word on whether HBO Max will be coming to the UK, with only North America being announced so far. UK Friends fans are concerned that they will not be able to see their beloved group as HBO is not available in the UK, but given that HBO content airs on NOW TV and Sky, it could continue to do so once the streaming platform launches in May.

What can we expect?

Fingers are being crossed that the Friends reunion will not be a disaster like that of the Inbetweeners special in 2019. The Friends Reunited special aired on New Year’s Day last year and was met with overwhelmingly negative responses from disappointed fans. Some where so bad that James Buckley, one of the stars of the show apologised to his fanbase. In a tweet, he said: “Feeling pretty hated right now. I’m sorry to anyone who feels let down with last night’s show.” Part of the disappointment came from the fact that the special was a chat show format as opposed to an episode of the show that fans expected.

The One Where They Got Back Together, as it is being called, will see Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, Chandler Bing, Joey Tribbiani, and Ross and Monica Geller all come back together. There are dozens of questions surrounding the reunion. From the cast to the plot and everything in between, many fans are using Twitter as their main platform to brainstorm their ideas.

 

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It’s happening… ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ @hbomax⁣ @courteneycoxofficial⁣ @lisakudrow⁣ @mleblanc⁣ @mattyperry4⁣ @_schwim_

A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) on

Loose ends

There are some huge questions everyone needs the answers to; are Ross and Rachel still together? If so, did they have any more babies after Emma? Did Rachel ever go to Paris and pursue her dream? Has Joey moved out of his apartment? Have Phoebe and Mike stayed together, or did she get back with David? How is Ben? Are Susan and Carol still together? What are Janice and Gunther up to now?

Fans will just have to wait for the new episode that is due to drop on HBO Max in May. Friends die-hards are hoping that with so much riding on this episode, the cast and crew will do it justice, giving the fans what they deserve.

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