Friends The Reunion Review: The One Where Nostalgia Hits You Hard
Seeing Phoebe, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey and Chandler sitting together in Central Perk gives us the closure we've been longing for 17 years
Friends: The Reunion Review
FRIENDS is no longer just the American sitcom that it was in 1994. Throughout these years, it has become an ‘emotion’ for many. The show about six Caucasians, while having its own set of self-proclaimed critics, has influenced billions across the globe and the Reunion special aptly showed glimpses of people — from Ghana to Spain to Japan and India — talking about how it went on to change their lives for better.
FRIENDS: The Reunion, right from the beginning had us by our heart. It made us realise that it still doesn’t feel very long ago when Rachel got off the plane to be with Ross, Chandler and Monica were moving to the suburbs, and they were all heading to have that one last sip of coffee in Central Perk. Monica’s apartment, which suddenly looked ‘too purple’, left us crying for more and wanting them back.
It took 17 years to have that wish granted, and Ben Winston made sure we have the closure that we’ve been longing for all these years. With the backdrop of the iconic fountain we saw in the ‘I’ll Be There For You’ title track, the host James Corden sat excitedly in front of the whole cast and asked them their version of the present life of their characters. Jennifer Anniston said Rachel and Ross would have got married again, have had more children, and then spend the rest of their lives happily after. A similar kind of ending Lisa Kudrow had in her mind for Phoebe, who got married to Mike in the end, and of course, music was a big part of that. Monica, as we know it, wouldn’t drop her habit of keeping everything in control and will continue doing it with her twins, said Courtney Cox and Mathew Perry’s Chandler will continue to make her laugh. Could a love story BE any more romantic than this? And what about Joey? I think we all just want to see him remain himself, which means that he loves food so much that he saw himself opening a sandwich shop next to the beach. We do wonder if there’d be any sandwiches left for the customers since he doesn’t share food and all that.
Celebrities too – from Game of Thrones famed Kit Harrington, who raved about the main star cast’ ease at physical comedy while explaining one of the funniest scenes and possibly one the most ‘pivotal’ moments of the show, to Lady Gaga who co-performed ‘Smelly Cat’ with the original creator Phoebe Buffay, and thanked her eventually for being who she always was — appeared on the special, hurling just like the rest of us. We also saw Justin Bieber dressed as Ross’s Spudnik and gave the ramp walk of his life!
Every time we saw the six of them going down their memory lane, they exchanged hugs, cries, and giggles, not forgetting to pull each other’s legs. If you feel it was just hard for us to say goodbye to the show, then you must watch their BTS clip of the last episode and see how hard it was for the whole team.
David Crane and Marta Kauffman, the people behind creating this magical series, sat proudly in the audience as Corden recreated the episode ‘The One With The Flashback’ where he asked the cast if any of them had a secret rendezvous behind the screen. And guess what --- they actually had! Jennifer Anniston and David Schwimmer exchanged the most intense eye contact, confirming what each of us secretly hoped for – they were each other’s lobsters in real life as well. Well almost. They revealed that they were crushing hard on each other during the first season. “I actually had a major crush on Jen when I first saw her,” said David, adding further, “We both were like two ships sailing because one of us was always in a relationship. But we made sure we never crossed boundaries.” To “Bullshit”, exclaimed Matt LeBlanc as he moved forward to sip on his coffee, and everyone burst into laughter.
Jokes continue to roll, just like they did in the show. “Oh-My-God” and there entered Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice on the show, to surprise everybody. Apart from Wheeler, Ross and Monica’s parents, Jack and Judy Gellar, too sat in the audience to cheer on their reel-life children. We also saw Mr. Heckles and Richard make their blink-and-you-miss-it entries and add to the lists of the many overwhelming moments.
Friends: The Reunion Verdict:
Overall, the FRIENDS Reunion special is not an extension of the show that first aired in 1994. At the end of a more than an-hour-and-half episode, you feel good that it didn’t exactly carry the story forward. In fact Ben Winston couldn’t have planned it better than this – a simple, honest and real version of the lives of the six friends that have been living with us, as our own, for all these years and will continue to do so. Always.