Friday, June 4, 2021

The One With the Reunion

For years fans have been wanting a Friends reunion. It's been 17 years and in the meantime Boy Meets World got Girl Meets World and Full House got Fuller House. But we never got to see the six Friends return to Central Perk for a reunion... until now. (Spoilers for the Friends reunion ahead, duh)

Seeing the cast reunite in the opening, one by one, and check out the sets of Monica and Rachel's and Joey and Chandler's apartment. It was heartwarming to see them reminisce and explore the memories of filming. And then enter the theme song. The original theme song, interspersed with clips from the reunion. Wow! 

And the show kept it going with tales from the set, past and present. Seeing Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry drop into their Barcaloungers was something special. It's like they were Joey and Chandler all over again. Matt and Matthew in their chairs together again. And then you had the whole cast playing Ross's trivia game again, this time about the series (and everyone forgot that Chandler worked in Statistical Analysis and Data Reconfiguration--to be fair, I copied that from the Friends wiki to make sure I had it right). They also told the story of how Matt LeBlanc's arm got dislocated; I had just been wondering if he was actually injured when Joey was in a sling. Turns out he was.

"It's about that one time in your life when your friends are your family."

Seeing fans from all over the world made me feel like I'm part of something. You get that feeling of community with Harry Potter, but I don't know if there are any other franchises like that. All over the world people found hope and joy and companionship through these six over the course of the last 30 years. It's given people a sense of home when they felt alone.

And it's not even just the fans who feel that. Look at all the guest stars who came back. Mr. Heckles! Tom Selleck! Christina Pickles and Elliot Gould! Even Joey's hand twin! AND JANICE!!!

Also, let's talk about Matthew Perry opening up about his fear and anxiety about the audience not laughing at his lines. Not even the other Friends knew this about him. I feel that fear. It's not about my comedy (although sometimes on here it is, I suppose) but it's about how I'm perceived by other people. We all want to be loved and appreciated. And most Friends fans know about how Matthew Perry struggled with drugs and mental health, which makes him even more relatable.

Smelly cat!!!

I know a lot of us fans wanted to see a movie or a TV special, reuniting the characters and not just the actors. But like Lisa said in the reunion special, that would involve taking apart the happy endings that everyone had in the final season. If we were never going to get that, I'm glad we got this special. It's beautiful to see the six Friends still friends almost two decades after the series ended. We all need friends like that and these six have been that for all of us at one point or another.

In the end, whether your job's a joke or your love life's DOA, they'll be there for you.

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