The question is very simple. How many of those who have seen the special program with the reunion of the cast of Friends did you feel like watching the series again? Until very recently, Netflix was paying up to one hundred million dollars to have the ten seasons of the now legendary sitcom available in its catalog. If there is a title with which we learned to do television marathons during the nineties, it was precisely with Friends. A way of watching television that fit perfectly into the platform’s consumer model. Slowly, Warner has been recovering its rights and currently in Spain the series is exclusively in HBO. The series will be one of the star titles for the launch of the new platform of the house baptized as HBO Max and that it will be the one that ends up replacing its predecessor throughout the world in a landing that is scheduled for this year. It was the second time since 2004 (17 years now) that the entire cast had been reunited on television. The last time it was on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
That team that managed to collect the astronomical figure of one million dollars per episode, although their careers weren’t as brilliant after the end of the title that elevated them to the top. The cast of The Big Bang Theory was one of the few that managed to repeat this feat. The reunion of the entire team has become the perfect television event, as was the end of Lost, Game of Thrones and, of course, Friends itself. An incomparable setting for the launch of HBO Max, of which I am sure we will have news very soon in Spain, although in the United States it has been operating since May 2020. The fight for the rights of the series has been fierce and the winner must now amortize the investment. In some media it is said that each of the actors has been charged differently for doing this special program, but the highest figure is around 2.5 million dollars.
There was a desire for Friends. And it showed. We all wanted to meet again with Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courney Cox, Mathew Perry, Matt Leblanc Y Lisa Kudrow And go back to those years when things seemed simpler and there was nothing like sitting in front of the TV and letting this cast work their magic. It is inevitable that you will get goose bumps as you see Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe return to the unforgettable sets of the apartment and remember the stellar moments of the series. As if it were one of that selection of extras from an old DVD disc. But Friends was very much Friends. And this could not be just any interview. The event was like those old-school reunions in which you meet up with your old classmates, whom you haven’t seen in years, and pick up on old conversations as if time had not passed. In the scenes where they were rehearsing the lines of dialogue from some of the old episodes, I found myself laughing out loud, like when I was watching Friends.
But also this meeting of old friends has helped us to make one thing clear: the Friends we knew will never return. In interviews with the creators of the series, Marta Kauffman Y David Crane, they say it very clearly: telling new stories of these characters would be like breaking that perfect ending that gave the series in its day. Some may have thought that they were going to see a special episode with the reunion not of the actors but of the characters they played. But not. This is an interview to review what the Friends phenomenon was. Where we hear some celebrities explain what the series meant for them. The sad reality we are faced with when we see the cast together again is that neither of them is a youngster anymore. Time has passed for everyone. For them and for us. My favorite character on the show was Chandler, so go figure.
But it is still a small moment of pleasure to remember for a few moments those days when Friends was the undisputed queen of North American television. And then return to our lives the moment we left them. While other networks have dedicated themselves to dusting off old hits from the past and bringing them back in the form of reboots. We are told of CSI’s return with Grissom at the helm, of a new Prince of bel air, up to Sex in New York. And look what had been speculated on the issue of the return of Friends. In these times of revival and exploiting the nostalgic effect, the team that made us laugh from the sofas of Central Perk has given us the opportunity to once again quench our thirst for fans. But he has also left us a message: Friends is never coming back.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.