After years of asking, it has finally happened – our favourite TV Friends are back in one room. Could we BE any more excited?!
Honestly, probably not. It’s been 17 years since Friends came off air, since Rachel got off the plane and Chandler and Monica finally became parents. Admittedly we’ve been glued to it ever since – to call yourself a fan of this show have to have rewatched it from start to finish at least five times, and know the answer to every question on the trivia game they play in season four. But even with all these multiple-watches, we still have questions! Like, are Ross and Rachel going to get married? Does Phoebe get her to live out her soccer mom dreams and drive a Volvo? Does Joey ever become a star?
Annoyingly, none of these questions are answered in this one-off reunion. However, we do get to hang out for almost two hours with our favourite comfort TV stars. We’ll settle for that.
In this unscripted special, the Friends get together to reflect on their time on this hugely successful sitcom, revealing what really went on when the cameras were off. Some of it is juicy too – we shan’t spoil the details, but there were on set crushes, emergency hospital visits, rivalries and changed storylines. But it’s not all a big gossiping session, they also do fun little games, reinventing the previously mentioned trivia game, having a fashion show and discussing which items they pinched from the set.
Unsurprisingly, this gets a bit emotional. Ok, a lot emotional. For some this might all be a bit too cloying, but we reckon for die-hard fans, it’s exactly what they want – as much as it’s a bit wet, you really can tell that this lot still love each other. Their hair may be salt and pepper now, their faces smattered with a few more wrinkles, but they’re still hilarious, loveable and great fun.
For the critics, though, this was nowhere near fancy enough for their TV palettes. The Times’s Carol Midgley called it a “104-minute luvvie-in,” with “little new or substantial to bite on.” However she admits, “it was still nice to see them. They are — haha — like friends. The comfort blanket quality remains.” Lucy Mangan of The Guardian agrees it’s a “mixed bag,” saying the parts with James Cordon interviewing them are the “least successful.” She does say though, that “you can see the chemistry that made them and the show so much more than the sum of its parts, and there is something undeniably cheering, especially after the tumultuous year we have all had, about seeing that something good has endured and to watch it come to life again.”
The Telegraph’s Anita Singh, however, is a big Friends fan, so she had a slightly more positive take: “it got me, right from the opening minutes when the six of them met up again on the Friends set. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox started crying then, and didn’t stop. By the end, when they showed old behind-the-scenes footage of the cast saying their teary goodbyes after filming the 2004 finale, I was quite emotional myself.”
Maybe they should have called it, The One for The Mega Fans?
First shown May 2021. You can watch the trailer by pressing the show image or by clicking here