Friends: The Reunion
WHERE TO WATCH:
Premieres on M-Net (DStv 101) on Sunday, 30 May at 20:00 and will be available on streaming service Showmax from Monday, 31 May.
The cast of Friends return to the show's original soundstage for a real-life celebration of the beloved series.
WHAT WE THOUGHT: (No spoilers)
When I moved out of my parents' home for the first time to go to university in another town, they were there. And when I got my first job as a young wide-eyed crime reporter at a newspaper, they were there. The time I got my heart broken for the first time by a beautiful boy, they were there. Last year when a deadly pandemic locked the entire world indoors, they were there. My Friends.
"When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month/Or even your year/I'll be there for you".
The iconic song performed by The Rembrandts is not only the most recognised TV theme song in the world, but also an omnipresent soundtrack on my journey from adolescence to adulthood. Now at age 36, I consider the cast of the hit TV comedy series, part of my life. Chandler, Ross, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica.
I reference them in my jokes during casual conversations in coffee shops or over dinner. I refer to their stories like they are real and part of my own. I don't know whether it's a good or a bad thing when a TV show has become so ingrained in your life that you can't separate fact from fiction anymore, but I know it's been a consistent source of happiness for me. It still is.
A reunion was something I desperately wanted, but at the same time feared. Friends ended perfectly. All the stories were tied up beautifully, and the characters had happy endings, and promising futures. I didn't want it to unravel for the sake of a reunion.
Luckily, Friends creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane and executive producer and director Kevin Bright agreed. The reunion comes in the form of a look back at what is one of the most successful TV shows ever made. In fact, the show has been viewed over 100 billion times across the world since it first aired in 1994. During the finale in 2004, 52 million viewers tuned in to watch them say goodbye. An incredible feat.
The reunion starts with the empty set of the TV show rebuilt inside Stage 24, now known as The Friends Stage, at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. In walks David Schwimmer (Ross). He looks around and is instantly transported back 17 years to when he was last on set. He's followed by Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Courteney Cox (Monica), and lastly Matthew Perry (Chandler).
Apart from one private get-together in October 2019, which was captured in a photo on Jennifer Aniston's Instagram, this is the first time that all six cast members are all together in the same room again since the show ended. It's a joyful, tearful moment when they hug, catch up, call each other by their nicknames, and look back at the show that not only shaped our lives, but theirs as well.
The reunion then jumps to an interview segment where James Corden interviews the cast on the Central Perk couch in front of the original Friends fountain in Burbank. Luckily, the interview segments are short, punchy and surprisingly reveals some of the biggest shockers that will definitely be making headlines, including the one thing they didn't enjoy in the show and which two cast members had a real-life romantic connection that's been kept secret until now.
Other segments include a rematch of the infamous "boys vs girls game" which delivers jaw dropping guests appearances and even more nostalgic moments that true Friends fans will thoroughly enjoy.
There's a bloopers segment, a Smelly Cat musical number, interviews with A-listers who are also fans, throwbacks to guest stars, a fashion show featuring some of the most well-known outfits, clips from real fans of the show across the globe, unseen footage from behind-the-scenes, and stories and facts about the show that have never been revealed before.
Friends: The Reunion, also known as The One Where They Get Back Together is a carefully curated capsule of everything we loved about the show. It's like rewatching Friends with the cast of Friends, plus a finale that will have you weeping (again!).
The best part? When you find out that the cast really are friends. They truly care about each other. They are there for each other. But most importantly, they love the show as much as we do.
"I'll be there for you/'Cause you're there for me too."