Friends: The Reunion (2021)
May 30, 2021 8:18 AM - Subscribe

An unscripted Friends reunion TV special.
posted by ellieBOA (12 comments total)
We drove past a billboard for this yesterday and I pointed it out. Not having been fans, the only exposure we really have to the Friends extended universe is Matt LeBlanc in the (excellent) Episodes, David Schwimmer in Band of Brothers, and just our general belief that Lisa Kudrow is awesome.

My partner remarked "Looks like they didn't get George back."
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:46 PM on May 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

I liked it! I can't imagine how many different options they had for the format and I thought this one worked really well, for the most part. Definitely a good choice to do it unscripted. They all really do seem to have a genuine connection.
posted by Clustercuss at 4:27 PM on May 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Interview segment" host James Corden admitted that his mind was blown when he heard about the now-hot-gossip news that Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were massively crushing on each other during the first season.

But what blew my mind is when they brought out Malala Yousafzai and her college best buddy Vee; Vee apparently was a massive Friends fan and introduced it to Malala. And their favorite moment from the series? The Routine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 PM on May 30, 2021 [4 favorites]

When James Corden first introduces the cast, his accent to my ear makes it sound like "The cost of Friends!".
posted by fairmettle at 12:40 AM on May 31, 2021

I realized after watching that this reunion was made for people who didn't watch the show in real time. For those of us who did, there really wasn't anything new. This was made for the youngs who watched it reruns - which is fine. I did spend a lot of time looking at the women (my peers age-wise, though certainly more fortunately resourced) and wondering who did what to their faces. Kudos to Kudrow for keeping her work more subtle - it's not obvious that she's had any. (Hollywood seems exhausting.)

I did, at one point, google "Matthew Perry stroke" because he seemed so uncomfortable and disengaged throughout. The internet assures me that he didn't have a stroke, nor has he relapsed - it seems to be generalized anxiety + recent dental work? In hindsight, it looks like maybe he got dentures or veneers that he's not quite used to yet.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:34 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

He said he’d had dental surgery before the taping.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:59 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Its so sad what Courtney Cox has done to her face. She barely looks human anymore and her face simply does not move (and it was so animated!). Matthew Perry definately seemed off and I find 'dental surgery' to be a bullshit explanation. Both of which are of course fine but its just sad.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:33 AM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

When this is the core six interacting and talking, it's great! When it's not that ... it's ... not so great. They all clearly have a great bond.

Who would've thought that Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc seemed to come out the best? Aniston looks fine, as does Schwimmer. I still wonder about Perry's "dental surgery" but let's go with that, sure.

This was definitely a lot of filler. I liked some of the guests but some also didn't make too much sense. There were way too many "this is going to make you cry!!!!" moments (especially with some of the music queues) that felt fake.

I like Friends. It's not a great show, but the cast was good & had chemistry and there were definitely a lot of funny parts. I wish it was more about that rather than leaning hard onto the nostalgia factor.

I loved seeing Maggie Wheeler because I am a huge Janice defender. I'm glad Paul Rudd stayed far away from this.

I also think it's odd how Ross's ex Carol wasn't mentioned because some of that was pretty progressive for the time. But yes, overall, Friends was not good with the way it treated LGBTQ people for the most part.

This was also a bit too long & never quite decided what it wanted to be. But you know, I still watched it.

(I am still forever mad Rachel got off the plane. It's my headcanon she rescheduled her flight for the next day and still managed to take the job in Paris. Friends was Rachel's story. It was about her making a new life for herself! It's more satisfying if she did that once again on her own in the end.)
posted by edencosmic at 5:24 PM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Holy shit - I know I am late to the party but everyone commenting on the dental and facial work of the Friends and the judgement of trying to preserve the perfect version of themselves at 25. They do not belong to us. They can do anything they want with their face/teeth/body.
posted by elvissa at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

It's a huge problem to be in a profession where (a) God forbid you age if you're a woman, and yet (b) the medical procedures you undertake to do such may come out with god-only-knows-what results.

That said, I didn't watch this, but it sounds like there's some genuine concern out there for Matthew Perry, at least.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:27 PM on June 6, 2021

I know I am late to the party

Not as late as me.

I will say this, though, for the reunion: for an unscripted show, it certainly managed to evoke the feel of the show. I am an exact contemporary of the actors and the characters, and I saw most of the episodes at the time without even trying, as the thing was inescapable for years. The show was part of the cultural articulation/commodification of the Gen-X experience.

But when I say it evokes the feel, I mean that it produced the same feeling as watching the show a quarter century ago: I enjoyed the reunion show well enough when watching it, marvelled at some great chemistry, thought Kudrow is a criminally underrated comic mind, was puzzled at some overpowered guest stars, and could barely tell you a thing about it ten minutes after it was over.

We saw clips from a bunch of shows and I remember almost none of them. Whether it was because I missed them originally or they have faded so completely, I cannot tell. Some of what I saw in the clips was almost like one of those Twitter accounts where each week there is a synopsis for a new episode of a long-cancelled show (“Danny DeVito guest stars as a stripper*!”)

*In a year I have I will have an impression that I once maybe had a dream about Cara Delevigne dressed as an armadillo.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:15 PM on July 3, 2021

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