Friends fans worldwide rejoiced last week as the legendary sitcom aired a reunion special on HBO Max. Simply titled Friends: The Reunion, the special was the first official reunion of the adored cast that made the sitcom a global phenomenon.
Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer once again joined forces to steal hearts around the world, but this time it wasn’t as their characters. In fact, the reunion was more about what the show meant to the cast and their legions of fans around the world.
How it Came to Be
The Hollywood Reporter initially announced the reunion on November 12, 2019, with WarnerMedia wanting to get the show’s creator and cast on board. They officially announced that an unscripted special was being developed at the start of 2020 and that it would air on the streaming platform HBO Max.
The show’s creators and cast returned, as did several of the popular guest stars such as Tom Selleck and Christina Pickles. It was further announced that the special will have unscripted appearances from celebrities such as David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, and Lady Gaga.
The reunion special was filmed at Warner Brother’s Burbank studio in Los Angeles. It was shot at Stage 24 of the lot, which is popularly known as “The Friend’s Stage” The special was hosted by late-night talk show host James Corden. The returning cast reportedly received $2.5 million each for the special.
What Happened in the Reunion Special?
In a move that may have disappointed some fans, the cast did not return to play their characters again. Instead, they visited the old Friends sets, reliving their memories on the show and engaging in some behind-the-scenes talk with one another.
The special featured a live studio audience and included a trivia segment. Lady Gaga joined the show to perform Smelly Cat with Lisa Kudrow, while David Beckham, BTS, Reese Witherspoon, and Kit Harrington saluted the show through recorded messages. Justin Bieber, Cindy Crawford, and Cara Delevigne showed up in person wearing some famous Friends costumes, bringing some highlights of the show to life.
However, the main attraction was seeing the cast unite under one room so many years later. There were tons of cute moments between them, including the admission that David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston did indeed have a crush on each other at the very start, something that left many Friends fans swooning. The cast relived their time on the show and discussed their favorite moments and scenes in front of a very enthusiastic audience.
Although fans may have been clamoring for another episode, they loved the reunion special. It was greeted with a viewership of 29% of all streaming households in the United States. It was well-received by critics and gave fans just what they needed: some more time with the cast they had loved for more than 20 years.