After hearing about a possible 11th season, a movie and several reunions in association with “Friends” over the years, I could not help but exclaim, “I did my waiting! Twelve years of it!” when NBC officially confirmed a two-hour special with the actors on Feb. 21. “Friends” was the first sitcom I ever watched, and I always enjoyed the half-hour I got to spend with the six friends.
When the series finale aired in 2004, I am certain millions of viewers worldwide felt the need to fill the void in their life. Feb. 21 brings us all a chance to reconnect with “Friends.” The excitement associated with this news, however, only lasted a day. Matthew Perry will be unable to attend the reunion due to a prior engagement, according to E! News. What is a reunion without Chanandler Bong’s lovable sarcasm?
Contrary to the suggestion of the show’s theme song, Chandler Bing is not there for us. It is not surprising that the actor’s schedules could not be coordinated, but it is upsetting that we will not be able to see all six of the actors together on screen. We did come close to a reunion back in 2013, when Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and once again in 2014 when the three female leads were together on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
This NBC special is most likely the closest we will ever be to seeing the actors together. What is more disappointing is the fact that David Schwimmer identified the special as not a reunion, but simply a tribute to a frequent director of the show, James Burrows. This means that we will not viewing Joey, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe and Ross, but just the actors raising a toast to the director that made the show what it is. Either way, I am certain that “Friends” fans would not miss the special, regardless of whether it is hosting the tight-knit group of friends or the not-so-close actors that have scattered since the series’ end.
The thing about expecting an actual reunion of the “Friends” characters is that it could very well fall short of the expectations us fans have brewed over the past 12 years. This is why Matthew Perry said that there would never be a “Friends” movie, as if it turned out badly, it would forever tinge our memories of the show. Furthermore, we forget to factor in the ages of the actors. No matter what they do, it really is not going to be the same as watching twenty-somethings figure out their life.
Last year in January, we were blessed with all 10 seasons of “Friends” on Netflix. It is about time we make use of our Netflix subscription and the free time we have before our classes ramp up. I would say that gives us a solid week to cover the series. It is okay that the actors will not be reprising their roles from the show. They already gave us ten whole years of comedy, drama, action and romance, which can be revisited at the touch of a button. All I have to say to the upcoming two-hour special (which may or may not disappoint) is that, “I’ll be there for you, ‘cause you’re there for me too.”