The highly anticipated HBO Max special of the Friends Reunion finally premiered and here is everything we learned!
The early days of Friends in the 90s brought joy and laughter every Thursday. As the show gained popularity it could be found 5 to 7 nights a week on numerous channels.
After 17 years without Friends, the hugely popular sitcom that followed a group of New Yorkers for 10 seasons, is back. With only an hour and 39 minutes to catch up as well as learn all about the show and cast.
We were able to see table reads, trivia games, old clips and celebrity interviews. So far the reviews have been positive, although some better than others.
Friends Reunion Reviews
Rolling Stone said it was “an over produced affair with too many guest stars and detours. When it lets the iconic gang of six just talk amongst themselves, it hits the nostalgic sweet spot.”
In another review, Independent UK called the reunion “Pointless and occasionally eerie but for the most part a total joy.”
Additionally, NPR referred to the cast as “people who weep and embrace and got paid a collective $15 million, at least, to spend this precious time together.”
In a more uplifting review, Variety called the Friends Reunion “A glossy, poignant, careful trip down memory lane.”
Furthermore, Rotten Tomatoes gave the reunion a 63% on the Tomatometer
Overall, it seems like most of the Friends Reunion reviews and fans wanted to see the reunion of the characters not the cast. One critic called it “a missed opportunity to see the characters we’ve grown to know so well over the past 25 years truly come back to life.”
16 things we learned from the friends reunion
There are some takeaways from the reunion and here are 16 of them!
1. Ross and Rachel WERE On A Break
Host of the Reunion, James Corden, asked the cast to choose whose side they were on in the infamous argument. In the end they all agreed that Ross and Rachel were in fact, on a break when he slept with Chloe.
2. Ross and Rachel Almost Didn’t End Up Together
Co-creator, David Crane, said writers were considering ending Ross and Rachels relationship but decided to keep them together.
“People have been waiting 10 years to see this couple get together, we’ve got to give them what they want, we just have to find a way to do it so the journey is unexpected.”
3. Where The Characters Would Be Now
Kudrow said she “imagines that Phoebe is still married to Mike (Paul Rudd) with kids, living in Connecticut.”
Aniston said “Ross and Rachel got married and had some kids, and Ross still plays with bones.”
4. There Will Not Be a Movie
Setting the record straight and disappointing fans everywhere, there will NOT be a Friends movie. In fact, there will probably never be another Friends Reunion either.
The show ended nicely and everyone’s lives were in order. Kudrow said if they made a movie “they would have to unravel all those good things in order for there to be a story.”
5. The Cast HATED Marcel The Monkey
When the cast was asked about the part they hated most about the show, the all agreed working with Marcel was the worst. Cox said “the monkey scared me.”
While Schwimmer, who handled Marcel most often, said the monkey had really bad timing and caused a lot of re-dos. Additionally, he said the monkey was fed live grubs while on his shoulder. Ultimately grossing him out! Poor Marcel!
6. Thank The Audience For Monica And Chandler’s Relationship
If it wasn’t for the audiences reaction to Monica and Chandler’s intimate relationship in “The One With Ross’ Wedding Part 2”, there may not have been a Monica and Chandler.
It was the season finale, and they were just going to have the relationship be a short fling. But because the audience loved it so much they decided to expand it and create an entirely new storyline for the lovers.
7. Courtney Cox Had Cheat Sheets Hidden Around The Apartment Set
As the cast walks through the old set, LeBlanc looks at the table and asks whether Cox’s lines are still written on it. When he caught her doing it, her reply was “mind your business.”
The writers used to rework jokes during live taping and required the cast to be quick on their feet in order to absorb the new material. Additionally, Cox revealed “I had so much of my dialog within these apples”.
8. Janice’s Laugh Was A Real Reaction To Chandler’s Jokes
Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, Chandlers on-and-off girlfriend, actually came up with that ridiculous laugh in order to stop ruining scenes.
She found Chandler too funny and would keep laughing, so she invented “Oh my god” and the iconic laugh as a way to keep the scenes rolling.
9. Rachel Was Almost Not Going To Be Played By Aniston
Jenifer Aniston was already casted on a show called “Muddling Through”, but Crane thought of her as the perfect Rachel. They hired her anyways and let CBS decide if it were going to be Friends or Muddling Through.
When Aniston went to her current employers they told her “that show’s not going to make you a star”.
10. Friends Was Based Of Real-Life Friends
Co-Creators of the show, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, talk about how some of the characters were based on their real-life friends.
Chandler was even named after one of her friends! The show is meant to be inspired by their own lives in New York City as 20 year-olds.
11. LeBlanc Was Injured on Set
It was revealed the LeBlanc dislocated is shoulder while filming the third season. If you can remember, there are several episodes where he is actually wearing a sling.
In raw footage, the cast watches LeBlanc land wrong on his arm which stopped production and caused rewrites for several episodes. “What started out as the ‘simplest’ Friends episode, ended up taking the longest amount of time to shoot”. Said producer, Kevin Bright.
12. Most of The Cast Hasn’t Seen The Show
Memories fade and remembering every episode of a 10 season show is difficult for even the biggest fan. However, most of the cast didn’t watch the show at all.
“There are seasons I’ve never seen.” said Kudrow, which Perry second. Schwimmer admits that he only recently looked back at some episodes because his daughter started watching the show.
13. Perry’s Unhealthy Need For Approval
Perry revealed to his former cast mates that he really struggled when he didn’t get a laugh from the audience. “I felt like I was going to die if the audience didn’t laugh. It’s not healthy, for sure, but I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn’t laugh and I would sweat and just go in convulsions… I would freak out”.
14. The Technology Upgrades
Back in the day when the show began, it was noted that it took 3 people to operate 1 camera. Schwimmer said “it was a huge crew. Four cameras, the choreography was incredible.”
He also noted that the cameras today only required 1 person to operate.
15. They All Took Pieces From The Set
Of course, the original set was not exactly the same as the set for the reunion. However, only the cast would be able to notice the tiny missed pieces.
Cox pointed out that Monicas cookie jar was missing because it was actually the Lisa Kudrow’s house. Additionally, Aniston admitted she took a mug from the set and LeBlanc took the foosball from the iconic table.
16. LeBlanc Auditioned Hungover
The night before the audition, LeBlanc revealed him and his friends decided to go for drinks. The next morning, in a daze, he fell and hit his head on a toilet and cut open his nose.
At the interview when Kauffman asked what happened, LeBland said “I told the truth and got the job”. Oddly enough, the role of Joey came down to LeBlanc and Louis Mandylor, who played Carl, the guy Joey hired to be his twin!
If You haven’t watched the Friends Reunion, go do it now on HBO Max.