Seventeen years after their goodbye, the six stars of “Friends”They meet in a special program that HBO Max premieres this Thursday and that mixes moments of great nostalgia and emotion for the fans, with some fillers and guests that have very little to do with the series.
Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross. These six names are television history thanks to the delightful connection to comedy showcased by Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.
With ten hugely successful seasons and 236 episodes in all, “Friends” brought the misadventures and follies of a group of New Yorkers to screens around the world.
Everything he touched “Friends”Became a global icon, from the headline with“ I’ll Be There For You ”by The Rembrandts, to the sofa in the coffee shop where these six friends hung out.
The special “Friends: The Reunion” appeals precisely to this enormous phenomenon, which is not a fictional chapter but a retrospective program that combines interviews by James Corden, games designed for fans of the series, recreations of famous scenes, intimate moments between the six actors and some guests outside this comedy and whose signing is difficult to explain here.
Warning: this text includes details that gut the plot of the special.
TEARS AND MEMORIES
“Well, where is the tissue box?”
This is how Aniston sums up, just starting the program, the high emotional content, tears and memories on which “Friends: The Reunion” is based.
One of the most moving moments occurs at the beginning, when the six actors enter the Warner Bros. studios where the series was filmed in silence and alone.
Rachel and Monica’s apartment, the Central Perk café and Chandler and Joey’s apartment, all of them essential places of “Friends”, are the now inert spaces in which the six protagonists meet again between hugs.
The special flies high just when it gets closest to the actors and forgets everything superfluous to underline a friendship in capital letters that almost made them a family.
But in that trip to the past, not only the protagonists and their confidences shine.
Also appearing in “Friends: The Reunion” are the creators of the series, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, talking about the gestation and casting of “Friends”, and some illustrious supporting actors such as Tom Selleck (Richard in the series), Maggie Wheeler ( Janice) or James Michael Tyler (Gunther).
RACHEL AND ROSS, LOVE OFF THE SCREEN?
The intermittent relationship between Rachel (Aniston) and Ross (Schwimmer) was one of the narrative pillars of “Friends,” but it seems that the sentimental attraction between the actors was not limited to fiction.
According to the special, Aniston and Schwimmer felt that their chemistry went far beyond the series in the first season, but detailed that a relationship between them was not possible since it never coincided that both were free and without a partner.
In comical tone, Aniston recalled telling Schwimmer that it would be a shame if their first kiss wasn’t in real life but on television and in front of the entire country.
“So it was. The first time we kissed was in the Central Perk cafeteria ”, the actress specified when she pointed out in an enigmatic way that at that moment some very real feelings might have crept into the fiction.
THE DUET WITH LADY GAGA AND JOEY’S INJURY
Phoebe wasn’t exactly the best singer in the world, but her scenes on guitar with songs like “Smelly Cat” quickly became a hit with “Friends” viewers.
Lisa Kudrow now returns to interpret this surreal song, although this time a colleague of a high level appears by her side such as Lady Gaga to accompany her in a duet.
Another anecdote, but much more painful, has in the center Matt LeBlanc, who recalled how he dislocated his shoulder in the middle of filming a chapter.
For the superstitious, the detail remains that the day of the injury was the only one, according to LeBlanc, in which the six actors did not do the previous huddle and the hug with which they always encouraged each other before entering the set.
GUESTS OFF GAME
Apart from the humorous touch of Lady Gaga with Lisa Kudrow and pertinent guests such as Reese Witherspoon, who played Rachel’s sister on the series, “Friends: The Reunion” lamentably lacks many nonsensical moments and celebrity appearances with very little justification.
What are the group BTS, the activist Malala Yousafzai or the ex-footballer David Beckham painting in a tribute to “Friends?
The list of strange interventions in this special also includes Justin Bieber, Cara Delevingne or Cindy Crawford, who lent themselves to be models for a parade of famous “looks” from “Friends” without doing anything else or opening their mouths at any time.
You might think that HBO Max needed guests to fill the 103 minutes that the special lasts.
But it gives the impression that the audience of “Friends” would have preferred something exclusively focused on their series, with an honest and close look at their favorite characters and without additions that navigate between the silly and the absurd.