Who’s excited for Friends The Reunion special? The One Where They Get Back Together will be airing in the UK on Thursday 27th May 2021, on Sky One at 8pm. Just like back in the day, it airs here after being screened in the US. It is hosted by James Corden. But why am I looking forward to the walk down memory lane?
For those who don’t know… Friends is a TV sitcom about six young adults living in New York City. A massive hit of the ’90s. It was about life experience; love, marriage, divorce, children, heartbreaks, fights, jobs and job losses, and laughter. We followed the lives of Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courtney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Anniston) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Joey (Matt Le Blanc), over 10 years.
Once upon a time in 94
It’s 1994; let me set the scene. When not in school uniform, I’m wearing oversized Sweater Shop jumpers, learning American history from Forrest Gump, which is in the cinema, and Sony releases the first PlayStation. Friends aired the first episode in the US in September 1994 and on 28th April 1995, in the UK.
The TV show was a favourite of mine and my real-life friends. It was aired on Channel 4. At the time, you couldn’t even get Channel 4 in Wales. It was shown late at night on S4C, way past my bedtime. So, I would watch a fuzzy screen. In Cardiff, if you wiggled your TV aerial around, you could sometimes get the feed from Bristol. These were the days before streaming services.
We would buy each other the videos – yes, actual VHS – for birthdays and Christmas. Then we needed them on DVD. Not forgetting the memorabilia that was in all of the shops. I had a pencil tin for school, notebooks, a diary and posters on the wall.
The Last One
I can’t believe Friends ended 17 years ago. On 6th May 2004, more than 52 million viewers tuned in to watch the final episode. Making it one of the most-watched finales in history. I also can’t believe I was 20 at the time. After all of this time, I can watch episode after episode and still laugh out loud.
Even to this day, my friends and I quote iconic lines from the show to each other. Every time I wash my hair, I sing Phoebe’s song, “Lather, rinse, repeat, as needed.” When I bought my house and moved in with Mike, I wailed, “I have to live with a boy” and of course,” Pivot!” when they were carrying in the furniture.
Whenever I fill in forms and is asks occupation, I want to reply “Dinosaurs”. Suppose I have a breakthrough in work or come up with something clever. In that case, it’s all down to “Unagi”. And, when ordering in a restaurant, not wanting to let someone else try my dish because “Katrina doesn’t share food“.
No tv. What’s your furniture pointed at?
These aren’t the only phrases that have stuck. When being dramatic, I say, Oh.My.God just like Janice and have even responded to offers with, “I wish I could, but I don’t want to”. Given a hefty document to read, I always think of “18 pages, front and back”.
I’ve even caught my boyfriend watching Shark Porn. (I’ve also been singing Smelly Cat to myself whilst writing this blog post, I still know all the words.) Not forgetting, “He’s her lobster”, using inappropriate air quotes and “How you doin’?”
Welcome to the real world. It’s sucks. You’re gonna love it!
When it found its way onto Netflix during lockdown, Friends had a resurgence. However, it wasn’t as widely received by the new generation of viewers. It left some feeling uncomfortable and considered some of the storylines as transphobic, homophobic and sexist.
Yes, some of the plots haven’t dated well. And, yes, it’s an all-white cast with predominantly white supporting actors. But, doesn’t it show how well we have evolved and educated ourselves to recognise that these aren’t right? It started 27 years ago, only 22 years after equal rights in America. Things aren’t on par there yet, either.
Could I be any more… excited?!
Friends The Reunion special will be a trip down memory lane, rather than picking up where they left off. Some of the most memorable bits of the show are being featured. The trivia game with the lightning round will be back, and discussing if Ross and Rachel really were on a break.
Some of the favourite guest stars will also make an appearancein Friends The Reunion; Tom Selleck played Richard and Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice. Plus, James Michael Tyler, who was the Central Perk coffee house manager Gunther. Celebrity superfans will also feature from Lady GaGa to David Beckham and Cara Delevingne to Kit Harington.
I’m excited to see the reunion. After 14 months of lockdown and still being on furlough, I don’t have a lot to look forward to. On Thursday night, you’ll find me with a pizza in front of the TV, catching up with my Friends.
Watch Friends The Reunion on Thursday 27th May 2021, on Sky One at 8pm or by clicking here.