The much-anticipated Friends reunion on HBO Max will feature a whopping 18 guest stars, which suggests the special will be disappointing.
The much-anticipated Friends reunion is finally happening, but the string of confirmed guest stars for the project sets it up to be a disappointment. It’s been almost two decades since the cult sitcom went off the air in 2004, but it remains ever-relevant thanks to its reruns on TV and availability on streaming services. Not only did its popularity endure throughout the years, but Friends has also expanded its massive fan base with younger audiences checking out what it’s all about.
Given this, it’s no wonder there were strong calls for Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc to come together for a reunion. For years, fans have called for a Friends reunion as other memorable sitcoms were either revived or rebooted. So, when HBO Max finally confirmed that the Central Perk gang would finally be coming together again, there was immense excitement and anticipation for the project. The pandemic has delayed production — and meant the reunion couldn’t be filmed in front of a live studio audience; nevertheless, production pushed through and now it’s set to roll out at the end of May.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Titled Friends: The One Where They Got Back Together, the special is scheduled to release May 27, 2021. According to reports, over a dozen guest stars will partake in the HBO Max special. The selection involves several actors who have played roles throughout Friends‘ 10-year run like Tom Selleck (Richard), Maggie Wheeler (Janice), and Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles (Ross and Monica’s parents), but a lot of them also had no participation in the show’s original broadcast — like pop star Justin Bieber (who was born the same year the show premiered). For an hour-long reunion to arguably one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, having this many guests will take screen time from the actual cast. While the original run of Friends did have notable guest stars like Brad Pitt and Reese Witherspoon (who’s also appearing in the reunion), its main draw had always been its six titular characters and their interactions with each other. Nothing has changed since then, as viewers are still heavily invested in the core cast, hence the streaming special — so why are there three times more guest characters than the leads?
It’s worth noting that the Friends reunion will not be a traditional episode, despite HBO Max giving it a proper title. It’s not a continuation of the story with the characters gathering together after many years, which frankly would have been a better direction. The cast expressed their disinterest in reprising their respective roles and its co-creator Marta Kauffman has been against the idea. Instead, the special is formatted almost as a roundtable with the actors reminiscing on their days working on the cult sitcom interjected with the release of new never-seen-before footage. They’re doing this with recreated sets from the original series to evoke a feeling of nostalgia; however, including a string of guests could ultimately distract from the show’s overall flow.
The Friends reunion having no, or at least fewer, guests would be a better direction for the special. Without additional guests sharing the screen time, audiences could focus on the main cast whom fans have loved — the primary reason why they’re tuning in on the HBO Max project, not to see Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. While the cameos are a good way to add perspective from other people who may have been either involved or are super fans of the show, there are just simply too many guests given its run time.
More: Friends Reunion: Everything We Know
Star Wars: How Clone Troopers’ Inhibitor Chips Work
About The Author