I watched the Friends Reunion over the weekend. When I first read that they were getting back together for a one off I immediately wondered – being a writer (allegedly) – how they would take the story on, but then I learned they would not be appearing in character which was a bit disappointing.
Friends was not the first show that I never watched from the beginning. Other notable shows I joined after a few series include; Blackadder, The X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, House and Line of Duty. At the time I was still in Manchester before my redundancy and move to London. People at work were raving about Friends, but then they also raved about Coronation and Eastenders so there was no compulsion to watch it. Also, it was on Channel 4 and I didn’t watch anything on that channel. No, I came to Friends late, about Season 4 I think, and then I had to catch up on past episodes. When you come into something in the middle and you like it, you have to see how it began.
It is hard to determine how much time has passed since it ended because it is on TV all the time. As I write this, it is on Comedy Central – and just for those who know all the episode titles, the one currently showing is The One With The East German Laundry Detergent. It has been seventeen years though. Before I saw the reunion show, I had seen a crtitic write up, which was basically saying why did they bother i.e. it was initimating that it spoiled the ideal view we had of them all. Joey was fat, Chandler was old and cosmetic surgery had left Rachel and Monica odd looking. I thought it was a bit harsh, although now having seen the show I see why that person wrote those things, although probably with some exaggeration. The critic said only Phoebe and Ross looked unchanged. It is funny how time affects some so much and others less so.
The show was worth seeing. There were obviously lots of clips, then there was some reading of the scripts intermingled with the actual TV scenes and a double helping of ‘Smelly Cat’. There were also some titbits like, Marcel the Monkey was difficult to work with and Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer did have a thing for each other at one time. (No, before they were on a break.) Even though, I think I would have preferred a proper follow up episode or film. (No reboots please – see my previous post. Funny coincidence there because I mentioned how Tom Selleck had not made a cameo in the new Magnum. He did pop up here though.)
I wonder how a follow up could have gone …
Monica and Chandler have been bringing up the twins but both are still working. Now that the twins are teenagers, Monica has an up market catering business and Chandler – we never knew what he did – has given up his job and written a bestseller. Bringing up twins is harder than he thought it would be, this and Joey having prelonged visits – they did give him a Joey room when they agreed to buy the house – and teaching the twins some bad habits, has prematurely aged Chandler.
Ross and Rachel get married – again – three times actually and divorced twice. Rachel got her old job back at Ralph Lauren and worked her way to the top and Ross hit the paleontology jackpot by discovering a new dinosaur – the Gellersaurus. (It is in fact World Dinosaur Day today. Who would have thought it. Very Trexciting!)
Joey, of course, went off to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career which did not go so well which is why in the end he ended up back ringing the door of the Bings. He did get one good job though in a film where he had to bulk up for the part. In fact, the film was a flop and Joey did not have the will or drive to take off the weight again.
Phoebe and Mike never have a child but go off to save the planet somewhere.
And now it is the twins 18th birthday and everyone is invited to the party. Will they all turn up?
Anyway, that’s all for the reunions for now. Angel last time and now Friends.
Other than one funny thought that occurred to me. David Schwimmer is going to be on TV soon in the second season of Intelligence, where he plays a hapless NSA agent attached to a UK cyber crimes unit. In the UK we do have something called ‘Friendsfest’ where fans can visit the set and have photos taken etc. What if in a bonding exercise, the cyber team decide to go to ‘Friendsfest’. I can see it now. One of his colleagues says “You know, you look a bit like Ross, you can play him.” Reply “Ross, no way! I see myself more of a Joey.” At Friendsfest, the team are in the appartment set when there is a knock at the door and David Schwimmer’s character is there. He comes in and says “How you doin!”
Could I be making up any worse scenarios?