SBox Soapbox: Should There Be a Friends Reunion?

Fan-made, fake promotional poster went viral.

For those of you who don’t know, Friends is my favorite TV show of all-time. I have watched each episode at least 3 times and at most 17 times. I own the entire series on DVD. I have memorized entire episodes inside and out. I still make references to the show in my everyday life. Smelly Cat is my ringtone (not really).

Well 2014 marks a lot of anniversaries for a lot of different entities like Seinfeld (25 years), Tekken (20 years), Forrest Gump (20 years) and SpongeBob SquarePants (15 years). Friends happens to be one of them as it celebrate its 20th anniversary. It also means that it has been 10 years since rumors of a Friends movie arose. And ever since the start of the year fans have been clamoring for the Friends to reunite now more than ever.

However, among that clamoring exists a decade’s worth of denial from cast, crew, and the creators. We’ve been scratching our heads for so long that most fans are tickling their brain-stems. So I am here to give some insight as to whether this Friends movie/special/reunion/thing is likely, what nature this event should be, and what I would like to see from this.

Is the reunion likely?

Although they tell us it isn’t, it most certainly is possible. It’s been a long enough time, the show is relevant to this day, the cast is still alive and well, fan demand is still very high, and there’s almost no better time than an anniversary to make it happen. As long as everyone who makes the show possible is on board, we can have a Friends reunion.

I do understand the quotations made by several members of the cast and crew that state otherwise. Co-creator Marta Kauffman once said “Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you have a family, there’s no need anymore.” Basically, the characters by now would be in a different stage of their lives which defeats the purpose of the show. This makes sense.

To me, though, that’s not what made the show special. It was the characters and the situations that made Friends work. The quality of sitcoms in general are contingent on 2 factors: the comedy and the characters. It wouldn’t matter whether the cast were in their thirties or their seventies. When backed by the right people, it all comes together.

But that’s the only asterisk. You need everybody or it won’t work. More on that later.

It’s now or never.

Maybe not NEVER, but it would be unlikely if it doesn’t happen soon. In 2014, we managed to have pretty much all the members of the cast and crew still alive and active. All the cards are pretty much in place, so they should act now while they can.

Not to mention that Friends is still popular today. Just the fact that a fan-made poster went viral back in January (seen above) speaks volumes of how relevant the show remains. We all were fooled and disappointed. This made headlines. It’s best to strike when the iron is hot. At this point a Friends announcement would be big news today.

How do you go about it?

Like I said before, the only way this can work is if all the essential people are involved. This especially goes for the actors. We need all 6. Not 5. Not 4. SIX! Friends is one of those shows without a main character. Actually there is a main character, and by “a” I mean SIX!

While the show was going on, the cast members all requested to be paid equally in order to avoid the idea of a main character. And even today, when the former cast is asked about a reunion, their one condition is that everyone is involved.

But when and if they do get the entire writing staff and cast together, what could they do and how?

For starters, in terms of format I would say that Friends shouldn’t aim for the big screen. I know a lot of people would prefer it that way, but I’m not sure if that’s the right move. On paper it sounds excellent, but the film would lose a bit of the essence of the original show. Sitcoms are especially difficult to put in a full-length movie. The direction I would take is in a TV special. Make the special about an hour long, get a live-studio audience, and there’s your reunion. That way the event is available to everyone, budgets are lower, and the tone is maintained.

Now don’t get me wrong. If they make a reunion and put it in theaters, I will watch it on day one and enjoy it; then watch it another 3 times. If they can pull it off, they pull it off. I’d support whatever it is, but I think it would excel more on TV.

Will it happen?

All-in-all, now that I’m done dreaming it’s time to be realistic. Does this project actually have a shot of being made. Honestly, this is anyone’s guess. I really don’t have an answer. It all depends on what the writers want to do. And even though fans are banging on their doors for it, there’s no obligation to do so on anyone’s part.

I think now is the time for everyone to prepare themselves for the idea that all we’ll ever have is the original show. It’s a disappointing revelation, but it’s best for a series to go out on a high note and be remembered fondly than to create a new note just to make a new note. Always remember that the show did have an ending, and a dang good one at that.

However, never lose ALL hope. There’s always a way. Hollywood is always looking for the next big thing to reincarnate. It could also be that the cast and crew are just toying with us. If so, this is one of the best kept secrets in entertainment history. Maybe even the fan demand will get to them some day.

The message I’m trying to convey here is to basically have an optimistic doubt. Don’t expect anything, but never stop asking for it.

That’s my take. Do you agree at all? What elements for a Friends reunion would you want to see if it were to happen? Do you think there is hope or is there not a chance?

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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