It’s The One That Friends Fans Have Been Waiting For For 17 Years.
After endless speculation and its stars being pestered about the possibility of it happening from the moment, pretty much, that they left their keys at Monica’s for the last time, the Friendsreunion is finally here.
Which means all six stars – Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – back on screen together, reportedly earning around $2-2.5 million (£1.42 – £1.77 million) each for taking part. They were just on a break, after all.
Here’s everything you need to know about Friends: The Reunion.
First of all, this isn’t a reboot
While the stars will no doubt be discussing what they imagine their characters might be up to in 2021, this is not a full glimpse into the Friends future. While lots of details have been kept under wraps, we do know this is an unscripted show with special guests, and not a revival episode. Which means we get the actors, not characters, reminiscing about the good old times in a talk show format.
But of course, this is the first time all six have been back together on screen since the show finished, which for big Friends fans is reason enough to be excited. The programme is also executive produced by the show’s co-creators, Kevin S Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane.
Pictures from the special show the stars on set and behind the scenes, giving fans a glimpse into locations including Central Perk and both of the famous Friends apartments. The special sees the stars return to the show’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros Studio lot in Burbank, Los Angeles, California.
Wait a minute… so Friends wasn’t filmed in New York?
Um, no. While the show was set in Manhattan, exterior shots aside, most of the series was filmed in LA.
How did Friends end?
The final episode of the show aired in May 2004. Titled The Last One, the grand finale saw Monica and Chandler leaving the city for their new home with their adopted newborn twins, while Rachel and Ross finally got back together as Rachel got off the plane and decided not to move to Paris with baby Emma.
Phoebe also lived happily ever after with husband Mike, while Joey remained very much a single ladies’ man – and went on to reappear on screen in the ill-fated Joey spin-off series not long after the show came to an end.
What have the cast said about the reunion?
Unsurprisingly, they’ve given little away. However, ahead of filming the show in April, Schwimmer did promise some surprises in an interview with Graham Norton: “We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.”
He then joked: “I should have genned up on old episodes, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to catch up on the 236 shows.”
In an interview with People magazine in the US earlier in May, Aniston said she feared the cast wouldn’t be able to get through filming the emotional reunion without “crying our faces off”.
Take our ultimate Friends quiz
And all the stars revealed what they believe their characters would be doing today, with Aniston saying of Rachel Green: “I would like to have maybe started a clothing line of my own, and it’s sort of a small franchise… and I live in New York City on the Upper East Side.”
Cox said of Monica: “I always just feel like Monica would be doing something competitively with other mothers and trying to outdo them. Whether it’s the bake sale at school or something. I mean, she’d be so annoying. She’d be at the head of the PTA or something.”
Kudrow said she thinks Phoebe Buffay “is living in Connecticut with Mike and their kids, and she’s in charge of the arts programme for the school. And just the advocate for her kids because they’re different like she was”.
Perry said he thinks Chandler Bing “would be a wonderful father. And a wonderful comedy writer”, while LeBlanc said Joey Tribbiani would, of course, “have opened a chain of sandwich shops”.
Schwimmer said Ross Geller would “have invested in Joey’s sandwich shop and lost a lot of his savings for his kids”.
Who else is in it?
Like the series itself, the one-off special is set to include a host of celebrity guest appearances. Sadly, there’s no Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Bruce Willis or even Paul Rudd (that we know of – but they have promised surprises, so fingers crossed) but we will see familiar faces including Tom Selleck (Richard Burke), Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles (Jack and Judy Geller), Maggie Wheeler (Janice), Larry Hankin (Mr Heckles), Thomas Lennon (Joey’s hand twin), and of course, James Michael Tyler, better known as Gunther. Plus, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who played one of Rachel’s spoiled sisters, Jill.
The rest of the celebrity guest list is an eclectic mix, featuring David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Kit Harington, Mindy Kaling and Malala Yousafzai. No information has been given on what they’ll be doing but hopefully they’re fans, otherwise it could get awkward.
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What does the trailer give away?
A teaser clip for the show shows the stars taking part in a Friends quiz. How long was Rachel’s letter to Ross when they almost got back together following their “we were on a break” break-up? Eighteen pages – front AND back – of course. Let’s hope no one’s going to lose their apartment over this one.
We also see the stars revisiting the set, with LeBlanc and Perry reclining back into Joey and Chandler’s beloved BarcaLounger chairs, and all six discussing their first ever table read and the ridiculous levels of fame that came with being a Friend. Plus, some fountain action, and Aniston saying she was told before the show started that it would never make her a star.
The trailer also shows there’s going to be some emotional scenes. Aniston asks for tissues, Perry says he’s going to cry, and there’s tears from Cox. We predict more in the full episode. It’s been 17 years, after all.
Where to watch in the UK and Ireland
The show will air in the UK and Ireland on Sky and streaming service NOW on demand from, very specifically, 8.02am on Thursday, and will be broadcast on Sky One later that evening at 8pm.