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Unifying reputation and legend. Friends gathered to announce that they will not return • Respect

Did Rachel and Ross break up for a moment? What is the career of Chandler Bing? And how many erogenous zones, according to Monica, are there on a woman’s body? You don’t have to know the answers to the questions that have fallen from the sleeves of your Friends Series fan’s sleeves so far. But if you should know one thing about one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1990s and early 2000s, it is that his works on all platforms brought together a hundred billion plays.

The staggering number indicates the series’ enduring popularity about six Manhattan friends who share life, success, loss, and love. Friends have become a perpetual stream that is being contested by online video libraries. Those who saw him in the 1990s return to him, and are discovered by those who weren’t born at the time. Not surprisingly, the special program Friends: Together Again, or The One When You Reunited, which aired by HBO on Thursday, has attracted a lot of attention. The producers’ turmoil, what it will be about and how it will look, has led to more speculation about the possibility of the friends returning in another form. So are we wiser after watching it?

The monkey is responsible for everything

The Friends actors have spent a decade together in front of the cameras. During that time, they may have become the most famous international celebrities. But as is known, after the end of the series, their tracks mostly split. In some cases, it was a relief to the participants, who, despite the proximity of the TV, did not catch their attention. The tension between Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox was also interesting during the first minutes of the special, when the Six slowly spread to the studio, as the production reconstructed the interiors of New York apartments and Central Berk Café for them.

The first attraction of the spectator was supposed to be the fact that after a long time, friends would gather in public places and remember the phenomenon they were a part of. The relationships that developed between them, chemistry, filming, episodes and moments in the story lived by twenty-five million viewers with the television characters who watched each episode.

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Perhaps the most famous moment, the kiss between Ross and Rachel, was first mentioned by Ross actor David Schwimmer. Then the show inevitably returned to him at the next forty-hour hour. She revealed a secret that must have ignited all fans. This was also one of the few moments when the viewer really felt like he was watching the show he wanted. He looks behind the scenes, behind the scenes, as he learns something real about the origin and success of the series. Why and how a certain magic was worked out among the group, which was imprinted in the story. Or when, on the contrary, it did not work …

Although wandering around the study and reliving their memories together depicted unsuspecting friendships, it was clear from the start that there was nothing fundamentally new or unexpected that would penetrate the audience. Partly because many viewers want to return to what they already know. The special goal, after all, is to consolidate the reputation and legend called friends on the wings of nostalgia and tears. When an obligatory question came from the audience about whether there was something they didn’t like during filming, David Schwimmer played a nice answer in the car: The monkey Marcel didn’t like him.

The parade of enthusiastic millennials, who professed how important the series was to them, how it accompanied them in difficult life situations, and how it taught them to feel, behave, and make their own friendships, was touching. But at the same time, the question arose as to whether he should not at the same time mask the criticism from young viewers that friends are too “white”, sexist, anti-gay, and too cruel to their body proportions.

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Anything too personal that does not fit into a happy memory has also been suppressed. Matthew Perry (Joker Chandler), who was the hottest and whose life and addiction occurred, at one point spoke candidly about the suffering he endured when the live audience wasn’t laughing at his jokes. “It felt like I would die if I wasn’t funny – I was sweating and having cramps,” he admits. A little embarrassed, Lisa Kudrow sympathized, but the sadness faded.

Suite for 15 million

Officially, the private suite is somewhat like a wing. In addition to the behind-the-scenes tour, there was a quiz on how well friends know friends, scenes from selected episodes, rehearsals of old scenarios, talks from producers Marta Kaufman and David Crane, and confessions of familiar faces from actress Reese Witherspoon to soccer player David Beckham. , Who knew she felt like Monica.

The supporting role actors, who were an important part of the series, flashed it reprehensibly miniature. On the contrary, incomprehensibly more space was set aside for a fashion show attended by Justin Bieber like Potato. Much of it was also busy conversation: with six actors sitting on the sofa in front of the fountain, performing in the opening song, he was led by British comedian James Corden. Its existence was a mystery and a bit like a frog in the spring.

In the end, he spoke more emptyly than the actors themselves, and the conversation on the sofa sometimes seemed like a tedious chore with some of the hilarious moments played by David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc. Other than that, it looked like each of the people interviewed had been witnessing a mental clock and recalculating $ 2.5 million in their head for their participation.

And now to the key question: So is there any chance for the friends to return? Does anyone even want it? If we want to believe Lisa Kudrow’s words, then definitely not. He could not imagine the movie nor the series. The story wraps up beautifully and doesn’t need to spoil the lovely endings of the characters. All of the actors answered at least where they think their characters are now – what lives are they leading them.

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On the other hand, we live in an era of remanufacturing, sequencing, pre-emption and proven brand extraction. More movies and TV are being recycled and returned than ever. And Friends is a strong brand that naturally makes a fresh start. The series screenwriters have written about a period of life when friends are family. The period ends when they have their family. Now is the perfect time for the kids to go to college and the parents to be able to cope with themselves again.

Officially, the special was the festive launch of the HBO Max streaming platform, which captured profitable friends from Netflix, and attracted the attention of new subscribers (it’s delayed by the pandemic). However, in some places, it was more like a test to see if it was still possible to enter the same river twice. After all, Lisa Kudrow has passed the ball on to screenwriters and producers, who care a lot more than the tastes of the actors.

But there is no indication that Marta Kaufman has changed her mind. Eight years ago, she was told in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that even a sequel to the movie would only tarnish the series’s reputation: “We will only put six actors together, but the heart will be gone. I don’t know how it will benefit us. The show works well, people love it.”