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The Friends reunion airs today - here's what you need to know

Could fans *be* any more excited?

Updated May 27th 2021, 10:05 AM

THE CAST OF the much-loved sitcom Friends have reunited for a special episode which is available to watch from today.

The One Where They Get Back Together is airing 17 years after the show’s finale drew more than 50 million viewers.

Details have been kept largely under wraps, but fans can expect a table read of a classic episode, a recreation of the famous quiz at Monica and Rachel’s apartment – and lots of hugs, tears and reminiscing.

It’s 27 years since the show first aired; its final episode aired in 2004.

Thanks to countless repeats and its recent addition to Netflix, new fans are still finding the programme. Some of the jokes have not aged well, but the show’s enduring appeal remains strong.

Here’s a brief history of the show and everything you need to know about the reunion.

I lived under a rock for most of the ’90s, what is Friends?

Friends is an American television sitcom which aired for a decade on NBC, from 22 September 1994 to 6 May 2004.

The show, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, was originally called Friends Like Us before the title was shortened ahead of its TV debut. It focused on the lives and loves of six friends in their 20s and 30s who lived in Manhattan, New York City.


Source: Giphy

The main characters were played by Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler) and David Schwimmer (Ross).

The show made overnight celebrities of the cast, who went on to become some of the highest paid TV stars of the time. In the ninth and tenth series, they earned $1 million (about €820,000) per episode.

What can I expect from the reunion?

There will be table reads and lots of reminiscing, but we’re not going to see where all the characters are in 2021.

“Where’s the tissue box?” asks an emotional Aniston in a trailer that shows the group reflecting on their rise to stardom and firm real-life friendship.

“I love you guys so much,” she added during a group embrace.

In a sign of the show’s enduring appeal, the gang are reportedly taking in $2.5 million (€2.05 million) each for the reunion.

British comic James Corden will host the episode, interviewing the cast in front of the giant fountain on the sprawling Warner Bros Ranch used in the show’s famous opening credits.


Source: Giphy

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Returning guest stars will include Tom Selleck (Richard Burke), Reese Witherspoon (Jill Greene, Rachel’s sister), and Maggie Wheeler (the iconic Janice Hosenstein).

Celebrities including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, David Beckham and K-pop sensation BTS will also drop by to talk about the show.

Why is the reunion happening now?

Banking on nostalgia, parent company Warner Media originally planned the “unscripted special” as a blockbuster way to launch its HBO Max streaming service last year.

But filming was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, with producers determined to bring the gang back in-person to iconic sets like the Central Perk cafe at the show’s original studio outside Los Angeles.

“We wanted to do it a year ago, give back to everyone – to all the fans, especially in the dark times we were all experiencing,” Schwimmer said in a recent interview.

“Hopefully, a year later, people will still enjoy it.”

Where can I watch the reunion?

The episode will be available on Sky and streaming service NOW. It will air on demand from 8am and on Sky One at 8pm. It will air in the US on streaming service HBO Max.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2021 

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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