The Friends reunion special has finished filming and we’re waiting for a release date

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Fans have been asking for some form of Friends redux since the show went off the air in 2004. When the 25-year anniversary hit, there were rumors some form of reunion would happen with full cast participation. Once they got the salary negotiations ironed out, the whole cast agreed to sit down in their old sound stage and discuss the series. It was a concession for the fans, but they were willing to take anything at that point. Then the pandemic hit and sent the whole thing into a tailspin. The filming date kept getting pushed back further until everything got shut down and no new date could be set. Since the concept was a live, unscripted show, shooting would depend on restrictions being lifted and all six actors schedules being open. Well, it happened. As in, they already filmed it. The long-rumored, highly anticipated, frequently postponed Friends reunion was filmed on Sunday and we are now just waiting for a release date.

The Friends reunion special has wrapped following delays during the coronavirus pandemic.

The HBO Max special, which is expected to air later this year, completed filming yesterday (April 11). A post from the show’s official Instagram account features a picture of a Friends: The Reunion billboard with the caption: “That’s a wrap! 🎬 Could we BE anymore excited!?”

HBO provided clarity last April on what the episode will entail, revealing that the stars will play themselves rather than their Friends characters. “In order to avoid any misunderstanding about what this special is, we want to make it very clear that this is not a new, original episode of the series. The cast will be appearing as themselves, not as their beloved characters.”

[From NME]

I’m using this story as a litmus test to gauge how attitudes have changed since the pandemic began. I was very excited for a Friends reunion when it was announced, having been a superfan since the series began. I was surprised how unaffected I was to read the news it had wrapped yesterday. I’m indifferent to many things I got excited about a year ago. My priorities have completely shifted. Not for better or for worse, they’ve just changed. Still, I’m sure I’ll watch the reunion and I’ll probably get nostalgic. I’m sure this was fun for the cast to do, especially after all the hype in getting them there.

They’re keeping the details hush hush for now. Other than the IG post below, we don’t have any shots of the show. Matthew Perry posted a pic in a makeup chair before they shot, but he deleted it so I assume he was asked to. My guess is they will all post the same or similar pics when the air date is announced. Their promo push always seems to follow a similar pattern. Jennifer Aniston will probably post the first pic and the rest of the cast will post theirs after. I hope it’s worth it after all this time. It seems so long ago now but who knows, maybe they really can recapture that magic.

Photo credit: WENN and Instagram

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13 Responses to “The Friends reunion special has finished filming and we’re waiting for a release date”

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  1. Travelin says:

    Honestly I really don’t care anymore. I was a fan and then my kids started watching and I enjoyed the series again. But I think the time that they could have done this was over 10 years ago. Now it just feels too cringeworthy.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I love Friends, even now when I recognize how problematic it was, but I am just not really excited about this. I don’t really feel the need to sit down and watch these 6 people talk about what it was like to be a part of Friends. Maybe 15 years ago? But at this point, why do I care? To be honest I will probably watch it at some point, lol, but I’m not going out of my way for it. I wish they had done something like what West Wing did with Hartsfield’s Landing .

    • luna says:

      They’re doing it for the younger generation who recently caught up on the show. 11 million likes on Jen’s post indicates Gen Z’s huge interest. It’s gonna be a huge hit most probably.

  3. Jules says:

    I’m interested to see if and how it holds up, but I think it is a relic of the past.

  4. Tinnie says:

    It definitely wasn’t what anyone was asking for but I think it will (may) be interesting … I hope they figure out some new questions or interchange than what they’ve been asked / talked about before. I did hear there may be one nugget for the ‘fans’ so I wonder if they did do a brief slip into characters … ?

  5. Louise177 says:

    I don’t understand why this is such a thing. It’s not as if they never saw each other over the years. I think this is the first time for all six but 3-5 of them have been together many times over the years.

  6. Lily P says:

    This is just going to be so weird. Friends was great in its prime but I don’t get the need to drag it into 2021. There’s a Video on YouTube that is over 30 minutes long made up of back to back homophobic one liners from the show.

    Surely it feels weird having to relive and rehash an achievement from 20+ years ago too? Like completely undermines your personal growth and accomplishments of the past two decades.

  7. wheneight says:

    Is James Corden really the host of this thing? I was excited until I heard about that. God he’s annoying.

  8. atorontogal says:

    I think it’s too late. They should have done it 10 years ago. I was a big fan of the show, but not JA’s. She bugged me for some reason.

  9. Leskat says:

    Friends was terrible back then (I’ve never been a fan) and it’s terrible now. It’s tired, full of sitcom cliches and was generally exhausting… and then you go into how problematic and simplistic the show was. Who, exactly, is clambering for a reunion again?? Let it go people, it was 20 years ago!!

  10. Ferdinand says:

    So this is just a “special” get together with the actors?

    I thought this was a special scripted episode where we would watch where the characters are now and what they’ve been up to since the finale!

  11. Feebee says:

    I rewatched most of the series recently and there are some problematic as hell things in there. I hate thinking a new generation is watching this and thinking Ross’ obsession and at times controlling manner towards Rachel is ok, as one example. But it did also give a few chuckles even where you thought ‘could it BE more obvious”?

    I don’t thinking rewatching it moved the needle for me on the Reunion. I mean it’s just the cast getting back together to have a chat. Weren’t people wanting the reunion to see where the characters might have got to in their lives? Chandler and Monica with grown kids… actually Rachel too! How did France work out? Wouldn’t it be crazy for her daughter to just be “so French” now? Or was the ending perfect enough and why open that can of worms?