F.R.I.E.N.D.S Reunion: The One We’ve All Been Waiting For

Jun 08 2021. views 86

On 27th May 2021, the highly anticipated reunion of FRIENDS was aired and it was like sitting down for a nostalgic chat with old friends. In the history of television, there has probably never been a reunion more anticipated or more in demand than this, but then again, no TV show has reached this same level of success - boasting statics with a watch rate of over 100 billion across all platforms. 17 years since the show's last episode aired back in May 2004 – the show has unfalteringly only gathered more fans over the years and the loyalty and love the viewers have for this show is nothing short of phenomenal.  After all, how often does a show of the 90’s stay relevant and interesting in the age of 2020’s? 

Joining fans of the show worldwide, Sri Lankans too jumped on the FRIENDS Reunion bandwagon with businesses creatively marketing themselves to the hype and fans scheduling their time to watch the reunion live. The reviews for the reunion are all positive and hardly anyone was left with dry eyes.  Just for a fleeting moment, everyone’s transformed back to the very first time they watched FRIENDS – the show they’d still return to on a bad day. We spoke to a few fans about what they loved about FRIENDS and their thoughts on the much-awaited reunion.

I honestly don’t remember when I started to watch FRIENDS, but I do remember that it was my mum who introduced me to it.  I loved that, in spite of the various storylines going on, the show really did revolve around friendship. There have been times in my life where I have felt incredibly alone and depressed. During those times, having lunch with “Friends” was something that cheered me up, putting a smile on my face and inspiring me to bounce back. Seeing them acting out scenes together again and seeing all the guest actors – Mr Heckles, Gunther and Janice – all brought back so many fond memories. The chemistry and genuine friendship between the actors, it really does give you something to believe in. I cried tears of joy and nostalgia through a lot of the reunion and so did many of my friends. It’s amazing how a mere tv series can move you, speaks to your heart and connects you - I guess that’s the beauty of it” - Acushla Wijesinha

I started watching FRIENDS on TV every now and then, in between homework. Soon I started looking forward to flicking to a particular channel at a specific time of the day, hoping to catch the entire season in a row. And as I moved around a lot from a young age, through middle school, high school and college, the six friends stayed with me. I loved that there is an episode for every emotion. I have been able to return to it for reruns countless times - when I need a laugh, a cry or simply something to pass time. When the reunion show was announced, I had limited expectations for it knowing it would not be a new episode, and knowing that the producers had already neatly wrapped up the storyline (for the most part!). For that reason, I enjoyed it simply as a reunion of the cast, who already epitomised friends themselves. Their relationships and chemistry have stayed the same, despite almost two decades passing. And during this pandemic, when we were all that much more removed from our friends, it was nice to see my TV friends, on-screen again” - Sumudhu Jayasinghe

The reunion was so emotional and heartwarming – especially when they all walked inside the set and at last, when they all hugged and cried after the last episode. It felt like we were also part of their universe without even knowing. When I was born in March of 1995, the 18th episode of FRIENDS ‘The One with All the Poker’ was aired. It took me 18 years to find out about the show and I only wanted to see why the world was going crazy about it! I think FRIENDS has become an emotion more than just a show or sitcom; it has become a feeling which still heals many hearts even today.” - Saahithiyanan

For me, I started watching because of all the hype surrounding the show and I loved the fact that all 6 characters are given equal importance in the show – something I think a lot of shows lack now.  The reunion was such an emotional ride, you really can’t not cry when you see all of them tearing up. The bond they have with each other is just so real and cute!” - Ranjeewi Senanayake

The reunion was emotional, but I guess most of us felt nostalgic even if we weren’t born during that period. Seeing that their bond is still strong was one of the most important things in this reunion. The ending was emotional and beautiful at the same time!” - Nethinie

I honestly started watching it because my boyfriend was going on and on about it and even though I struggled to continue during the first season, by the third season – I was hooked. I loved the bond they shared, the Monica-Chandler chemistry and how much there was to learn in terms of relationships. I’m glad they didn’t do a new episode as a reunion and just had an actual reunion where they discussed the good times. I always felt that if they did do a new episode, it would just ruin the whole feeling we had about it. But it was so beautiful to see how familiar they are with each other  even today” - Jayani Gurusinghe

Watching FRIENDS was a complete accident! A friend lent me his hard drive with a bunch of movies and tv shows and I accidentally played an episode and I was instantly hooked! When I started watching FRIENDS, it was at a time I was going through some “high-school drama”. I felt like it was an escape from everything and it made me feel like I could relate to some parts of the show and that was just one of the best things about it at any given point in your life – you can find a character that you can closely relate to. Of course, when the news of the reunion came I didn’t really believe it at first (lots of fake news over the years!) but when it was confirmed to be legit – I was ecstatic! Watching the reunion episode made me feel a whole spectrum of emotions. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.  It made me feel a fraction of what I felt when I first started watching FRIENDS and that alone  was definitely worth the wait” - Sanjuka Gamage

I stumbled across FRIENDS randomly when I was looking for something to watch. I bought the first season on DVD and immediately went back the next day to buy the next one! I love that it’s still the same ‘funny’ no matter how many times you’ve watched it or how many years have gone by. FRIENDS has broken so many stereotypes through humour and made it easier to speak about topics that are still thought of as ‘taboo’.  I loved the reunion and how everyone re-lived moments from the characters. I wished they brought in the kids too just for fun to see how much they’d grown up and how they felt being in it as children!” - Roma Vedamuttu

I first watched FRIENDS back in 2011 and I can’t even count how many more times I’ve rewatched it. The best part of the show is that it is a representation of what we want in life – a small group of people who will stick with you through thick and through thin. I’ve waited for the reunion for a very long time and trust me when I say, every single frame brought tears to my eyes, especially the part where they read the script. I wished they also brought certain characters like Ben, Mike, Carol and Susan instead of the guest appearances. But no matter what, FRIENDS literally will be the best sitcom in history!” - Frank Joseph

Watching the reunion it seemed like nothing had changed. They still had the same chemistry and they were still so funny together. I definitely preferred the interview style reunion because it allowed me to connect with the cast. I thought the random celebrity interviews were a bit unnecessary but the whole episode made me think a little bit more on different aspects of the show and added another layer of warmth to the show. For me, I always loved how FRIENDS was about different people going on such different paths but they’ve just always got each other no matter what” - Sharlene De Kauwe

I watched FRIENDS on and off but started to follow the show religiously thanks to my friends from university. I always love how it can lift my mood irrelevant of what I’m feeling and just immediately takes me to a happy place. I think the show captures and relates to most of us and makes you want to have that kind of special bond with your friends. The reunion was not exactly what I expected it to be but it’s FRIENDS so how can you not like them? It was emotional and so much fun to see the cast back together” - Malik Monnekulame

I started watching FRIENDS when I was in school and I was hooked after just the first episode. I think I’ve rewatched the show more than 5 times over the years and I just always liked the concept of it because back then, I have never seen a series where there were so many main characters instead of just one (I also always loved Matt le Blanc’s acting too!). Of course, when I first saw that the reunion wasn’t really even an episode, I was super disappointed and didn’t even watch it for a couple of days after its release. But when I did watch it, I felt truly nostalgic and loved it. In the end, it was the best ‘farewell’ to a series of that calibre.” - Harshika Abeysundera


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