Nearly 17 years after its 2004 finale, Friends is finally off its break, returning to television for a special spin-off episode, which wrapped filming earlier this month. Amid these exciting times, we decided to show you that we'll be there for you, when the stories starts to pour (in), so here are three things to know about the impending reunion -- so you can say someone told you life was gonna be this way.
It seems we're going to get updates on what each of the six leading characters have been up to over the past almost two decades, with Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow all set to return, according to a press release from HBO Max, per Glamour. However the show's star-studded cast aren't the only original creative team making a comeback – the show's creators, Marta Kauffman and David Crane along with the series producer, Kevin Bright are all signed on to executive produce, a joint effort with The Late Late Show With James Corden's Ben Winston. Winston will also direct the special, which as of publication, does not have a publicly announced air date or title, although some fans speculate it will be called “The One With The Reunion.”
While some fans may be hoping for a fully realized plot arc, written gags, and classic banter akin to the sitcom's beloved episodes, it seems the single installment may have a different feel, at least according to some of the show's stars. Back in January 2020 Kauffman first hinted at the idea of an unscripted reunion, telling reporters covering the Producer Guild Awards that if Friends were to return, the reunion would be relatively informal. “If it was the right thing, if it were the six of them together reflecting, talking about their experiences, and the episodes, then I’m totally behind it," she said. “Nothing scripted. We will not do anything scripted.”
Since the announcement of the show's comeback, several of the series' stars have spoken out about what the reunion will look like. "I'll be myself. I'll be David", Schwimmer told Graham Norton on an episode of his talk show earlier this month. "We're not in character ... we're all ourselves, the real people". Despite this denial, it seems there may be some sort of group script reading. “But there is one section, I don't want to give away... where we all read something,” he continued.
Aniston and Kudrow echoed these sentiments in a conversation with Variety last year, noting that they wouldn't necessarily be embodying their characters during the reunion. “I can’t wait to do that. I really can’t wait to do that. Yeah, we don’t know everything about it, we need to say,” Kudrow said of the one-off episode. “I think we’re meant to be surprised by some things as well,” she continued, Aniston chiming that the actresses “…know it’s not scripted.”
“Yeah, no. I will not be Phoebe,” Kudrow quipped in reply. “I will not be Rachel, although I kind of am,” Aniston added. "Well, we're all sort of little fragments of them. Not really. But yeah."
Throughout the long lead-up to the episode's premiere, Perry, who plays Chandler, has found himself a key source for information surrounding the reunion, along with Kurdow, who confirmed the cast was already working on some things for the series during an appearance on Rob Lowe's podcast in January,
Aside from telling eager fans that the show was set to be filmed in the spring following its pandemic-related delay last fall …
… and selling a line of Friends merch, with the proceeds going to the WHO to help fight Covid-19 …