By Nora Swidler
My Facebook newsfeed exploded last Tuesday when people were sharing, posting and reposting the link to the article that allegedly confirmed the new season of Friends that was in the works. Folks were so excited by this link and the ongoing rumors. Our friends were coming back!
Yet the very next day, Entertainment Weekly posted on its website after speaking to NBC representatives and the show’s co-creator that, unfortunately, a reunion was not currently in the works and will never be.
For avid Friends fans, including yours truly, this news was a major blow particularly after the inflated hopes of the prior day. I, like so many others, feel emotional connections to these six characters and miss them dearly.
To this day, no matter how many times I have seen an episode, I still laugh at Phoebe’s quirkiness, at Joey’s insatiable appetite (for food and for women), at Monica’s neurotic cleaning habits, at Chandler’s self-deprecating nature, at Rachel’s disarming charm and at how much of a weenie Ross is.
The full box set of all 10 seasons of Friends on DVD is sacred in my house. When Friends first went off the air, my family watched at least one episode a night for a year. Even my dad, who professes not to give a rat’s tail about the show, knows all the answers whenever my family plays the Friends Trivia Board Game. Although the show’s final episode aired almost 10 years ago, the personalities and themes are still an important social and cultural aspect of our lives today.
I hear Friends references dropped all the time. Reruns are constantly being aired on the CW and TBS. I know at least 15 people with Friends posters in their dorm rooms.
Knowing how much these characters and this show meant to viewers, why is it that no reunion episodes or seasons are in the works? Sex and the City had two reunion movies, Pixar frequently puts out sequels (and more recently, prequels), and even Boy Meets World is having a follow-up series with some of the original cast members.
So why are we being denied our Friends reunion?
“Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family,” said co-creator Marta Kauffman with a sense of finality. “Once you have a family, there’s no need anymore.”
Kauffman’s words strike with a chord with me as a college student. For the most part, we are all away from home, living with people that we met after high school.
I am at the point in my life when my friends mean everything to me.
I love that I have friends who laugh at my lame jokes, are supportive of everything I do and are there for me whenever I need them. Particularly in college, my friends are my family.
There will be a point in our lives when we will move on, and rely more on our families than our friends again. Right now, though, we miss Friends more than ever because we are currently at the stage when we feel the most like them.
We will always have our memories of Phoebe, Joey, Monica, Chandler, Rachel and Ross (and let’s not forget about Gunther!). But, at least for now, we might want to get up from our favorite orange couch in Central Perk and spend time with the friends around us.