The American sitcom made its mark in Bangladesh through reruns on Star World and Comedy Central, before hitting Netflix. When a "Friends" reunion was announced, as a long-time fan, I was skeptical, but I was also excited to see the cast together again. Jennifer Aniston, who played the beloved character of Rachel, says right in the beginning of the reunion: "Where's the tissue box?" – and that is an apt way to sum up this experience.
The episode is filled with nostalgia, with cast members crying happy tears at just being on the sets again, revising some popular episodes, reenacting scenes during a table read, and talking of their fears.
The cast sits down for a chat with host James Corden on the famous orange couch in front of the iconic fountain, where the opening credits of the show was shot 27 years ago. The creators – Martha Kauffman, David Crane, and Kevin Bright – too share their thoughts in a separate section, on making a show where your friends were your family.
I particularly enjoyed the trivia quiz, recreated from "The One with the Embryos", where Chandler and Joey get Monica and Rachel's apartment. I can proudly say I answered all the questions correctly, including what Chandler did for a living (he worked in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration, by the way). However, I wish the actors who made cameos delved deeper into how they were cast on the show, and speak about their experiences. Guest appearances by Maggie Wheeler, who treats viewers to her iconic laugh as Janice and Lady Gaga, who gives her own spin to Phoebe's hit single, "Smelly Cat", stand out.
The reunion was more about happy memories rather than dwelling on serious bits. At one point, Matthew Perry, who played Chandler, admitted that he would stress out if a joke that he told fell flat, and it worried him every day of the shoot. But rather than discussing Perry's addiction problem that was also a constant while they were filming "Friends", they moved on from that aspect too quickly.
Filled with anecdotes from their days on the sets, with the cast speaking up about their forgotten lines, off-screen camaraderie, and crushes, the reunion brings back memories of a long-gone era. It leaves fans smiling through happy tears and realising that with the cast, they too, have grown up.