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Friends: The Reunion

Streaming On: Watch Friends: The Reunion on Sky Watch Friends: The Reunion on Now

Showing On: Sky One

Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

Release Date: Thursday 27th May 2021

Genre(s): Comedy

Running time: 105 minutes

The one where they all get back together is a satisfying return to a sitcom that lit up our TV screens for so many years.

Watching 'Friends: The Reunion' is quite the journey. For fans of the series, mainly the ones who grew up watching these six 20-somethings grow into adults, it really will feel like the final chapter in a tale that was a long time in the making. And thankfully, it is well worth the wait if you're prepared to forgive some unnecessary content.

The first moments of the reunion sees each of the cast members return to Stage 24 at Warner Bros Studios, starting with David Schwimmer until finally, Matthew Perry walks in, and the gang is back together. As they all hug and say their hellos, and crack a few jokes about their ages and what they're wearing, it feels very wholesome and authentic. We're watching these household names get back together for one emotional rollercoaster - and they're taking us with them on this journey.

This is where 'Friends: The Reunion' earns its merits. Intermitted throughout the feature-length episode are moments of the six of them chatting about past scenes they remembered shooting (while others have no recollection of these memories, which is hilarious), or watching blooper reels on the TV from Monica's old apartment. These scenes are far and wide the most fun, and emotional, parts of the show. We forget that they're actors, and we can't help but see them fall back into their trademark characters.

There is a heavy influence placed on the nostalgia factor here, of course, and as well as the six stars recounting fond memories, they also recreate pivotal ("PIVOT!") scenes from their 10 years together. These table reads thankfully aren't cringey, and are relatively joyous to watch - Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer reading the scene of Rachel and Ross' first kiss is *chef's kiss*.

Famous fans of the series also join in on the action, and the likes of 'Friends' guest star Resse Witherspoon, David Beckham, Kit Harington, Mindy Kaling, Malala Yousafzai, and K-Pop group BTS all record segments to camera about their favourite 'Friends' episodes, and what the series means to them. It's cheesy and unnecessary, but it hits home the significance this sitcom has had on the entire world.

Some of the previous cast members also make brief appearances, such as Maggie Wheeler who played the infamous Janice. Christina Pickles and Elliott Gould, Tom Selleck, and Larry Hankin also make wonderful, brief, additions to the show. Gunther's James Michael Tyler joins via video link for a blink and you'd miss it moment too. It would have been even better if one of these past guest stars had presented this episode, rather than James Corden, which would have been a nice beat to hit.

The best cameo, however, is Lisa Kudrow's singing partner for 'Smelly Cat'. Lady Gaga joining Phoebe in Central Perk for a rendition of the character's synonymous track shouldn't really work, but it does, and so well. In fact, it might even be the best part of the episode. Lady Gaga thanking Lisa for being "the person for all of us on 'Friends' who was, I don't know if this is the right way to say it, but the different one, or the one who was really herself" just shows how much of an impact these characters still have on us today.

All in all, if you were a 'Friends' fan back in the day, this is a worthy send-off for the sitcom. Ignore any preconceptions you may about watching this beforehand and just let yourself become overjoyed at what you see unfold before you. This is most definitely the very end of the 'Friends' legacy, so savour every moment of it.

'Friends: The Reunion' is available to stream now on demand via Sky and NOW, or the episode will air at 8pm on Sky One on Thursday, May 27.