Friends: the Reunion review – The One That Is a Nostalgia Fest and No More

Friends: the Reunion review – The One That Is a Nostalgia Fest and No MoreMay 27, 2021

The magic between the six Friends as they return to the apartment is undeniably cheering. But no one needs to see James Corden – or Justin Bieber dressed as a potato

There was never any real danger that Friends: the Reunion would let in too much light upon the magic that was created in 1994 and held, on average, 25 million US viewers a week in its thrall for the next decade. The special was intended to mark the launch of the US streaming service HBO Max (and as sand kicked in the face of their rival Netflix, from whom it has poached the entire 236-episode run). Although Covid delayed things, it was still never going to be anything other than a nostalgic celebration of times past-but-still-in-lucrative-syndication.

The reunion marks the first time the six actors – probably for those 10 years the most famous in the world – have all been together publicly since the show ended. They arrive one by one on the re-created set. David Schwimmer first, calm and thoughtful, noting original features and the spot “Jen and I had our first kiss”, followed by Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston (dissolving into happy tears), ebullient Matt LeBlanc (“What are you guys doing here!”), Courteney Cox (happily tearful too) and finally a nervy Matthew Perry (“Could you BE any later!” cries LeBlanc).

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