So it hasn’t been our day, or week, or month or even our year. But well, here is something that will make that better - the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion that will have the cast of the blockbuster sensation coming back together on screen after 27 years! While that sinks in, we get you a warm story of just how the series was more than a television hit but something that was part of every millennial's growing up years and possibly the only remedy for a bad day, a heartbreak, or when life sucked.
The One Where They Get Back Together
By now we have all realized that “The One Where They Get Back Together”, the reunion episode is an unscripted one. The cast seems to be revisiting the sets of the show like the apartment, Central perk, and meeting the cast members other than the 6 of them like Janice and Dr. Richard. They also seem to be doing table reads and share behind-the-scenes memories and probably footage.
Why is the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion such welcome news?
As one series after another floods streaming platforms, Sreedevi K says when posed with the question of what do we watch next, many, including her, tend to go back to the all-time favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
“It is special to me for a variety of reasons. When I started watching the show for the very first time, it was during school days and we didn't have Netflix or Amazon. We had the DVDs. My gang would have a gala time being holed up in the house together trying to figure out some of the jokes which we didn't understand at the time.”
Sreedevi like many others found a source of comfort in the series. “It became an ice breaker as we started stepping out into the world. When I reached my mid-20s, there was something very comforting about watching this group of six friends stumble through the highs and lows of life along with me. It became a constant source of laughter on dark days. And as the song says, "when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month", it reminded me that a similar bunch is always there for me to turn to.”
The world is always in conflict when it comes to choosing between Mondler and the iconic Ross-Rachel. Sreedevi is in love with the former. “Their relationship is a depiction of how a real relationship will work. Monica says they are not soulmates, they are just two people who fell in love and worked hard at their relationship and that's how it should be!”
How did F.R.I.E.N.D.S. help you cope?
The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reunion had a date slotted and the Internet could not hold their excitement in any longer. Aditi Sinha was just another one of the billion fans who had waited for a long long time to see her favorite 6 people in the whole world of fandom come together once again.
“The series is very special to me because it is about six people who have chosen each other as their friends and gradually became each others' family. They went through an important phase of their lives together having each others’ back through the ups and downs of everyday life. The warmth, honesty, dedication, support, and the genuine love Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross had for each other gets me back to watching the series over and over again. I find a sense of belonging here.”
The essence of the show, says Aditi is friendship and love. A common thread that binds every fan of the series is that it at some point in their life helped them cope with the curveballs that they dealt with. And what better way to get through a lockdown than with the F.RI.E.N.D.S.themselves to keep you company, eh?
“I started watching the series during the lockdown. I would find bits of me and my friends in those 6 characters on screen and it would make things bearable. It often happened that after having a dose of depressing news, when I thought we would not be getting out of quarantine anytime sooner and the future had a question mark on it, the series was a breather. Now with the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion, we have something to look forward to, which will make us laugh, nostalgic, and very emotional simultaneously. Moments like these do not happen very often!”
Do you think the timing of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion is just right?
Everyone seems to be looking for even the slightest bit of positivity and cheer in these times and millennials are loving the fact that now there is a reason for it. For Utpal Dave, the series holds a very special place as it helped him get through one of the darkest phases in his life.
“I think the series is a boost of happiness. It’s an inspiration to maintain friendships that you have and making them last.”
“When I started college, I did not have many friends and this coupled with a breakup, I felt lonely, to say the least. Thus, the show came into my life at a very crucial and important and necessary stage. It was everything I needed then. It helped me grow in many ways and come out of my shell.”
Why is the series so damn relatable?
That is exactly what Bhawesh loves the sitcom for - its relatability to every situation in life even though it was made decades ago! Millennials like Bhawesh Kumar, for one, love this aspect of the show. The easiness with which every plot was acted out, the lines delivered in just the casual way that made it seem so natural.
“F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has always had a special relation to my life. I always feel like it’s been made on the lines of every situation I’ve experienced. I mean, what are the odds! The memories are always fond. I recall how we would go to a friend’s place and binge watch and just burst out laughing because every scene was like ‘been there. done that’.”
Why is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. like a warm hug every time you watch it?
“Chicken soup for the soul” is how Tanvi Shah describes the sitcom.
“Everyone has some sort of comfort food, but for me, it is a comfort show - F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I think watching friends is about an experience of repair, of watching characters in the show, repeatedly having worries which then get repaired in a soothing way. Real problems like the one we face in our lives are shown, and it also shows us the direction of solving these smoothly. There were cloudy days in my life as well, days where I used to grieve, get upset over silly things, and extremely angry, but binge-watching friends takes all these emotions away and brings happiness to my heart.”
Voicing the thoughts of every fan of the sitcom, Tanvi says that almost every one of the 236 episodes was a laughter riot for her and was just the way to unwind after a long, hard day. “No matter what the situation was, they were always there for each other as they rightly said that "I'll be there for you". They said it and they were.”
How can we watch the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion in India?
Fans of the sitcom are in for a dose of good news! The premier of the reunion special will air on ZEE5 in India. While the reunion episode will begin streaming from May 27 on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max in the US, there was much debate about where fans in India can catch the episode, as HBO Max isn’t available on Indian screens.
Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India said in a statement, “We are extremely excited to bring ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S: The Reunion’ exclusively on ZEE5 for the Indian market. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is amongst the world’s most-watched and loved sitcoms and it is a great opportunity for us to present their reunion, something that the world has been talking about, on ZEE5 for F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ fans in India.”