Everything we know about the Friends reunion special
The past year has been difficult for everyone for so many reasons, whether your job's a joke, you're broke, or your love life's DOA. But thankfully, the Friends reunion will be there for you soon, despite the many pandemic delays.
HBO Max's unscripted reunion special has finally filmed, after it was originally announced more a year ago, back in February 2020, which means that Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will all be back together on screen for the first time since the show wrapped in 2004.
So when exactly will you be able to watch all your favorite Friends stars reunite to talk about the show that launched their careers more than 25 years ago? What can you expect from the special? EW rounded up everything we know about the Friends reunion to help prepare you for the upcoming pop culture celebration.
When will the Friends reunion air?
While the reunion special was originally planned to be available to stream when HBO Max launched in May 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ruined that timeline, since the cast couldn't film together. But on April 11, the Friends Instagram account revealed that the special has wrapped, meaning we're one major step closer to finally seeing it on our TVs (and computers, phones, tablets, etc., however you may enjoy your entertainment). And HBO Max has finally announced the premiere date — May 27, more than a year after it was supposed to debut. Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!
How can I watch the Friends reunion?
You'll need an HBO Max subscription to partake in all the Friends reunion fun. In the meantime, the full series is currently available to stream on HBO Max, so you can rewatch all 10 seasons again (and again, and again…) while you wait.
Which Friends stars returned for the reunion?
This is the first time that all six main Friends stars, plus co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, will be appearing together for a reunion. There was another Friends reunion back in 2016, but Perry did not participate. And with all the production delays caused by the pandemic (and producers opting to not film it over Zoom), anticipation has been ramping up now for more than a year.
Who are the other celebrity guests?
Friends: The Reunion will be hosted by James Corden, and feature guest appearances by BTS, Lady Gaga, David Beckham, Justin Bieber, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, and Malala Yousafzai. Could we be any more excited?
What will the reunion be like?
HBO Max loves keeping the full details of the special under wraps more than the Friends group loves their Central Perk couch, but here's what we do know: It's not going to be a revival episode. The reunion will be unscripted, so the six actors won't be reprising their roles for any new scenes. They will instead be participating in a talk-show-style conversation with Corden, looking back on their memories of filming the show and more. Schwimmer confirmed that in an interview on The Graham Norton Show, but he did tease that "there is one section I don't want to give away where we all read something." So take that as you will!
Shot over three days, the reunion will also include iconic props and set pieces along with some behind-the-scenes footage to excite everyone from the casual Friends viewers to the most passionate fans. Before the pandemic derailed the original plans for the taping, the idea was to reunite the Friends cast and creators on the show's original soundstage in front of a live studio audience, just like how the show was always filmed. Due to COVID precautions, that might have been changed.
Can I watch a preview?
Yes, watch a trailer for the reunion below.
What have people who already watched the Friends reunion saying?
EW TV critic Kristen Baldwin gave the reunion special a B in her review, noting that the moments the six Friends are alone together bring "genuine emotion, both for the cast and viewers." However, she notes the special pads those moments out with "tiresome filler."
The stars "give lively table-read performances of scenes from classic episodes (and yes, they've still got it). They engage in a spirited Friends trivia quiz modeled after the apartment-swap bet in 'The One With the Embryos,' complete with walk-on celebrity cameos. And the stars laugh until they cry while watching bloopers on Monica and Rachel's ancient-looking TV," Baldwin reveals. "One of the most entertaining moments is watching the Friends watch LeBlanc dislocate his shoulder while shooting 'The One Where No One's Ready.' ("No! No! No!" squeals Kudrow, while a squeamish Aniston buries her face in one of Monica's throw pillows.)"
Friends: The Reunion premieres on HBO Max on May 27.