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I enjoyed this and laughed a lot, mostly at the bloopers section, but it was not without flaws. Mostly, it was overhyped, which was not their fault. But I also think they just did not know what they wanted it to be so they tried to do everything which resulted in it being a little choppy. But I did have fun watching and it was so nice to see the six of them together! 

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You know I just looked at the IG's of Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston. Neither have that overly filtered, IG "influencer" look. There's a few Hollywood actresses of a certain age that always slap so many filters on your face you have no idea what they actually look like.

Here are David and Lisa. No makeup, no filter:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPZi1NunSei/

One thing the creatives did well was write the actors' down to earth personalities into the roles.

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1 hour ago, ifionlyknew said:

I think she absolutely is but I don't think she acts like she is if that makes sense. She (and actually all of them) seem very humble about their fame. David suggesting they negotiate as a team and the writers never writing any character as the lead prevented any one of them from being the star of the show.  Jennifer was sincerely happy to see Maggie Wheeler.  I think her friendships run deep.

A very smart decision to negotiate as a team, as well. It made them all hideously rich and ensured that there were never any money-related issues between them.

These six people were amongst the most famous people on Earth for most of the 90s, and really did defy the 'just a TV star' stigma. Although most of them struggled to make much of their movie careers during or after Friends.

Jennifer has done well, and Courtney had the Scream series, but I can only think of a couple of movies the others have done:

Matt - Ed, Lost in Space

Matthew - Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards

David - Seven Days and Seven Nights

Lisa - Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, The Opposite of Sex, Easy A

I wonder whether part of that was down to them all just being too recognisable as their Friends characters, and audiences expecting them to be the same, or execs not being able to envisage them playing something different.

I know people who've watched Band of Brothers and immediately complained that "I can't take Ross seriously when he's yelling."

38 minutes ago, Lady Whistleup said:

You know I just looked at the IG's of Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston. Neither have that overly filtered, IG "influencer" look. There's a few Hollywood actresses of a certain age that always slap so many filters on your face you have no idea what they actually look like.

Lisa will look stunning when she's in her seventies.

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18 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

A very smart decision to negotiate as a team, as well. It made them all hideously rich and ensured that there were never any money-related issues between them.

A lot of the tensions on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond and Sex and the City were due to the main star earning so much more than the other leads. I think Patricia Heaton is not cool with the rest of the Everybody Loves Raymond cast :( 

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20 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

I know people who've watched Band of Brothers and immediately complained that "I can't take Ross seriously when he's yelling."

I thought David was great in American Crime Story playing Robert Kardashian. I think for one brief moment when he first appeared I thought Ross but after that I thought he nailed it.

I also liked him on Will & Grace but I did think his character was a cranky Ross.

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13 minutes ago, ifionlyknew said:

I thought David was great in American Crime Story playing Robert Kardashian. I think for one brief moment when he first appeared I thought Ross but after that I thought he nailed it.

I also liked him on Will & Grace but I did think his character was a cranky Ross.

I was just going to mention this.  My Mom has always hated "Friends" even though everyone else in our family loves it.  But she saw David Schwimmer on "Will and Grace" and now is in love with him.  She loves his character on W&G.  It's harder for me because I just see David and it's hard to separate him and see him as another character.  I don't know why that is.  Maybe it pains me to see him be so mean.  LOL.  

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This Reunion reminded me of how much I loved Ross. Funny how the creators wrote the character with him in mind and he was the first one casted. The Routine is one of my favorite episodes so I'm glad they showed that clip. Ross dancing makes me laugh hysterically. TOW with Joey's Fridge has one of the best ending credits scenes: 

 

Edited by kendi · Reason: Link
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I hated the Rachel and Joey arc, but the best thing to come out of it was David's acting during the "I'm fine" episode. "I'm making fajitas!" never fails to crack me up. 

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I loved Ross.  One of my clear memories of nearly crying laughing with this show was the leather pants scene. 

I would have watched 2 hours of just the cast reminiscing.  The parts I liked the most was just the cast on set talking.

 

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My husband and I were in tears laughing at the PIVOT! scene again. That will go down in history as one of the funniest moments on TV.

I don't think all of Friends has aged terribly well, but you cannot escape what a moment in time this show was, and the influence it's had. The reunion was a lot more than I expected, and I wish they had shown more of the game show. I love that they never did actually say what Chandler did at that time.

Overall, it was a fun watch. I've seen some joke that Paul Rudd really was there - as Ant Man - and that's who Lisa was flicking off her on the couch. 😄

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Schwimmer has done a lot more movies than that. He was superb (and so different) in the lesser-known IT'S THE RAGE. He's also done a *lot* of theater, which of course is largely invisible if you look at IMDB. He's really a very good, versatile  actor.

Re casts who are good friends: the cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY appear to have gotten along very well, to the point where the three top leads took salary reductions so the other three could be paid more.

Edited by wendyg
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3 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

A very smart decision to negotiate as a team, as well. It made them all hideously rich and ensured that there were never any money-related issues between them.

These six people were amongst the most famous people on Earth for most of the 90s, and really did defy the 'just a TV star' stigma. Although most of them struggled to make much of their movie careers during or after Friends.

Jennifer has done well, and Courtney had the Scream series, but I can only think of a couple of movies the others have done:

 

I  loved Courtney Cox’s show Cougartown. It was actually really good and not what it sounds like.

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16 minutes ago, JennyMominFL said:

I  loved Courtney Cox’s show Cougartown. It was actually really good and not what it sounds like.

Sometimes I forget how much I liked that show.

I used to be OBSESSED with Lisa Kudrow's "Web Therapy" when it first came out.  When it first came out, it was just 5 minute little vignettes posted on the Lexus site.  I used to wake up every day excited to watch it.  I didn't have the same love for it when they elongated it into full episodes.  I don't know why.

I also like "Studio 60" which Matt Perry was on.  Too bad it didn't last longer.  I also like the movie "Three to Tango".  I watched "Serving Sara" and it was not good. :( 

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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3 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

 

I know people who've watched Band of Brothers and immediately that "I can't take Ross seriously when he's yelling."

Not me! I thought the Sobel character was essentially Ross, minus every redeeming feature. Despotic, pedantic, power tripping and convinced of his own brilliance while completely inept. Just like the real Herbert Sobel (according to the book). David played the part very well but it didn't appear to me to be much of a reach.

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4 hours ago, ramonaflowers said:

I enjoyed this and laughed a lot, mostly at the bloopers section, but it was not without flaws. Mostly, it was overhyped, which was not their fault. But I also think they just did not know what they wanted it to be so they tried to do everything which resulted in it being a little choppy. But I did have fun watching and it was so nice to see the six of them together! 

Same here.

I didn't see the point of the celeb cameos like Cindy Crawford and Kit Harrington. They were pointless and took up screen time that could have been better spent letting some of the former guest stars like the Janice, Richard, Geller parents and the Gunther actors say more than 3 words. I would have liked if they spent more time just letting the cast reminisce. I did enjoy the BTS footage and bloopers, some of it I don't think has ever been shown before. 

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The Cindy thing ended up being a lot more organic than I had hoped.  But Elle MacPherson would have been a lot better for the real fans of this show.

The Kit Harrington thing was so out of left field.  Also BTS.  The one member in the bottom left corner had the funniest expression on his face, like he would have rather been anywhere else.  

Watch how sarcastic he looks LOL

 

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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30 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

The Cindy thing ended up being a lot more organic than I had hoped.  But Elle MacPherson would have been a lot better for the real fans of this show.

The Kit Harrington thing was so out of left field.  Also BTS.  The one member in the bottom left corner had the funniest expression on his face, like he would have rather been anywhere else.  

Watch how sarcastic he looks LOL

 

LOL, when  I said BTS I mean the behind the scenes footage. While I (secretly) like BTS the  musical group they were out of left field at the reunion  too.

I just had a thought. If they just had to use gimmicks they should have had Denise Richards come out in the leather pants outfit and she could  have whipped her hair around in slow motion. 🤣

Edited by ww92
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Watched it. Great reunion! Loved it more than I expected. Laughed a lot. Cried on and off throughout the episode. I started crying when I saw Matt wiping Courtney’s happy tears.

Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc have aged gracefully, am impressed. It’s too bad that Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox and Jen Aniston totally messed up their faces. Matthew’s extremely white teeth, quite distracting. And Jen’s voice has changed quite a lot huh.

My most favourite part is the “pivot” blooper, laughed and cried watching it. Love the table readings, their chemistry is real and they are still great together. Lisa and Matt still have the best laugh. Matt still laughing at “Ross playing with the bones” is cute! It’s heartwarming to hear Jack and Judy Geller told us that they saw themselves as the parents to the 6 friends. My favourite moments of J&J are their remarks on Emma’s erotic cake (on her 1st birthday) and Judy telling Rachel the Ross’ testicles story. And also when Phoebe was yelling at Judy in the restaurant “pick up the socks, pick up the socks!”. 

The parts that I dislike are the fashion show, Lady overrated Gaga, the comments from irrelevant celebs and fans. Why wasted so much time on that, we all know the show is iconic. It would have been better if they invite the actor who played Ben and the twins who played 1yo Emma.

I wish they could’ve invited Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate instead of Reese Witherspoon. CA is Rachel’s best sister while RW is just annoying, I never like her acting.

I love hearing about BTS bits from the show creators because I didn’t pay attention to all of these stories back then. 

Re new episode of Friends, we don’t need it. I wholeheartedly agree with what Marta Kauffman has said that this show was meant to be about a specific time in a person’s life, and they wrapped up the show very nicely with everyone getting some sort of happily ever after. And what Lisa said  is right too “I don’t want anyone’s happy ending unraveled”. SATC and Sarah Jessica Parker should learn from these, just saying! ✌️

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20 minutes ago, ww92 said:

LOL, when  I said BTS I mean the behind the scenes footage. While I (secretly) like BTS the  musical group they were out of left field at the reunion  too.

I just had a thought. If they just had to use gimmicks they should have had Denise Richards come out in the leather pants outfit and she could  have whipped her hair around in slow motion. 🤣

Don't worry I know what you meant.  Just a coincidence.

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I loved Lisa Kudrow when she had a brief role in Scandal as well.

I think Jennifer looks fantastic. She works hard at taking care of herself and it shows. 

I thought the celebrity guest appearances that had no connection to the show were weird. Like why not get Elle MacPherson to be the supermodel wearing the leather pants?

I enjoyed watching and they do still have chemistry. There was something bittersweet about seeing them so young and carefree, before life's twists and turns struck them all in different ways.

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The fan stories were sweeter to hear than the celebrity ones, though David Beckham's about putting on the show as comfort when he misses his family was nice. The show does make me think of different people and times in my life (like how The One Where Ross Got High--my family's favorite--will always make me think of my dad, "Ah, salmon spring roll" always makes me think of my best friend, and the finale will always make me think of college, because the power went out in the dorms that night and everyone freaked out). I kind of wish they would've shown the cast's reaction to those; I hope they at least got to see them.

The reunion was sweet. Definitely overhyped, a bit long, and filled with unnecessary extras that weren't needed to make it enjoyable. I'm not sure I need to watch it again, so it's unfortunate that I didn't wait until next weekend, when a friend planned a watch party for us all to see it (first chance we could all get together). Darn my need for instant gratification!

The main six are fun together, and it's lovely to see their friendship. Lisa looks GREAT and seems like a blast, as does Matt. I did appreciate whoever said they were all gifted physical actors, which is true--David was the best, but they all had their moments. Rachel's reaction shot to Chandler saying "No, the best reason to get married is pregnancy" in The One With the Girl Who Hit Joey is one of my favorite unsung moments in the whole show.

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On 5/27/2021 at 9:17 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

I've heard this rumour several times, but about Tom Selleck.   I think that Tom just meant that the cast was SO close knit in Season 2 that he felt a little excluded.  And the media took this statement and really ran with it.  As the cast explained they were inseparable for S1/S2.

 

Kathleen Turner went on record saying that the cast wasn't friendly to her, but feels part of it was because they were so close knit and she didn't know them well. 

https://www.vulture.com/2018/08/kathleen-turner-in-conversation.html

 

Finally watched the special.  As others have said, the parts with the 6 of them together was amazing, and fun.  The rest of it...more miss than hit.  I'm glad Lisa said that there was no point doing a reunion episode because you need to unpack (and possibly retcon) a lot of things just to fill in story time.  

My heart hurt for Matthew Perry because he's been through a lot of health and substance abuse issues.  I hope he feels that he no longer needs that validation to be funny at all times.

Celebs that should have been a part: Paul Rudd and Cole "I was Ben until Emma came along and suddenly I didn't exist!" Sprouse.  

Edited by mtlchick
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Courteney acts as if she doesn't have a jealous bone in her body and Jennifer doesn't seem to have any rivalry with her either.

She's probably 98% happy and only like 2% jealous.

Edited by Lilac2000
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5 minutes ago, Lilac2000 said:

She's probably 98% happy and only like 2% jealous.

This is the least jealous she's ever been!

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I read something that said the producers invited other people to participate, but not all were available on the day of filming  (April 7th) because of Covid restrictions (some people couldn’t fly or leave the Covid bubbles of their current shows or movies) and other scheduling issues. Paul Rudd was filming the next installment of Ant Man and Cole Sprouse was presumably still working on Riverdale. 
 

Found the article 

https://www.eonline.com/amp/news/1274638/heres-why-paul-rudd-and-cole-sprouse-were-missing-from-the-friends-reunion

Edited by Angeleyes
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I remember reading that there wasn’t any back stage drama with Reese Witherspoon; she didn’t come back because she was uncomfortable acting in front of the live studio audience.

I loved the reunion!  Yes, we could have skipped the fashion show and Lady Gaga.  I just wanted to hear them reminisce, and they gave me some new stories.  The BTS clips were also terrific.  I am always surprised when TPTB say they hadn’t planned to put Chandler and Monica together long term.  I think they had the best slow burn of friends to spouses.  I also will go to my grave thinking they should have ended with Ross giving up his job to move to Paris with Rachel.

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I liked it a lot.  I didn't know what to expect and honestly wasn't even that excited for it until the trailer dropped.  I thought it was good as could have been expected.  (And way better than a one-off scripted special with everyone reprising their characters that no doubt would have felt hella forced.)  Nothing that is going to blow anyone away but it was fun to sit in with the 6 of them again.  Agree with everyone that the table reads were the highlight.  1 major gripe and 1 minor.  The major one is to echo the laments for the lack of bagpipe scene bloopers.  As my cousin likes to say, if what they actually aired was the most usable take then imagine what the outtakes look like.  My minor gripe was there was nothing about "And that, my friend, is what they call 'closure.'"  For my money, it's not only one of the top 5 most iconic moments from the show ever, but Jen A is just a one woman wrecking crew in that scene.  So.  Effing.  Good.  I'll allow it because they really shied away from most of the moments that only focused one character and tried to do as much ensemble stuff as possible.  And obviously, a lot of moments had to be left out.  Overall I think it's nice to see how much the 6 of them seem to sincerely value their time on the show.  Sometimes you'll see actors kind of hand wave away or want to distance themselves from previous work.  On one hand, I completely get why that would be the case.  I'm sure you want to move on with your life at some point.  On the other hand sometimes it comes off as a little flippant and almost insulting to the fans who still value it.  All six of them seem to have struck this nice balance of understanding what the show meant and still means (both to themselves and the audience) while at the same time not trying to desperately cling to it to stay relevant.  I know they're not perfect people, and Matthew Perry's demons especially are well documented, but for a group of 6 who were made into international superstars in their 20s almost overnight, it's wild that they are all as seemingly well adjusted as they are.

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The parts that I dislike are the fashion show, Lady overrated Gaga, the comments from irrelevant celebs and fans

Same. The parts with the 6 and the people who were actually on the show were nice. Stuff like the guests that had nothing to do with the show, the fashion show, etc, could be removed and it wouldn't have hurt the reunion one bit.

With regards to the cast banding together for salary negotiations and whatnot...that's been known since at least the late 90s. I'm surprised more casts don't do the same and learned from this group.

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Unless the show is super popular, the cast runs the risk of the network deciding it's better for their bottom line to just cancel the show than pay the higher salaries. 

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Tom Selleck speaks very highly of the show and cast here, 2015

https://www.avclub.com/tom-selleck-on-jesse-stone-friends-and-fighting-for-m-1798285640

Quote

Friends (1996-2000)—“Dr. Richard Burke”
In & Out (1997)—“Pete Malloy”

TS: In & Out and Friends were both cases where I got advice from professional people that I shouldn’t do them. In & Out for obvious reasons, Friends because they said, “It’s a TV show! You can’t guest on someone else’s TV show. They’ll say you’re crawling back to television!” You know, I believe in taking risks. I think that’s what actors need to do: They have to risk failing. So what? I’ve had a long career based on that philosophy. I said, “I haven’t done a sitcom since Taxi, and I like comedy, and I like the show!” You have to make a commitment based on a pitch, because they haven’t written it yet, but they pitched the idea. I knew I liked Courteney because I’d already done a screen test with her for a part she was too young for (in Folks), so that kind of fit perfectly, because I knew was a good actor she was, and I knew we could work together.

I signed for three and ended up doing nine of them, and it was very funny—and I always remember this—that I didn’t realize the impact the show was having until they came to me in March and they said, “They want you and Courteney on the cover of TV Guide.” Well, I know the business, and I knew what that meant: By that time of year, they’d already promised that cover to somebody, so they were willing to bump somebody off at the risk of a relationship and put us on. And I said, “Boy, this is really big!” That was kind of a weird validation, one that I only got because I knew the business pretty much by then, but it was a joy, all of those actors were a joy to work with, and I would’ve done 30 of them if they’d asked me.

 

2 hours ago, mtlchick said:

Celebs that should have been a part: Paul Rudd and Cole "I was Ben until Emma came along and suddenly I didn't exist!" Sprouse.  

The twins that played Emma were in the movie "Us" in 2019.  A spot by them would have been cool too.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Well I figured that I might as well use my HBO Max sub and so tonight I watched the Pilot for the first time in a long time. I laughed for 22 minutes straight. Wow. I had forgotten about Paul the Wine Guy.

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47 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

 I know they're not perfect people, and Matthew Perry's demons especially are well documented, but for a group of 6 who were made into international superstars in their 20s almost overnight, it's wild that they are all as seemingly well adjusted as they are.

Right and I think that's why they always reinforce that the 6 of them helped each other through their own version of "Beatlemania".  Without each other, it would have been much harder, no doubt.

9 minutes ago, Mirabelle said:

Unless the show is super popular, the cast runs the risk of the network deciding it's better for their bottom line to just cancel the show than pay the higher salaries. 

The risk to negotiate together was a perfect one in the 90s.  Now, network shows never last, so yes, it would be a lot harder.  It's a shame (to me) that actors have so much less power in these situations in the current age.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 5/27/2021 at 9:17 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

I've heard this rumour several times, but about Tom Selleck.   I think that Tom just meant that the cast was SO close knit in Season 2 that he felt a little excluded.  And the media took this statement and really ran with it.  As the cast explained they were inseparable for S1/S2.

 

2 hours ago, mtlchick said:

Kathleen Turner went on record saying that the cast wasn't friendly to her, but feels part of it was because they were so close knit and she didn't know them well. 

https://www.vulture.com/2018/08/kathleen-turner-in-conversation.html

 

The thing I suspect some actors who don't do a lot of sitcoms  (like, had Turner done many, or any, before Friends?) don't get is that it's going to be different from a movie set or while doing a play. The actors are learning a new script every week so there's less downtime than on a movie or during play rehearsals--especially on something like Friends were they were only working two or three days a week by the later seasons.

In the Golden Girls Forever book (which is great), there's a quote from Inga Swenson who guest-starred as Rose's sister, which I thought was illuminating about sitcoms in general: "As I had learned doing Benson, when you’re a nuclear family on a sitcom like those four ladies were, you have a lot of work to do, learning a new script every week—if not every night, because the writers change it every day. So you don’t have time for socializing or chatting with strangers on the set. Doing The Golden Girls, I had the same expectations—as the guest star, I didn’t expect anyone to hang out with me." (Though there were dogs on set that week, so she said she and Betty White, a well-known animal lover, had a nice conversation about dogs.)

So...yeah. The guest stars are the equivalent of temps in an office...and how friendly do people tend to get with temps who are only going to be there a week? There are shows that were known to have friendly sets (evidently Frasier had some kind of setup where they had one green room (or something like that) for everyone so all the actors--the regulars and major guest stars--hung out before shows), but I would expect that to be the exception rather than the rule.

(It can also work both ways. I remember that Helen Baxendale said the cast wasn't particularly friendly--the exceptions being Lisa Kudrow and Matt Leblanc, which given their personalities, yeah, I can see where they might be the warmest to outsiders. At the same time, there's an old interview with David Schwimmer where he says she didn't want to be friends with them: 'To be honest with you I don't think she wanted any part of us,' he says. 'I felt like I, at least - and the others - welcomed her with open arms into the family, but she kept a real professional and personal distance. I was disappointed that she didn't want to engage. Some kind of connection would have been nice - after all, we were going to be married.' So who knows? Sometimes people just don't connect with each other.)

Edited by TheOtherOne
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15 minutes ago, TheOtherOne said:

(It can also work both ways. I remember that Helen Baxendale said the cast wasn't particularly friendly--the exceptions being Lisa Kudrow and Matt Leblanc, which given their personalities, yeah, I can see where they might be the warmest to outsiders. At the same time, there's an old interview with David Schwimmer where he says she didn't want to be friends with them: 'To be honest with you I don't think she wanted any part of us,' he says. 'I felt like I, at least - and the others - welcomed her with open arms into the family, but she kept a real professional and personal distance. I was disappointed that she didn't want to engage. Some kind of connection would have been nice - after all, we were going to be married.' So who knows?)

This interview is absolutely fascinating, thank you.  And quite juicy.  I already hated Emily when I was a kid, and now there's more fuel to the fire with the actor herself. 😄

I'm trying to find Helen's interview but I found this cute article instead

https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/tv-old/341134/the-one-where-you-learn-20-facts-you-never-knew-about-friends/

LOL I hope Matt really didn't say this!

Quote

14. Brit Helen Baxendale, who played Emily, said she “ironically had no
friends” on the set. But Matt hit back saying: “I don’t think anyone had
heard of Helen Baxendale until she was in Friends. She bit the hand that fed
her. Bad dog.”

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/WOW%3A+Friend+or+foe%3F%3B+Helen+Baxendale+thought+starring+in+Friends+was...-a060882842

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Here's the Helen Baxendale interview:

"She refuses to blame the Friends' cast for not giving her a warmer welcome - they have guest stars on all the time, she says, it is hardly worth their while making best buddy overtures to all of them. She won't single out anyone as being especially cold, but will say that the nicest cast members were Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow. It is a mark of how distant they were that she still calls them by their character names - Joey and Phoebe."

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Here's the Helen Baxendale interview:

This didn't age well:

"FIVE years ago, Helen Baxendale could only dream of the kind of role which would see her sharing a steamy on-screen smooch with film icon Kevin Spacey."

 

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7 hours ago, mtlchick said:

I'm glad Lisa said that there was no point doing a reunion episode because you need to unpack (and possibly retcon) a lot of things just to fill in story time.  

Exactly - if there’s anything I’ve learned from the Sex and the City reboot/refusal to end it’s that reboots/remakes ruin everything that was good about the original show.

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I felt like all of the celebrity appearances were a case of HBO really trying to gild the lily. I think they were trying to appeal to the younger fans who discovered the show when it was on Netflix, but I wish they had realized that none of these guest appearances would be enough to convince non-fans to watch the reunion. The fashion show was a complete waste of time. I found myself wishing that they had allocated those two minutes to letting some of the other cast members talk (although let's be real - they could have just let the other cast members talk more and just made the reunion run a few minutes longer and no one would have complained). I was like Tom Selleck cleared his schedule to get to the set and we saw him for like 30 seconds? What a waste! At least James Michael Tyler just Zoomed in for his 10 seconds.

Most of the celebs who got to talk about how much they loved the show could have been eliminated too. I found the non-celeb fans talking about the show a lot more interesting. Although there are definitely aspects of the show that have not aged well, it's still comforting to watch it because it's familiar. I know I definitely rewatched episodes over the last year for that reason. Hearing some of the normies talk about how much the show meant to them and helped them through tough times in their real lives was way more interesting than celebs saying, "I loved this show!"

My favorite thing about this reunion was just watching the cast sit and talk with each other. It's clear that they still love each other and have fond memories of the show (as much as we love hearing people spill all kinds of gossip after the fact, a reunion where cast members are obviously bitter and resentful is not fun to watch). I loved watching them walk onto the set one by one and start to get nostalgic/emotional. And who can blame them? It would be like going back to your childhood home after a 20 year absence. I can only imagine how overwhelming it must have been to see the set where they spent ten years together after so long.

Even though I have no personal stake in any of their private lives or their friendships, I hope that this reunion reminded them all how much they love each other and that they don't have to wait until they run into each other at a party to spend all night talking. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that zoom exists and all you have to do is schedule a convenient time to talk to someone.

I loved the updated game show. Eighteen pages - FRONT AND BACK!

On 5/27/2021 at 5:12 PM, Lady Whistleup said:

I'm surprised Reese Witherspoon participated. Am I nuts but wasn't there some BTS drama with her accusing the Friends of being not nice to her?

 

6 hours ago, Crs97 said:

I remember reading that there wasn’t any back stage drama with Reese Witherspoon; she didn’t come back because she was uncomfortable acting in front of the live studio audience.

Yes, she did an interview where she said she was excited when they asked her to guest star but once she was actually on set, she was so anxious because of the live audience that she never wanted to do it again. When they asked her to come back, she declined, which is why Christina Applegate appeared in that Thanksgiving episode.

ETA: for anyone who watched So You Think You Can Dance, Alex Wong did a recreation of Ross and Rachel’s routine:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CPYgZVOnrYi/

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I'm in the minority but I didn't like the reunion, I laughed at times but the idea that they just did this for so much money in times of covid-19 when money could be used for more important purposes did not let me just enjoy it. Added to this is the fact that the show had many things that today would not be accepted like huge homophobia, body shaming, ridiculing gay people, stereotypes etc. I didn't like that some of them said they haven't even watched all episodes while a normal fan like me has watched all of them at least 5 times. I didn't like the reading, it was sad to see most of them that badly aged and botoxed, I sometimes felt second hand embarassment. I will never not laugh with the pivot blooper and I use some phrases from the show in my everyday life, like when I want to say to someone "ah I told you so" I say "ah unagi" or I use Ross's hand gesture to ask from someone to be quiet. I think the reunion was unnecessary.

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Re:  The Smelly Cat bit.  Was Chrissy Hynde not available or otherwise not asked?  I get why you want Gaga to help sell your product but as a celebration of the series Hynde makes more sense.  I didn't mind the bit overall though.  Especially for Lisa's "mine was still better."  😆

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Hynde is to Gaga what Macpherson is to Crawford.

(Though I guess for some younger people, Cindy would be seen as Kaia's mom...)

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Most of the celebs who got to talk about how much they loved the show could have been eliminated too. I found the non-celeb fans talking about the show a lot more interesting. Although there are definitely aspects of the show that have not aged well, it's still comforting to watch it because it's familiar. I know I definitely rewatched episodes over the last year for that reason. Hearing some of the normies talk about how much the show meant to them and helped them through tough times in their real lives was way more interesting than celebs saying, "I loved this show!"

I loved that element too, all of the fans worldwide talking about how the show has effected them.  It was very moving and relatable.  I'm glad they included that.

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2 hours ago, himela said:

I'm in the minority but I didn't like the reunion, I laughed at times but the idea that they just did this for so much money in times of covid-19 when money could be used for more important purposes did not let me just enjoy it. Added to this is the fact that the show had many things that today would not be accepted like huge homophobia, body shaming, ridiculing gay people, stereotypes etc. I didn't like that some of them said they haven't even watched all episodes while a normal fan like me has watched all of them at least 5 times. I didn't like the reading, it was sad to see most of them that badly aged and botoxed, I sometimes felt second hand embarassment. I will never not laugh with the pivot blooper and I use some phrases from the show in my everyday life, like when I want to say to someone "ah I told you so" I say "ah unagi" or I use Ross's hand gesture to ask from someone to be quiet. I think the reunion was unnecessary.

I told a friend I'd talk about my old job for $200 much less $2M. The six had set their price and if that's what the network was willing to pay, then good for them. Whatever entity paid that money was not going to be giving that money to charity. 

As for the actors not watching the show, a lot of actors don't watch themselves. They were immersed in that show in a way fans weren't and I think it's healthy they don't want to keep reliving that time in their lives.  

I'd love to see the look on Bieber's face when he was told he'd be modeling Ross' SpudNik costume.

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I don't know if this is because I'm coming off a year+ of almost total isolation, but this whole thing had me very emotional. I agree with most of the other comments here that the strongest moments were just with the cast themselves (reminiscing, the recreation of the trivia game, the table reads) and with the guest stars, and I could have done without the extraneous celebs. Also would have preferred less of James Corden, more a note for life in general and not just this show.

I also loved seeing rehearsal footage, and that a lot of time when they showed "clips" of the show, it was uncut dailies, not the final product from episodes we've all seen a million times. I thought that was a different and unexpected approach (to be honest I'm surprised that footage is even still available), and kind of cool to see how it actually looks to shoot a sitcom. A lot is done in editing to make it all flow together so well.

Christina Pickles and Elliot Gould really pulled at my heartstrings, saying they really felt like parents when they were on the set. Maggie Wheeler looks great, and it was incredible how seamlessly she could slip back into Janice.

Speaking of seamlessly slipping back into character, the table read moments were pretty spectacular. Just the chemistry between all of them and how they could still tap into those inflections and idiosyncrasies. I honestly could have just watched an hour of that.

There was something very sweet about David and Jen revealing they had a thing for each other. Neither seems to have any regret about it not working out, and it is amazing that it wasn't picked up by the media at the time. Could you imagine, amidst the Ross and Rachel mania, that we would have also had to deal with David and Jen mania? A big no thanks.

I know before covid hit that this was supposed to be a huge part of HBO Max's launch, but I think doing it after the year we've all had only fueled the emotional aspects even more. I was particularly interested in Courteney, considering she returned to both of her best-known roles within the last year (Scream 5 filmed last fall). Overall, as others have said, there's something so magical about these 6 people: perfectly cast for their parts, having great chemistry with each other, able to form real life bonds, become massive superstars making insane amounts of money, and still being relatively grounded after all these years. I don't know if another show will ever be able to capture that, and I think that's why--despite the parts that haven't aged well--there will always be a place in the culture for Friends.

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19 minutes ago, helenamonster said:

Overall, as others have said, there's something so magical about these 6 people: perfectly cast for their parts, having great chemistry with each other, able to form real life bonds, become massive superstars making insane amounts of money, and still being relatively grounded after all these years. I don't know if another show will ever be able to capture that, and I think that's why--despite the parts that haven't aged well--there will always be a place in the culture for Friends.

Well said.

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I'm all for people getting paid what they're worth, even if they're already rich. In this case, I'd definitely rather see the cast get paid rather than just a corporation getting rich, since they're the reason people are interested in this.

And all evidence is that they were worth every penny. When the trailer was released, it spawned fresh interest in the show (lots of charts and numbers here):

"Friends: The Reunion special on HBO Max has also driven a surge of U.S. and worldwide demand for the original sitcom. As of May 24, Friends was the fourth most in-demand overall show in the world—behind only Game of Thrones, Attack on Titan, and La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)—and the eight most in-demand overall show in the U.S., behind stalwarts such as The Simpsons and The Mandalorian (both on Disney+)."

And this:

And this: ‘Friends: The Reunion’ Was Almost as Big as ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on HBO Max

"“Friends: The Reunion” was watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on May 27, the first day of its release, as measured by TVision, a connected-TV analytics provider. Viewers of the special on HBO Max were 55.4% female, and more than 50% were in the 35-54 age demo.

By comparison, DC’s “Wonder Woman 1984” reached 32% of U.S. streaming households when it bowed on Christmas Day 2020 on HBO Max, per TVision. According to Nielsen, “WW84” was the most-viewed title across U.S. streaming services for Dec. 21-27, 2020, registering nearly 2.3 billion minutes streamed."

So yeah, it's driving people to HBO Max, which was the whole reason for it. If Warner Bros./AT&T is getting paid, I'm glad the cast did too.

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I've said this before about other shows and it's that I don't think there's necessarily a secret sauce to it.  You hire charismatic people and give them a chance to be charismatic.  At the literal end of the day, we are choosing to let these people into our homes and lives.  If it's apparent that they are enjoying what they are doing then we will have vicarious fun with them.

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Yeah, I always try to keep perspective about the pay thing: if there's a story about an actor or actors making an absolutely insane salary, that means there's always some exec none of us would know if we passed them on the street that's making 5 times that.

Actors also have a lot of expenses that come with their salaries. 10% has to go to their agent per union rules, and if they have a manager (which I'm sure all 6 Friends actors do), that's another 15-20%. There's also publicists, stylists, lawyers, assistants, and accountants to manage all that money--they're still netting more from two-ish hours of tv than most of us will make this year, but if Warner/HBO is willing to pay them that much, who can blame them for not turning it down?

Acting is also an extremely inconsistent profession, for the most part. A lot of actors who had expected to have a certain amount of work last year had to quickly re-balance their personal budgets as projects got pushed back or cancelled entirely. No matter how well you may be doing at one point, you never know when you could hit a dry spell, so get when the getting's good.

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