Movies & TV / Columns

Is Friends Ready for a Reboot?

September 16, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
friends HBO Max

Certain television shows are granted a golden pass in the grand scheme of things, where they age well and are spoken of fondly among fans and critics. 

Other shows are considered pip culture landmarks but when viewed with a certain lens, don’t age as well, throwing their impact into question. 

NBC’s Friends is one of those shows. While a massive blockbuster at the time, it’s quality has been put into question, and it seems to have lost some favor among young viewers.

This is not to say it’s not a moneymaker, even after all these years. Just this psst July, Netflix announced the sitcom, one of the most popular shows on Netflix, would no longer be available for streaming come 2020.

This had followed months of speculation that Netflix would be relinquishing the series, which Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep last year, would instead be featured on WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

When you have a series that’s so popular with critics and fans, it’s inevitable that rumors of a reunion or reboot would eventually happen. When it comes to Friends, we don’t have to speculate to hard.
“We will not be doing a reunion show. We will not be doing a reboot,” co-creator Marta Kauffman said at an anniversary panel for Friends at the Tribeca TV Festival. Kauffman was joined by co-creator David Crane and executive producer Kevin Bright for the conversation.

Going on why there will be no Friends reboot, Kauffman said, “There are two reasons for that. One of the reasons we won’t do a reunion is because this is a show about a time in your life when your friends are your family. And when you have a family, that changes. But the other reason is it’s not going to beat what we did.”

Crane added, “We did the show we wanted to do. We got it right, and we put a bow on it. If you visited those characters now, it just would not be the same DNA and chances are, it wouldn’t be as good.”

This is an interesting one depending on your age. While some older fans are interested in seeing where the characters ended up, younger viewers have called out the show for a number of social violations. 

On top of that, a reboot seems weak given the large number of shows that cover the same ground as Friends, many doing it better. 

Where do you stand? Reboot? Or has Friends not aged well and needs to be forgotten?

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Friends, Steve Gustafson