Throughout the late nineties and early noughties, Friends was a cultural phenomenon that had the world glued to their television sets.
From 1994 to 2004, it grabbed awards, nominations, and critical acclaim, but it also developed a considerable fanbase that still remains to this day. That is why, when a reunion show was released on May 27th, 2021, it made headlines around the world. The renewed interest in the six characters sparked hopes that there might be another bonus episode coming, or even a film, but sadly that has been ruled out.
During the reunion, both writer Marta Kauffman and Lisa Kudrow addressed the possibility of additional material. Both were very firm in their assertion that the reunion special would be the last the six filmed together.
“If the show was about that time in your life when your friends are your family, once you have a family of your own, it’s no longer that time,” Kauffman is reported by US Magazine as saying. “So the show came, I think, to a natural end.”
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay in the show, agreed with Kauffman and co-creator David Crane.
“I once heard them say, and I completely agree, that they ended the show very nicely, everyone’s lives are very nice. They would have to unravel all those good things in order for there to be stories. I don’t want anyone’s happy ending unraveled.”
The Friends reunion show, hosted by James Corden, did give fans of the sitcom something new to enjoy after a 17-year hiatus, and what a ride it was. Featuring six unreleased clips, it wove a wonderful story of a real-life friendship between the cast-off air, and it fed our desire for nostalgia. Some of the jokes and themes in the sitcom have not aged well, but the camaraderie, togetherness and romance have, and that aspect of the show remains timeless.
Whilst there will be no additional shows, no blockbuster film, and nothing new for fans to take in, Friends has permeated other media, both digital and otherwise, leaving those hungry for more ‘Ross and Rachel’ moments with something to feast upon. After the show ended, a book was released, which can still be found today, called Friends ‘Til the End, which is well worth picking up.
You can also find the sitcom’s influence in gaming and digital media. Warner Bros. released an app called Friends 25, which celebrated 25 years of the show, which is great fan those who loved the lives of the New York sextet. There is also a title on Foxy Games called Friends Slingo, which uses the familiar branding that brought joy to so many.
There was also a great Friends trivia game released that will appeal to retro gamers called ‘The One With All The Trivia’, which is as much fun today as it ever was. It can be found on the PlayStation 2, itself a nod back to the Friends era.
Sadly, those are the only options for fans of the series, as the cast and writers are sure that the end really is the end. Given how many shows and series end disappointingly (we’re looking at you, Game of Thrones), it is perhaps some comfort that not only did Ross and Rachel get their happy ending, but that there is no temptation to come back and take that away for a few dollars in the pocket. That, more than anything, should be comforting to those yearning for one more episode.
The Friends Reunion can be found on HBO Max, along with all ten series of the hit sitcom.
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios.
When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games