Friends reunion review: HBO Max delivers the transponster of reunions

The highly anticipated Friends reunion finally kicks off with a heartwarming start as the six stars, who have only been together once since the show ended in 2004, reunite on Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. lot. Walking through the meticulously recreated sets, including the iconic Central Perk and the apartments, the cast is visibly moved by the nostalgia. Tears and hugs flow freely, with Jennifer Aniston jokingly asking for a tissue box and settling for a napkin from Monica’s kitchen.

For fans like myself, who have cherished the show for years, these moments are genuinely emotional and highlight the special bond between the cast members. However, the reunion’s charm is often overshadowed by unnecessary filler and a bloated runtime of 104 minutes. Originally planned as a promotional tool for HBO Max’s launch, the special was delayed multiple times due to the pandemic.

While the cast is enthusiastic and engages in lively performances, the special feels disjointed, combining elements of a talk show, a retrospective, and a family reunion. The celebrity testimonials add little to the overall experience, and James Corden’s interview lacks depth. The best moments come from the cast’s interactions and behind-the-scenes footage, reminding us why we fell in love with Friends in the first place.

Despite its flaws, the Friends reunion is a must-watch for fans. If you’re a subscriber to HBO Max, dive in and skip the filler. For non-subscribers, it’s worth waiting for the best bits to surface online. Grade: B

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