We found out yesterday that the Friends cast would reunite for an NBC special honoring director James Burrows. There aren’t many details yet about what the special will entail, but it’s easy and fun to speculate. However, this probably won’t be the scripted reunion that fans have been hoping for since the show went off the air in 2004. But can you blame people for holding out hope even though the odds have never seemed favorable?
We’re living in a golden time where long cancelled or otherwise concluded shows re-emerge out of the blue all the time. Besides that, other shows have found creative ways to return to the airwaves — be it as a one-off super episode like The IT Crowd, the upcoming X-Files micro-season, or the oh-so-clever meta Seinfeld reunion that Larry David put together on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Which is, honestly, the high-water mark.
Rumors of a Friends reunion show have bubbled up like clockwork nearly every year for the past five years. In 2011, Matt LeBlanc shut down rumors of a new series:
“Friends was this magical, cool thing, like lightning in a bottle and I feel super fortunate to be part of it. But I can’t see a reunion not feeling gratuitous. What would the story be? We all get together and what? Have coffee?”