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Hey, how you doin’? It feels like it’s been far too long since we’ve heard those iconic words said on TV, but there are plenty of reasons for fans of “Friends” to hope (or at least wish) for the series to mount a full comeback.
Granted, there are countless things for networks to juggle when deciding whether or not to reboot a classic years after its finale. However, if the choice was down to popularity, it would be a no-brainer.
The Show Remains Popular Today
Fans of “Friends” in the U.S. reacted strongly to seeing their favorite show disappear from the Netflix streaming service some time ago. Sales of DVDs surged and petitions were launched to convince Netflix to keep the show on its service. Ultimately these efforts were unsuccessful, but the uproar certainly proved that there remains a strong appetite for these characters (who can now be enjoyed on the HBO Max platform instead). Simply put, people enjoy having their favorite show available to them. And if fans are so desperate to see episodes that have been off the air for over fifteen years, imagine the excitement at seeing the Central Perk gang in new content.
The Show is Still Marketable
Sitcoms aren’t always the most merchandise-friendly properties, but “Friends” managed to buck that trend. For instance, how many sitcoms manage to get transformed into video games? Toward the end of the show’s original run, a “Friends” trivia game called “The One With All The Trivia” was released. Even more recently, the show made the jump to the online gaming scene in the form of a “Friends” game amongst the Foxy Games Slingo section. This game basically swaps out traditional symbols and visuals in slot and bingo games for content from “Friends” in a bid to attract fans. It’s unlike anything any other marketing or licensing ploy we’ve seen from a major sitcom.
The Actors Never Left our Screens
The cast of “Friends” remains as iconic as the characters they played. Courteney Cox recently (finally) received her first nomination for an Emmy for her role on the show – more than a decade after it left the air. Jennifer Aniston has remained a marketable movie star since the early 00s and now headlines a show on Apple TV. And Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer continue to get work in film and TV today. Every member of the main cast has had a successful post-“Friends” career, even if they’ll always be most closely associated with the TV parts that launched their careers in the ’90s.
The Format is Still Popular
Shows like “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “The Goldbergs” have proven that the sitcom format that “Friends” helped cement remains popular and marketable even today. Though the sitcom has been a mainstay of TV for decades, “Friends” helped to launch a modern style of writing and editing with short, quick scenes and multiple intertwined plot lines. A generation of writers and showrunners grew up watching the show and it is clear that they were heavily influenced by the innovations that it created.
The Reunion Special
For years fans clamored for some new content and in 2021 they finally got a version of it. “Friends: The Reunion” brought the main cast together to look back at the enduring legacy of the show, share some choice backstage gossip, and otherwise celebrate one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of a generation. The reunion itself was entertaining, featuring a cascade of celebrity guests and even launching a strangely specific meme among Irish fans.
With so much excitement currently surrounding the show and the people who made it, it’s almost hard to believe it’s been off the air for more than fifteen years. And it certainly seems as if the public would welcome a full return.