Suspense builds up in the United States two days before Friends of the special episode airs. In New York, in front of the building that once housed fantastically the apartments of Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joy, tourists take pictures of themselves, with countdowns to the hours leading up to the big day.
A fan of the series, deeply touched, testifies: “Friends were everything to me. You know, friends kept me sane one way or another. In dark times, you know dealing with cancer and the like. Friends are a great show. There’s nothing else like that.” This woman admits, and takes a few sighs.
The arrival of this episode initially coincided with the launch of the HBO Max platform at the end of May 2020, which acquired the entire “Friends” catalog.
But the pandemic forced production to delay filming, which didn’t finally happen until last month, in Burbank, California.
In addition to the series’ six main comedians, this ceremonial episode will also see many stars, from Canadian singer Justin Bieber to South Korean group BTS, via former soccer player David Beckham and singer Lady Gaga, according to a statement released Thursday.
HBO Max posted a trailer online Thursday, limited to a long shot of the series’ six heroes, from behind, as they walk. The title of the episode says “The One Where They Back Together”, using similar wording for all episodes of the series, which all begin with “The One”).
The series “Friends” (1994-2004) was a huge audience hit and saw a generation of viewers.
Its arrival on Netflix in 2015 allowed the platform to seduce a new audience, confirming the healthy popularity of the sitcom, a genre that many have said is in decline.