October 19, 2021

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Friends: Les Retrouvailles – first friend critique on TF1 and Salto

Everyone’s been scared of him since his announcement and his umpteenth delay due to Covid 19, but six New York friends are finally reunited more than seventeen years after the end of the cult series. Available on HBO Max in the United States, Friends: The Reunion hits screens with nostalgia dripping on Salto in France, to the delight of fans?

THEY ARE BACK
236 episodes, over 220 broadcasting regions, most watched comedy for six consecutive seasons, 25 million viewers per week (52 million before the last), series watched more than 100 billion times across all platforms… Honestly, the numbers- the numbers speak for themselves; despite everything we can blame for it, its lack of diversity, its grossophobia, its problematic treatment of sexuality and general modesty, Friends remains one of the best sitcoms and television references of the ’90s.

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Mourir peut attendre

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Obviously, the desire to see Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry reunite tickles more than one, and those who want to know what bandmates have become often go too far to dream. see it on the big screen.

Except that producers and series creators Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Kevin S. Bright never really believed it, convinced that they had offered the character the best possible ending. All of this because it doesn’t leave a huge window of opportunity for Friends: The Reunion, if it doesn’t offer this 237th episode of nostalgia at the bar, even if it means doing too much.

OUR BEST MEMORIES
Ultimately, the stakes are to find out who won’t rush to their screens to revel in the most anticipated reunion of the past seventeen years. Saw Ross for the umpteenth time shouting “PIVOT” at Chandler and Jennifer and saw the three actors laughing and asking to catch their breath. Relive Ross and Rachel’s first kiss, Phoebe’s screams when she learns that Chandler and Monica are sleeping together, or when Monica and Rachel lose their apartment to an unfortunate (and fun) bet?

Let it be said, it is not in rereading or re-enacting these cult moments Friends: The Reunion does its best. Even a bit weak in the realization. In fact, such a device as a whole remains a bit forced and, even if some have definitely been picked up in the game, the results are still unconvincing.

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Luckily, across the six actors, there are moments of self-mockery, handkerchiefs and memories that are at least indigestible without them. Because right from the start, from the theater’s entrance six in the old setting recast for the event, the tone is set: it’s all there to get the audience’s tear glands to work, whether through excitement or the spleen. , often in excess.

Not sure that the whole thing needs to see Lady Gaga sing a Smelly Cat duet with Lisa Kudrow to laugh at this poor stinky cat misfortune once again. Not sure that a “fashion” show that brings together Cara Delevingne, Cindy Crawford or Justin Bieber (Matt Lebanc’s trip is enough) will become mandatory either… if it doesn’t properly instill what everyone knows: Friends loved by all generations.

SO NO ONE TOLD YOU
It’s the six main members who set the tone for the night, good tears, teasing and throwing flowers, while the series creators come in to add an anecdote or two from the shooting, writing, casting. Like many productions, things can be very different.

Courteney Cox could have given Rachel her face, if her feelings as Monica weren’t so present. Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry would never have been a part of that adventure if the series they were already on did not approve of their departure or was canceled after the pilot. If David Schwimmer isn’t convinced, perhaps encouraged too, by knowing that Ross has been thought of with his voice and his beaten dog face, he may never be back on camera…

This reunion should not be taken for anything other than what it is: testimony to one of the most important things on television at the time. Whatever we say today, whatever the black dot that can be seen today is like a nose in the face… it’s a gathering made for fans, thanks to the entity that history entered. Chandler and Monica went from one night stand to a historic television couple.

So does nostalgia for the past forgive all these resource disasters and scenarios? No, definitely not. Moreover, all these performances in the end don’t teach us much new about legendary serial productionthis. At best, it’s a fun conversation between old friends that happens in public (on the spot or behind the scenes). At times, the good old days that come to the fore may seem a bit forced, but the pleasures of most of those present seem to be honest as well.