Friends Reunion Early Reviews Praise A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

Early reviews for the Friends reunion are rolling in, and they are praising a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, Friends was one of the most-watched sitcoms of all time over its 10-season run from 1994 to 2004. Since taking its final bow on NBC, Friends has remained omnipresent in the cultural zeitgeist due to incessant repeats on cable television and its streaming availability on HBO Max and Hulu.

HBO got into the reunion game last year with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and similar to that one, the Friends reunion will feature all of the original cast. Parts of the special were filmed in front of a live studio audience, just like the sitcom was originally taped. The reunion will be wholly unscripted and see all six cast members return to the set and relive some of their most cherished memories from the show. Since it was officially announced in 2020 and delayed multiple times due to the pandemic, the special has been one of HBO Max’s most hyped exclusives. Now, some early reviews for the highly-anticipated Friends reunion are here.

Related: Friends Reunion: Everything We Know

Set to premiere on HBO Max on May 27, early reviews for the Friends reunion are here, and they are praising a nostalgic trip down memory lane. While many are slamming the special as an overproduced affair that features too many celebrity guest appearances, nearly all agree that the special hits the nostalgic sweet spot when the iconic gang has the chance to sit down and reminisce amongst themselves. Check out some of the early reactions to the Friends reunion below:

Caroline Framke, Variety

Friends: The Reunion isn’t trying to be revealing, at least not about anything that thorny or unpleasant. It’s here to entertain, and to remind fans why they love the show.

Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

Every part of the show that’s not just the six of them talking struggles to justify its existence.

Ben Travers, IndieWire

Just seeing the core cast, 17 years older and inhabiting the sets out of character, is a little bizarre, but what makes the reunion so much weirder (to the point where I had to take a break 20 minutes in) is how desperate it feels.

Daniel Fienberg, THR

Plenty of people will be overjoyed by the “10,000 spoons” tactic, and I got a lot of enjoyment here, despite thinking a different utensil would have been more ideal.

Kelly Lawler, USA Today

Much like the chemistry between the cast helped smooth over bad jokes or the poor later seasons of the show, their chemistry as real-life friends makes the reunion an easy sell.

Kristen Baldwin, EW

The cast are certainly game… Whenever the action moves away from Stage 24, things start to fall apart. The celebrity testimonials add little, except to the reunion’s runtime.

Chris Vognar, San Francisco Chronicle

Friends: The Reunion is a fond look back for those who couldn’t get enough the first time.

Brett White, Decider

Friends: The Reunion is the best cast reunion of all time.

In their reviews, a few critics also mention they would have liked to see the Friends reunion address the show’s problematic past, such as its lack of diversity and homophobic and transphobic jokes. However, the special instead opts for a purely entertaining and joyful reunion.

Though reunions have somewhat of a checkered history and are usually viewed as a ploy to cash in on the nostalgia audiences have for an older show, it seems the Friends reunion has avoided these usual pitfalls. The beloved sitcom opted for an unscripted special, which many critics praise, rather than an in-character special that reveals what the characters are up to now. The long-awaited, much-hyped Friends reunion is right around the corner, as it airs May 27 on HBO Max.

Next: Friends: Why Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Didn’t Want The Reunion To Happen

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