It’s been 12 long years since the final episode of Friends , and, even with the series readily available for streaming, it’s OK to admit you still miss it. Everyone does; it’s why every time an obviously Photoshopped image teasing a reunion makes the rounds, we so desperately want to believe it (but, um, hopefully you know better). In the era of Fuller House and the upcoming Gilmore Girls mini-movies, it wouldn’t be so hard to imagine a Friends reunion is in the works... but, in reality, there are a few conditions when it comes to pulling that off successfully.
Not that you’d have to make a grand effort to make fans happy; it’s enough to just see the six besties reunite all at once. The reasoning doesn’t have to be super sophisticated, but it does have to exist. So considering that the gang of former 20somethings were going separate ways in the series finale, there has to be a relevant catalyst to bring them back together. What would it be?
Don’t worry, my mind is already churning out some viable fanfiction. Let me guide you through what elements could (or should) make a potential Friends revival work, and then we’ll get Netflix on the phone.
1. Central Perk Has Transfigured Into One Of The Following...
A microbrewery, a vegan eatery, a faux Starbucks... any of these would be in line with New York. Most likely, though, Central Perk has been rebranded as an overpriced pour-over specialty cafe, because you know how television loves easy hipster jokes.
2. The Friends Reuniting To Save Their Old Apartment Building
I'm not a real estate expert, so the specifics of how they'd do this baffle me. But let's just assume that the charming little apartment village in the building is about to be bought out and made into a gigantic, sleek, beige high rise condo. You know, that old trope. Even though the gang hasn't lived there for years, their emotional ties stir them to fight for the building to stay in tact.
3. Minimal Child Interaction, If Any
Fuller House runs better when we don't focus on the next gen. Parks and Recreations' fast forward wisely didn't focus on Ben and Leslie's triplets. And, honestly, Friends spent most of the series expertly neglecting the existence of Ben. While some revivals benefit from their once youthful stars as parents with partially-formed children, it's just going to get distracting if we try to focus on the Geller-Bing tweens.
4. Milking The Catch Phrases
This is something that Fuller House also does, and it sends audience members into like a whole sexual frenzy, so...
5. Ross And Rachel, Legally Separated
In the past, I've said that the on-again, off-again couple would be definitely divorced (I mean, it's Ross). Maybe not, though. Being separated places the duo back on a break, and it'll take us back to 1995 all over again. Expect fan fury till the finale.
6. Rachel Killing It At Work
She started out as the worst waitress ever and somehow moved up the ranks of the fashion industry... before giving up said job at Louis Vuitton for Ross. Ross. Maybe the rift that split them up involved Ross scoring a tenured teaching position at Harvard and Rachel getting promoted to a big New York CEO position (Kate Spade? Donna Karan? Probably not, I'm just riffing here). Something along those lines would provide a reason for the two to go separate ways. Plus, it would show how far Rachel has come since her wedding dress days.
7. Joey Trying To Make That Last Grab At Fame
L.A. maybe didn't work out as well as Joey had planned (I mean, the spin-off certainly didn't work out as well as NBC had planned). I imagine he had a few wildly successful years in the mid-2000s, and then plummeted back into the B-List. They're probably workshopping a reality TV show for him back on the West Coast (we could trust Joey to host some kind of Bachelor-esque dating game, right) and he's just visiting... for now.
8. The Triumphant Return Of Duck Jr. And Chick Jr.
It might have to be Chick Jr. Jr., because I'm not sure if chickens live that long (dark). In any case, I'd like to think they did go home with Chandler and Monica after all.
9. Monica Having A Low-Key Existential Crisis
Nobody can contest that our girl was born to be a mother, and I always assumed that after the twins were born she fell happily into that role. But now it's been 12 straight years of PTA-meetings and power cleaning... the Westchester house couldn't be any more immaculate. This apartment thing seems like a good project to throw herself into for the time being, but there has to be something else out there.
OH. MY. GOD. Heaven forbid they forget the greatest recurring guest star of all time.
11. A Smelly Cat Redux
Phoebe breaks this acoustic classic for a benefit, but keep an eye out for the EDM remix.
12. The Gang All Moving Back To New York City...
Maybe Chandler killing it with advertising so him and Monica can afford to buy out Central Perk. The kids are old enough now, and Monica regains her sense of purpose by re-re-branding Central Perk into a charming little bistro. The apartment building is bought out at the last minute by Gunther, now a major coffee mogul. Each friend decides to take a floor and move into the building together. Nothing has changed. Legit, nothing has changed.
13. ...And Everything Goes Back To Normal
Which means sitting through another half hour of Ross and Rachel reuniting.
Yeah, I need this in my hands now, please and thank you.
Images: NBC; Giphy (13)