The opening song to the show Friends emphasized, "I'll Be There for You." And it has been, permanently ingrained into pop culture since it ended its 10-year run on NBC in 2004. But don't expect a reboot, revival, or reunion to arrive, as co-creator Marta Kauffman shut down rumors of a Friends reunion. It seems that any time anyone remotely involved with our favorite Central Perk gang does press, the question just begs to be asked. But time and again, talk of a Friends reimagining are promptly shutdown. But Kauffman recently revealed to Rolling Stone that she really does get why we'll never stop asking.
She told RS that she is "thoroughly enjoying" the renewed (if that could even be argued) excitement surrounding the show since it hit Netflix. (And don't worry, it won't be leaving for at least another year.)
Kauffman also posited why the show has endured for has long and intensely as it has. "It’s a comfort-food show," Kauffman said. "These are trying times, and certain people want the comfort food rather than the difficult, mean-spirited kind of show. It’s warm, it’s cozy, [the characters] love each other. What’s not to love about that?" But the co-creator thinks Netflix, also home to her latest TV series, Grace and Frankie, should be the lone location for Friends' feel-good brand of food.
The thing about nearly every reason for not reviving Friends is they all kind of make sense. From co-creator David Crane's perspective, the series ended on a happy, settled note. For Jennifer Aniston, the prevalence of iPhones would ruin the show's flow. Lisa Kudrow and Matt Le Blanc have both made statements about how each character has moved past the problems that plagued them in their 20s and 30s, so Friends wouldn't really be Friends anymore. Ugh, these are all facts.
Kauffman seemed to synthesize these points perfectly by offering her take on the perennial topic:
"There are several reasons. One, the show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family. It’s not that time anymore. All we’d be doing is putting those six actors back together, but the heart of the show would be gone. Two, I don’t know what good it does us. The show is doing just fine, people love it. [A reunion] could only disappoint. "The One Where Everyone’s Disappointed."
In an era when a reboot to nearly anything from Gilmore Girls to Will & Grace to Queer Eye can happen, and successfully, there's reason to believe the Friends team could somehow pull it off. But just because something can be continued, doesn't always mean it should.
Kauffman's wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone also had her sharing some major Friends trivia including Courteney Cox almost being cast as Rachel (?!) and the role of Ross being written for David Schwimmer specifically. She also reflected on the two moments she knew Friends had "made it" and they bring majorly nostalgic vibes:
"The first was our very first rehearsal when we had all six of them onstage for the first time and they read the scene in the coffeehouse. I got chills up and down my spine and thought, 'This is special. There is something about these six, this script for them, that’s special.' The other was when I was walking down one of the main drags here in a Friends jacket and someone stopped me on the street to ask what was going to happen to Ross and Rachel. Lots of articles had come out and we were seeing them on magazine covers in airports, but that’s the stuff that got to me more — hearing it in conversation in a restaurant, my rabbi asking me about it, when it started reaching me in such strange connections."
Just when we're convinced that we'll be fine without new Friends adventures, all of the feels return. Luckily, in addition to more than 200 episodes at our viewing disposal, Friends homages tend to crop up when we least expect them.