The 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards happened last night and it was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel who performed in front of like, three camera operators and a producer. There were cardboard cutouts instead of humans in the audience. Even though that sounds like a late-night TV host’s idea of Hell on Earth, Jimmy still put in the effort for all three hours.
To lighten up this year’s bleak circumstances for the isolated ceremony, Jimmy brought out a few people to help present awards, like his good pal Jennifer Aniston, who helped save him from a trashcan fire. A fitting, if not accidental, metaphor for the year so far. She also popped up in a mini Friends reunion, which was surely a nice little distraction for those who can say it hasn’t been their day, their week, their month, or even their year.
If you were an alien from outer space (“Oh god,” you’re thinking, “Where is she going with this?”), and the only impression you had of New York City was by watching the TV show Friends, you would think that all New Yorkers were thin twenty-somethings with giant apartments and optional jobs. Also, alien-you would be very surprised to learn that New York had more than three Black people. Because Friends was so, so white. So was Seinfeld. And Frasier. And Mad About You. And Just Shoot Me and Will & Grace.
Sherri Shepherd was one of the few Black people cast on Friends, in a one-episode role as a tour guide at Ross’ museum who befriends Joey. More than twenty years later, her best friend Jawn Murray revealed that Sherri made a joke about #FriendsSoWhite, and they believe that jab is why she wasn’t asked to return.
Friends came out in 1994 and even then people pointed out that it made NYC look like a place where really no people of color existed and where you could afford a gigantic ass Manhattan apartment from only working 5 hours a week. Well, Lisa Kudrow spoke out about that. The lack of POC thing. Not the whole “they must’ve been undercover drug dealers to afford that apartment” thing.
Call it The One Where We Get Millions Of Dollars To Sit In A Room For An Hour because that’s basically what’s going to happen on the next episode of Friends. According to Deadline, Matthew Perry joining Instagram was the seventh seal of the Friendpocalypse and the details of the long-rumored, hour-long, unscripted reunion special to air on HBO Max, have been revealed. Deadline says that a deal has all but been finalized with all six Friends, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, “following tough negotiations.” Which I take to mean that each Friend’s agent repeatedly responded to offers with a laughing face emoji until finally responding with a money mouth face emoji. Each Friend reportedly “will be paid in the $3 million-$4 million range.” *upside down face emoji*
When the ball dropped on January 1, 2020, Netflix immediately told the world that “they won’t be here for y’all anymore!” when they ripped away Friends from their lineup. To say it was a devastating experience is being a bit dramatic because you can still buy it on DVD (remember those?). Or, you can wait for it to hit HBO Max this May and begin paying for yet another monthly subscription. Hey, your money, your call.
In any event, the world is feeling the absence of our six best friends from the 90s, but it’s hard to let them go since most of them are still in the spotlight. With Jennifer Aniston now playing peek-a-boo on Instagram, the Friends cast is never too far away. And one of them, David Schwimmer, who portrayed Eeyore in human form known as Ross Gellar, is speaking out on one of the biggest gripes many have about the show: that it had just a liiiiiiittttttle more diversity than a Klan rally.
Friends ended on May 6th 2004 after ten seasons, and every day since then, fans have been begging for a reunion. And every time it’s brought up, there’s a Friends cast member who implies we’ve all got a better chance of seeing Marcel the Monkey reanimate from beyond the grave with the ghosts of the chick and the duck than we do of seeing Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe reunite on screen. Last month Jennifer Aniston threw up a picture of the whole cast on her Instagram page, and it felt like that was as close to an official reunion as anyone was going to get. Now sources are telling The Hollywood Reporter that there’s a very good chance a Friends reunion might happen on HBO Max.