Friends is the grilled cheese and tomato soup of TV shows. It’s easy to digest, great in mass quantities when you’re sick or having a crappy day and it takes you back to happier times of the Clinton administration and Fruitopia. The series finale, nearly a decade ago, left a hole in many viewers’ hearts that they have been trying to fill by gorging on reruns. And oh, how there are reruns. And if you live in a country that isn’t America, you have even more Friends reruns! For eons, British television would air Friends for what felt like at least 22 hours a day.
Now, perhaps as the final strike of #rememberthe90s, new reports are surfacing (none that look super reliable yet though, so take them with a grain of salt) that Friends will return for a new one-off season in 2014, reportedly with NBC at the helm but the original cast’s commitment level still undetermined. And it’s unclear as to whether they would commit to this, here and now. Matthew Perry’s got top billing on another NBC sitcom, albeit one that may not be long for this world, Jennifer Aniston’s getting steady work and remember the last time Friends tried to limp along with only one cast member in spinoff form? Not good.
And what would the episodes even be about? Would its attempts at sliding into modernity and relevance feel as smooth as Modern Seinfeld or as forced as most of the writing on 2 Broke Girls? Would they have aged with the show? And they have kids now! Emma would be 10 and Ben would be, like, in college or something. What would that be like? Maybe this future is so frightening that we’d be better off with just reruns.
You know what, though? In a way, as a TV-viewing public, we sort of deserve a sad mutant version of our beloved ’90s mainstay. If the American network sitcom-loving audience really wanted new episodes of a funny, comforting sitcom about urban thirtysomethings just hanging out and trying to make it in this crazy world of ours, y’all would be trying harder to save Happy Endings.