Friends fans have been tormented yet again after another poster claiming to tease a return to Central Perk in Fall 2018 was proven to be a fake. The beloved sitcom ran for 10 seasons, receiving critical acclaim throughout its run and impacting popular culture ever since. It’s widely considered one of the best and most binge-worthy TV shows in history, and the show’s finale is still considered one of the most satisfying conclusions to a series ever. Despite – or perhaps because of this – fans have been clamouring for a return to Central Perk ever since they said goodbye to the charismatic crew of Ross (David Schwimmer), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courtney Cox), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow).
It appeared to some fans that NBC were finally teasing a Friends reunion, after a poster reading “Fall 2018” in the sitcoms iconic text was released online by Facebook page David Schwimer.
Unfortunately this page isn’t official, and the tease is just another in a string of false flags that have popped up over the years. A recent BuzzFeed article pointed out some of the most glaring issues with the page itself, firstly the misspelling of the actor’s name. Ross was played by David Scwimmer, not “Schwimer”. Ross Geller’s name is also misspelled in the page’s URL as Ross “Gheler”. This also happened to be the page’s only post before it was shutdown or deactivated.
The post was shared over 235,000 times with people uncertain about the veracity of the picture. Fake Friends reunion posts have circulated in the past and fans continue to jump on the potential of a revival despite continued statements from the cast and crew that there’s no such project at any stage of development.
A partial reunion of the cast members occurred at a James Burrows special, with Matthew Perry unable to attend due to other commitments. Fans were delighted at the prospect of seeing the characters back together, but it didn’t pan out as many intended, with the show providing more behind the scenes anecdotes as opposed to any continuation of the narrative. Anyone hoping to see what happened to Rachel and Ross, Monica and Chandler, Phoebe, or Joey after his disappointing spin-off, were left sadly disappointed.
The Friends fanbase is continually fuelled by near constant reruns, allowing for a constant source of nostalgia and hope that one day NBC will bring the cast back together for a last hurrah. Yet that’s probably a core part of the reason why the cast will never reprise their roles. Each cast member has expressed hesitancy at disturbing what’s clearly such a treasured piece of pop culture for fans, and for themselves. Taking time to elaborate on the lives of each character after the events of the finale could run the risk of spoiling how some interpreted the ending of that spectacular finale.
While many fans couldn’t BE any unhappier about this latest sting, it’s simply another nod to the longevity of a sitcom saga that continues to make people laugh over a decade after it ended.