How Would a Friends Revival Work?
Let us not forget, Friends was a global and cultural phenomenon, making its cast the highest paid TV actors at that time, earning $1 million each per episode for its 9th and 10th seasons. Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer could certainly command a huge pay packet were they to reunite, but having seen the success of Roseanne, NBC would almost certainly decide they were worth whatever was demanded. But how would it work?
When we last saw the Friends all together, they were leaving Monica and Chandler's apartment for the last time. Rachel had given up her dream job in Paris to be with Ross (a sore subject for many), Mike and Phoebe were happily married, Joey was off to LA, and Monica and Chandler were parents to twins.
Some facts are unavoidable. Today, those twins would be 14; Emma Geller would be 16, Ben Geller would be 23. Although the aging of the central characters was somewhat inconsistent, it's thought they were all around 34-37 in the final season, with Ross being the eldest. If Friends was revived in 2018, Rachel and Monica would be 48, Chandler and Joey 50, and Phoebe and Ross would be 51. But many more elements are left dangling. Would Monica and Chandler still be happy together in the suburbs? Would there be any more Geller-Bing children? Would Mike and Phoebe have any kids together or would they be running musical yoga retreats? Would Rachel finally be a successful fashion designer like she always wanted, or would Ross still be holding her back?
The big question, though, is if Friends would update itself for the time, making Joey more respectful, and Ross less toxic? The instinctive answer to that is "of course," and indeed, Will and Grace and Roseanne both addressed the rather strange social and political climate in which we now find ourselves, albeit in very different ways; while Will and Grace made digs at the Trump administration and pointed remarks that reflects the thinking of their target demographic, Roseanne did the opposite. Much like Roseanne Barr herself, Roseanne's titular character has gone from being a left-liberal to being a Trump supporter, with Jackie refusing to talk to her sister since the election. It's played for laughs, sure, but it's also reflective of the truth dividing America right now.
For Friends, audiences identified with many of the character's traits and the situations they faced, whether it was a dating crisis or a more fundamental lifestyle or career change. Would any of these beloved characters have voted for Trump and upset the group dynamic? Would the Friends be facing many of the problems that our nation is currently dealing with, such as rising housing costs or healthcare affordability?
Will A Friends Revival Actually Happen?
Friends in 2018 is an exciting prospect, and one which NBC must surely be considering, although let's not forget that each and every time the rumors have circulated about it actually happening, one or other of the cast have shot it down. All have gone on to relatively successful post-Friends careers, and although they'll all forever remain synonymous with that show, they're all regarded as actors, presenters, writers and directors in their own right.
Ultimately, it's always a possibility, and that's what makes it exciting. Of course, there's no movement, meaning it remains a nebulous concept even in the wake of Roseanne. For now, speculation can only continue.