After years of speculation and rumours, late May 2021 saw the cast and producers of Friends get back together for a special extra-long reunion episode. This marked the first time in 17 years that the whole cast was together in one room, and of course gave fans of the successful show much to look forward to. And if we may, Friends: The Reunion is a perfect showcase for getting together in front of a big screen, which is only possible with a projector. We dare say that as summer nears, this makes for an excellent, emotional, and entertaining centrepiece for a night of joy while camping or doing some backyard cinema.
Available only via streaming services like HBO Max and HBO GO, the Reunion runs one hour and forty minutes. It stars the entire core cast of Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004 and remains one of the most beloved shows in history. David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry all joined in. As did guest stars like Tom Selleck, David Beckham, and Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington. Since it’s a streaming-only show, you’ll need a smart projector or an add-on dongle to enable access to streaming platforms.
We really enjoyed the Reunion special, as it was equal parts touching and fun. In terms of layout, this wasn’t an actual episode with a proper plot. The Reunion is presented in multiple formats. One is a typical talk show sit-down, hosted by James Corden. Then there’s table reads and improv dialogue in fully-recreated sets from the show. Speaking of the sets, the crew did a marvellous job building them again. They include the coffee shop and the main apartment setting, as well as the iconic fountain. It was really good seeing these memorable places again.
In addition to the talk show element and the recreated sets, the Reunion also has plenty of flashbacks to actual footage from the original episodes, including lots of previously unseen behind the scenes content. It’s hard to believe Friends debuted the better part of thirty years ago. Time waits for no one.
Because it’s all about the emotions and the content, and a big screen gives that even more impact than a regular TV. We usually promote high image fidelity, but to be honest the Reunion isn’t about that. A lot of it is rough footage from the mid-1990s that’s barely HD. The show is presented in 1080p, not 4K, and without HDR. It looks excellent on a good portable projector as well as on a fully-fledged home cinema one. The choice is yours. But we tend to lean towards the portables here, because the whole point of the Reunion is obviously to bring people together for a shared experience. You don’t need anything fancy to get the most out of this long-awaited revival, just a portable projector and something to project onto. It’s all in the feels, really.
The special kept notably mum on this. While no commitments to further gatherings or new Friends content were made, none were also stated to the contrary. The three main producers and show creators, Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane were all part of the Reunion. But they were mostly there to support the cast. If we had to guess, Friends may yet see a reboot or remake in decades to come with a new cast, because it’s such an important show. And unlike its contemporary comedy Seinfeld, the formula driving Friends is easier to rekindle as it was not a “show about nothing”.
In any case, it was very heartwarming to see the gang together, even though the passage of time is never an easy thing to come to grips with. We highly recommend you watch Friends: The Reunion if you haven’t yet, preferably on the biggest canvas possible!
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