Just as turtles must bury their eggs on the beaches, and salmon swim upstream to spawn, humanity has fulfilled its most irresistible biological imperative at last: Clamoring for a Friends reunion special so loudly, and for so long, that it had no choice but to finally birth itself onto the damned and blasted surface of the Earth. HBO Max announced today that it’s finally finished the deals for this long-gestating dose of pure ’90s sitcom nostalgia, convincing the six principal cast members of the NBC phenomenon to accept several million dollars apiece to sit on a couch together and agree that, yes, it was pretty fun that time they said “Mrs. Chanandler Bong.”
To be clear, this streaming service offering will not be a new episode of Friends, in the vein of various sitcom reboots like Will & Grace or Murphy Brown. Rather, this is an unscripted reunion special that’ll see Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and the other one get back together on the show’s old stage to chat for a bit. (We kid, David Schwimmer. We kid. Don’t go full Ross-in-the-pool on us, please.) The special comes alongside the arrival of the rest of the series to the upcoming HBO streaming service, once again allowing us, as a species, to stop worrying about the panoply of awful things happening all the time and just zone out and think about Gunther for a bit.
The Friends special has been in the works for a while—eons, according to certain prophecies scorched in pitch-black blood upon the hides of the miserable and the damned—but was held up by contract disputes about how much the stars would get paid to sit around sipping coffee and talking shit about that fucking monkey for an hour. Per Deadline, sources are quoting something like $3-$4 million per performer, which is, frankly, mind-boggling, even for a series that has never shied away from throwing money at its stars in order to keep them interested.
Anyway, we did it, folks. Series wrap on the species, mission accomplished. We’ll be sending some guys with trucks to start breaking down the sets and clear everything up next week.