For some Indians (as per Twitter and Facebook Data) this had a time of quite some heart-rending anticipation. The date had been set 2 days ago when OTT platform giant Zee5 announced that it would be streaming the show as the same time as in USA. Since then, Indians have been asking for Zee5 access at Facebook groups to random strangers!!! For me I had been up against my mobile since 12:28 PM, since I had my own membership and was at the mercy of none. I watched the runs of the trailer one. Then trailer two. Checked the time! 12.30PM. Ok so, reruns again. By this time the device stated the time to be 12:32 PM. Checked on another device just to be sure. Reload the app. Went out of the app, cleared cache, tried again at 12.33 PM. Trailer again!
And while it was just optimally delightful to see those 6 faces appear on screen over and over again, this was the time when a gruesome chill wet up my spine. The time was past 12.33 by then. I am missing out! I have missed out on the first two minutes. And that is when the chill kept growing. I wanted to watch the reunion along with the rest of the world. I cannot miss out on this final episode. While a part of me went out and cursed Zee5, the clock said the time to be 12:34 PM. My fingers reloading and reloading the app, till at 12.34PM finally it went dark and then appeared the logo of HBO MAX.
Yes! Finally! I can watch it with the rest of the world too! And then magically on the screen appeared David Schwimmer. And then one by one came in Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Courtney Cox and finally Matthew Perry; as they kept taking about their favorite set! While the touch of time were evident on each of the characters the magic was still intact. The magic of 10 seasons and 236 episodes reflected off the Chemistry of the cast of this iconic show as they greeted each other and called out to each other in their original names. “This is incredible”, Schwimmer calls out and it really was.
A quick introduction to the host of the evening and the cast seated across the table, starts the story of how F.R.I.E.N.D.S came into being, from the very creators Bright, Kauffman and Crane. And that is when the audience is enchantingly lured in. As the story developed we learned how the idea was pulled from real lives. Next, the creators moved on to talking about the casting process, which was exceptionally done out of one gazillion people. And true F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans could not have been happier of the one gazillion rejections.
The episode was divided into segments.
1. The cast relieved their experience on the set.
2. Then the one with the live audience.
3. The segment where the creators talked about the show.
4. The game show.
5. The sudden appearance of the other parts of the cast.
And then stars relieving their experiences from being a part of the cast. This was followed by guests who talked about their experience of watching the show. And finally random fans from over the world who shared how the show helped them move away from dark places in their lives.
We learnt how Joey broke his arm on the set. How Janice discovered her laugh. We laughed hard at how Joey’s roof was a mess. We lived the magic of Smelly Cat yet again, in all its versions. We laughed twice as hard at the “Pivot” Scene with the cast. We watched bloopers that we have watched before, but laughed harder as they were with the cast. Finally we relieved the end all over again, and knew it was as hard for the cast and crew as it was for us. We lived through the entire friends 10 years and laughed and cried with the cast as the magic unfolded all over again.
So as we come to the end of the episode are almost in tears that it’s ending, again, we have one take away from the episode. We now know that everyone agrees to Ross and Rachael being on a break.
15 years and counting! The magic still lives on!