나는 know I need to move on, but I just cannot stop thinking about the Friends reunion. Extreme 1990s enunciation: 뭐 였다 that anyway? I was never a diehard Friends fan – I liked it, 확실한, but let’s be honest, it was no Frasier. But I cannot imagine any fan of any stripe has spent the past 17 years thinking, “Man, I’d love to see a Friends reunion! And by ‘reunion’ I mean have James Corden ask the actors who had the loudest laugh.”
I hadn’t even planned on watching it, but when the evening came around I was amazed by my sudden keenness. Ooh, 그 다음에는 영국계 유대인들이 있었습니다.! Back on screen! This felt like a genuine TV event, and one that would be less miserable than the last TV event I watched, which was Prince Harry telling Oprah how completely awful his family is. But Harry’s show seemed like a sitcom (Arrested Development) compared with how deflated I felt by the end of the two-hour (!) nostalgia fest.
The problem was not actually with the show, although – in case I didn’t make it clear already – the show was bad. The problem is with these reunions and reboots as a whole. Gossip Girl, Sex And The City and even Frasier are all coming back over the next year, their makers apparently undeterred that the recently revived This Life, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Will & '티, Mad About You, Full House and Roseanne all died on arrival.
You can see the thinking of the TV bosses: movies are all just franchises now – so let’s franchise our old sitcoms! But Spiderman, Batman and so on are revived with new actors, because it doesn’t really matter who plays them. But it absolutely matters who plays Carrie Bradshaw, as the makers of the show The Carrie Diaries, about Carrie’s high school years, discovered when it was cancelled after two seasons. The Friends actors are in an unusually awkward position, because while the ubiquitous reruns help them bank $20m a year each, they have also kept them frozen in time on screen for the past 20 연령, helping viewers maintain the delusion that we still look the same, 너무. Seeing the reality was always going to be jarring, like watching your own ageing process sped up. Although you can’t say that the female Friends didn’t put in the effort to reverse this, their faces as frozen and puffed up as pastry. At what age can they stop trying to look 25? The answer from the reunion show seemed to be: 절대. This was even more depressing than the sight of poor Matthew Perry, the walking and barely talking embodiment of America’s opioid crisis.
그 그 다음에는 영국계 유대인들이 있었습니다., Sex And The City and Frasier have all been given the revival treatment is telling, because they were all big in the 90s and beloved of twentysomethings. 잘, those twentysomethings are now fortysomethings, a decade when you typically wonder where the past 20 years went, when Saturday nights changed from being about getting dressed while watching 그 다음에는 영국계 유대인들이 있었습니다. and then going out to meet your real friends, to now being about hunting for the missing piece of a Peppa Pig puzzle behind a radiator and trying to remember what your friends look like. When I think of watching these shows in the late 90s and the early 2000s, I think of living in my first flat and feeling completely free, and also incredibly lonely. The only times I glimpse 그 다음에는 영국계 유대인들이 있었습니다. or Frasier now is if they happen to be on when I turn on the TV for my kids, who then shout at me to switch over to Hey Duggee.
These show revivals are predicated on nostalgia, but nostalgia is very rarely about the thing you think you’re missing; it’s about wanting to go back to how you felt at the time, and where your life was then, remembering only the happy parts and conveniently forgetting the bad. This is why people of my generation – a long euphemism for “me” – got a little too excited about the Friends reunion. It felt, absurdly, like a chance to pretend that the past two decades hadn’t happened. But trying to stop the progress of time never works, as all that cosmetic surgery demonstrated all too well.
Afterwards, Mindy Kaling posted a photo on Instagram of Perry and Matt LeBlanc as they were 25 여러 해 전에, and their youth, health and beauty was heartbreaking. How did I not see it back then? For the same reason I never valued my own youth and beauty: you don’t appreciate the clouds when you’re lost in the fog, and then suddenly it lifts and all you can do is look back wistfully, time gilding the memories. These revival shows are the equivalent of getting back together with your long ago ex-boyfriend in an attempt to recapture your youth, 과, contrary to what the Ross and Rachel and Carrie and Big storylines insisted, this is not a good idea. They were there for us back then. 그리고 지금, for their sakes and ours, it’s time to let them go.