HBO Max's long-awaited Friends reunion special is finally upon us. The event features some great opportunities for the old gang to catch up, but it also includes appearances by some of the show's great recurring guests, as well as some glitzy fans of the show. The Chandler/Monica/Rachel/Ross/Phoebe/Joey of it all is clearly the main attraction, but we can't help but be fascinated by the show's lineup of guests, many of which are welcome and expected, while others... well, not so much. Here's an overview of everybody who appears:
At this point it should go without saying that all six of the Friends cast members — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — are back to reminisce about the show, talk about what it meant to them, re-hash old debates like "were Ross and Rachel really on a break?" and do a table read of "The One Where Everybody Finds Out," i.e. the episode where Monica and Chandler's relationship gets revealed to all.
One of the big draws of the reunion is that it brings together some of the show's great side characters and guest stars from the show's ten seasons:
The six main cast members of Friends were a necessity for the reunion. The gaggle of returning guest stars are a welcome added value to the endeavor. This next group of reunion attendees just seem to be … people who really love Friends? And are in some way associated with Warner Bros. and/or HBO Max? Honestly, we're not quite sure. Still, given that Friends is one of the last vestiges of monoculture we have, it's not surprising that they were able to pull fans with star wattage like BTS, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, David Beckham, Kit Harington, Cara Delevingne, Cindy Crawford, Mindy Kaling, and Malala Yousafzai.
The long list of special guests joining the cast of Friends for their reunion has been overshadowed by the reunion's choice of host: The Late Late Show host James Corden. The social media reaction to news that Corden would be interviewing the Friends was largely negative and indicates that the Corden backlash — which got loud after his appearances Cats and The Prom — is still very much alive. It was quickly sussed out that Corden is involved with the production company behind the reunion, which at least helps answer the mystery of why someone who has no connection to the show, or even the network that aired the show, is hosting the reunion.
Friends: The Reunion is now streaming on HBO Max.
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Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: Friends, Cara Delevingne, Courteney Cox, David Beckham, David Schwimmer, Elliott Gould, James Corden, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Bieber, Kit Harington, Lady Gaga, Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Wheeler, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Selleck