Growing up I didn’t have much of a social life. I am a bit of an introvert and was content playing with my LEGO and computer/console games. The small group of “friends” I did have were all related to my (mandatory) sports, chess or a couple of my classmates.
Fast forward a few years and most of what I knew back then concerning social interactions and how relationships work, came from tv series like Dawson’s Creek, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and of course Friends.
I am what people call a late bloomer. Until the age of 16-17 I was focused on my studies and geeky hobbies. It was in late high school when I got my first real crushes and did a complete makeover. Changed my clothes, start wearing contacts, you know the whole She’s All That routine. I pursued my crushes in the style as how I saw in those shows. Though none of them reciprocated, it however resulted in lasting friendships. Most of whom I still speak to, though not as often as I’d love to. If you were to take pictures from that group and put it next to a group photo of the cast of Friends, you would instantly see the resemblance. There were the funny ones, the cute ones, the couple of nerds and of course the weirdos.
When I rewatch Friends, which I often do especially when I’m feeling blue, I cannot help reminisce about that period of my life. We were great together, shared laughs, had fun but also were each other’s shoulders to cry on when necessary. And I believe this is where the power lies in the show. Even after all these years, with all the technological advances we have gone through (worldwide internet access, smartphones, cheap cameras, etc.), it are the social interactions with our colleagues, friends and family which in the end matter.
With the age of streaming upon us, we have seen a number of shows getting reboots and I was afraid Friends would follow. I personally like how the show ended and feel it still stands the test of time. So when HBO announced they would do a reunion show, I was relieved. Even though it got postponed and released a year later, the almost 2 hour long reunion special made me laugh, filled me with joy and at times made me teary. Yes, not many will like this special, but for me this was an ode to the fans, who after all these years just wanted to see some more of their Friends after all these years.
And my group? After high school everyone went on to college, pursued careers, got married with kids and are trying to live their best lives. And sometimes, sometimes we meet one another whether it has been a day, a month or even a year.