Friends, one of the most popular and influential sitcoms in television history, had a perfect ending, and any future reboots, revamps, retellings, movies, or attempts to revive the series would only harm the franchise’s legacy. The original Friends cast can better portray Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer), and Monica Gellar (Courteney Cox).
Friend has influenced a wide range of popular and niche content. From mainstream contemporary comedy series like Big Bang Theory to more experimental shows like Episodes, Web Therapy, and 30 Rock. When you consider the many other ways Friends has influenced modern culture. Such as Jennifer Aniston’s “Rachel” haircut on the show, or Matt LeBlanc’s catchphrases becoming idioms. There is no way for any Friends revival to even come close to matching the original show’s massive cultural impact.
The Friends finale drew an estimated 52.5 million viewers in the United States on May 6, 2004, making it the most-watched television episode of the decade. The much-anticipated Friends reunion in May 2021 was watched by an estimated 29 percent of streaming households in the U.S. Over 5 million viewers from the United Kingdom, breaking records for Sky. Today, nearly two decades after Friend’s major series-ending finale, any Friends revival will almost certainly be more commercially successful.
Friends is undeniably popular, and a modern series or film reboot would likely do well in the streaming era. That said, it’s time to say goodbye to these stories and characters. The ending was perfect for the majority of the characters, as is typical of any long-running comedy-drama series. More importantly, any future Friends revival would almost certainly be perceived as a cheap cash-grab due to the certainty of commercial success.
There’s simply nothing left to explore in Ross and Rachel’s on-again, off-again relationship after the series’ decade-long run. Monica and Chandler are in the same boat. Despite the fact that Phoebe and Joey have shaped the archetypes of their respective quirky characters in contemporary dramas and comedies, they have little else to offer to either genre.
Allowing Friends to die naturally may allow these six actors to pursue other career-defining roles and experiences unrelated to the popular sitcom they starred in the 1990s. While Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox. And David Schwimmer has gained recognition for other roles and taken on more exciting projects since 2004. They have all remained in the shadow of their iconic characters. A Friends revival, whether with the original cast or a new cast. Would only serve to draw comparisons to the actual roles. Suffocating the original cast’s ability to define their careers outside of Friends’ wildfire success.
Both seminal comedies are available on Netflix and are still very popular with the streaming crowd. In the late 1990s, Friends had a following that rivalled that of even Seinfeld. Similarly, many of the most memorable jokes from Friends and Seinfeld have aged poorly. Which is yet another reason why neither show should be revamped, retold, or remade. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are well aware of this. Hopefully, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, the show’s creators, will see the score as well.