Bollywood Baatein: Friends are not forever

There was an uneasy silence among the Friends cast on May 27 when they reunited. Two of the principal actors were missing. Quite clearly these beloved actors were…umm… Friends no more

Bollywood Baatein: Friends are not forever
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Subhash K Jha

Friends: The Reunion (Zee5)

Rating: ** ½

The eagerly awaited Friends: The Reunion on Zee5 created quite a Friends-Zee. In the pipeline for months, it left many fans of America’s most popular daytime series feeling cheated and betrayed. As one of the show’s most ardent 28-year-old fan who has seen every single episode at least 4 times, told me, “I dreaded this reunion.

All those like me who grew up with these characters would want to remember them for their endless repartees, the sparkling wit and the vivacious mood that clung to the series all the way. None of that was evident at the Reunion.”

There was an uneasy silence among the Friends cast on May 27 when they reunited. Two of the principal actors were missing. Quite clearly these beloved actors were…umm… Friends no more. As it often happens, they had drifted apart. And some of them didn’t even want to remember the 10 years and 10 seasons on the show.

Matthew Perry was exceptionally quiet about his experience with drugs after the show had ended and none of the beloved cast members were willing that morning (evening for the Americans) to tell us anything about their extended stint on the show that we didn’t already know. It’s all there in the public domain. Just google.

If any revelations from any of the Friends team was new, then I missed it. What I also missed was a sense of easy familiarity. These actors, although the same people that we left behind 16 years ago, had changed…not necessarily evolved, though it was evident that they had moved on and were in this reunion not out of any genuine feeling of kinship with co-stars with whom they spent most of their waking hours with (and some sleeping hours too).

But because…well, the zeroes on the check must have been inviting. Or maybe they just didn’t want to seem like spoilsports by saying no. Whatever the reason, they just didn’t seem comfortable enough reliving memories that are for their fans, immortal.

On the plus side, having random Friends fans from all across the world talking on what made their bonding with the series so indelible, was a good idea. There were fans from India too, and they spoke with an authority and ownership over the show that needed no push, not even this Reunion which only goes to prove that fond memories are best left alone.

Now I dread the ABBA reunion.

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