Wednesday, February 26, 2020

At Last

Okay, let it begin.
The feverish anticipation for the Friends reunion. People my age, who were essentially people their age back when they first became Friends, are excited. And why not? It has been twenty-five years since we first met Ross and Phoebe and Monica and Chandler and Joey and Rachel. It has been sixteen years since matters concerning this group of acquaintances got all tied up so neatly. Haven't you been curious what the gang has been up to over the past decade and a half?
I will be honest with my answer: Not really.
Twenty years ago, this was must-see TV. By definition. NBC's definition. And in the days before streaming services and cable outfits tailored to every niche, you were loathe to miss it. You didn't want to be the one who did not see what Ross did and Rachel said back and were Monica and Chandler really and Joey. What about Joey?
I was in a state in which I cared about Sam and Diane as much as I worried about Ross and Rachel and that nice Doctor Green on ER. So much so that if you had told me that I could only keep one channel it would have been my local NBC affiliate because these were my stories and these were the people for whom I cared. I saw somewhere that Jamie and Paul came back in a limited series on one of those popup streaming deals and I was going to be allowed to find out how Mad About You kept going even though the last episode of the original run would have us all believe that they were just Mad and not really about as much as at each other.
I did not line up to see that one.
And I don't think I will be waiting anxiously to see what the Bings and the Gellers and so on have become. It will be an event for many, I'm sure. But I have only recently recovered from the letdown that was the "last" Star Wars. Putting several years between openings and closings of sagas doesn't always help them age. They aren't all wine and cheese. Cheese and whine? Perhaps.
Yes, I know there are plenty of people outside of my sphere of influence who will gladly sign up for this new HBO service that will launch with the gathering of this caffeinated tribe, and their problems will once again become the fodder for water cooler conversations that used to be about Jon Snow. Do people still gather around water coolers? Aren't they stuck at their desks with their non-BPA hydration vessels? And isn't Central Perk now a Starbucks? 

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