When Jimmy Kimmel invited “Friends” superstars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow just recently to his late night show (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) to read a “fan-fiction” script with him, Kimmel played Ross while the three “Friends” reprised their roles as Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.
The whole skit only lasted less than ten minutes set in Monica’s reconstructed kitchen but it was a sure trip for Generation X down memory lane all over again.
When “Friends” was introduced to us on primetime TV nearly 20 years ago, most of us were in our late teens to early 20’s and we most likely did not have a clue on how unrealistic the sitcom’s setting was.
As Jimmy pointed out during his script-reading with Aniston’s “Rachel” character that was complaining about the dumb script, what could be “dumber than living in a huge apartment in New York City for eight years even though (Rachel) worked at a coffee shop?”
Jimmy even threw in the absolutely unrealistic scenarios in the 90’s sitcom which included the group of friends’ habit of having breakfast together before going to work just like “we normal people” do. All the time.
And that’s to be expected.
Twenty years ago, the “Friends” setting seemed attainable and ideal for young, aspiring, fun-spirited creatures like us who took a lesson with John Keating to suck the marrow out of life. We didn’t really care about the absurdity of the plots because we were focused on the characters whose lives, joys and sentiments we could absolutely relate to.
Just like Joey, we were just starting to look for our niche in the workforce back then. Sometimes, we made it and at other times, we didn’t. But guaranteed, most times, our journey was fueled by that youthful stupid grin on our faces encouraging us to keep on reaching for the stars because as they said, “your mother warned you there’d be days like” that.
Sure there were times when we were philosophical like Phoebe, naïve like Rachel, controlling like Monica, dorky like Ross and just unlucky like Chandler.
Twenty years later, our perceptions and situations have already changed.
We now generally have careers, properties and families to take care of and our success highly depends on how we deal with our own individual realities.
If “Friends” will make one last comeback to give us back the gang that we so loved and laughed with during the 90’s, we certainly will see a lot of flaws in the plots and how the characters dealt with their specific scenarios.
We'll still know our true friends will be there for us but it will not be cool anymore to still be “in bed at 10 when work began at 8”.
But that’s the beauty of it.
If we can detach ourselves from the fantasies of our youth now that we have aged more than two decades later, it means we have grown up already along with the new and mature Rachel on Jimmy Kimmel’s show who found the situation weird and was complaining about the absurdity of the “fan-fiction” script.
We need closure from our 90’s “Friends”.
We need to be with them one more time right now while we are still in the peak of our adulthood. Some of us may be in the crossroads, perhaps battling with mid-life crisis, and need to come to terms with the past and the present - just like Rachel throwing the wig representing her ultra famous hairdo in the 90’s during the skit at Jimmy’s show - and what may be in store for us in years to come.
As “Friends” prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary this fall, it would be a “perk” if we get to have a “Friends” reunion in the form of one final episode of the sitcom, a movie or a one-night show where Phoebe gets to sing “Smelly Cat” again sitting on the original orange couch with her “Friends” while the bartender Gunther holds an open bar.
Wishful thinking but possible.
For now, we can just contend ourselves with watching some old episodes of “Friends” or listening to its epic soundtrack featuring “Good Intentions”, “I Go Blind” and of course, “I’ll Be There For You” while waiting for that most needed grand reunion.
Clap, clap, clap.