It seems like Philippine fans couldn’t BE any more excited to watch the Friends: The Reunion show earlier today on HBO Go.
The streaming service experienced a surge of viewers at 3:01 pm from the moment the highly-anticipated reunion special was supposed to air.. The show was originally set to air locally the same time as the US, with a same-day broadcast on HBO via Sky at 9:00 p.m. later tonight.
#FriendsReunion and #HBOGo topped the trending topics on Twitter in the Philippines Thursday afternoon, with Netizens complaining that they couldnt’ access the HBO Go mobile app.
— 박보검 вlυεмαgιc ? (@ms_bluemagic) May 27, 2021
Some viewers did manage to catch snippets of the show livestreamed by other sources online before it was taken down.
Friends: The Reunion comes 17 years after the final episode of the long-running sitcom.
The original cast—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—all returned to the show’s original soundstage on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California for the special.
The unscripted retrospective show combined a talk-show-style interview, a celebrity-packed tribute, a collection of behind-the-scenes clips, and the actors revisiting classic scenes.
Joining the cast was late night talk show host James Corden, who conducted the sit-down interview portion.
The special, called The One Where They Get Back Together, debuted an updated version of the show's cachy intro scene featuring the theme song I'll Be There For You featuring scenes taken from the cast's table read along with the shots from the classic trailer.
Throughout the reunion special, the gang was joined by special guests, including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, and Malala Yousafzai.
Behind-the-scenes footage showed the moment Matt LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder when jumping into a chair in “The One Where No One’s Ready”—which resulted in the accident and his sling being written into the show explained through a "jumping-on-the-bed" incident.
Some guests shared their favorite episodes and moments from the show. Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington’s said his favorite Friends scene was Ross’s iconic “PIVOT!” moment, when he had to bring up a couch with Chandler and Rachel.
The show’s writers revealed interesting tidbits from show including the evolution of Monica and Chandler’s relationship. The initial pairing which started at Ross’s wedding in London, was originally intended to be a brief hook-up, but writers changed the storyline after the audience’s massive reaction to the characters getting romantically attached.
Lady Gaga stopped by to perform a duet with Lisa Kudrow playing the iconic song Smelly Cat, where they were later joined by a choir. The singer later thanked Kudrow for embodying the role of Phoebe.
"Thank you so much for being the person for all of us on Friends that was—I don't know if this is the right way to say it, but the different one, or the one that was really herself," she said.
"Thank you," Kudrow responded, "and thanks for carrying it along."
K-pop sensation BTS also made a brief cameo with band member RM stating that the show played a big role in teaching him English.
One of the most heartwarming parts of the reunion was seeing the actors watch themsevels in never-before-seen bloopers.
Towards the end of the special, Cara DeLevingne, Cindy Crawford, and Justin Bieber took to the runway to model some of the most iconic outfits to ever feature on Friends—including Ross’s leather pants and the holiday armadillo.
Behind-the-scenes footage of the Friends last episode and the cast taking a final bow left viewers teary-eyed.
In case you haven't seen it yet, don't miss out on the reunion of the decade.
The Friends Reunion is now streaming on HBO Go.
(Images via HBO Max)