It's been over five months since fans could stream Friends, since it left Netflix at the beginning of 2020. Now, starting May 27, all 10 seasons of Friends is on HBO Max when the new streaming site launches. Some of the new additions to HBO Max will filter in over the months, but the streaming service made sure to include Friends as part of its day one programming to lure in subscribers.
Originally, there was also supposed to be a Friends reunion to stream alongside the series on May 27, but production shutdowns have delayed that. When it does shoot, the reunion will bring together the entire original cast not for a new episode, but to talk about the show and its cult status. Per Deadline, it's slated to be an hour long special.
According to Variety, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt said that HBO Max is hoping to have production completed by the end of the summer to stream on HBO Max sometime after that. They still want to tape it in front of an audience on the same Warner Bros. soundstage as the original series. "We do think there's a value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn't want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms," Greenblatt said. (Ahem, said everyone from Community and Parks and Recreation.)
He added that they may decide to do things virtually if large groups are still unable to gather for much longer. Either way, he said that HBO Max is aiming to launch the reunion in the fall. "I think it's worth waiting for," he said. "We would have loved to have had it on day one, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it'll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well."
Even without the reunion for now, fans will likely just be excited to get the original Friends episodes back on a streaming service. It's one of those shows, like The Office, that many people are just always watching whether it's helping them fall asleep at night, keeping them company when picking a new show feels impossible, or giving something familiar so they can scroll through Instagram while watching TV (we've all been there).
And now fans can rewatch all 10 Friends seasons just in time for the reunion, possibly (hopefully) launching this fall. They'll be there for you, whether you bought the $70 box set or not.