Ladies and gentlemen, can we have an OMG? And all the tissues! It’s Friends: The Reunion! Also known as The One Where They Get Back Together, which is streaming on Showmax.
Now in their 50s, Courteney Cox (Monica), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross) bring us all the feels as they return to the iconic comedy’s original sound stage for a real-life unscripted celebration of the beloved show.
The line-up of guest stars and celebrities goes from host James Corden, Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham to Justin Bieber. Friends is at number two on the most popular TV list, and is at 53 on IMDb’s top rated TV of all time — 17 years after the finale aired in 2004. During its run, the comedy series won 77 awards, including six Emmys.
Somewhere between the laughter, the tears and the revelations of the cast’s long-awaited catch-up, Joey Tribbiani just became the world’s favourite uncle during its premier last week, with many fans saying he had “won” Friends: The Reunion.
And, as the meme-verse went into overdrive, another social-media user, @peterjmcgann, nailed it with the tweet: “How *you* getting on?” Glamour magazine, meanwhile, said: “If someone were to ‘win’ the Friends reunion it would be LeBlanc.
Naive and not too quick on the uptake, Joey was a ladies’ man and a joke-ster. That he was often also the punchline is a ‘moo’ point, or as Joey once explained: “It’s like a cow’s opinion. It just doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”
We know how he feels. LeBlanc has come armed with all the goodies — the story of an almost broken nose, the tale of a dislocated shoulder, and the one about a badly-timed bender. In the The Reunion, he reveals the poor decision that ended up landing him the part of Joey, reprises a show-stopper costume with the line: “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?”, and delivers a mic drop “Bullsh*t” to one bi-i-ig confession.
For his part, Schwimmer says Ross “would’ve invested in Joey’s sandwich shop and lost a lot of his savings for his kids [with Rachel, obviously].”
When the show was cancelled, he crashed.
LeBlanc also guested in five episodes of Kudrow’s comedy series Web Therapy, where he played gambling addict Nick Jericho.
The acting bug has a way of biting back though, and in 2016, he signed on to a role that would be his biggest departure yet, to play old-school dad Adam Burns in the sitcom Man with a Plan, which he also executive produced.
The series ended in 2020, having won the People’s Choice Award for Favourite New TV Comedy in 2017. Over the course of his almost 35-year career, LeBlanc has been nominated for seven Emmys (three for Friends and four for Episodes) and five Golden Globes, winning best actor for Episodes. Along the way, he also married British-born American model Melissa McKnight in 2003. Their daughter, Marina, was born a year later. Although Marina suffered seizures, thought to be a form of dysplasia, as an infant, the condition subsided by the time she was two.
LeBlanc and McKnight stayed together until 2006, when they divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. In an interview with former NBC president Warren Littlefield on shooting the final episodes of Friends, LeBlanc said: “We were so aware that our time together was coming to an end.
“So in those final two weeks, we would steal away these little moments. ‘Hey, let’s go hang out. Let’s go sit in my room.’