'Friends: The Reunion' views crash HBO Go, fans dub special 'The One Where No One Can Watch'
The much-anticipated 'Friends: The Reunion' special, which released on May 27, had millions of fans trying to access HBO Go. The traffic volume, as fans surged online to watch the reunion special as soon as it released, resulted in the platform's server temporarily crashing. A number of outraged fans took to Twitter to express their outrage at not being able to live stream the much-anticipated TV event.
The two-hour special was released on HBO Max. For those who don't know, HBO Go allows HBO subscribers to stream selections of HBO content, including current and past series, films, specials, and sporting events, through either the HBO website, or apps on mobile devices, video game consoles, and digital media players. Seventeen years after its memorable series finale - 'The Last One' - the iconic cast of 'Friends' reunited in the special which was called, 'The One Where They Get Back Together.' The special was hosted by James Corden.
'The One Where HBO Go Crashed'
However, merely minutes after the release of the special, Twitter was flooded with furious comments as viewers struggled to watch the episode due to technical problems. There were several tweets that mocked the streaming platform by using famous 'Friends' references. One user said, "In today's episode of Friends: The One Where HBO Go Crashed", and added, "They do know that we know that they know that we know right?", referring to Friends' episode from season 5, 'The One Where Everybody Finds Out.'
Another Twitter user tweeted, "HBOOOOO GOOOOO! My Joey's special pizza's gettin' cold!!!". Another posted a caption under a screenshot of their stuck screen that said, "The One Where I can’t watch #FriendsReunion". Another fan tweeted, "No one told us #HBOGo gonna crash #FriendsReunion #HBOcrash".
Others wondered when the problem would be fixed, like one commenter who wrote, "HBO better be fixing this now. #FriendsTheReunion... The One Where No One Can Watch Because HBO GO Crashed." One more added, "Ok someone will definitely be fired after this HBO crash."
Reunion boosts original show ratings
The reunion, which brings together the original cast of the beloved sitcom, also brought back for fans a number of cherished memories and warmhearted nostalgia. As a result, many of them felt the urge to revisit the original show which in turn boosted the ratings of 'Friends' episodes on HBO Max. Vulture Editor Josef Adalian noted that there was a surge in the number of new subscribers who are electing to begin their HBO Max subscriptions with a Friends rewatch, Observer reported.
The outlet stated that the HBO Max app was trending at No. 22 among the iOS free apps and No. 4 among top-grossing apps in the U.S. after the reunion aired, per appannie. In the days leading up to the release of the reunion, 'Friends' was the fourth most in-demand overall show in the world—behind only 'Game of Thrones,' 'Attack on Titan,' and 'La Casa de Papel' (Money Heist).
On May 24, it was the eighth-most in-demand overall show in the US, behind stalwarts such as 'The Simpsons' and 'The Mandalorian.' Also, over the last 30 days, 'Friends' has now jumped 13 spots in Parrot Analytics’ global ranking and 32 spots in the U.S. rankings in the same time frame.