'Friends' reunion is all we have wanted for years, but HBO Max version better have more racial diversity and LGBTQ representation
When the show does return in - hopefully - 2020 for an HBO Max audience, we should hope that it is rich in diversity without it being about tokenism.
For many, many years now, we have been craving for a 'Friends' something - a reunion, reboot, or special. We have loved this show unconditionally for years, but it wasn't until 'Friends' was added to the Netflix library and the Millenials and Gen Z saw it for the first time, that we realized just how problematic some of its jokes are, and how it certainly hasn't aged well with time. And, of course, there was Jay Z's 'Moonlight, which premiered in 2017, and is seen as somewhat of a meta nod to the widely-held theory that 'Friends', which premiered in 1994, was merely a white-washed version of 'Living Single' which premiered in 1993 and had a predominantly African American cast.
So yes, the iconic NBC show is not without its problems, and yet it entertained us in real-time for ten years and for years after that, making us laugh on the days we are feeling low and making us believe that they will be there for us. It is only natural that we want to relive those feelings again, but even those of us who grew up on 'Friends' have outgrown those insensitive jabs about Chandler's (Mathew Perry) drag queen father, unwarranted fat-shaming of Monica (Courtney Cox), repeated complicity of Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) sexism and so on.
When the show does return in - hopefully - 2020 for an HBO Max audience, we should hope that it is rich in diversity without it being about tokenism. It is unfathomable that this group of friends who live in New York, the melting pot of America, hasn't made friends with more diverse backgrounds. Even more so, it is difficult to believe that they haven't even interacted with people of different sexualities, sexual identities, and races for them to know better than to make jokes about them. It may have flown in the 90s and 2000s, but it definitely isn't going to in the current day and age.
We hope that Chandler's father gets the respect he deserves, his mother is not shamed for wanting to engage in relationships with men younger than her, Monica is not made to feel ashamed about her childhood eating habits, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is not made to feel guilty about wanting a life beyond being Ross' girlfriend or wife, Chandler is not chided for being sensitive about crying, Joey is not made to feel like the man because of the number of women he has slept with, and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow)is encouraged to go for therapy.