Friends Star Wants To See An All-Black Or All-Asian Reboot
We’re now a quarter of a century on from its September 1994 premiere and Friends is almost as popular as it ever was. The iconic 90s show ran for ten years, concluding with a big finale after 236 episodes in 2004. After that, it looked as though it’d enter syndication and live out a long retirement on DVD box sets. But the show gained a surprise new lease of life on Netflix, where it drew a massive audience. Recently, however, the beloved sitcom was pulled off the streaming site, leaving diehard fans devastated.
But with the property hot once more, could we see a reunion show? Jennifer Aniston recently teased fans by posting an Instagram pic of the core cast hanging out, sparking discussions on what it would take to bring the old gang back together. But David Schwimmer has other ideas, as he’d rather see the show rebooted entirely and in a very dramatic manner.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said:
“Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends. But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of colour. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.”
Honestly, I can’t see any reason why an all-black or all-Asian Friends wouldn’t work. The thing is, though, the Friends formula is pretty indistinct if you jettison the specific characters. A sitcom about six black or Asian friends in New York (or another major city) would run the risk of being ‘just another’ sitcom. But perhaps one of the attractions of Friends was that (like Seinfeld) it wasn’t really about anything and was more about tone.
In any case, while Schwimmer was aware of the show’s monochromatic cast, he did praise it for being at least a little culturally inclusive, saying:
“It’s interesting also how the show handled the Judaism of the characters. I don’t think that was earth-shattering or groundbreaking at all, but I for one was glad that we had at least one episode where it wasn’t just about Christmas. It was also Hanukkah and, even though I played the Hanukkah armadillo” – Ross wore an armadillo costume – “I was glad that we at least acknowledged the differences in religious observation.”
Of course, it remains to be seen what the future of Friends will be. Perhaps a new show is out of the question, but maybe we can get a short miniseries so we can catch up on where they are now? Fingers crossed.