Even though Friends has been off the air since 2004, the comedy series is still making people laugh today. There is even a reunion special in the works that will be filmed on the original Friends soundstage, which fans are extremely excited about. Lisa Kudrow, who played the songwriting masseuse Phoebe Buffay, recently spoke with British newspaper The Times about the show's success and what the series would be like if it were made today.
"Oh, it'd be completely different," Kudrow said. "Well, it would not be an all-white cast, for sure." The actress remarked that the series "should be looked at as a time capsule, not for what they did wrong." Though admittedly there are some aspects of the show that could be updated, Kudrow stands by what was created. "This show thought it was very progressive," she said. "There was a guy whose wife discovered she was gay and pregnant, and they raised the child together? We had surrogacy too. It was, at the time, progressive."
Kudrow believes that part of the show's continued success has to do with feeling disconnected from the close relationships in our lives. "Part of what appeals about ['Friends'] now is that young people have this unconscious nostalgia for personal connection. And not just right now during the pandemic, but before that," the actress explained. "I don't see a reality where 'Friends' was anything but good."
The star also joked about what Phoebe and her husband on the show, Mike Hannigan, played by Paul Rudd, would be doing while quarantining during the pandemic. "I feel like if they'd had kids, she would be militaristic about creating art," Kudrow said. "So their place would be overrun with huge, outlandish projects." Even though Friends would definitely need some updates to bring it into the 21st century, we'll always have the timeless classic, "Smelly Cat"'!