When reports began circulating over the weekend that Friends would be yanked from Netflix come Jan. 1, 2019, the fandom felt convinced it wasn’t their day, their week, their month or even their year.
So, they did what any good fandom would do — they revolted. We get it. No one told them life was gonna be this way.
Fans went so far as to create a Change.org petition pleading the nostalgic sitcom’s case to Netflix, playfully lampooning the decision to nix the show after four years as “unfair, unacceptable and downright inhumane.”
And impressively, it garnered nearly 80,000 of the requested 150,000 signatures before Netflix clarified the show’s future.
First, the streaming service deleted the primary source of confusion: a “details” tab on Friends’ page with a “Jan. 1” removal date. They then issued a cheeky tweet paying homage to an iconic episode from the series, saying, “The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: “Friends” will still be here for you in the US throughout 2019.”
The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: “Friends” will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019 pic.twitter.com/Yd0VqRzk3r
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 3, 2018
Could we be any more excited?
The fandom deserves some good news too. In January of this year, hopes ran high when what appeared to be a reunion movie trailer surfaced on the internet. However, it didn’t take long to realize the video was an artful curation of clips from the actors’ careers since Friends ended.
Despite the explosion of reboots, revivals and reunions on film today, several stars of the sitcom have gone on record to insist they wouldn’t return to their Central Perk roots.
“I have this recurring nightmare — I’m not kidding about this,” he explained. “When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do Friends again and nobody cares. We do a whole series, we come back, and nobody cares about it. So if anybody asks me, I’m gonna say no. The thing is: We ended on such a high. We can’t beat it. Why would we go and do it again?”
In January, Lisa Kudrow — who played the inimitable and quirky Phoebe Buffay — insisted to Conan O’Brien on his show that a revival of their show simply wouldn’t work.
“They’re rebooting everything, but I don’t know,” she pondered, “How does that work with Friends? That was about people in their twenties, thirties. The show isn’t about people in their forties, fifties. And if we have the same problems, then that’s just sad!”
Friends first came to Netflix back in 2014 when the streaming giant dropped a whopping $118 million for the rights to all 10 seasons. The service then digitally remastered all 236 episodes for HD viewing.