'Friends' creators squash reboot hopes, say NBC slut-shamed Monica | News Coverage from USA

‘Friends’ creators squash reboot hopes, say NBC slut-shamed Monica

Patrick Ryan

USA TODAY

Published 10:11 AM EDT Sep 14, 2019

NEW YORK — “Friends” nostalgia is at a fever pitch, with the hit NBC sitcom celebrating its 25th anniversary later this month. 

But don’t hold your breath for more episodes: Sitting down at Tribeca TV Festival Friday night, co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane squashed any hopes for a possible reboot or reunion show. 

“The reason we won’t do a reunion is this is a show about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you start having a family, that changes. So it wouldn’t be what’s at that the heart of the show anymore,” Kauffman said. “The other reason is, it’s not going to beat what we did.”

“We really feel like we did the show we wanted to do and we got it right,” Crane added. “If you visited those characters now, it would just have a different DNA, and chances are, it wouldn’t be as good a show. Why go back to the well?”

More: ‘Friends’: NYC pop-up lets you get coffee at Central Perk, recreate iconic opening credits

Kauffman and Crane screened two episodes at the festival, speaking about each during a panel afterward. The first episode, Season 4’s “The One with the Embryos,” follows Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) as she agrees to become a surrogate mom for her brother, and was written as a way to incorporate Kudrow’s real-life pregnancy into the show.

The other, “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” from Season 5, finds Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) attempting to keep their relationship secret from the rest of the group. Kauffman explained how Monica and Chandler were originally just going to have a one-night stand, but the audience reaction and actors’ chemistry was “so strong that we thought, ‘Oh, there’s a real relationship here.’ ” 

Kauffman went on to reveal two storylines she has regrets about: Phoebe’s stalker (played by David Arquette) in Season 3’s “The One with the Jam,” and Phoebe’s chicken pox in “The One with the Chicken Pox” from Season 2. 

“We did a lot of rewriting on (the stalker episode) to make that work, and I’m not sure the chicken pox worked either,” Kauffman said. “I watch the show once in a while, and it’s much harder for me to enjoy the good moments when there are moments that I’m like, ‘Oh, my god, we let that happen?’ ”

More: The ‘Friends’ Central Perk couch is traveling to a landmark near you

Kauffman also recalls an appalling note from an NBC executive in 1994 while writing the pilot episode, insisting that viewers wouldn’t “like” Monica for having sex on the first date with Paul the Wine Guy (John Allen Nelson), who tells her he hasn’t had sex since his last breakup two years earlier. Monica later learns from a co-worker that he was lying, and it was merely a line Paul uses to get women to sleep with him. 

“The person who was the head of NBC at the time felt that Monica got what she deserved for sleeping with a guy on the first date,” Kauffman said, earning gasps from the festival crowd. NBC even “did a survey to find out how people felt about that, like did they think she was A) a trollop, B) a slut, D) none of the above. And nobody cared!”


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