Dubai Diaries: Are you as excited about the ‘Friends’ reunion as we are?
Why a virtual reel meet up is more appealing than a real one
I’m definitely not among the most anti-social people out there; especially considering the profession I chose to be in. But there are times when life throws a party invite and you artfully dodge since it clashes with your date with Netflix.
I kind of blame the past one year for revealing that it was possible for us to be locked up in our own personal spaces with limited human interaction and yet thrive in many ways. There were no more mandatory Friday brunches to turn up for, or the social catch up with friends and acquaintances where air kissing and superficial hugs were de rigueur.
Just plain old Zoom, which could be manipulated to not disclose our faces if we so wished, or mute whenever the thought struck us; there could even be a well planned out wifi outage at our residence.
So when the message popped up from a friend on my WhatsApp the other day, I was initially gob smacked as to how to respond. ‘Can I add you to a Zoom group from school who catch up regularly?’
I dilly-dallied for a bit before hurriedly typing out; ‘Maybe not right away; a bit later perhaps?’ There was a tinge of relief along with trepidation — did I just lose the rare friend I had managed to salvage from my past?
But, seriously, what’s it with reunions of late? Has the pandemic rejigged our minds and in the absence of physical interaction turned us into digital creatures, who’d rather relive the glory days of the past with our peers than forge new relations?
There’s even an over-50’s group reunion — not to be ageist — that’s much talked about of late. You know the one we are talking about — which includes the glam puss with a much emulated haircut, an OCD type, and even counts a charming Lothario, a school geek, and a quirky singer among them.
Friends has perhaps ruined many a relationship among impressionable viewers out there, seeing as many thought they could recreate a similar dynamics among their own chosen set of acquaintances. Only to realise that Ross is perhaps only cute on the small screen or that Joey is actually pretty creepy in real life or that Rachel has no redeeming features whatsoever.
But there’s no doubt Friends: The Reunion has got everybody in a tizzy, 17 years after the hit sitcom last aired. The one-off unscripted show will even have appearances from luminaries like K-Pop band BTS and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, to add a bit of contemporary zest into it.
But as is the wont with most reunions, it’s often the ones who are not invited that kick up a row. Apparently the absence of black actors in the special invitees list has not gone down well with those who like to view life through an equitable lense. You can’t please everyone all the time, can you?
And how fitting in the midst of a pandemic that we are getting all riled up about a reunion among reel friends when some of us are hiding away from our own real time friends. But then again, when the chips are down these are probably the only ones who’ve been there for many of us…