TV Reunions Are Always Sh*t

20 January 2016, 13:30 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

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James Wilson-Taylor

By James Wilson-Taylor

Time to stop.

It's been a big week for TV fans getting excited about resurrected faves before having their dreams slowly crushed.

First it was Friends, a two-hour reunion show announced with news spreading like wildfire before Matthew Perry poured cold water on the idea with some actual truths about the nature of the special.

Then there was High School Musical, a Disney Channel 10th anniversary recap coming soon but minus former-Wildcat Zac Efron.

Both of these near-miss comebacks were greeted with much disdain and sadness on social media as fans longed for a full, glorious return of their TV faves. 

But, one question remains - should they bother getting back together at all?

Aren't we all tired of big build-ups to an interview/clip-show full of jokes and behind the scenes anecdotes we've heard many times over? And yet this is still better than the alternative of a new production full of ageing stars making winking references to the past as their on-screen entrance gains grateful applause as audience members pass out from a nostalgia high.

How many times has a TV comeback really worked out? The music world is full of successful examples of "getting the band back together" and, in the movie world, that new Star Wars sequel seems to have made them a fair bit of cash.

But TV reunions are a very different beast. Music comeback tours tend to rely on what the fans really want - to hear the hits - while movies manage to nod to the past but still make clear that their main aim is to re-establish the franchise with new leads for a new audience. But TV reunions have to, ideally, use the same characters in a familiar style and setting but also acknowledge that times have changed and progress the story. They need to play the hits but with new instruments and arrangements. It's a tough tightrope to walk on.

The best reunions are the brief ones, an instagram post being more than enough to invite nostalgia.


But a brand new episode is a recipe for disaster.

Imagine actually watching a new episode of Friends. Would the apartment-hopping antics be as amusing now that all the main characters are well into their 40s? We doubt it.

So maybe its time we learn from the continued disappointment of the fan communities and put the idea of reunions to rest. Simply savour the shows you enjoyed and the episodes that already exist. 

You just can't beat the classics.