It’s ironic that on the day Disney launched its streaming service, HBO Max dropped the bombshell of all bombshells.
Actually, it’s not ironic. It was inevitable. Now that I’ve let that big news sink in, here’s why it won’t turn out like we all hope!
An unscripted conflab
The story: HBO Max looking to make a Friends reunion special with the original cast and show creators. Great!
The reality: If it happens, it’s unscripted. This means the cast and show creators will be sitting in the Central Perk set talking about the phenomenon. Boring! Plus, haven’t we had this car crash already?
It’s pure spin: HBO has already dropped $425 million on Friends for exclusivity. An unscripted reunion will likely cost mid-eight-figures. That’s about right for the perfect carrot to dangle, “Hey! Join HBO Max, we’ve got a Friends reunion exclusive!” Boom. That’s subscribers in the bank. Smart — especially because no one will want to pirate a conflab.
Cost and piracy stopping what we want
Success: If HBO Max scraps this unscripted Friends nonsense and goes all out to make a real special, they’ll get new subscribers and win the Internet. Whatever that means.
Risky business: The problem is, like with Game of Thrones, people pirate. So spending $1 billion between exclusive rights to the old shows and getting the cast and show creators back, is a risk. Not to mention, they have no idea how the new stuff will go. That only furthers the risk.
Too expensive: In an ideal world, none of this matters and we’re watching it already. However, for the cost to get it back up and running, they’re better off splashing the cash on, say, The Office, which was a bigger hit on Netflix than Friends.
Predictions on how this will play out
First: HBO Max will have an underwhelming reunion show, fans will get annoyed and Friends Season 11 will be ordered. That’ll cost north of, oh, $500 million!
Second: About six months after being announced, the show gets canceled. HBO uses the excuse of “they couldn’t get it to work with the cast and show creators.”
Third: HBO Max will announce a Friends spin-off, starring Gunther and Janice, because they get together over a coffee and are actually much cheaper and easier to book!
Heck, I’d probably watch that. Find out where Friends ranks in our best of HBO Max show list now!