HBO Max are reportedly making an unscripted Friends special, but should be using that money to make an exclusive spin-off show. Friends fans are ready to see more, even if getting the big six back is too expensive, there’s so much more they could do on a budget.
These are the Friends spin-off shows we’d like to see if Marta Kauffman (Friends co-creator) and her production studio Okay Goodnight is available.
#5. Young Pheebs (codename: Regina Phalange)
Why hasn’t anyone done a young Phoebe Buffay show? It’s something we Friends fans need to see: how did Phoebe go from living on the streets to living with Monica?
The series could start when she mugs a young Ross for his comic book superhero Science Boy, or when she agrees to marry a homosexual ice dancer. Every story she tells in Friends opens up a host of possibilities for a series. Plus, she’s a twin, so it is immediately double the drama and laughs.
#4. The annoying Mr. Heckles
This is a prequel show set at a time when Mr. Heckles was trying to put his funnyman status into the comedy scene around New York. We could watch as his apartment fills with the weird and wonderful objects, and as noisy neighbors distract him from creating great jokes for his stand-up routine.
The show would be like a reverse The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where this funnyman goes from hilarious to angry and annoying. It would fit perfectly with the mental health stories hitting our screens of late. It could also show us how and why Mr. Heckles became the person he did in the hit show.
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#3. The Chick & The Duck
Friends had four main animals: Marcel, Rachel’s evil cat, the chick, and the duck. We know what happened to the cat — she was sold to Gunther for an alarming profit. We also know Marcel was sent to a zoo because it was dry-humping everything it could get a hold of. The big question is, what happened to the chick and duck?
It’s hard to know what kind of show HBO Max could pull off with just the chick and duck, but considering people’s love for animals and the pull Friends has, doing nothing seems like a wasted opportunity. My solution would be to put them with Mr. Treeger (Mike Hagerty) as he tries to become a ballroom dancing champion.
#2. Central Perks & Recreation
HBO Max could combine Friends with Parks and Recreation. It would be impossible to get the big names back, but Gunther (James Michael Tyler) could hire Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) at Central Perk after the Sapersteins relocate to New York (a cameo from Henry Winkler please).
Gunther and Jean-Ralphio mix obsession and madness in a way that’d bring madcap scenarios to the coffee shop. The combination of park and coffee shop opens up lots of opportunities for characters to drop in from both shows.
The main show’s arc could focus on Gunther breaking free from his Rachel obsession and falling in love with Shauna Malwae-Tweep (Alison Becker), who he rents a room to as she writes an undercover piece about the Saperstein’s questionable escape to New York.
#1. Oh My God!
Janice’s horn-like laugh could stop traffic. In Friends, Chandler and Monica had to resort to subterfuge to get their suburban dream home, which Janice was also looking at buying. Could they have become neighbors? There were similarities to their lives: Janice had a child and was settling down in suburbia too.
What if HBO Max made a show about her story, the undoubtedly loud kid she is raising, and the desperate housewife she’s become while the mattress king played away. Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, is still acting, so it’s not impossible.