The title of the special was “Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows,” but if you didn’t watch the show, I assure you that you did not miss out on much.
I appreciate NBC’s effort in hyping the show, teasing fans with the promise of cast reunions from hit television series like “Cheers,” “Taxi” and “Friends.” I also appreciate the significance of the event: legendary director and producer James Burrow’s accomplishment of helming his 1000th episode.
What was missing from the tribute was something new to hook viewers and keep them interested.
The show lasted two hours but had maybe 30 minutes of worthwhile content.
The interviews with casts from shows like “Mike and Molly” and “Big Bang Theory” were not as interesting, taking into account the fact that the shows are still creating new episodes and fans can see the cast act together on a regular basis.
Even popular past shows, like “Frasier” and “Will and Grace,” fell flat with their cast reunions due to the fact primary actors, like Kelsey Grammar and Debra Messing, did not attend and had to deliver small, pre-taped monologues from another location.
I admittedly watched the special exclusively for the cast reunion of “Friends,” which NBC wisely left until the end in order to keep viewers watching or to make them tune back in. This reunion was definitely the best part of the night, but it too fell short of my expectations.
While I adore all five “Friends” actors who attended the special — Matthew Perry missed due to obligations in London — I felt like there was not enough time to really catch up with any of them or have a valuable discussion while retrospecting on the series.
It was sweet to see the actors sitting on a couch again, even if it wasn’t in Central Perk and there was no coffee.
But where were the questions us fans wanted to ask: are Perry and Courtney Cox dating in real life, as the tabloids have been hinting at? Is there going to be a reunion episode any time soon? What happened to our favorite friends after the cameras stopped rolling?
There were some precious anecdotes Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc told, and then they were gone, and I turned the TV off and wondered why I hadn’t just caught the highlights the next morning.
Perhaps I set my expectations too high for this event. Regardless, I have to thank James Burrows for some of my favorite shows.
And also thanks to the guy who invented DVR — I’m sorry I didn’t use your invention last night.