2004 was very, very good to the Friends cast.
Okay, so the television show that gave them fame—and, it could be argued, their whole identities—was about to come to an end, but it could be argued that nobody's ever gone out with a bang such as that. Lest we all forget, this was the cast that was the first ever to command a whopping $1 million per episode. It may seem but a pittance compared to the bloated Big Bang Theory-style salaries of today's television stars, but 12 years ago it was downright legendary.
And not only were they patting themselves on the back for being part of a groundbreaking (and record-breaking) sitcom, but they were lining up some pretty lucrative post-must see TV lifestyles as well. Jennifer Aniston was poised to become a full-fledged movie star. Matt LeBlanc was scheming for his own spinoff. David Schwimmerhad gotten his hands on perhaps the best gig: Voicing an animated character (that would be the Madagascar franchise). Plus, there's the fact that they were all rolling around in piles of money by day and sleeping in giant mansions by night.
And then...cut to the last decade. It's not that things went downhill from Friends per say, it's just that they seemed to suffer a bit of a cast curse: They could never all taste success simultaneously. If Aniston was nabbing another big screen role, Courteney Coxwas doing Dirt. (Yikes). If Lisa Kudrowwas getting an Emmy nom for The Comeback, Matthew Perrywas doing Studio 60. And we all know how Joey turned out.
But today we can finally say that all six castmembers are totally kicking ass at life. Maybe they felt the pressure from the big reunion, but either way we're not complaining. Don't believe us? Let's take a look.
Jennifer Aniston. Screw her career (which is pretty stellar); we're taking this time to applaud her personal life. Because while she was arguably the most successful (at the very least the most famous) Friends alum, her romantic life has been completely unfair. But now, well, if we bought into crap like fairytale endings that's probably how we'd describe this. At the very least, it's great to see her settled, happy, and as one-half of a Hollywood power couple again.
David Schwimmer. Three words: American Crime Story. Now two more words: Robert Kardashian. We, like most of America (we hope) have sorely missed our Ross Gellar while he's been off running a theater company or whatever it is that's been keeping him busy. But now he's back in a big way, and the buzz around The People vs. O.J. Simpson—and David's performance in it—isn't going away anytime soon. If becoming a part of the Kardashian empire is what it took to bring Ross back into our lives, we'll take it.
Lisa Kudrow. What isn't she doing right now? There's her role on the Netflix series BoJack Horseman, there was the fabulous Web Therapy (come back!), and she's also lined up a bit of a movie career as well. Up next: Reprising her hilarious role as the Dean on Neighbors 2 and a part alongside Emily Bluntin The Girl on the Train. Cha-ching!
Matthew Perry. When you're too busy to attend an unprecedented reunion for your most famous role, it means you're officially a baller. In this case it's for his London play The End of Longing, but his CBS show The Odd Couple is still kicking too.
Courteney Cox. It's time to send props to our girl Monica, because she just landed a new pilot! We were all torn up after Cougar Town left us, but Cox has been busy working to bring another show to air. This time it's Charity Case, about a widow who inherits her late husband's billion-dollar estate and finds that doing good deeds for others is a lot harder than it sounds. Courteney is starring and executive producing.
Matt LeBlanc. Out of all the Friends alumni, he is the most on-fire. Or should we say on the most fire? Either way, he's making Hollywood his bitch right now. There's his perennially Emmy-nominated show Episodes, his brand new and highly-coveted gig as a host of Top Gear, and to top it all off he just landed the starring role in a new CBS sitcom I'm Not Your Friend that came complete with a huge series penalty, which means they'll have to pay him if it doesn't take off. How's that for a start to 2016?