As the trend for pop-up attractions continues, the latest one to arrive in Toronto this month is the Friends Experience – an interactive exhibit of the uber-popular ’90s sitcom.
As with anything that is new, you’ll definitely see crowds, which was the case when I checked out the experience myself recently. It’s normal to be in a lineup outside of the exhibit – and they made that experience enjoyable by doing some random trivia and giving away Friends branded face masks – however, once you finally got into the exhibit, more lines!
If you are a fan of the show, it’s worth checking out. The sets are very nicely manufactured with a lot of intricacies and detail, but the immersive aspect of the experience fell a bit short for me because of the long lineups. It really just became about getting a pic in with little to no time to actually soak in each display.
Having said that, one set recreation which surprisingly had no line for it was the famous couch scene where Ross, Rachel, and Chandler are struggling to get a couch up the stairs and Ross repeatedly yells ‘Pivot’!
I was happy to get my couch shot in as depicted below. 🙂
Other set recreations included the opening credit scenes with the fountain, Joey and Chandler’s apartment (but it really just being about taking a boomerang in the reclining leather chairs), Monica’s kitchen, the corridor outside of the apartments, and, of course, Central Perk.
The exhibit also includes some neat history about the show’s creation, key members of the production theme, and other trivia which was nice to look at. One neat display was the history behind Rachel’s iconic hairstyles dubbed ‘The Rachel’ over the course of the show’s duration.
You also have the opportunity to purchase all kinds of Friends merchandise at the end.
If you are a fan of the show and want to check it out, I would say it’s worthwhile to do so. The initial reviews are mixed but always best to gauge for yourself. The event runs until January, so I would only suggest perhaps waiting for the novelty to wear off a bit to avoid the current long lineups and be able to enjoy the interactiveness of the experience more.
Overall though, a fun concept for a classic show that will continue to be commemorated for years to come.