In the weekend of April 22nd and 23rd, we were in Brussels for the BIFFF 2023 (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival). Luckily we had time to combine this visit to Brussels Expo, with something we were both very excited about. A few weeks ago we saw that "Friends: The Experience" had arrived in Brussels and as big fans of the show we were over the moon about this. The iconic TV show "Friends" aired from 1994 until 2004 and is seen as one of the most successful TV shows ever. Almost 20 years after the last episode, the show remains as popular as ever. Although we can't believe that you never heard of "Friends", we will now tell you a little bit about the show. Could we BE more excited?
The show revolves around the day to day adventures of a group of 6 friends, living in New York City. The group consists of Monica Geller (Courtney Cox) and her older brother Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Leblanc), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). At the beginning of the first season, the somewhat spoiled and wealthy Rachel flees her own wedding and finds her estranged childhood friend Monica. She moves in with Monica and joins her group of friends. Ross is Monica's older brother. Across the hall from Monica, lives Chandler, Ross' old college roommate and friend. Joey is Chandler's roommate and Phoebe is Monica's old roommate. Over ten seasons (consisting of 236 episodes) the show grows out to be immensely popular and is ranked among the best TV shows ever. The show won countless awards and the cast's popularity took on "Beatle-like" proportions. Quotes from the show like: "How you doing?", "Could we BE more excited?", "Oh...My...God", "They don't know that we know they know", "Pivot!" and "Joey doesn't share food!", became iconic (Liv speaks "Friends" fluently). The series finale was watched by 56 million viewers in the US and became the second best watched event of the year (after the Superbowl). Even now, almost 20 years after the series finale, there are still reruns in many countries around the world.
About Friends: The Experience
Friends: The Experience is a pop-up exhibit, where fans of "Friends" can relive their favorite moments and walk through interactive recreations of the sets of this iconic show. Following the success of the semi-permanent one in New York, the exhibit has been travelling the United States with stops in cities, like: Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Francisco and many more. But why not go worldwide? There are fans of "Friends" all over the world! In Europe, there were previous stops in cities, like: London (Baby!) and Paris. This Spring, The Experience has set up camp in Brussels Expo, where it will stay until June 18th 2023.
About our "Friends: The Experience" Experience
First of all, be sure to secure your tickets beforehand. "Friends" is still very popular and tickets go fast (especially the weekend spots). We were there on a Sunday morning and it was completely sold out for the day. You can leave your bags and coats at the cloak room. Once you've done that you can get in line to enter The Experience. While we were waiting, we watched some iconic scenes, on the screen that was in the queueing area. We also laughed about the quotes, that were printed on big banners (picture earlier on in the article). We entered the experience with a small group of about 30 people and first up there is a very funny introduction video to the experience, by Maggie Wheeler (who plays Janice "Oh... my... God... " Litman-Goralnick). After this and a quick explanation of the rules, we were prepped to go inside. Throughout the exhibition, you are free to take as many pictures as you want, but there were three fixed sets. At these sets, a professional photograph is taken, that you can buy afterwards. Of course, it is not allowed to take your own pictures in these sets. From this point on we will take you through the exhibit by showing you our pictures. Enjoy!
Fixed set 1: The one with the couch and the fountain
The One With The Beginning: Characters and Set Design
Fixed Set 2: The One With Pivot!
The One With Ross and the boy, who hates Thanksgiving
The One With Science Boy
The One With The Doodle-boards
The One With The Guest Stars
The One With Mama's Little Bakery, Chicago, Illinois
The One With The Boys' Apartment
The One With The Best Nap Ever
The One With Pat The Dog
Could we BE wearing any more clothes?
The One With The Girls' Apartment
The One With Central Perk
Fixed Set 3: The One With The Door
The One With The Food and The Shop
After all this excitement, it was time to have some food ("Joey doesn't share Food"). You can have a cup of coffee with some of the famous cheesecakes, some cookies, a muffin and more like this. And then there is the official Friend Experience Gift Shop, with some awesome memorabilia. Liv bought a shirt from Hugsy!
The One With The Conclusion
We had a great time! The Experience takes you on a trip down memory lane and you will definitely leave with a big smile on your face. As already mentioned: the Experience will be at Brussels Expo until June 18th, 2023. So do not hesitate and order your tickets today! Tickets for Brussels are available at the Friends: The Experience website. We would like to thank Friends: The Experience and (Mariam at) Speak Up Communications for this amazing experience.
If this is isn't enough to have you rushing to the website, we can only say: "Why? Why? Why would you do that?