The Handmaid’s Tale is not friendly by nature, even when actual Friends show up. One of Season 2’s most bizarre moments almost didn’t happen, as producers reveal a labyrinthine process to get brief footage of a classic Friends episode into Gilead.

You’re warned of light spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 from here on out, but an unexpected moment of levity arrived during June (Elisabeth Moss)’s time in exile at the old Boston Globe headquarters, as the fugitive handmaid discovered an old Friends DVD among the office possessions. She even finds a working laptop and watches Season 4’s “The One With Phoebe’s Uterus,” or at least the famous scene in which Rachel and Monica explain female erogenous zones to Chandler. It’s a brief reminder of the country’s bygone gender dynamics, but one that was apparently difficult to pull off.

As Entertainment Weekly reports, Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow collectively own the rights to every Friends clip, so no mere call to Warner Bros. could clear the usage. Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefield actually ran NBC Entertainment in the ‘90s, however, and had to personally call representation for Perry, Aniston and Cox to get their approval. The use still involved a “standard clip license fee,” but who are the Friends to deny a bit of cheer to Gilead? And now that we think about it – are we sure that cast is okay in this universe?

In the meantime, The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 will continue with Wednesday’s “Other Women,” while the series overall is renewed for a third season in 2019.

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