The best HBO Max reunion so far, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts shines thanks to its main trio without addressing the elephant in the room.
Roughly 10 minutes into the reunion special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, Ron Weasley actor Rupert Grint comments on the surreality of it all.
In true Weasley fashion, Grint intuitively identified something slightly off about this whole thing right from the get-go. Perhaps the Potter team hasn’t earned a reunion yet. Though the series of films based on J.K. Rowling’s books began with Philosopher’s Stone in 2001, it ended just 10 years ago with Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. Since then, the Potter series has continued apace with two Fantastic Beasts prequel films, and another scheduled for 2022.
However, that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it. Even though the series ended way more recently, this reunion was way more genuine and fun to watch than the Friends one.
So, what was special about this reunion? We got to go back to Hogwarts with the cast and learn secrets from the films. Directors, producers, and cast spent much of the special reminiscing about the magical experience.
Some key people were missing from the reunion. First, J.K. Rowling is only seen, with an extremely limited capacity, via archival footage from 2019. Yes, you can’t do Harry Potter without Rowling, but as far as I’m concerned, the more we hide her, the better. Also, notably absent from the reunion, except for in clips: Robert Pattinson (Cedric’s dead, after all), Maggie Smith (too cool? Too busy? Who knows), Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson and a handful of others that helped bring the series to life.
Should you watch it?
Like all reunions, there were laughs, hugs, candid confessions, staged confessions, some tears, and lots and lots of feels. If you’re a Potter fan, this reunion is too good to miss.