Sometimes I just watch TV reunion specials to see how much greenscreen is going on. Getting a beloved cast back together ain't easy, and sometimes they have to use technological tricks to put everyone in the same room together.
It's the thing that put me off the last couple of Arrested Development series. Considering how highly I rate the first few seasons, I'm still surprised that there is a whole season of the show that I just never saw, but the way Portia de Rossi is clearly yelling at nothing in all of her scenes didn't help.
It's just the way it goes. Everyone has moved on, carved out careers, got their own shows. They come back because it's the place that got them started, and gave them a profile, but they have new schedules to work around.
And yet, even with all these restrictions and distractions, there can be real emotional catharsis in many of these reunions. Something like the Deadwood movie provided an elegant coda to the series, and gave us a last line of dialogue for the ages. Even if it's a bit awkward and weird, sometimes it's just nice to see old friends, and see how they are doing, and if they are okay.
I think about the snow on Charlie Utter's grave a lot.
They will keep doing it, and we all keep falling for it because they are exercises in pure nostalgia, and sometimes that is fine. They might even have some real value, even if they're not really together.