So I’ll be honest. Friends won’t go down as the best show in the history of television. It probably doesn’t even deserve to be in the Top Ten, but you can’t deny its impact over the past decade. Way back in 1994, it presented us with six twenty-somethings trying to live in New York City. You had your smart, usually “together” sort of nerdy one (Ross, played by David Schwimmer), your neurotic, borderline OCD group leader (Monica, played by Courtney Cox), your stupid, but big-hearted pal (Matt LeBlanc’s Joey), the spoiled princess (Rachel, played by Jennifer Anniston), the spacey, crazy, just plain weird friend (Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe), and the funny, sarcastic pal (Chandler played by Matthew Perry). I think we can all see a little of ourselves and of our friends in the group members.
Just like in life though, the characters grew. Chandler changed jobs when he realized he didn’t like being…..whatever it was that he did (all I know is that he wasn’t a Transpondster). Monica mellowed out…to an extent. Ross got cool…well, cooler. Phoebe got less spacey and eccentric. Joey…well, Joey sort of stayed a little on the slow side, but he had the biggest heart. Rachel learned to not be so selfish. They fell in and out of love. They started families. They were comfortable with each other. They acted like you acted with your friends.
So unless you lived in a cave this past year, my Kaczynski-inspired friends, you know that this was the last season. That’s right, NBC is losing its flagship sitcom. I’m not going to do a recap of the entire run, or even this season, but this year we’ve seen Phoebe get married to normal guy, Mike (played very well by Paul Rudd), Chandler land a job at an ad company and try to have a baby with Monica, Joey’s career beginning to take off (setting things up for next year’s spin off, Joey), and Ross and Rachel deal with having a child together.
There were a few quick, really nice inside jokes played out in the finale. Ross made a joke about “being on a break” (we all know what that means at this point, right?).We find out that the duck and the rooster have gone to a special farm…or at least that’s what they told Joey when they died. Gunther, hair “brighter than the sun,” finally told Rachel that he loves her.
In the series finale, all of the loose ends were tied up as well, befitting a series finale. Monica and Chandler are moving to the suburbs with the twins they’re adopting. Phoebe and Mike will stay in the city until they start having boatloads of babies of their own. Joey’s leaving for LA (again, set up for Joey), and the most asked question, “do Ross and Rachel end up together?” was answered. I’m pleased to report that they do. The show that brought the coffee house phenenomen to the entire country (come on, how many Ohioans were hanging out in cafes before Friends premiered?) ended with the gang headed down to Central Perk one last time together. Just a group of pals hanging out with each other for the sake of hanging out.