Oh No, Not Another Thing About the Friends Finale

 

So you may be a bit over the whole Friends finale hype. I think if NBC had had their way you would have been over it before it even happened. Seriously how many special Datelines and talk show appearances did those poor actors have to do? Still I'm not as cynical about the whole thing as I was at 7:59 pm on Thursday night. See, I used to love Friends. There I admitted it. I spent my Thursday nights with Chandler's sarcastic one liners and Monica's neat-freakness. I was a fan of Phoebe's wacky songs of which  'Smelly Cat' is probably the best known. I was one of the people who watched Rachel and Ross have their first kiss. My roommate and I were glued to the TV set.  The 'Friends' were to us in college an idea of what are futures might hold. Who wouldn't want a life that seemed to consist almost entirely of hanging out?

I lost touch with the show in the last 3 or 4 years, seeing only an occasional episode in reruns now and then. If I was around on Thursday I'd watch it, but it's been a long time since it was really must see TV for me. They grew older, and Rachel went from coffee shop waitress to fashion industry diva. Monica became head chef somewhere, Joey became marginally famous and Ross took anger management classes and Chandler, who did who the hell knows what for eight years suddenly got a job as an advertising copywriter (This annoys me since I have a degree in advertising and I work as a random office admin, but whatever. Can you see the sharks swimming around in the tank?). Phoebe was the last holdout with the slackerish sort of career path that sort of stopped being mentioned, but then she married money so I guess that doesn't matter overly much.

To be honest the episodes that I did see this year didn't really hold much interest for me. In fact when I watched the last two episodes the night before the finale so I'd be caught up, I found myself cringing at Ross' bizarre attempts to get Rachel her job back. I almost didn't even bother to watch the finale after that. Then on Thursday I got home and updated the site and worked on some other stuff on the computer for like three hours and when 8:00 rolled around I wasn't up to much more than crashing in front of the TV. Since I was there I decided to co-watch the recap show and Extreme Makeover Home. After the first commercial break I pretty much stayed with Friends.

 The recap show was the funniest parts of the whole ten years.  It reminded me of why I was a loyal viewer all those years ago. I don't even remember when I laughed so hard at something on TV. So basically by the time the finale came on they pretty much had me.

As series finales go, it was par for the course. Everything nicely tied up, all off to their new and exciting lives. Ross and Rachel ended up a couple, there was a big sad airport scene where Rachel gets on the plane to France anyway. But before that, there was a crazy ride to the airport in Phoebe's cab that hasn't been seen in a while I think. Then of course because this is TV they went to the wrong airport. Not to say this wouldn't happen in real life, it actually happened to me. Well not the declaration of love part, the wrong airport part. I was flying home for some reason and my sister thought I should fly to San Jose even though I usually flew into Oakland since she was going to pick me up and lived closer to San Jose. So anyhow it turned out my parents ended up being the ones to pick me up and they went to Oakland since I had always flown in there before. The end result was me wandering aimlessly around San Jose Airport for like an hour and a half spending all my change trying to call home on a payphone. But I digress.

So after Rachel gets back on the plane Ross goes home to be depressed and feel like a dumbass and Phoebe goes to Monica and Chandler's apparently to help pack or something but mostly so we know that Ross went home. Then of course Rachel shows up at Ross' apartment and they live happily ever after even though Ross makes a joke about the whole 'on a break thing', which if I was Rachel would have sent me straight back to the airport if the plane was going anywhere but France, but whatever.

And yes, I admit it I was crying. Seriously, who doesn't, at least once and a while want to see a happily ever after? The end of Friends was the end of an era, though that phrase has been largely overused in the case of this show. Even though every character was at one point coupled off, that wasn't so much what the show was about. Sitcoms always seem to be about a family, but in Friends there was no wacky dad or long suffering mom or perky kids with mundane traumas, this was a sitcom about people of my generation trying to get through life, although with much more random luck and arguably better hair.

 

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