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Friday, May 07, 2004
Friends finale (finally!)
About ten years ago I sat down to watch a new sitcom called Friends. I got through about five minutes and I've spent the last decade ridiculing it at every available opportunity. Since then, it's become a gargantuan, pop-culture monster that everyone (but me) seems to love more life itself.
So I decided to give it one last shot before it went off the air. Surely there was something I was missing here. This thing drew in tens of millions of viewers every week. Surely it could dish out at least one tiny bit of redeeming value. All I was looking for was a single witty line or plot tread.
Nope. The finale for Friends is probably the most jaw-droopingly banal thing I've ever forced myself to sit through. I guess I'm not amongst the target audience for the show. From the fans I've talked to, the show is considered a guilty pleasure; the female equivalent of "good trash," something akin to Predator or South Park. I've always taken their word for this. Until now.
Sorry, Friends is more like a Steven Segal movie or WWE; something so gut-wrenchlingly uncreative and vile it should come with fifteen Surgeon General's warnings. It's a pop-culture pack of Pal Mals. I sat through an hour of what should have been a hilarious, brilliant send-off for a beloved sitcom. Instead what I found was tripe riddled with the most obvious of cliches and the lamest of lame one-liners. We're talking sub-Carrot Top level humor here.
The finale centered around David Schwimmer's character struggling to get to an airport to stop Jennifer Aniston from flying off to Paris. Meanwhile, Matthew Perry and Courtney Cox loaf around an apartment gushing over their newborn twins. Dave doesn't make it in time but Jenny comes running back to him at the end. Awwww, no, wait...GAG!
This is the sort of BS that's been a staple for sitcom finales since time began. It's baffling that Friends' staff of overpaid writers made absolutely no attempt to do anything even slightly different from what was expected. The whole yawn-enducing thing went languidly from A to B.
But at least it's over. Finally ove...oh, wait. God, no. I forgot about syndication! Friends is going to live forever. Nooooooooooooo!