Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Auld Lang Syne

My oldest friend recently posted that he had never watched Friends.

I confess, I did.

Time for some Boolean logic.

Set T: People who can watch one minute of any episode of the original ST:TOS (Star Trek:The Original Series, but if I have to explain that you will never fully understand my true tek geekness.) and tell you what planet they are on, what the major characteristic of the all-to-human-looking ‘aliens’ that inhabit said planet, the name of Kirk’s love interest and exactly how she dies tragically, in the process saving Kirk, the entire Enterprise crew and the known universe. Extra-credit identifying that the episode includes crew members lost on away missions that are NOT security personnel. (OK, I know it really should be 10 seconds, but I’m rusty, OK?)

Set F: People who can instantly tell you what the phrase “Monica Bang” could never happen again and then detail subtle changes that have occurred related to this discussion. What it means you knock your fists together. What a sneeze-muffin is. Why Gunter has a shoe fetish. Who is Lola Falange? Who got married to whom, by whom and who made out with whose mom and/or each other.

I feel reasonably confident in stating that the intersection of these two sets yields an extremely small number. I, in fact, may be the only person on the face of the planet that for which the AND statement would result in TRUE.

Having gotten that heavy weight off my chest, I must first make a statement, after which I will offer a few comments on the finale.

(macro rant)
Pheobe & Ross, Pheobe & Ross, PHEOBE & ROSS!!!!!!

This, in my opinion, would have been the conclusion with perfect closure.
Monica & Chandler, Joey & Rachel, PHEOBE & ROSS!

I remain convinced that the only reason the writers veered from the obvious, cosmic completeness of this conclusion was the blatant craven profit-motive in wanting to spin-off Joey. (More on that later.)
Once again, both in and for conclusion: PHEOBE & ROSS!
(/macro rant)

What to say about Friends?
The titan of Thursday nights. The heavy-weight champion of episodic television.
It has propped up NBC revenues to an unbelievable extent. Even with the Law & Order franchise the peacock may be molting. The price for commercial time during the finale was topped only by the Super-Bowl. Is it really that surprising that you can buy the final episode on DVD today?

Overall, I think it was a fitting finish. It had several elemental aspects that tied things together nicely. The duck and chick. A sacrifice of the foosball table that was biblical in its symbolism. Leaving/listening to answering machine messages. The major aspect airplanes/airports integrated into the plot. The cab. Classic Joey double-takes. Pheobe’s prescience. Felange. Chandler freaking out.

Things I wish they had fit in:
Richard should have been at the hospital doing some doctor thing or another.


Things I am SO glad they left out:
Ugly Naked Guy.

Most unbelievable aspect of the ending:
Giving up Grandma’s rent-controlled apartment. ;-)
(Note, in multiple pleasant evenings spent in Greenwich Village I have seen many couples pushing around a stroller. I have yet to EVER see an older sibling toddling along beside…)

A few of the lessons in life we learned:
People THINKING you own a car in the city beats REALLY owning one, hands down.
Never climb out the window to the balcony with/for anything really important.
Always take dinner with you when you hide in the bedroom.
Never give up your dreams, but always speak naturally when you achieve them.
It’s only a sandwich.
Always order the Joey special.
Define BREAK…
And finally, there’s always time for one more cup of coffee…

Thanks for letting us in for awhile.

(We have GOT to start locking that door…)


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